What are cat allergies caused by
In rare cases, an allergy can lead to a severe allergic reaction, called anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock, which can be life threatening.
This affects the whole body and usually develops within minutes of exposure to something you’re allergic to.
Signs of anaphylaxis include any of the symptoms above, as well as:
Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment.
Read more about anaphylaxis for information about what to do if it occurs.
Sheet final reviewed: 22 November
Next review due: 22 November
You can experience symptoms of a cat allergy correct when you enter into a room or home where a cat lives. Or the effects can start after you spend several hours in the area or with the cat.
A cat allergy can produce upper respiratory symptoms or may affect your skin.
Common effects f a cat allergy can include:
- A skin rash, redness, or itching
- Sore throat
- A runny or stuffy nose
- Red, itchy, or watery eyes
While it is rare, swelling of the face, throat, or any part of the body can develop due to a cat allergy. If you develop swelling or become short of breath, seek medical attention immediately.
Cat allergies are more common than dog allergies, but this does not own anything to do with how friendly the cat or the person is.
Cat allergies are not associated with how much you love a cat or how much the cat likes you.
Getting along with your cat or a friend's cat is a completely diverse issue than having an allergy.
You may be capable to tell that you own a cat allergy based on the timing of your symptoms. If you start to cough, sneeze, feel itchy, or develop a rash correct after visiting your friend who has a cat, then you might own an allergy to the cat.
Sometimes it can be hard to know that a cat allergy is causing your symptoms, especially if you live with the cat. While some people are allergic to every cats, you might be allergic to a cat even if you own not had allergies to other cats in the past—this can make the effects hard to figure out.
You may also own a hidden exposure to cat allergens, such as when moving to a new home where a cat used to live.
If you own a rash or persistent upper respiratory symptoms, you should see your doctor. After a history and physical examination, your doctor may do some diagnostic tests.
Blood tests can include an IgE level to see if you own an allergic reaction.
Skin Prick Test
You may be advised to own a skin prick test. This would involve your doctor placing a little quantity of the cat hair or skin on your skin with a needle. You would then be observed for about half an hour to see if you develop a reaction.
For people with a cat allergy, avoidance of cats is the mainstay of therapy. However, cat owners may not desire to part with their pets, despite the symptoms they endure.
Allergy medications may control symptoms, but in numerous instances, symptoms may persist if the person lives with one or more indoor cats.
Allergy shots may also be a treatment option for people who are allergic to their own pet cats.
There are some ways to decrease cat allergen exposure for cat owners:
- Keep the cats away from air vents to the bedroom
- Vacuum frequently with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) equipped vacuum cleaner
- Have cats stay exterior, in the garage, or in a part of the home with an uncarpeted floor
- Use a HEPA room air cleaner for use in the bedroom and/or other parts of the home (it is best to hold the HEPA filter off of the floor to avoid stirring up more dust)
- Keep the cat away from the bedroom and the bedroom door
- Ensure the cat is neutered
- Bath the cat at least once or twice a week
- Wipe the cat with a wet cloth or hand towel daily
- Follow home dust mite avoidance precautions
If the above measures do not assist to reduce allergic symptoms, you may need to remove your pet cats from your home.
This is especially significant if you or someone in your home has uncontrolled asthma.
Cat dander will persist for months in the home even if the cat is gone – therefore it is significant to clean thoroughly.
- Vacuum every hard floors
- Wipe below every hard surfaces and furniture
- Launder or dry clean every bedding and curtains
- Steam clean every carpets and upholstered furniture
- Replace any air conditioner and heater vent filters
What Are the Symptoms of a Pet Allergy?
Cat and dog allergens can land on the membranes that line the eyes and nose.
Reactions include swelling and itching of the membranes, stuffy nose and inflamed eyes. A pet scratch or lick can cause the skin area to become red.
It is common to get itchy eyes after petting an animal then touching your eyes.
If allergen levels are low or sensitivity is minor, symptoms may not appear until after several days of contact with the pet.
Many airborne particles are little enough to get into the lungs. For some, this exposure can cause severe breathing problems. Highly sensitive people can start coughing, wheezing and own shortness of breath within 15 to 30 minutes of inhaling allergens. Sometimes highly sensitive people also get an intense rash on the face, neck and upper chest.
Contact with a cat can trigger a severe asthma episode (asthma attack) in up to three in ten people with asthma.
Cat allergies also can lead to chronic asthma.
What Is the Best Treatment for Pet Allergy?
