What Causes Cat Allergy
Children with allergies have overly sensitive immune systems that mistake the protein from cat dander for something that will cause harm to their bodies. Your childs body attacks those proteins just as it would a bacteria or virus. In response, the body reacts with a wide variety of symptoms, including:
- Allergic shiners
- Itchy throat or roof of mouth
- Itchy, watery or red eyes
- Itchy rash if the cat scratched or licked the area
- Runny, stuffy or itchy nose
- Waking up in the night with nasal stuffiness, sneezing or coughing
These symptoms are usually noticeable immediately. If your childs allergy symptoms are present for more than two weeks and are not going away like a common cold or your child is having trouble breathing, then contact their doctor.
My Baby Is Allergic To Cats
Are you thinking of getting a cat, but have a baby in your home? Even with an allergic baby, you can still expand your family by adding a furry friend to your home!
In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics also offers some advice on this subject. But allow me to help summarize it for you.
Before getting a cat, it is highly recommended that you wait until you notice if your baby has allergies. Before you decide to either adopt a new friend or get rid of a furry friend, check with an allergist before making any decisions.
Here are some other things that you can do to help your baby whos allergic to cats:
Is It Actually The Cat Or Something Else
Your babys adverse allergic reaction to the cat will vary case by case. It is specific to the individual cat.
For most people, including babies, when they are allergic to something the most common symptom is a runny nose and sneezing. But if your baby is allergic to a cat, you may also notice a wheezing sound. This is the same sound babies make when they are having difficulty sleeping.
If your baby displays symptoms of nasal congestion, he/she is likely allergic to your cat. This can create a very dangerous situation if your babys breathing is impacted. Please seek immediate medical attention if this is occurring.
In more mild cases, a baby whos allergic to a cat may not have life-threatening reactions. Instead, he/she may display some of the more common symptoms that you will find with babies that have cat allergies.
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How To Decrease Cat Allergies
Cat Allergy Shots A New Lease On Life
Cat allergy shots are a lifeline for many cat lovers the world over. In essence, they are a new lease on life as they mean you dont have to get rid of your pet. And even if you are not a cat owner, cat allergy shots enable you to freely move anywhere you wish without having to worry about encountering a cat and reacting to it.
So if you havent yet, give cat allergy shots a try. They may not really be a cure, but they sure do come close to it.
Be sure to consult with your doctor if you are on any other medication or if you are pregnant as these factors can at times mean an allergy shot will do you more harm than good.
Other than that, cat allergy shots do make a world of difference.
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Heres What Helps If Your Cat Suffers From Pollen Allergy
Despite your good intentions, your cat is still unhappy being kept indoors? In case your cat suffers from a severe cat pollen allergy, where even the smallest dose of allergens on your clothes can trigger dangerous reactions, there are certain medications that can help. These include:
- Antihistamines: suppress the production of histamine in the body and therefore reduce the itching, sneezing and swelling. They should only be taken over the course of a few weeks at a time to avoid your catâs becoming immune to them.
- Corticosteroids: reduce inflammation and swelling, but can also have serious side-effects if taken over longer periods of time.
- Omega-3 fatty acids: help keep your catâs skin healthy and alleviate the itch of skin rashes.
- Homeopathic remedies: for humans, but can also be used for cats. Make sure to only use globules. Tonics usually contain alcohol, which is poisonous to your feline.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Pet Allergy
Cat and dog allergens can land on the membranes that line the eyes and nose. Reactions include swelling and itching of the membranes, stuffy nose and inflamed eyes. A pet scratch or lick can cause the skin area to become red. It is common to get itchy eyes after petting an animal then touching your eyes.
If allergen levels are low or sensitivity is minor, symptoms may not appear until after several days of contact with the pet.
Many airborne particles are small enough to get into the lungs. For some, this exposure can cause severe breathing problems. Highly sensitive people can begin coughing, wheezing and have shortness of breath within 15 to 30 minutes of inhaling allergens. Sometimes highly sensitive people also get an intense rash on the face, neck and upper chest.
Contact with a cat can trigger a severe asthma episode in up to three in ten people with asthma. Cat allergies also can lead to chronic asthma.
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Allergy Skin Prick Test
This test is performed in your doctors office so they can observe any reactions.
