Cats are known to trigger allergic reactions that can threaten the overall health of an individual. By being familiar with the cause, symptoms and how to prevent cat allergy, it will help ensure that the individual will have optimum well-being.
Cats have been the cause of various types of allergic reactions that can progress to serious complications. Some individuals are allergic to animal dander triggered by pets. Remember that cats rank as one of the top pets that can trigger an allergic reaction. Nevertheless, contrary to popular belief that the allergens from cats come from their fur, the actual culprit are the proteins present in the skin, saliva and urine.
Cause of cat allergy
The protein that instigated the allergic reaction is characterized by its carbohydrate structure. This type of protein is distributed in the air where it floats from one house to another. In addition, it can also infest linens, furniture, clothes and other items in the house that attract dust. The protein is smaller in size than the common allergens such as dust and pollen which makes them easy to pass through the nasal cavity. There are instances when these allergens reach the lungs which trigger serious allergic reactions and severe episodes of asthma attacks.
Once the protein enters the nasal passages, the body generates histamine that will eliminate the allergens. This will trigger the manifestation of the symptoms.
What are the symptoms?
- Redness and itchiness of the eyes
- Runny nose
- Nasal congestion
In serious allergic reactions, the affected individual can experience breathing difficulty that can last for a few days. Insomnia, bronchitis and asthma are the usual complications that can develop once the individual is regularly exposed to the allergens.
There are measures that can keep your house free from allergens. The suitable course of action is to remove the cat to ensure that the offending protein is no longer present. Nevertheless, this might be difficult for those who are attached to their pet.
In such circumstances, the individual should decide whether to keep the cat or his/her health. If you have heard about hypoallergenic cats, there is still no proof yet to confirm that the hairless breeds are less likely to trigger allergic reactions. Always bear in mind that most of the allergens originate from other parts of the cat, not its fur.
Useful allergy tips
There are several measures to keep the house free from allergens.
- Since most of the allergens float in the air, utilize proper ventilation with adequate source of fresh air. You can even install HEPA air filters to clean the air that circulates inside the house.
- Utilize washable carpets that should be vacuumed at least two times in a week and washed every weekend. If possible, remove all the carpets in the house and utilize wooden or linoleum flooring.
- If the individual is determined to keep the cat, it should be housed outside. Provide the cat with a cozy area in the garage, garden or yard and make sure that it has adequate food and water.