Suffering from allergies? Then, a house with cat can be a nightmare. Life with cat allergies can be very stressful for you as well as your family members. Cat allergies are caused due to an allergic reaction to one or even more than one allergens that are produced or carried by cats. The most common allergens that trigger cat allergies are saliva, urine and skin flakes of cats.
Many sufferers of cat allergies are not ready to accept that their furry pet might trigger allergic reactions in their body. But, the fact is if your body is susceptible to allergies, then having a cat at home can trigger the symptoms of allergy. Male cats that are not neutered produce more allergens that tends to stay in the air, is stubborn and is found in public places.
Cause of cat allergy in Humans
The proteins found in the allergens are responsible for the allergic reaction in your body. People suffering from allergies have a sensitive immune system. Their bodies tend to mistake any harmless substances as invaders or viruses that can harm your body and starts attacking as if they have been attacked by virus or bacteria. The symptoms that you experience are the side-effect of this attack on the allergen. Cats are carrier of other allergens and can indirectly trigger other allergens like dust and pollen to cause allergic reactions.
Symptoms of Cat Allergy
The symptoms of cat allergy can vary from mild to severe according to the exposure to the allergens. Some common symptoms include wheezing, coughing, itching, rashes, chest cough, itchy eyes, rashes on face and chest, stuffy nose and redness of the skin. These symptoms may appear almost immediately or may take an hour to appear.
Highly sensitive people can experience some severe symptoms like breathing difficulty for fifteen minutes to thirty minutes and get severe rashes on face and neck. Some cat lovers feel that there are hypoallergenic cats or cats that are free of allergens, but these claims are not supported by any evidence.
How to Identify Cat Allergy?
Avoidance is the best treatment for allergy, but it is simply not possible. Depending on the severity of the problem an allergist may suggest therapies that will provide some relief. Treatments include anti-histamine medications, allergy shots, decongestants, and other drugs like steroids in extreme cases can be tried as a form of treatment. There is no way to prevent allergies, but you can prevent them to a large extent by avoiding stuffs or coming in contact with items that can trigger allergic symptoms.
Reduce the exposure to cats as the best and safe methods to prevent allergic reactions. Bathe your cat one or two times a week to relive itching and any allergy causing allergens and pollens from her skin. The rule is to stay away from cats if you are suffering from cat allergy.
The most effective defense technique for cat allergies is to avoid touching, hugging or kissing cats. Stay away from homes that have cats as pets. Though this may sound very unrealistic, but this is the only rational option that can work. Even your friends who have cats as pets can indirectly carry the allergens with them. This indirect exposure to allergens can lead to serious allergic symptoms. Cat owners can restrict the movement of cat in your room and keep the house clean by regular vacuuming and cleaning all the furnishings.
You are not the only one suffering from cat allergies, more than a quarter of the population are suffering from cat allergy worldwide. Keep your air clean by opening the doors and windows for full air circulation. Use a good quality vacuum cleaner meant to trap allergens and guaranteed to trap pet hair. Keep your house clean by dusting and washing all linens, carpets, and sofa covers frequently to prevent any allergens from settling on them. Most importantly stay away from cats if possible.
Treatment and Cure for Cat Allergy
The symptoms of cat allergy are very obvious, but how can you tell if you are suffering from cat allergy. You can get this confirmed by an allergist by taking an allergy test after your doctor’s confirmation. Skin test or blood test can be conducted to check for allergies.
It’s no secret that cat allergies can be a real burden for cat owners and those around them. While it can be difficult to avoid cat dander altogether, there are steps that cat owners can take to minimize the symptoms and discomfort of cat allergies. Regular vacuuming and dusting can help to remove dander from surfaces, while regularly bathing your cat can also reduce the amount of allergens they spread around the house.
In addition, using air purifiers and ensuring good airflow in your home can also make a big difference. However, it’s important to remember that some individuals may still have severe reactions even with these measures in place. In those cases, the best solution may be finding a new home for the cat where they won’t trigger severe allergic reactions.
Though it may be a difficult choice, it is ultimately in the best interest of both the cat and those affected by their allergies. Overall, managing cat allergies requires patience and diligence, but with some effort and planning it is possible to find ways to lessen their impact on daily life.
Please also see: Cat Allergies in Toddlers and How to Identify Them?