Using a clean needle, your doctor will prick your skins surface , and deposit a tiny amount of the allergen. Youll likely be tested for several allergens at the same time. Youll also be skin pricked with a control solution that has no allergens. Your doctor may number each prick to identify the allergen.
In about 15 to 20 minutes, the skin prick site may become red or swollen. This reaction confirms an allergy to that substance. A positive cat allergy will usually cause a red, itchy bump to the cat allergen. These unpleasant effects generally go away 30 minutes after the test.
Find The Source Of The Allergy
Your veterinarianâs allergy test says your cat is allergic to a plant that doesnât grow anywhere near you? But your cat still shows symptoms of a severe allergic reaction?
In order to protect your kitty from a cat pollen allergy, you need to know where she is going on her daily trips.
Maybe your catâs outdoor excursions take her to places youâre not aware of. Of course, not all places are safe for your cat. Some places can put your cat in danger.
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Most Common Cat Allergens
Flea saliva is by far the most common cat allergen.
Cats can also have hypersensitivity reactions to mosquito and other insect bites, but this is less common than flea bite hypersensitivity.
The next most common allergy is environmental allergies.
In dogs, this is generally termed atopy or atopic dermatitis, but in cats its usually called non-food, non-flea hypersensitivity dermatitis.
This is an allergen to things in the environment- pollen, cleaning products, weeds, trees, dust mites, dander, and cigarette smoke are all possible allergens your cat might have a hypersensitivity reaction to.
Food allergies make up about 1-5% of skin disease cases in cats.
Food allergies are built up over time- a cat can have eaten chicken-based food his whole life and still develop an allergy to chicken!
The most common food allergies in cats are beef, chicken and fish- all of which are common in feline diets.
Allergies In Cats: Symptoms Prevention And Home Remedies
Having a cat as a pet is a wonderful opportunity to connect with a companion. Returning home to your whiskered friend after a long day at work, playing with it, and watching it purr are just some of the simple pleasures that cat owners hold very dearly. But for all its perks, being responsible for a pet is not always smooth sailing.
If you own a cat, you would attest to the fact that these feline creatures can be quite high maintenance. In fact, unlike dogs, cats are famed for being quite the little divas with their fair share of tantrums. Not that anyones complaining. In fact, cat lovers around the world are united in their love for this very characteristic snobbishness of their four-legged friend.
Despite your best efforts to give your cat a comforting home, you may find yourself utterly helpless in the case of an ailing pet.
Allergies, for instance, are one of the most common health problems that afflict even the most sheltered and pampered cats globally. However, strays or cats that are allowed to roam outside are more likely to get seasonal allergies than those that remain strictly indoors.
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Types Of Air Purifier Filters
Many air purifiers have more than one filter. The pre-filter is used to grab large particles, like cat hair, in the air as they pass through it. The main filter is used to capture smaller particles and allergens. Activated charcoal or carbon filters work for odor control. Some units include all three filters and some just have the first two.
HEPA filters are high-efficiency particulate air filters and are recommended by the American Lung Association. Your main filter should be a HEPA filter. It captures 99.97% of particles that are 0.3 millionths of a meter or larger.
Activated charcoal or carbon filters work against odors. Your air purifier can remove particles from the air. However, without a filter for odor control, it wont do much against smells. These filters can trap gases and fumes, cooking odors, and litter box odors. By placing the air purifier in the same room as the litter box, you can help eliminate odors even further.
What Causes A Pet Allergy
The job of the immune system is to find foreign substances, such as viruses and bacteria, and get rid of them. Normally, this response protects us from dangerous diseases. People with pet allergies have over-sensitive immune systems. They can react to harmless proteins in the pet’s urine, saliva or dander . The symptoms that result are an allergic reaction. The substances that cause allergic reactions are allergens.
Pet allergens can collect on furniture and other surfaces. The allergens will not lose their strength for a long time. Sometimes the allergens may remain at high levels for several months and cling to walls, furniture, clothing and other surfaces.
Pet hair is not an allergen. It can collect dander, urine and saliva. It also can carry other allergens like dust and pollen.
Cat and dog allergens are everywhere. Pet allergens are even in homes and other places that have never housed pets. This is because people can carry pet allergens on their clothing. Also, allergens can get into the air when an animal is petted or groomed. Pet allergens can also be stirred into the air where the allergens have settled. This can happen during dusting, vacuuming or other household activities. Once airborne, the particles can stay suspended in the air for long periods.
