Do you suspect that you have allergies to your cat and do not know what the symptoms and causes are? Do you know that you have a cat allergy and want to fight it? In Cats’ Things we tell you the essentials you should know about cat allergies.
Allergies to pets are more common than we may 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, cat allergies are twice as common as dog allergies.
What causes allergy to cats?
In general, all allergies have a similar origin. The immune system of the people responds to foreign substances in order to protect us.
People who have a pet allergy have a more sensitive immune system that reacts to harmless proteins (allergens) from 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?
Cats allergic suffer from very different symptoms, some less serious and some more. The most common are: swelling, redness, itching, watery eyes, nasal congestion, itching in the nose, sneezing, sore throat, cough, etc. Other symptoms that also occur are asthma and wheezing (the typical beep of a bad breath), hives, rashes on the face or chest, itchy skin, etc.
If you have one or more of these symptoms when you are next to a cat, ideally go to the allergist for the appropriate tests.
Do all cats cause the same degree of allergy?
Although the degree of allergy is usually associated with the person and his immune system, there are certain factors that make a cat can 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. In contrast, when a cat is castrated, it produces fewer secretions.
In addition, there are several studies that show that babies who live with cats lessen the risk of developing a future pussy allergy.
I have allergies to cats, what do I have to do?
If you are diagnosed with this allergy, very possibly the first thing you are advised to do is “get rid of” your cat. But it is obvious that no lover of cats wants to dispense with the company of yours, so you can take other preventive measures and help to support the allergy in the best possible way.
Here are some recommendations:
- Do not let the cat enter the bedroom. A person can spend almost half of his life in his bedroom, so it is better that the cat does not enter it and that everything is well clean. While it is true that sleeping with cats is a pleasure.
- Avoid surfaces where the cat’s dandruff specks stand. This is recommended in most allergies of the environment: avoid rugs, decorations, 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 allergist, and a good cleaning of the cat can help reduce the symptoms of allergy, especially in the age of hair change.
Other recommendations are linked to the cat itself, such as castration, as we have seen in the previous section.
Cat allergy remedies
In addition to the precautions discussed, there are two general methods for combating allergies: common medicine and natural remedies.
In common medicine we find the vaccines against allergy, which are quite tedious since it involves a constancy and a dedication. And other products that are to be applied on the cat to remove these elements from the surface, as is the case of Bayer spray: Vetriderm.
As for natural remedies, we do not know any that is 100% effective and immediate, although several people have their own tricks. But there are different components that help to 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 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 itchiness that allergies cause.
Finally, there are also talk about alternative remedies to combat allergies: energy-based methods, acupuncture, herbology, yoga and naturopathy are some of them.