Your Eyes Are Red & Itchy
Watery eyes are a common symptom of pet allergies, as are red, dry, itchy eyes. A lot of people think this is just a result of general allergies from being outside and being exposed to pollen, but that itchy feeling in your eyes can also happen after you’re around your cat, especially if you pet them or hold them and then touch your eyes.
âWe see a lot of people getting a stuffy nose or red, itchy, watery eyes. And for some people, that can happen from a distance, so if even there’s just a cat in the room, these symptoms can still happen,â says Price. In particular, itâs the cat dander that sets this particular type of allergic reaction off. These are â and brace yourself, because this can sound a little gross â âmicroscopic pieces of dry cat skin that become airborne, landing on bedding, curtains, carpeting, and other surfaces, including humans’ skin and clothing,â per The Spruce Pets. So, not an easy one to avoid.
Cat Allergies In Humans: Its Causes Symptoms And Treatment
Cats and dogs are the most loved domestic pets in United States and in many parts of world. Its heartbreaking to tell someone having a cat that the symptoms he or she has are due to cat allergy. But statistics reveal that there are many people allergic to their feline pet.
If you have an allergy it is difficult to pin point cat to be a source of allergy as there are many other articles and substances present in your house that may be allergen. This may be dust mites, pollen, mold etc.
The commonest symptoms of cat allergy in humans are itching and burning in eyes, sneezing, itching and red rash on skin, breathlessness, tickling in throat etc. Avoidance of the allergen is the best treatment mode for any type of allergy. Antihistamines, air purifiers, use of facial mask, are some of the treatment and precautionary measures.
Nothing To Sneeze At: New Strategies For Controlling Cat Allergy
When it comes to cat allergy, theres only one sure way to avoid symptoms stay away from cats. But many cat lovers with allergies would rather live with the sniffling, sneezing and wheezing than live without their beloved pet.
As I tell people with cat allergies, the treatment of choice is removal of the cat, says Dr. Michael Blaiss, executive medical director of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology . Most people dont want to give up the cat. Usually, they will remove me as the doctor before they remove the cat.
Cat allergy is the most common animal allergy, affecting about one in five adults worldwide. Symptoms range from stuffy nose and itchy eyes, to hives, wheezing and asthma attacks.
Immunotherapy, often called allergy shots, can be effective in taming reactions in many people. But immunotherapy requires several years of injections, which many people dont want to do.
The good news is that researchers are on the hunt for new treatments and developing some promising new options. This article explores the novel therapies under study, including lab-created antibodies that help to halt allergic reactions in their tracks, and even a vaccine for kitty, designed to trim the amount of allergens that cats shed.
And some relief may be as near as your local pet store. In 2020, Nestlé Purina began selling cat food that neutralizes allergens in the cats saliva, a source of the protein that causes so much itchy, watery, wheezy misery.
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What Is Inhalant Allergy Or Atopy
Inhalant allergy or atopy is not well understood in cats. In dogs and humans, atopic dermatitis generally refers to allergic reactions to environmental allergens such as pollens, grasses, molds, mildew, and house dust mites).
“Most cats that have an inhalant allergy are allergic to several allergens.”
Many of these allergies occur seasonally, such as ragweed, cedar, and grass pollens. However, others are with us all the time, such as molds, mildew, and house dust mites. When humans inhale these allergens, we express the allergy as a respiratory problem. In humans, atopy is also sometimes called ‘hay fever’. The cat’s primary reaction to atopy is severe, generalized itching.
Most cats that have an inhalant allergy are allergic to several allergens. If the number of allergens is small and they are seasonal, itching may last for just a few weeks at a time during one or two periods of the year. If the number of allergens is large or they are present year-round, the cat may itch constantly.
How To Have A Cat If You Have Cat Allergies
The Spruce / Hilary Allison
Although some people avoid cats because they fear or dislike them, there is some hope for those who avoid cats because of fear of allergic reactions. A lot will depend on the nature of your allergies. If yours are of the sneezing, watery eyes, and running nose variety, you may be able to slowly and gradually build up your tolerance to cats.
However, before getting a cat, you should undergo allergy testing first, particularly if you suffer from asthma. For example, about 30 percent of people with allergies are allergic to cats and dogs, but studies show the rate of cat allergies is actually far higher than that.
Here are tips to help you gain control over your cat allergy symptoms while enjoying the lifelong companionship of a feline.
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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.
Cat Allergy Management And Treatment
Avoidance is the best way to manage a cat allergy. If you have a cat and are allergic to cats, consider removing the cat from the home.
If you have a cat but dont want to find it a new home, or if your family wants a cat even though someone in the household is allergic, here are some strategies that may help keep symptoms at bay:
- Keep the cat out of your bedroom and restrict it to only a few rooms. Be advised that keeping the cat in only one room will not limit the allergens to that room.
- Dont pet, hug or kiss the cat 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 cat a bath at least once a week can reduce airborne cat allergen.
Treatments for cat allergy vary, depending on the symptoms.
Your allergist can help determine what treatment would be best to treat your cat allergy. Nasal symptoms often are 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.