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Explore Medications If Necessary
Im not one who immediately turns to medication, especially with children. I believe in trying the more conservative methods listed above however, you may arrive at the decision to try an OTC or prescription medication. Always consult a physician first because the type of medication and dosage amounts will depend on your childs age and medical history.
Do you have tips for helping your child cope with feline allergies? Tell us about it in the comments!
About the Author: Angie Bailey is a goofy girl with freckles and giant smile who wants everyone to be her friend. Loves pre-adolescent boy humor, puns, making up parody songs, and thinking about cats doing people things. Wrote a ridiculous humor book about cats wheeling and dealing online. Partner in a production company and writes and acts in comedy web series that may or may not offend people. Mother to two humans and three cats, all of which want her to make them food.
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How Do I Treat My Cats Allergies
The best way to treat allergies in cats is to remove the offending allergens from your cats environment.
- The best way to remove fleas from your environment is to prevent them from entering it in the first place. Use a veterinarian-recommended flea/tick preventative such as Revolution or Bravecto Topical Solution for cats. Badger Veterinary Hospital carries Revolution and Bravecto Topical Solution in our clinics additional flea/tick preventatives are available through our online pharmacy.
- Switch to a dust-free, unscented cat litter if the chemicals in scented litter are an issue.
- To reduce the impact of pollens, mold, or dust, bathing your cat one to two times a week helps remove environmental allergens from the skin and relieve itching. Your veterinarian can recommend a shampoo that will help prevent drying out your cats skin.
- Also helpful for dust allergies is regular cleaning. Clean your cats bedding once a week and vacuum at least twice a week.
- If your cat is diagnosed with a food allergy, your veterinarian will recommend a prescription diet.
Unfortunately, not all allergens can be removed from your cats environment. When this is the case, your veterinarian may recommend medication, such as cortisone or steroids.
Are you concerned about your cats itching? Do you think your cat may have allergies? Call today to schedule an appointment with your Badger Veterinary Hospital veterinarian!
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What Is Food Allergy And How Is It Treated
Food allergies in cats are caused by an immune reaction to a food or food additive. The allergy most frequently develops in response to the protein component of the food for example, beef, pork, chicken, or turkey. Vegetable proteins such as those found in corn or wheat, as well as food additives and preservatives, may cause food allergies in some cases. Food allergy may produce any of the clinical signs previously discussed, including itching, digestive disorders, and respiratory distress.
Food allergy testing is recommended when the clinical signs have been present for several months, when the cat has a poor response to steroids, or when a very young cat itches without other apparent causes of allergy. Testing is conducted by feeding an elimination or hypoallergenic diet. This means a diet in which the ingredients have not previously been fed to the cat . Because it takes at least eight weeks for all other food products to be removed from the body, the cat must eat the special diet exclusively for a minimum of eight to twelve weeks. If a positive response occurs, you will be instructed on how to proceed.
If the diet is not fed exclusively, it will not be a meaningful test. This means absolutely no treats, other foods, people foods, or flavored medications during this period. This cannot be overemphasized. Even accidentally providing a tiny amount of the offending protein can result in invalidating the test.
How Do Cat Allergy Shots Work
In order to desensitize your body through cat allergy shots, your doctor will inject small amounts of cat protein extract into your body over the course of several visits. The dosage is gradually increased until a target dosage is reached, at which point you will be kept at that dosage.
The main aim of this procedure is to desensitize your immune system to the allergen. This will ensure that an allergic reaction will not be triggered when you come into contact with an allergen.
Even if you dont reach complete desensitization, at least the severity of the symptoms can be reduced.
The biggest drawbacks to this kind of treatment are that it is time-consuming as you have to visit the doctor regularly and it is also quite expensive.
If you are one of the people who find that antihistamines dont work for them, perhaps cat allergy shots are your best option.
Despite it being a drawn-out procedure, the use of cat allergy shots will eventually pay off in the end as it will afford you the ability to tolerate cat allergens. It also becomes cheaper as time goes on as you wont need as many shots.
This brings us full circle to the question that brought us on this journey – do cat allergy shots work?
The bottom line is that yes they do work.
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