Is It Your Cat?February 15, 2019
Is your cat the culprit?
Cats are amazing house hold pets to have so it’s no wonder why 49% of pet owners in the United States have one! The downside however is that pet owners are two times more likely to be allergic to cats than dogs. Cats can produce allergens such as urine, dander, and saliva that trigger symptoms. They produce dander which are dead skin flakes that come from a cat’s sweat glands and become airborne and then inhaled. Certain proteins from their saliva can be transferred to their skin when they self-groom and eventually end up on your skin or even in the dander that is then inhaled. Another protein found in their urine can cause asthma symptoms if it is inhaled. Some symptoms that may be cat related are coughing, tightness in your chest, itchiness, flaky skin, tongue or face swelling, runny nose, and shortness of breath.
If you have a cat in your household but you aren’t sure if it’s causing your allergic reactions your best course of action is to visit a specialist like Chicago Allergy & Asthma and get tested through skin prick tests, an intradermal skin test, or a blood test. In order to limit the amount of exposure to dander and proteins that can trigger symptoms you should bathe your cat regularly, don’t let it sleep on your bed, vacuum, use an air purifier, change clothes after holding your cat, or get a hypoallergenic cat. These preventative measures help eliminate your exposure to dander and allow you to keep your beloved pet!