What Triggers Allergies to Cats?

What Triggers Allergies to Cats?

Cats are loveable and entertaining but sadly, some people are allergic to cats. Although it’s impossible to predict who will develop an allergic reaction and who won’t, understanding what triggers allergies in some people can help to reduce the occurrence and intensity of reactions.

What Causes Cat Allergy?

The main culprits behind cat allergy are a protein found in their saliva and dander, which is dead skin cells. When cats clean themselves, they spread their saliva and dander all over their coat. When the saliva and dander become airborne, it’s inhaled into the lungs where it triggers an allergic reaction.

Signs of Allergy

Common symptoms of cat allergy include coughing, trouble breathing, itchy and/or watery eyes, and a runny nose. People with cat allergies may also experience sneezing, wheezing, and skin reactions, such as hives or itching.

Cat Allergy Prevention

If you’re allergic to cats, you should:

  • Wear a dust mask when around cats.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after touching a cat.
  • Change and wash your clothes right after being in contact with a cat.
  • Keep cats out of your bedroom, since it can trap in the allergen particles.
  • Shampoo cats regularly and brush them outdoors.
  • Install and use an air purifier.

It’s also a good idea to visit an allergist to discuss treatment options, such as immunotherapy, to help reduce or eliminate your cat allergy symptoms.

While cat allergies can make life difficult, it’s possible to reduce or eliminate symptoms with careful avoidance and treatment. With a little bit of effort, you can create a safe and comfortable environment for you and your cat.

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