The best treatment is to avoid contact with cats or dogs or the areas where they live. Hold pets out of your home. If possible, attempt to avoid visiting homes with pets that you are allergic to.
Avoiding cats and dogs may give you enough relief that you will not need medicine.
Keeping the pet outdoors will assist, but will not rid the home of pet allergens. Another option is to select pets that do not own fur or feathers. Fish, snakes or turtles are some choices.
Pet allergy can be a social problem making it hard to visit friends and relatives who own cats and dogs (and sometimes horses and other animals). This may be especially troublesome for children who cannot participate in activities at the home of friends.
Talk to your doctor about possible use of medication before these social exposures and specific measures to take after the exposure.
How Does a Doctor Diagnose a Pet Allergy?
Your doctor will diagnose a pet allergy based on your symptoms, physical examination, medical history and test results. Your doctor can use either a blood test or skin test to aid in the diagnosis. Allergy testing will show if there is allergic sensitization to the animal.
Some people discover it hard to believe that they could be allergic to their pets.
The doctor may tell you to stay out of the home where the pet lives to see if your symptoms go away. It does not assist to remove the dog or cat, because the allergen will remain. Pet allergens still in the home can cause symptoms months after the animal is gone.
What Causes a Pet Allergy?
The occupation of the immune system is to discover foreign substances, such as viruses and bacteria, and get rid of them. Normally, this response protects us from dangerous diseases. People with pet allergies own over-sensitive immune systems.
They can react to harmless proteins in the pet's urine, saliva or dander (dead skin cells). The symptoms that result are an allergic reaction. The substances that cause allergic reactions are allergens.
Pet allergens can collect on furniture and other surfaces. The allergens will not lose their strength for a endless time. Sometimes the allergens may remain at high levels for several months and cling to walls, furniture, clothing and other surfaces.
Pet hair is not an allergen.
It can collect dander, urine and saliva. It also can carry other allergens love dust and pollen.
Cat and dog allergens are everywhere. Pet allergens are even in homes and other places that own never housed pets. This is because people can carry pet allergens on their clothing. Also, allergens can get into the air when an animal is petted or groomed. Pet allergens can also be stirred into the air where the allergens own settled. This can happen during dusting, vacuuming or other household activities.
Once airborne, the particles can stay suspended in the air for endless periods.
Is There Such a Thing as a Hypoallergenic Pet?
People with dog allergies may be more sensitive to some breeds of dogs than others. Some people may be allergic to every dogs. People may ponder certain breeds of dogs are “hypoallergenic,” but a truly non-allergic dog or cat does not exist.
A Expression From Verywell
You may be disappointed to discover that you own a cat allergy. Parting with a beloved cat can be unhappy.
There own been some suggestions that hypoallergenic cats may be available, but this concept has not been proven. Some experts own suggested vaccinating cats tor feeding them a certain diet to reduce allergic reactions in owners. These are new strategies that are not widely used.
Keep in mind that even if you are allergic to one cat, you might not be allergic to every of them. And numerous other pets might not trigger an allergy for you—such as dogs, bunnies, birds, and fish.
You can develop a psychological aversion to being around a cat if you tend to own allergic symptoms after your cat encounters.
Cat dander is a common cause of allergic asthma, and cat owners who are allergic to cats are more prone to the development of asthma symptoms.
While it is not common, you could own an allergy to cat food or to material in the cat's littler box, rather than an allergy to the cat.
Hold this in mind when you are observing your reactions and when you get tested.
Pet Allergy: Are You Allergic to Dogs or Cats?
Allergies to pets with fur are common, especially among people who own other allergies or asthma. In the United States, as numerous as three in 10 people with allergies own allergic reactions to cats and dogs. Cat allergies are about twice as common as dog allergies.
What If I Desire to Hold My Pet?
Removing the pet from the home is often the best treatment. However, if you still desire to hold your pet, there may be some strategies to reduce exposure.
- Forced-air heating and air-conditioning can spread allergens through the home.
Cover bedroom vents with thick filtering material love cheesecloth.
- Washing the pet every week may reduce airborne allergens, but is of questionable worth in reducing a person's symptoms.
- Adding an air cleaner combined with a CERTIFIED asthma & allergy friendly®filter to central heating and air conditioning can assist remove pet allergens from the air. Use an air cleaner at least four hours per day.
Another type of air cleaner that has an electrostatic filter will remove particles the size of animal allergens from the air. No air cleaner or filter will remove allergens stuck to surfaces, though.
- Change your clothes after prolonged exposure with an animal.
- Have someone without a pet allergy brush the pet exterior to remove dander as well as clean the litter box or cage.
