I have an allergy to cats: causes and symptoms
It may sometimes happen that you love an animal but your body is against your relationship. And just being next to a cat (in the same room) can cause a lot of unpleasant symptoms for some people. Especially for allergic people. So, in this article, we’re going to discuss why your body reacts so much and what exactly that reaction is. It might seem like people are allergic to cat hair. Such situations are common to see when people just sneeze because of the fact that the cat left his fur on their clothes or somewhere on the furniture of the apartment.
But the truth of the matter is that the fur of the pets has out of all that. And the proteins that are in the cat’s secretions (urine, saliva, skin cells) cause allergies. These microparticles are spread to all the places where your tailed friend has been. They are on the floor, walls, furniture, and even on your plate.
Why does everyone think that cat hair is “the root of evil”? Because cats are pure creatures who lick their fleece, where they leave allergens with their saliva. But the fur itself isn’t an allergen, it’s like a carrier.
Why does the body react like that?
Feline protein reacts with human proteins causing the immune system to react, resulting in increased release of antibodies (including histamine) into the bloodstream. Histamine is one of the main mediators of inflammation, and if it is simple, histamine is an indicator of bacteria and is responsible for the immune reaction.
How does an allergy manifest itself?
However many people are, that’s how many reactions are. That can’t be called one period of manifestation for everyone. Someone can sit in the cat’s company all day and their eyes will only start to tear in the evening. And others can sneeze and choke all the time right from the doorstep. A pet owner can also be an allergen if there are traces on his clothes or body (fur with saliva). The range of proliferation is very large. Now let’s talk about how allergies can manifest themselves.
Respiratory symptoms of allergy to cats
- allergic rhinitis;
- stuffy nose;
- nose/throat itching and burning;
- shortness of breath;
- rhino pharynx edema.
Cutaneous allergies to cats
- dryness and irritation of the skin;
- itching and burning;
- redness, rashes, and blisters on the skin.
In both cases the situation is unpleasant. But those people who are allergic to the skin are more likely to avoid the effects of contact with animals (just don’t touch or lean on “marked” objects).
There is one more type of reaction (more common in children) where cat bacteria get into food than causing stomach pain and nausea.
What other symptoms of being allergic to cats recognized
- inflammation and swelling of the eyes, excessive tears;
- irritability, lethargy, headache.
All symptoms are different and can often be mixed up with other infections or diseases. Therefore, better to make a diagnosis and know for sure whether you are allergic or not.
Your physician can give you a referral for analysis. Allergies can be diagnosed quite easily (they will take skin samples and blood analyses to specific immunoglobulin E). You can also get the compatibility test for your organism with cat allergens at some medical centers.
But what if you have an allergy, but you can’t imagine your life without a little kitten? Can you build up an immunity to cat allergies?
There is an opinion that there are hypoallergenic breeds of cats, but that isn’t true. There are no such cats in nature. If you’re allergic and want to live with your cat in the same house, you need to choose your tail friend carefully.
You should avoid the fluffy creatures with thick undercoats as they tend to molt easily and their fur is spread everywhere.
But cats with thick, curly hair that looks like scrawl are less likely to lose their hair and therefore have less allergenic properties. Cats of the Cornish Rex breed can boast such hair.
The Sphinx is ideal in this situation. Of course, they secrete proteins too, but it’s easier to wash them off bare skin than off wool. If you bathe the sphinx once or twice a week, there’s a good chance you can get along with it. Their fur won’t fly around the house and you won’t have to keep it as clean and shiny in every corner as with fluffy cats.