Cat Allergies - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Allergy is a disease that is often inherited.

In a person suffering from allergies, at some point a “failure of the protection system” occurred: the immunity mistakenly takes an innocent substance for the enemy. Scientists are still unclear about the mechanism of excessive immune response, although research in this area does not stop around the world.

Allergies to cats of various kinds are found in quite a large number of people. Unfortunately, with such a reaction of the organism, it becomes impossible to start fluffy pets, despite the great love for them.

The reasons

Allergies to pets can affect almost anyone at any age. But most of all allergies to cat hair are people with allergies to pollen and mold. It should also be noted that the factor of the appearance of allergy to cats in children is heredity, i.e. If your parents are allergic to cat fur, then most likely you will have the same problem.

According to confirmed data, the following factors cause allergies to cats:

  1. Allergens that are stored on the cat's coat after the street. A cat that has the ability to walk outside the home can bring pollen to the wool, fluff, dust, or mold that causes severe allergies.
  2. Proteins found in saliva, urine, dead skin cells of cats. These allergens affect the weakened immunity of a person suffering from allergies, causing a protective reaction of the body to stimuli. Externally, this is manifested by symptoms typical of allergies.

Sufficiently reliable test that allows to identify the causative agents of allergy in a particular person, are the so-called skin tests. Testing with skin tests is the intradermal administration of a small amount of a potential allergen.

In practice, this usually looks like this: a specialist with a needle from a syringe puts several shallow scratches on the forearm of the patient and places a drop of an extract containing a potential allergen, extract, etc. on each scratch. When an allergen substance is ingested, the mechanisms of the immune response are triggered - a noticeable inflammation forms at the site of contact.

Are there hypoallergenic cats?

Unfortunately, absolutely all cats can cause allergic reactions in sensitive people, regardless of their gender, age, breed, and the presence and length of coat.

However, it has been established that cats secrete and distribute significantly less allergens than cats. Kittens are also less allergenic than adult animals. Studies have shown that, regardless of the breed and gender of the cat, allergic reactions often occur on dark-haired animals.

Symptoms of Cat Allergies

In children and adults, allergies to cats can manifest themselves in different ways. Some people experience symptoms immediately after contact with an animal, while others show up after a couple of hours. Among the most common signs of allergy are the following:

  • watery and / or itchy eyes;
  • sneezing;
  • skin rash, reminiscent of "urticaria";
  • nasal congestion or runny nose;
  • hyperemia in places of contact with an animal - i.e. where the cat scratched, bit or licked;
  • symptoms of asthma: wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath.

Damage to the respiratory system during an allergic reaction occurs if the allergen is deposited on the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract. Depending on where the contact occurred, how much of the allergen reacted and what the level of sensitivity of the organism to this substance distinguishes several symptoms of lesions of the respiratory tract and their severity.

Symptoms of damage to the respiratory system are:

  • nasal congestion;
  • cough;
  • hoarseness;
  • ear congestion;
  • dyspnea;
  • cyanosis.

Skin manifestations of allergies to cats are also quite common. Their appearance is caused by the ingress of an allergen on poorly protected skin (dryness, peeling, irritation). In this case, the first symptoms will appear exactly at the point of contact with the allergen.

Symptoms of skin lesions are:

  • rash;
  • itching;
  • angioedema.

Vegetative disorders develop with the penetration of the allergen into the bloodstream. Upon contact with the cells of the immune system and specific antibodies, the formation of heavy complexes of allergen-antibody and allergen-lymphocyte occurs.

The main autonomic disorders are:

  • heartbeat;
  • rapid breathing;
  • dizziness, nausea, and loss of balance;
  • syncope (loss of consciousness).

The defeat of the gastrointestinal tract develops when the allergen is ingested with food. According to statistics, intestinal manifestations of allergies to pets in most cases are observed in children up to three years.

Symptoms of the digestive system are:

  • abdominal pain;
  • vomiting;
  • diarrhea.

Angioedema is known to many under the author’s name - Quincke’s edema. This is the most dangerous symptom that can occur due to an allergic reaction.

How allergic to cats: photo

In the photo you can see how symptoms of allergy to pets can appear in the form of a characteristic rash.

Cat Allergy Treatment

It should be understood that without removing contact with the allergen, even the most competent medical treatment does not guarantee complete relief from the symptoms of the disease and the absence of exacerbations in the future.

The following medications are commonly used to treat cat allergies:

  1. Decongestants. Used to reduce swelling and prevent mucus stagnation.
  2. Antihistamines. They tend to block the body’s chemical reactions that cause symptoms. Some of them are sold without a prescription, but for more active drugs will require permission from the doctor.
  3. Common anti-allergy medications that reduce the effects of allergens and help cope with allergy symptoms. These may include steroids that are only available with your doctor’s prescription.

Do not underestimate the danger of the presence of a cat next to an allergic person, perhaps a sharp deterioration in the state of a hypersensitive person, the risk of a sudden transition to bronchial asthma, the development of angioedema, and even death.

What to do if you are allergic to cats?

If you categorically do not want to part with the animal, you must carefully maintain cleanliness and try to reduce the contact with allergens.

For this:

  1. Do not touch the cat, avoid the temptation to stroke it and especially take it in your hands.
  2. Thoroughly remove cat hair and dandruff (dead cells).
  3. Disinfect your pet's favorite spot with a light chlorine solution. So you have the opportunity to eliminate proteins (proteins), which produces the body of the animal.
  4. You are not recommended to go to the toilet area even by a meter. Because in the pet's excrement there is a high content of allergens.
  5. Do not let the cat in the room where you spend a lot of time, especially in the bedroom, and even more so in any case do not allow her to climb on the bed;
  6. A good measure to do without treatment for allergies to cats for a long time can be the installation of a ventilation, air conditioning and air purifier system in the house. If this is not possible, ventilate the room as often as possible, and clean it with quartz.

With a mild allergy, this approach may have a certain effectiveness, but even if all the measures taken do not alleviate your condition and the symptoms of allergy to cats appear with a certain frequency, it is better to get rid of the cat. Otherwise, your health or the health of your relatives may be at risk.


In medical centers, you can undergo a course of allergen-specific immunotherapy (ASIT). Microscopic doses of an allergen are injected subcutaneously with a syringe with a very thin needle. As a result, antibodies are produced in the patient's body that block the immune response and prevent an allergic reaction in the future.

The course ASIT lasts at least three months, the dose of the drug and the number of injections is calculated by the doctor. The frequency of injections is gradually reduced: first, they prick once a day, at the end of the course - once every five to ten days. ASIT can be completed at almost any age. Therapy is effective for the most common types of allergies - to dust, pollen, animals. The only thing - you have to come to the doctor regularly.

I want to summarize the article as follows - even before getting a pet, you should make sure that any family member is not allergic to cats, as well as any other type of allergy. This will further help get rid of many problems that have a negative impact on health.

Watch the video: Mayo Clinic Minute: Why allergies shouldn't prevent kids from having pets (January 2020).


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