Symptoms Of Allergies In Cats
Allergic cats most often exhibit symptoms of skin irritation, showing scabbing, itchiness, and over-grooming.
Cats with allergies often have a skin reaction called miliary dermatitis. This causes hundreds of little rash-like, scabby lesions on your cats skin, especially along the back and neck.
They are also itchy- you may see them itching with their paws or grooming more often. Overgrooming their itchy skin can also lead to patches of hair loss. Some cats will be more prone to ear infections.
Cats that are allergic to airborne allergens such as pollen might also show allergy symptoms such as runny eyes, itchy eyes, sneezing, or even coughing and fast breathing.
Lastly, cats with allergies to their diet may have some gastrointestinal symptoms as well, such as loose stools, excessive gas, and occasional vomiting.
Dog Allergy Management And Treatment
Avoidance is the best way to manage a dog allergy. If you have a dog and are allergic to dogs, consider removing the dog from the home.
If you have a dog but dont want to find it a new home, or if your family wants a dog even though someone in the household is allergic, here are some strategies that may help keep symptoms at bay:
- Keep the dog out of your bedroom and restrict it to only a few rooms. Be advised that keeping the dog in only one room will not limit the allergens to that room.
- Dont pet, hug or kiss the dog if you do, wash your hands with soap and water.
- High-efficiency particulate air cleaners run continuously in a bedroom or living room can reduce allergen levels over time.
- Regular use of a high-efficiency vacuum cleaner or a central vacuum can reduce allergen levels.
- Giving your dog a bath at least once a week can reduce airborne dog allergen.
Treatments for dog allergy vary, depending on the symptoms.
Your allergist can help determine what treatment would be best to treat your dog allergy. Nasal symptoms are often treated with steroid nasal sprays, oral antihistamines or other oral medications. Eye symptoms are often treated with antihistamine eyedrops. Respiratory or asthma symptoms can be treated with inhaled corticosteroids or bronchodilators to either prevent or relieve respiratory symptoms.
Allergy shots are an effective treatment of allergies by building tolerance over time through gradually injecting increasing doses of an allergen.
Vacuum Use A Couch Or Futon Cover And Wear Clean Clothes
For example, when your boyfriend or girlfriend is over, you might want to set your kitty up with their favorite treats, water, a litterbox, a big window with plenty of birds to look at, toys, cat tv, etc., in a private room while you and your partner enjoy the living room and TV together.
Before landing in this cat-free space, vacuum and maybe put a couch cover or bed sheet over the couch to protect your partner from the allergy triggers. You can run an air filter and also leave the windows open. If you have the space to work with, consider this option.
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Have Air Filter Will Travel
If you often visit friends or family with cats, but they don’t have a HEPA air purifier in the room where you’ll be staying, you may want to consider investing in a portable version. HEPA air cleaners, says AAAAI, can be a big help in removing unwanted allergenic particles from the air.
Small but powerful, HEPA air purifiers are available for under $200, and you can even use them to clean the air in your car.
“A HEPA filter is just great to have anyway,” said Waldron. “It’s good with pollen, it’s good for mold, it’s good for dust mite allergens.”
How Can I Learn To Deal With Cat Allergies
If you or one of your loved ones are allergic to cats and are not helped by medication, what can you do? Other than replacing your loved ones or getting rid of your cat, there are some ways to reduce the effects of allergens in your home.
Image via Shutterstock
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Natural Cat Allergy Remedies
Use an indoor allergen neutralizer. Always choose a natural formula. Unlike toxic chemical sprays and shampoos, these herbal cat allergy remedies work without exposing you to dangerous substances. Easy Air Organic Allergy Relief Spray and Organic Allergy Relief Laundry Rinse are excellent examples of natural solutions. Both these liquid formulas instantly destroy cat allergens. Its like taking dangerous boulders and crumbling them into harmless rubble. They work instantly, and benefits last for weeks.
Neuter your cat. Non-neutered males produce the highest levels of this allergen. So fix your guy. And, by the way, a number of studies also show that spaying sharply lowers Fel d1 levels in female cats.
Shampoo your cat. The animal will still produce Fel d1, but bathing dramatically lowers the allergen level in your home. On average, a weekly bath by a neighborhood groomer will eliminate nearly half the allergen in your home or apartment.
Change the litter box frequently. Cat allergens come from your pets urine and solid waste, so place the litter box in your garage . And change the litter every other day.
Moisten your pets fur before daily grooming. The moisture will help deactivate allergens, and daily combing will definitely get rid of more.
Use a HEPA vacuum at least once a week and a HEPA air purifier daily. Together, they will eliminate a lot more cat allergens.
