Cat allergy what to do
A diagnosis of pet allergy is made based on your medical history and a physical examination. Your doctor might refer you to an allergy specialist for a skin-prick test or blood test for confirmation.
Avoid online or over-the-counter allergy test kits or other unconventional allergy tests. Numerous are not evidence-based, and don’t provide precise results.
In specific, avoid unproven tests and treatments such asapplied kinesiology, the Vega test, hair analysis, serum-specific IgG tests, Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Techniques (NAET), and cytotoxic tests such as ALCAT, FACT and Bryan’s test.
See your doctor for advice.
Reduce the allergens and your symptoms
If you are allergic to your pet and your reactions aren’t life-threatening, there are numerous ways to reduce indoor allergens and allergy symptoms so you and your pet can live together more comfortably.
If your or a family member’s allergies are simply miserable, but not life-threatening, take these five steps to reduce the symptoms:
Create an «allergy free» zone in your home—preferably the allergic person’s bedroom—and strictly prohibit the pet’s access to it. Use a high-efficiency HEPA air cleaner, and consider using impermeable covers for the mattress and pillows.
2. Use HEPA air cleaners throughout the relax of the home, and avoid dust-and-dander-catching furnishings such as cloth curtains and blinds and carpeted floors.
Clean frequently and thoroughly to remove dust and dander, washing articles such as sofa covers and pillows, curtains, and pet beds.
3. Bathe your pet on a weekly basis to reduce the level of allergy-causing dander (shed ancient skin cells). Cats can get used to being bathed, but it’s critical to only use products labeled for them; kittens may need a shampoo safe for kittens. Check with your veterinarian’s staff or a excellent book on pet care for directions about safe bathing, It’s a excellent thought to use a shampoo recommended by your veterinarian or other animal care professional.
Don’t be quick to blame the family pet for allergies. Enquire your allergist to specifically test for allergies to pet dander. Numerous allergy sufferers are sensitive to more than one allergen. Reduce the overall allergen level in your environment by concentrating on every of the causes, not just the pet allergy.
5. Attempt treatments. Additional treatments for allergies to pets are include immunotherapy (allergy shots), steroidal and antihistamine nose sprays and antihistamine pills.
It is significant to discover an allergist who understands your commitment to living with your pet. A combination of approaches—medical control of symptoms, excellent housecleaning methods, and immunotherapy—is most likely to succeed in allowing an allergic person to live with pets.
How does pet allergy occur?
Pet allergens (the substances that cause the allergic reaction) are most concentrated in homes with pets. But they are also found in buildings and public spaces without pets.
Dog allergens largely come from their saliva, either directly from licking or from being transferred to their dander or hair.
Cat allergens mainly come from glands in their skin and are spread through licking and grooming.
Pet allergens are sticky and can remain for months or years after a pet has gone. They can become airborne and attach to clothes and hair.
People can become sensitive to, or own an allergic reaction to, cats or dogs without ever having owned a pet.
What is pet allergy?
Pet allergies happen when the immune system reacts to the saliva, dead skin cells (dander) or urine of pets.
About 1 in 5 people own a pet allergy. Most are allergic to cats or dogs, but you can also be allergic to other domestic animals, such as guinea pigs, mice, rats, horses and birds.
Allergies are particularly common in people who handle pets as part of their occupation. Some people are allergic to more than one animal.
People with a pet allergy are also likely to own other allergies — for example, to pollen and dust mites. Pet allergies can develop at any time during childhood or adulthood, but some people will grow out of them.
Understand your pet allergies
It is significant to see a doctor and be tested to determine what allergies you actually own. You may discover that you’re allergic to something else and not your pet at all! For example, you may assume that you are allergic to your beloved dog, only to discover out through an allergy test that you’re actually allergic to a specific tree pollen that got on his fur during a stroll together, and that’s actually what’s bothering you.
If an allergy test shows that you are allergic to your pet, it is significant to understand what causes your allergic reaction to them.
There are allergy-triggering proteins called allergens in saliva and skin glands that cling to an animal’s dry skin (dander) and fur. The fur and dander then stick to walls, carpets and clothing.
The reaction of someone to these allergens is diverse from one person to the next. The reaction may range from mild sniffling and sneezing to life-threatening asthma. The reaction can be made worse if a person is additionally exposed to other things he is allergic too, such as pollen, dust mites, cigarette smoke, and mold.
