Cat Allergy: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

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It can be very hard to imagine that something as adorable as a cat is capable of leaving you with an assortment of detestable reactions, but that’s a possibility if you have cat allergy. According to experts, cat allergy is more common than dog allergy — the number of people with cat allergy is double the number of those with dog allergy.

Read on if you experience unfavorable signs and symptoms after spending some fun moment with your curious feline pal. Below you will learn some pertinent details about cat allergy.

Causes

Cats produce different allergens, which can be anything that can trigger allergic reactions. Cat dander (dead skin cells) is one of those allergens. Because of its very small size, cat dander can become airborne. In other words, a room where a cat has been or is present can be filled with allergens floating in midair.

Experts say that a cat’s saliva is also an allergen. If you have cat allergy, you may experience all sorts of skin reactions if your purring friend has licked your skin.

The urine of a cat can leave you experiencing allergic reactions, too. That’s why you should carry out some precautionary measures when cleaning your cat’s litter box, such as wearing gloves — if you come into contact with its pee, it’s very much likely for you to develop unfavorable reactions shortly.

Symptoms

Cat allergy symptoms can range anywhere from normal to severe, depending on how sensitive you are to cat dander, saliva or urine. Also a factor is the amount of allergens that you come into contact with.

Shortly after exposure to cat allergens, you may start having congested nose which can cause facial pain. In some cases, your nose may become runny, and this can leave you sneezing constantly. It’s also not unlikely for your eyes to end up watery, red and itchy. Some people with cat allergy develop skin rash or hives.

Do you have asthma? Then chances are that you may experience an attack if you happen to inhale cat dander. If your chest tightness and shortness of breath becomes severe, immediate medical care should be sought.

Treatment

Just like many other forms of allergies, there is no known treatment for cat allergy. This only means that you have no choice but to live with the fact that you cannot enjoy those feline cuties as much as other people can.

Fortunately, there are treatments available for the various signs and symptoms associated with cat allergy, and they are usually the ones that people with other forms of allergy use. Some of them include OTC antihistamines and decongestant sprays. An allergist may also recommend corticosteroids or allergy shots.

Prevention

Quite clearly, the only way to keep an allergy attack is to limit your contact with a cat, or completely steer clear of such adorable creature. But if you already have a cat in your home and the fact that you are suffering from cat allergy just made itself known, there is no need to fret — there are certain things that may be done to control the problem.

For instance, you may limit the areas in your home that your cat may access, and your bedroom should be definitely one of those. It’s also a good idea to make your home easier to clean so that removing cat dander can be done more effectively. For instance, you may get rid of carpets and limit installing upholstered furnishings.

Bathing your cat regularly is also a good idea. If your family member or other half does not have cat allergy, you can ask him or her to provide assistance in cleaning your pet’s litter box. Since cat dander can become airborne, it’s a wise move to install air purifiers, as well as cover air-conditioning and heating vents with filters.

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