Reducing Your Exposure To Cat Allergens With Purina Pro Plan Liveclear
Did you know that you can reduce the amount of allergens released into your home with a specific cat food? PURINA® Pro Plan LiveClear is a new cat food designed to neutralise the Fel d 1 allergen in your cats saliva, reducing the amount of active allergen that they release into the environment.
The cat food has been proven to reduce the allergen on cat hair and dander by an average of 47%, from the third week of daily feeding*.
*A 10-week controlled study of 105 cats showed an average reduction of 47% starting from the third week of daily feeding
The food also offers delicious nutrition for your cat the key egg product ingredient, designed to neutralise the allergen once eaten, is digested like any other protein. Alongside other allergen reduction measures, using PURINA® Pro Plan LiveClear could help to keep a cat in their loving home.
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Im A Cat Veterinarian Whos Allergic To Cats Heres How I Deal And So Can
It all started a few weeks after my graduation from veterinary school. I went into a routine appointment with a lovely young Siamese cat. Almost immediately, I noticed my eyes beginning to swell and itch. Then came the sneezing and the running nose. By the time I finished the appointment, I could hardly open my eyes and was having trouble breathing.
You guessed it. I had developed a fierce allergic reaction to my favorite patients: cats.
Ive been a cat vet for over 25 years now, and Im still severely allergic to cats. But I love what I do, and I was determined not to change my career or my lifestyle. Heres how I found a solutionand how you can, too.
Symptoms Of An Allergy To Cats
The symptoms of a cat allergy are typically similar to those of other allergies such as hay fever1, as well as the common cold or flu1.
The best way to tell if your symptoms are from a cat allergy or a cold is when they occur1. If they only flare up when you’re around fluffy animals, the chances are it’s an allergic reaction to cats, not a cold1.
Within minutes of exposure to dander, or just seconds in some cases, sneezing may start, then a sudden runny nose and itchy, watery eyes.
Ongoing nasal stuffiness, sinus pressure over the eyes or cheeks and an itchy throat can follow.
The most common symptoms of a cat allergy include1:
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Hives raised, red patches on the skin
If you have asthma, your symptoms may also trigger2:
- Difficulty breathing
- An audible whistling or wheezing when exhaling
- Trouble sleeping due to shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing
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Step : Foster A Cat In Need
If youre not sure youre ready to adopt, fostering with GEARS is the best alternative.
GEARS foster parents are either temporary or long-term. Temporary fosters care for the animal for a few days or weeks, while our long-term fosters care for the animal until its adopted.
If your allergies are too strong to own a cat full-time, being a temporary foster can be a great way to experience life with a furry friend without sacrificing your health.
A temporary foster cares for our foster animals when our long-term fosters need a babysitter or vacation. GEARS covers all costs and supplies, and only places you with animals that are best for you and your living situation.
Definitively Identify The Allergy
Make sure the reaction is to the feline protein and not something else. In addition to other common allergies like mold or dust mites, outdoor cats can bring pollen and grass inside these could actually be the culprits. If youre able, start by eliminating some of the suspected triggers and see what happens. We did this with regard to food allergies with our daughter. Perhaps keep the outdoor kitty inside and see if the reactions lessen or stop.
You may choose to visit your family doctor to discuss other options like allergy testing. Your decision will certainly depend on the age of the child and the severity of the reaction.
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Cat Allergy And Newborns
If you are bringing home a newborn, keep your baby and cats apart for the first three months. Cats like soft cozy places to sleep, and babies sleep a lot in the beginning, so it is tempting for a cat to cuddle up in the bassinet. If your baby is premature , you need to be extra-careful to keep the cat away from your baby. A neonates immature lungs cannot cope with the irritating allergens produced by a cat.
Fast Facts About Cat Allergies:
- Most people experience mild to moderate symptoms.
- Some people who have allergies may be able to live with cats.
- Researchers do not fully understand why some people develop cat allergies and others do not.
The symptoms of cat allergies vary depending on the protein someone is allergic to and their exposure to that protein. For example, tiny allergens from cats can land in a persons nose or eyes, causing burning or itching.
The most common symptoms of a cat allergy include:
- itchy skin
- a rash on areas of the body that have come into contact with cat allergens
Very rarely, people with a cat allergy can develop a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis makes it difficult to breathe, can lower blood pressure to dangerous levels, and can send the body into shock.
A person who has trouble breathing or feels like they are choking following contact with a cat should seek immediate emergency care. Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening reaction.
A person who is allergic to cats may continue to have symptoms even after the cat is no longer present. That happens because cat dander and other cat allergens can land on furniture and rugs, remain on unwashed clothes, and linger in linens.