Whether someone has an allergic reaction depends on both the individual person and the individual animal.
A person with animal allergies may react less to dogs with soft, constantly growing hair, or one specific cat or dog may cause more or less of an allergic reaction than another animal of that same breed.
You may hear claims about breeds of dogs and cats that are non-allergenic (don’t cause an allergic reaction) or cats and dogs that are hypoallergenic (cause less of an allergic reaction). However, even hairless breeds may cause a severe allergic reaction.
Symptoms of pet allergy
Pet allergy can cause:
Symptoms might appear as soon as you pat a cat or dog, or they might take a few hours to appear.
Pet allergies are rarely life-threatening.
But if you ponder someone is having a severe reaction such as anaphylaxis, and their breathing is affected, call triple zero (000) and enquire for an ambulance.
Be happy you didn’t let allergies break up a beautiful relationship
It is worth it to preserve the bond between you and your pet by checking if you are truly allergic to your pet and, if you are, to attempt these solutions. Join the large number of animal lovers who manage their allergies and live happily and healthily with their beloved pets.
Are You Allergic to Your Pet?
Breathe Easy—You Can Still Hold Your Animal Companion!
Although numerous people own discovered the beneficial effects of caring for a furry friend, the fact remains that roughly 15 to 20% of the population is allergic to animals. The result? Countless pet parents in unhappy, unhealthy situations—and their beloved pets are the cause! Allergen is the medical term for the actual substance that causes an allergic reaction. Touching or inhaling allergens leads to reactions in allergic individuals. Symptoms can include red, itchy, watery eyes and nose; sneezing; coughing; scratchy or sore throat; itchy skin, and most serious of every, difficulty breathing.
The most common pet allergens are proteins found in their dander (scales of ancient skin that are constantly shed by an animal), saliva, urine and sebaceous cells.
Any animal can trigger an allergic response, but cats are the most common culprits. People can also become allergic to exotic pets such as ferrets, guinea pigs, birds, rabbits and rodents. There is no species or breed to which humans cannot develop allergies. Fur length and type will not affect or prevent allergies. Certain pets can be less irritating than others to those who suffer from allergies, but that is strictly on an individual basis and cannot be predicted.
Once the diagnosis of a pet allergy is made, a physician will often recommend eliminating the companion animal from the surroundings.
Yes. Absolutely necessary? Not always. Hold in mind that most people are allergic to several things besides pets, such as dust mites, molds and pollens, every of which can be found in the home. Allergic symptoms result from the entire cumulative allergen load. That means that if you eliminate some of the other allergens, you may not own to get rid of your pet.
(Conversely, should you decide to remove your pet from your home, this may not immediately solve your problems.) You must also be prepared to invest the time and effort needed to decontaminate your home environment, limit future exposure to allergens and discover a physician who will work with you. Read on for helpful tips:
Improving the Immediate Environment
- Install an air purifier fitted with a HEPA filter.
Our modern, energy-efficient homes lock in air that is loaded with allergens, so it’s brilliant to let in some unused air daily.
- Limit fabrics. Allergens collect in rugs, drapes and upholstery, so do your best to limit or eliminate them from your home. If you select to hold some fabrics, steam-clean them regularly. Cotton-covered furniture is the smartest choice, and washable blinds or shades make excellent window treatments. You can also cover your furniture with sheets or blankets which you can remove and wash regularly.
- Dust regularly. Wiping below the walls will also cut below on allergens.
- Vacuum frequently using a vacuum equipped with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate arresting) filter or a disposable electrostatic bag.
Other kinds of bags will permit allergens to blow back out of the vacuum.
- Create an allergen-free room. A bedroom is often the best and most practical choice. By preventing your pet from entering this room, you can ensure at least eight hours of liberty from allergens every night. It’s a excellent thought to use hypoallergenic bedding and pillow materials.
- Clean the litter box frequently. Use low-dust, perfume-free filler.
Clumping litter is a excellent choice.
- Use anti-allergen room sprays. These sprays deactivate allergens, rendering them harmless. Enquire your allergist for a product recommendation.
- Invest in washable pet bedding and cages that can be cleaned often and easily.
Decontaminating Your Pet
- Wipe your pet with a product formulated to prevent dander from building up and flaking off into the environment. Enquire your veterinarian to propose one that is safe to use on animals who groom themselves.
