What are the signs of allergies in cats

If your child’s allergies aren’t too severe, you may be capable to take some steps to reduce your child’s symptoms and hold your pet. For instance:

Keep pets out of the bedroom. Make your child’s room a pet-free zone and be certain to hold it clean. To hold the room pet dander- and pollen-free, install a high-efficiency air filter and air purifier. Remember to change the filters frequently.

Cover your child’s bed with additional protection. You can purchase dust mite covers for your child’s pillow, blanket, and mattress. This will also assist hold out dust mites, another potential allergy trigger, in addition to allergens love pet dander.

Go for hard surfaces.

Where you can, replace upholstered surfaces with non-fabric or easily washable materials. Pet dander sticks to upholstery, drapes, curtains, and carpeting more easily than it does to surfaces such as wood, vinyl, or tile. Plus, the latter are easier to clean. For this reason, you also shouldn’t let your allergic kid sleep with stuffed animals, Dr. Nassef adds. If you must own carpet in your child’s bedroom or elsewhere in your home, select a low-pile one and own it steam-cleaned regularly.

Bathe your pet weekly.

Weekly baths can significantly reduce the quantity of allergy-causing dander your pet sheds. If possible, enquire a non-allergic member of your household to bathe the pet and be certain to wash that person’s clothes afterward. Wearing gloves may also assist. Enquire your veterinarian to recommend the best soaps and shampoos. Caution: Bathing too frequently can own the opposite effect. It can dry your pet’s skin and cause the animal to shed more dander.

Teach your kid to wash his hands with soap and water after touching the pet.

What are the signs of allergies in cats

Washing helps prevent the spread of allergens to your child’s nose, eyes, and mouth — which is especially significant if your kid gets a rash from having been licked by your pet, Nassef says.

Talk to your allergist about treatment. “Medications work for allergy symptoms regardless of the trigger — pollen, pet dander, etc.,” Nassef says. “But not every medications work equally well for every symptoms.” That’s why it’s significant to work with your doctor and tailor your child’s allergy medications to his or her symptoms.

Consult your veterinarian. Your veterinarian can recommend a diet for your pet that’s wealthy in vitamins and minerals, which can assist your pet’s skin retain its moisture and not shed as much.

Love people, pets can benefit from omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, according to the Partnership for Animal Welfare in Greenbelt, Maryland.

Every family has to decide for themselves whether they can manage their children’s pet allergies with a cat or dog, Nassef says. “The best solution for pet allergies is to not own a pet,» she says, «but numerous people consider pets part of their family and getting rid of the pet is out of the question.”

Last Updated:8/7/

Like people, our feline friends can develop allergies.

This happens when their immune systems become sensitive to substances present in their surroundings. Known as allergens, these irritating substances may not annoy you or other animals in your home, but as your cat’s body tries to get rid of the offending substances, he might show every kinds of symptoms.

Because there is such a wide variety of allergens, cat allergies are generally divided into 3 main categories: flea allergy, environmental allergies (atopic dermatitis), and food allergy. Flea allergy and environmental allergies – the ones that cause “hay fever” symptoms in humans – are the most common. However, cats often own multiple allergies, so a thorough examination by your veterinarian or veterinary dermatologist is recommended.

Symptoms
Allergic kitties are often extremely itchy and own skin problems associated with allergic dermatitis.

What are the signs of allergies in cats

They also might exhibit some of these symptoms:

  1. Itchy, runny eyes
  2. Snoring caused by an inflamed throat
  3. Sneezing, coughing, and wheezing – especially if the cat has asthma
  4. Vomiting or diarrhea
  5. Ear infections
  6. Paw chewing or swollen, sensitive paws

There are a variety of allergens that cause these symptoms:

  1. Food
  2. Prescription drugs
  3. Pollen, grass, plants, mold, mildew, and other organic substances
  4. Household cleaning products
  5. Fleas or flea-control products
  6. Perfumes and colognes
  7. Some cat litters

Gastrointestinal symptoms generally accompany a food allergy, so it is significant to avoid feeding your cat food to which he or she has a known allergy.

Also, allergies tend to be more common among outdoor cats because they are exposed to a wider range of potential allergens, especially from plants and organic matter.

Diagnosis
If something appears to be making your kitty miserable, the best thing to do is pay your veterinarian a visit. He or she will initially do a finish history and physical exam for your cat to determine the source of the allergies.

If your vet suspects your cat has allergies, he might desire to act out blood tests or experiment with your kitty’s diet to narrow below the cause.

Or, if your vet thinks your cat has a skin allergy, your cat might be referred to a veterinary dermatologist.

Treatment & Prevention
The best way to treat your cat’s allergies is to remove the allergens from his or her environment. For instance, if your cat’s allergies are caused by fleas, using veterinarian-recommended flea and tick preventatives can eliminate the cause.