People with allergies who want to live with cats or visit homes that have cats can do several things to manage their symptoms. Trying these can help alleviate the severity of allergies.
Allergies develop when the immune system overreacts to a usually harmless substance.
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Clean Upholstered Furniture And Open Windows
My cats constantly nap on top of our upholstered sofa and chair. I know this because of the amount of cat hair I remove on a daily basis! If your child is allergic to cat allergens, a steam cleaner would be a great investment. Additionally, keeping fresh air circulating through your space will increase ventilation, resulting in fewer trapped allergens.
What Is The Best Allergy Relief For Cats
Its true that there are a lot of things cats could potentially be allergic to, but there are just as manycatallergyremediesand preventive steps to help your cat companion feel well. Try the following to help your kitty combat allergies:
BathingCat fur is a great hiding place for pollens, dust, fleas and other irritants. Bathing your cat frequentlyas often as weekly, if neededcan often help keep potential allergens away from your cat, and using a medicated shampoo might be a goodcat allergy treatmentfor itchy, inflamed skin.
A clean homeKeeping your home as freeas possibleof dust, mildew, cigarette smoke and harsh chemicals may help your kitty breathe easier. Washing their bedding frequently with hypoallergenic detergent can also be great for helping prevent a cat allergy skin reaction.
Dust-free, unscented litterPerfumes, chemicals and dust may all trigger cat allergies, so make sure your litter is as clean as possible if you suspect its the culprit.
Nutritious foodNatural cat food free of additives and common irritants can help keep your cats belly happy.
Preventive flea medicineHelp stop flea allergy symptoms before they start by consulting your veterinarian and finding a good year-round flea medication.
Allergy relief medicinesBrowse thepet pharmacy for catsand consult your veterinarianto find supportive cat allergy treatment options.
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Reducing Exposure To Cats
While medical treatment can help control cat allergies, the best approach is simple: avoid cats and their dander. Here are some tips.
- Don’t touch, hug, or kiss cats. It should be obvious, but some people think a little cat contact is OK. It isn’t.
- Beware of visitors who own cats. Even if your house guests leave their cats at home, they can bring the dander with them on their clothing and luggage. This indirect exposure can cause serious cat allergy symptoms in some people.
- Plan. If you have to stay in a house with cats, ask that the cat be kept out of the room in which you will sleep for a few weeks before you arrive. Also, start taking allergy medication a few weeks beforehand. Once an allergic reaction gets started, it can be tough to control. But taking medicine can prevent it from happening in the first place.
But what if you already own a cat? Here’s the most sensible advice: if you or a family member has cat allergies, you shouldn’t have a cat in the home.
Of course, such harsh advice may not be easy to follow. What if your kids have already fallen in love with a kitten? What if you intended to never, ever part with your cat? If the cat has to stay, there are other things you can try.
While these techniques might help, they may not be enough. As hard as it might be, if keeping your cat is putting your health — or a family member’s health — at risk, you have to consider giving it up.
Should I Talk To A Vet If My Cat Has Allergies
The only certain way to diagnose cat allergies is through a visit to the veterinarian. A vet may perform a diagnosticcat allergy testusing either a blood test orcat allergy shotsand will often recommend prescription or nonprescription allergy treatments. If youve tried alleviating your cats allergy symptoms and they still seem uncomfortable, Petcosveterinary servicescan help you find out whats behind all that wheezing, sneezing or itching. Nobody should have to live with discomfort from allergies when there are so many good preventive steps and symptom-relieving treatments availableand that goes for yourcat, too.
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Cat Allergies In Infants
There is ongoing debate among scientists whether infants who are exposed to animals at a very young age are destined to develop allergies, or if the opposite is true. Recent studies have come to conflicting conclusions. A 2015 study found that exposing infants to cats and dogs at home is associated with a higher risk of developing allergies during the first four years of the childs life.
On the other hand, a 2011 study found that babies who live with cats, especially during the first year of life, develop antibodies to the pet and were less likely to acquire an allergy later.
A 2017 study found that cats and dogs may provide a benefit by exposing babies to certain healthy bacteria early in life. The study concluded that babies exposed to a cat or dog in the home during pregnancy may have fewer problems with allergies in the future than babies who werent exposed.
Your doctor will be able to answer questions you may have about your baby and your cat. For children who are allergic, removing fabric toys and stuffed animals and replacing them with plastic or washable ones may help relieve symptoms.
Avoidance is best to prevent the allergies in the first place. But if you discover youre allergic to your cat, there are other options than getting rid of your pet. Consider these strategies for reducing your symptoms.