- Bathe your pet at least once a week. Your veterinarian can recommend a shampoo that won’t dry out his skin.
Bathing works to wash off the allergens that accumulate in an animal’s fur.
- Note any symptoms of dermatitis exhibited by your companion animal. Dermatitis often leads to accelerated skin and fur shedding, which will up your allergen exposure.
- Brush or comb your pet frequently. It’s best to do this outdoors, if possible. (The ASPCA does not recommend keeping cats outdoors, so make certain your feline is leashed if you take him outside.)
Taking Care of Yourself
- Wash your hands after handling your companion animal and before touching your face.
The areas around your nose and eyes are particularly sensitive to allergens.
- If possible, own someone other than yourself do the housecleaning, litter box work and pet washing, wiping and brushing. If you must clean the home or change the litter, be certain to wear a dust mask.
- Designate a “pet outfit” from among your most easily washed clothes. Wear it when playing or cuddling with your companion, and you’ll leave other clothing uncontaminated.
- Find a physician, preferably an allergy specialist, who will make certain that your pet is the cause of your allergies and will assist alleviate your symptoms.
Medications and immunotherapy (desensitizing shots) can often permit you and your companion animal to remain together happily ever after.
Cat lovers who sneeze and sniffle around their feline friends might one day discover at least partial relief in a can of cat food.
New research suggests that feeding cats an antibody to the major allergy-causing protein in cats renders some of the protein, called Fel d1, unrecognizable to the human immune system, reducing an allergic response.
After 105 cats were fed the antibody for 10 weeks, the quantity of athletic Fel d1 protein on the cats’ hair dropped by 47 percent on average, researchers from pet food–maker Nestlé Purina report in the June Immunity, Inflammation and Disease.
And in a little pilot study, 11 people allergic to cats experienced substantially reduced nasal symptoms and less itchy, scratchy eyes when exposed in a test chamber to hair from cats fed the antibody diet, compared with cats fed a control diet. The preliminary findings were presented in Lisbon, Portugal at the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology Congress in June.
The Fel d1 protein is produced in cats’ salivary and sebaceous glands.
Cats transfer the protein to their hair when they groom by licking themselves and excrete it in their urine. Humans are then exposed to it on cat hair and dander — dead skin — or in the litter box. Cat allergies plague up to 20 percent of people, and Fel d1 is responsible for 95 percent of allergic reactions to cats.
Doctors can’t give humans antibodies orally because the molecules are broken below in the gut and never reach their targets, says Michael Blaiss, executive medical director of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and an allergist and immunologist at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta.
So Purina’s approach to the cat allergy problem is exciting and unusual, he says.
In cats, the antibody to Fel d1 — which is derived from eggs and added to cat food — has its effect in the mouth, neutralizing the protein in saliva, says Ebenezer Satyaraj, director of molecular nutrition at Purina. This way, the antibody disables Fel d1 “after its production by the cat, but before it spreads to the cat’s hair and dander — and before a response occurs in an individual sensitized to cat allergens,” says Satyaraj, who is leading the cat allergen research.
Since the role of Fel d1 in cat physiology is unknown, this approach doesn’t interfere with the normal production of Fel d1 by the cat, Satyaraj says.
So far, he adds, safety tests own found no harm to cats fed the antibody.
Blaiss expects that the new treatment may assist people with mild cat allergies. But those with severe symptoms are unlikely to discover relief from cutting the quantity of athletic allergen only in half. Some people can’t tolerate any quantity of the protein without symptoms, he says. What’s more, diverse cats can produce wildly varying amounts of Fel d1 naturally.
“So it just depends on the [Fel d1] levels of the cat and the symptomology of the patient,” he says.
In addition, Fel d1 is known to be a “sticky” protein, Blaiss says. It tends to stick around and accumulate in the home over time. So even with feeding a cat the antibody-laced food, “it could just take more time to build to a level that triggers an allergic reaction.”
Purina is not yet offering products containing the antibody, Satyaraj says, but plans further research to determine its effectiveness for reducing cat allergens in the home.
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A version of this article appears in the August 31, 2019 issue of Science News.
Allergies to cats and dogs are common, and symptoms range from mild to severe. These symptoms can include hay fever, asthma and hives. While avoiding exposure is the simplest solution, treatment can assist you manage your contact with pets.