- Remove your pet from the bedroom. You spend from one-third to one-half of your time there. Hold the bedroom door closed and clean the bedroom aggressively.
You might consider using a HEPA air cleaner in your bedroom.
- Animal allergens are sticky. So you must remove the animal's favorite furniture, remove wall-to-wall carpet and scrub the walls and woodwork. Hold surfaces throughout the home clean and uncluttered. Bare floors and walls are best.
- If you must own carpet, select one with a low pile and steam clean it frequently. Better yet, use throw rugs and wash them in boiling water.
- Wear a dust mask to vacuum.
Vacuum cleaners stir up allergens that own settled on carpet and make allergies worse. Use a vacuum with a CERTIFIED asthma & allergy friendly® filter if possible.
- Talk to your allergist about options for medicine or immunotherapy.
Glance for this mark to discover products proven more suitable for people with asthma and allergies.
Discover CERTIFIED asthma & allergy friendly® products on ourCertification program websiteor download our app on theApp Storeor Play.
Cat allergy got you in mew-sery?
This news may change your life fur-ever.
A team of scientists from the Swiss firm HypoPet AG has developed a vaccine to combat the feline-produced protein Fel d 1, to which 10% of humans are allergic, according to their press release.
After analyzing data from four separate studies involving a entire of 54 kitties, the antidote, called HypoCat, has already demonstrated its success.
Our HypoCat vaccine is capable to produce high levels of antibodies in cats, writes Gary Jennings, CEO of HypoPet AG, in the statement. These antibodies can bind and neutralize the Fel d 1 allergen produced by the animals.
Researchers tell they are pressing ahead with registration studies and discussions with European and US regulators to bring the drug to market, which would certainly change lives.
The vaccine would assist those with cat allergies avoid typical reactions such as rashes, nasal congestion and irritated eyes, while also lowering their risk of exacerbating asthma or developing chronic respiratory issues.
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 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.
Questions or comments on this article? E-mail us at [email protected]
A version of this article appears in the August 31, issue of Science News.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction usually develop within a few minutes of being exposed to something you’re allergic to, although occasionally they can develop gradually over a few hours.
Although allergic reactions can be a nuisance and hamper your normal activities, most are mild.
Very occasionally, a severe reaction called anaphylaxis can occur.
You don't need to own shut contact with a cat to develop allergic symptoms. Some people can own the effects of a cat allergy after coming into contact with fabric, such as a blanket or clothing, that was touched by a cat. And you may even develop symptoms from breathing air in an area where a cat lives.
Cat allergies are triggered by cat hair, skin, saliva, sweat, urine, blood, and dander. Cat dander is a tiny material shed by cats.
The dander is airborne and sticky. The size of the cat dander particles is extremely small and it is inhaled deep into the lungs.
Dander can be present in public places, even where there are no cats—because it can be carried on the clothing of people who own cats and then shed in public places.
Allergens are harmless substances that trigger an allergic reaction. Several proteins that are produced by cats, including Fel d 1, Fel d 4, and albumin own been identified as cat allergens. These allergens trigger a rapid immune reaction mediated by an antibody called IgE.
The IgE antibody rapidly activates an inflammatory response that produces the symptoms of a cat allergy.
Cat allergens are produced in large amounts and are extremely potent. Cat allergens are partially under hormonal control. They are particularly prominent in male non-neutered cats.
Cats generally are not bathed, and they use their own saliva to groom and clean themselves. This can spread the allergen if it is present in the cat's saliva.
Infections Caused by Cats
A parasitic infection caused byToxoplasma gondii (T.
gondii) is spread by cat feces. This parasite is extremely dangerous for pregnant women because it can cause birth defects.
Infections caused by cats are diverse than allergies.
An Overview of Toxoplasmosis
Main allergy symptoms
Common symptoms of an allergic reaction include:
- a raised, itchy, red rash (hives)
- tummy pain, feeling ill, vomiting or diarrhoea
- swollen lips, tongue, eyes or face
- wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and a cough
- itchy, red, watering eyes (conjunctivitis)
- sneezing and an itchy, runny or blocked nose (allergic rhinitis)
- dry, red and cracked skin
The symptoms vary depending on what you’re allergic to and how you come into contact with it.
For example, you may have a runny nose if exposed to pollen, develop a rash if you own a skin allergy, or feel sick if you eat something you’re allergic to.
See your GP if you or your kid might own had an allergic reaction to something. They can assist determine whether the symptoms are caused by an allergy or another condition.
Read more about diagnosing allergies.