SO YOU THINK YOU MIGHT BE ALLERGIC TO YOUR CAT…OH NO!! HERE IS A BREAK DOWN OF WHAT CAUSES THESE ALLERGIES, THE SYMPTOMS AND WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP ALLEVIATE OR TREAT THIS IRRITATING HEALTH ISSUE.
When it comes to cat allergies it is your cat’s saliva, urine, fur and cat dander (the dry skin flakes in your cat’s fur) which are allergens. Coming into contact with these are what can cause your allergic reaction. Cat allergens can be transferred and carried on clothes, onto furniture, bedding etc. They are in the air particles which we breathe in everyday. All of these can cause those nasty allergy symptoms.
The number one allergen that most people have a reaction from is the saliva of the cat which is transferred onto its fur during the cats grooming process. Then we pet our fur babies and BANG…….itching swelling and redness around the membranes of the eyes and nose and suddenly appear and ruin your day. This gives you the red eyes, runny nose, sneezing symptoms similar to that of a cold. Sometimes a rash may appear on your upper body. Even the feeling of fatigue may be present.
If cat allergens get into your lungs and you are allergic this can cause difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing and can even bring on an asthma attack and become the cause of chronic asthma.
If other symptoms appear like nausea, fever, chills or vomiting than you should probably consider the possibility that your illness is something other than allergies. More likely a cold or flu…..so go to the doctor and get checked our.
First of all get a diagnosis from your doctor. There are a few ways this can be done. There are blood tests and skin test that can determine if you really are allergic and which test would be best for you.
Obviously avoiding any kind of allergen would be the best thing to do if you are allergic. But sometimes this is not possible. No one wants to live in a cave….
- Try the following treatments which may help:
- Over the counter decongestants (Sudafed) or allergy drugs that contain pseudoephedrine
- Antihistamines…..(Benadryl, Claritin)
- Nasal steroid sprays (Flonase)
- Allergy shots – this is something you must discuss with your doctor as it is not for everyone.
Unfortunately allergies are not preventable. Medical treatments can help but the best thing to do is avoid cats and their dander……boo
- Avoid petting, kissing, hugging and any contact.
- Remember about the transfer effect and that cat owners who come into your home may leave behind those allergens that will affect you!!
- Plan ahead….if you are going somewhere and know a cat will be present bring your medication and start taking it a few days prior.
- Wash your hands constantly carry hand gel with you.
- Cat owners clean your house often!!! Sweep, mop, vacuum preferably with a HEPA filter as it reduces allergens much more efficiently due to the fineness of the filter.
- Air purifiers are our there that can reduce the amount of allergens in the air….invest in one!
- Bath your cat.….good luck!!! Sometimes if this is done at a young age who knows your kitty may love it!!
While doing all of these suggestions may help, it also may not be enough. Allergies are a serious health issue that may not respond to any of these medications or suggestions. They need to be taken seriously. When allergies get out of control, they can cause asthma which is a serious disease. See your doctor and make a plan what is the best way for your to control your allergies and hopefully still be able to enjoy your cats!!!