What are the signs of allergies in cats

If the problem is cat litter, substituting your normal litter for a dust-free alternative could do the trick. In fact, this might assist correct a bigger problem if your cat’s been missing his or her litter box.

When it comes to pollen, fungus, mold, or dust, bathing your cat a couple of times per week can assist alleviate itching. Your veterinarian can recommend an appropriate shampoo to assist you avoid drying out your cat’s skin.

A diagnosis of food allergies may require you to provide your cat with a prescription diet or even home-cooked meals free of the offending allergens. Your veterinarian will provide recommendations as to the best course of action.

It is possible that your cat will need dietary supplements to ensure he gets every the vital nutrients he needs.

Medication
Medication is sometimes prescribed for cats in case certain allergens cannot be removed from the environment. Medications include:

  1. Cortisone, steroids or allergy injections for airborne pollens
  2. Antihistamines as a preventative
  3. Flea prevention products

How do allergies affect asthma?
If your cat is allergic to environmental pollutants, it may worsen your cat’s asthma. In this case, your vet may prescribe medications that open your cat’s airway for the short-term; endless term solutions include corticosteroids.

And here’s a excellent reminder: cigarette smoke is bad for your cat, especially if your cat has asthma.

If you own any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian – they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.

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.

What are the signs of allergies in cats

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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What are the signs of allergies in cats

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A version of this article appears in the August 31, issue of Science News.


Sick as a Dog

For dogs, the most common clinical signs are skin inflammation and itching, Farnsworth says. Other symptoms may include sneezing and runny noses. (Take National Geographic’s dog quiz.)

Cats’ allergy symptoms can manifest as miliary dermatitis, which shows up as little scabs or missing hair, typically around the head and neck area, though it can happen elsewhere, she says.

It’s always significant to observe how endless symptoms happen in your pet—for instance, year-round symptoms may indicate a food allergy or reaction to something else in their environment that’s not seasonal.

Luckily, pets can be tested for a variety of environmental allergens—both seasonal and non-seasonal, saysChristine Cain,of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.

"We routinely test dogs for reactions to cat dander," she says.

"This includes a little quantity of allergen placed under the skin to test for reactions, just love in human allergy testing," Cain says.

Generally, veterinarians will glance for common allergens "like dust mites and human dander, or things we encounter in the environment love feathers, sheep wool, or pollens," says Washington State University’s Farnsworth.

Those are the usual suspects, but as with us, Farnsworth says, pets can be allergic to anything, and it can be hard to figure out the culprit with general testing.


It’s Not Me, It’s You

So what if your pet is allergic to you?

"It always makes owners helpful of unhappy if their reaction is to human dander," Cain says, but happily the two of you don’t own to part.

(See "Why Do We Get Allergies?")

"If we own a patient that reacts to human dander, generally they react to other allergens as well," she says.

That means your vet can treat the pet’s allergy, either with allergy shots or oral drops that contain little amounts of the problem allergens. This retrains your pet’s system to ignore the allergen.

Of course, the cat might always be faking an allergy in hopes you’ll get rid of the dog.

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It can be terribly upsetting to study that your kid is allergic to your family pet — but it’s not unusual.

Up to 30 percent of people with allergies own allergic reactions to cats and dogs, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA).

Contrary to favorite belief, it’s not the pets’ hair that makes a kid sneeze and wheeze. It’s the proteins found in their urine, saliva, or pet dander, according to the AAFA. The proteins can stick to surfaces of walls, furniture, and clothing and stay there, at full strength, for a endless time.

A pet also can bring other allergens, such as pollen, into your home.

“The first law of allergies is, if you’re allergic to something, stay away from it,” says Mark Holbreich, MD, an allergist and immunologist with Allergy and Asthma Consultants in Indianapolis.

What are the signs of allergies in cats

When it’s your pet, though, that’s hard to do. But if the allergies are severe, says the American Academy of Pediatrics, you may own to discover your pet a new home.

Symptoms of children’s pet allergies include a stuffy nose, itchy, watery eyes, and wheezing. Some people can own an asthma attack if their allergies flare, the AAFA says. If your kid experiences these symptoms after coming in contact with your dog or cat, own your kid tested.

“Testing is extremely important,” says Mervat Nassef, MD, a pediatric allergist and immunologist at NewYork-Presbyterian in New York City.

If you might own to give up your pet, you desire to be certain that your kid isn’t allergic to something else. “Other allergies can give you similar symptoms,” Dr. Nassef says.

It’s also significant to note that some animals may be more allergy-friendly than others. However, there’s no such thing as a hypoallergenic cat or dog, according to the American College of Asthma, Allergy & Immunology. “Small dogs that don’t shed produce less dander, but your kid still can be allergic to them,” Dr. Holbreich says.


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