Cat Allergies Symptoms. Do you suspect that you have an allergy to your cat and do not know what the symptoms and causes are? Do you already know that you are allergic to cats and want to fight it? In Things of Cats we tell you the essential thing you should know about allergies to cats.
Allergies to pets are more common than we think. In fact, between 15 and 30% of people who have other allergies, also suffer from allergic reactions to cats and / or dogs. And, specifically, allergies to cats are twice as common as allergies to dogs.
What Causes Cat Allergies?
In general, all allergies have a similar origin. The immune system of people responds to foreign substances in order to protect us.
People who have allergies to pets have a more sensitive immune system that reacts to harmless proteins (allergens) in saliva, urine or animal dander.
This breaks the myth that allergy is caused by cat hair. Dead skin or dandruff is one of the main causes of allergies, and is five times smaller than dust, so it floats in the air for a long time and is easier to inhale.
What symptoms does a person allergic to cats have?
Those who are allergic to cats suffer from very different symptoms, some less serious and others more. The most common are: swelling, redness, itching, watery eyes, nasal congestion, itchy nose, sneezing, sore throat, cough, etc. Other symptoms that also occur are asthma and wheezing (the typical beep of bad breath), hives, rashes on the face or chest, itchy skin, etc.
If you have one or several of these symptoms when you are next to a cat, the ideal thing is that you go to the allergist to have the corresponding tests done.
Do all cats cause the same degree of allergy?
Although the degree of allergy is usually associated with the person and their immune system, there are certain factors that cause a cat to cause more or less allergy:
- The sex of the cat. It is said that males produce more secretions of allergens than females.
- The castration of the male cat. On the other hand, when a cat is neutered, it produces less secretions.
In addition, there are several studies that show that babies who live with cats reduce the risk of developing a future pet allergy.
I have an allergy to cats, what do I have to do?
If you are diagnosed with this allergy, it is very likely that the first thing you are advised to do is to “get rid of” your cat. But it is obvious that no lover of cats wants to dispense with the company of theirs, so you can take other preventive measures and help to withstand the allergy in the best way possible.
Here are some recommendations:
- Do not allow the cat to enter the bedroom. A person can spend practically half of their life in their bedroom, so it is better that the cat does not enter it and that it keeps everything very clean. While it is true that sleeping with cats is a pleasure.
- Avoid surfaces where cat dandruff spots alight. This is recommended in most environmental allergies: avoid carpets, decoration elements, etc.
- Cover with a mask or similar when cleaning dust. And the best thing is that this cleaning is done with a vacuum cleaner with HEPA filter, which is quite efficient against airborne particles. This filter is also used for cooling and heating systems.
- Bathe the cat and brush it. Ideally, brushing should not be done by the allergic, and a good cleaning of the cat can help to reduce the allergy symptoms, especially in the time of hair shedding.
Other recommendations are linked to the cat itself, such as castration, as we have seen in the previous section.
Remedies against cat allergy
In addition to the precautions discussed, there are two general methods to combat allergies: common medicine and natural remedies.
In the common medicine we find the vaccines against the allergy, which are quite tedious since it supposes a constancy and a dedication. And other products that are to apply on the cat to remove these elements from the surface, as is the case of the Bayer spray: Vetriderm.
As for natural remedies, we do not know any that are 100% effective and immediate, although several people have their own tricks. But there are different components that help alleviate the symptoms of allergy:
- Against cough and nasal congestion: eucalyptus (which is also used as an antiseptic in cat scratches). Red clover, alfalfa, apple cider vinegar and licorice root also help to combat these symptoms and itchy eyes.
- Against itching: Vitamin C, fish oil, flax seeds, evening primrose oil, oat-based soaps and aloe vera gels are used to stop and relieve the itching caused by allergies.
Finally, alternative remedies are also discussed to combat allergies: methods based on energy, acupuncture, herbology, yoga and naturopathy are some of them. Cat Allergies Symptoms.