- by Dr Azeemulla H R
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- Oct 30 2017
IS YOUR CAT CAUSING YOUR ALLERGIES?
If you are a cat lover, it can be devastating to find out that your fluff is causing health issues for you or a loved one. Pet allergies are quite common and cat allergies are twice more common than dog allergies.
WHAT CAUSES CAT ALLERGIES?
Unlike the common misconception, it is not the cat or the fur that you are allergic to. People with cat allergies are actually allergic to proteins present in the cat's saliva, urine, and dander (dried flakes of skin).
People with allergies have a highly sensitive immune system that mistakes common and harmless things as invaders, treating them like a bacteria or a virus. Pet allergen particles can be carried on clothes, circulate in the air, settle in furniture or bedding and stay behind in the environment. You are more likely to be allergic to male cats. If you have not been exposed to pets as a child, chances are you will be allergic to one once you grow up.
The usual signs of a cat allergy appear shortly after you come in contact with cat dander, saliva or urine.
- Rashes on the face or chest
- Itchy or red eyes
- Stuffy nose
- Fever and chills
- Nausea or vomiting
- Redness of the skin
Diagnosing an allergy as a cat allergy could be difficult. Our homes contain other allergens, such as dust mites and pollens, which could cause similar symptoms. It’s important to see an allergist and go through proper allergy tests to confirm a pet allergy.
Cat allergy can be treated using standard allergy medications and nasal sprays. You should avoid coming into contact with cats and their dander. Even friends who have a cat can indirectly cause allergy.
However, many people choose to endure symptoms rather than get rid of their pet. In such cases, you can take steps to minimize the symptoms of your allergy. Keep your distance from the cat, restrict it to a certain area or keep it outside, always keep the house clean, install an air purifier and bathe the cat regularly.
Taking all these precautions may not guarantee a relief from the symptoms. If the allergies become chronic and miserable, you may have to consider giving up the cat.
It is always best to consult with a veterinarian along with your doctor in case of pet allergies as together they can figure out the best way to solve the problem.
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