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Cat Allergies Explained and Tips That Can Help You To Deal With It

The author is a true animal lover. Has 2 dogs, Scotty and Cosmo, and a cat named Misty.

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There is no denying that cats are among the most adored pets in the world. Dogs and cats are owned by more than 50% of American households.

Unfortunately, cat allergies are one of the most common types of allergies, despite the fact that cats are such loved pets. According to past statistics, approximately 10 million people in the United States alone experience allergic responses to cats, particularly to proteins which are found on their skin and in their saliva.


What Causes the Allergies

The main cat allergen is produced by salivary and cutaneous oil glands. Dust created by the cat's body is called dander. It is essentially the skin that cats shed, and typically appears as little flakes. Dander can cause skin irritation, but it can also infiltrate your immune system and cause a number of symptoms, including rapid allergic reactions.

Once inside the immune system, the dander is of huge concern. Although it isn't considered an illness, your body and immune system may respond to it as a trigger. Cats' blood, urine, and saliva all contain allergens, which contributes to the high frequency of cat allergies. Even if a cat has not been around, the excretions most likely were.

Cat owners' homes often have cat hair, urine, and saliva all over them. Cats frequently lick their saliva into their fur as part of their self-grooming routine.

Cat Grooming

Cat Grooming

They disperse their allergens and dander when they clean themselves.

Cats groom as part of their natural inclination so this is a difficult one to combat. However, there are products available that you can use to wash your cat with to lessen the amount of allergens in their dander.

Symptoms and Reactions

A person who is allergic to cats typically experiences symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, sneezing, itching, watery eyes, or difficulty breathing. Cat allergens cause varied reactions in different people, therefore certain symptoms might not appear at all.

Having a fever with chills is extremely uncommon, but it can happen. It is best to see a doctor if someone with cat allergies develops a fever and chills as it is likely not an allergic reaction to cats, but rather some other illness that a specialist needs to diagnose.

Anaphylaxis is a strong reaction that might occur in cases of severe pet allergies. With an anaphylactic allergic reaction, a person may experience itching, hives, edema, respiratory trouble, shock, or even death.

Most of the time, symptoms get worse when a person is exposed to large amounts of allergens or to different kinds of allergens at once. Thus, limiting exposure to allergens can hugely lessen the degree of the symptoms' severity.

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Symptoms of Hives as an Allergic Reaction

Symptoms of Hives as an Allergic Reaction

Treatment

Antihistamines and decongestants are frequently used to treat feline allergies. Antihistamines are typically taken by people who have asthmatic episodes or other types of allergies.

Doctors occasionally administer allergy injections as well. In particular, if a person is extremely allergic to cats, allergy shots may be able to help prevent the attack. They are an effective way of both therapy and prevention, and they can also lessen the likelihood that an individual would develop allergies.

Always make it a point to see your doctor if you think you may be allergic to cats. He will be able to further diagnose your condition and present you with the best course of action.

Cat allergies are unpleasant, particularly if you start having them years after getting your cat.

If you have developed an allergy to your cat's fur, and depending on the severity, giving your cat away may be your only option, unfortunately. Even while doctors can give you injections and medications, they can only do so much.

BUT before you give your beloved feline away, first try some of these tips to ease the allergen count in your home.

TIPS To Reduce the Amount of Allergens

  1. You can have your cat spayed or neutered to reduce the development of allergens.
  2. If at all possible, bathe your cat once a week. This can reduce the allergen concentration by up to 84 percent.
  3. Replace carpet with smooth flooring (such as wood, tile, or linoleum) wherever you can because carpets are the main source of allergens in a house. 13 times more cat allergens may be present in carpets than on smooth, polished surfaces.
  4. After handling your pet, you should always wash your hands straight away.
  5. Don’t keep too many cats. More cats = more allergens.
  6. Use an air purifier and HEPA filter in the heating and cooling systems of the home. This can reduce the concentration of allergens by up to seven times.


Oh and one more thing… If giving away your pet is your only way out, please check with family and friends first if they would be willing to adopt your cat before approaching any shelters.

Sources:

https://vet.osu.edu/


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Raf Palmer

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