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Visit Your Local Animal Shelter
Once you feel that your allergies are under control, consider adoption. Here’s how to navigate a trip to your local animal shelter or a cat adoption event.
- Dress in comfortable, casual clothes.
- Remember to take any allergy medications beforehand.
- Prepare to spend an hour or so at the shelter or event.
- Take a few cats, one at a time, into a private room, if available, and spend some time with each one.
It’s often been said that cats usually chose their humans, so let a cat’s actions guide you in your choice. You may need to visit the shelter several times before you find the cat that fits your lifestyle.
Make sure your home is completely prepared for a new pet. Once you have made your choice, talk to the personnel, tell them about your allergies, and ask if the cat may be returned, as a last resort, if your allergies are aggravated once you the pet at home. As a last tip, try to restrict your new cat from going into your bedroom so you can sleep free of even the faintest of allergy symptoms.
The Big 3 Strategies For Coping With Cat Allergies:
1. TREAT THE CAT
According to one clinical study,spray-on anti-allergy substances, or specially designed shampoos or cream rinses have negligible effect on allergic reactions. Immersion bathing works well temporarily, but allergens return within days.
At the same time, stories abound about the above products working very well, even lowering reactions to the point of complete tolerance. Its a matter of trial and error with each individual cat. Bear in mind that bathing the cat every week will dry out the skin, and may actually increase protein secretions.
One common sense treatment to help lower the allergen output in the house is daily brushing or combing, thus removing much of the hair and dander that may contain the allergenic protein. It also makes sense not to have the allergy sufferer do the brushing, and doing it in a room the allergic person can avoid will ensure that no additional protein is released into the home.
Manage any pre-existing conditions the cat may have which could cause excessive scaly, dry skin and exacerbate the guardians problem.
Bathing the cat weekly with a cat-safe, anti-allergen shampoo can be helpful, if the cat is amenable.
A change in the cats diet can do wonders.In particular, the addition of Omega-3 fatty acids to the diet will keep the skin supple and healthy.
There is no value in declawing a cat due to allergies in fact, theres no value in declawing a cat for any reason.
2. MANAGE THE ENVIRONMENT
3. GUARD THE GUARDIAN
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What Is Food Allergy And How Is It Treated
Food allergies in cats are caused by an immune reaction to a food or food additive. The allergy most frequently develops in response to the protein component of the food for example, beef, pork, chicken, or turkey. Vegetable proteins such as those found in corn or wheat, as well as food additives and preservatives, may cause food allergies in some cases. Food allergy may produce any of the clinical signs previously discussed, including itching, digestive disorders, and respiratory distress.
Food allergy testing is recommended when the clinical signs have been present for several months, when the cat has a poor response to steroids, or when a very young cat itches without other apparent causes of allergy. Testing is conducted by feeding an elimination or hypoallergenic diet. This means a diet in which the ingredients have not previously been fed to the cat . Because it takes at least eight weeks for all other food products to be removed from the body, the cat must eat the special diet exclusively for a minimum of eight to twelve weeks. If a positive response occurs, you will be instructed on how to proceed.
If the diet is not fed exclusively, it will not be a meaningful test. This means absolutely no treats, other foods, people foods, or flavored medications during this period. This cannot be overemphasized. Even accidentally providing a tiny amount of the offending protein can result in invalidating the test.
Allergens Present In Human Environments
- Cleaning agents
- Preventing Exposure
Pet owners should take necessary precautions to prevent both asthma and allergic reactions in pets. The household should be left open to allow strong sunrays to kill germs and bacteria. Allergic pets should also be kept in smoke free households, as smoke causes upper respiratory problems in cats. Research studies have discovered that asthmatic cats kept away from cigarette smoke environments showed an improvement in health.
It’s important to avoid giving pets table scraps or food that isn’t a part of their diet. Human food can contain ingredients that are toxic to your pet and may cause digestive reactions.
It’s best to maintain hygienic and smoke free surroundings along with a proper diet to keep your pets healthy, happy and free from feline asthma.
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Giving Injections To Cats
Certain medical conditions can be controlled by the use of drugs that are only available in an injectable format. In many cases, cat owners are willing and able to administer these medications at home. Most cats do not seem to mind routine injections which are given in the subcutaneous tissue. This handout provides step by step instructions. Dispose of the used needles and syringes properly.
You Experience Shortness Of Breath
Another annoying symptom of cat allergies is feeling like you just can’t catch your breath. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America says, “Many airborne particles are small enough to get into the lungs. For some, this exposure can cause severe breathing problems. Highly sensitive people can begin coughing, wheezing and have shortness of breath within 15 to 30 minutes of inhaling allergens.”
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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.
Directly Applying Evening Primrose
Evening Primrose is known for its gentle and soothing properties. Evening primrose can stop any itchy, irritated, and/or red skin by providing much-needed moisturizing. The naturally occurring anti-itch agents found in Evening Primrose will help stop your cat from scratching its already irritated skin.
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Tell Me About The Major Cat Allergen Fel D 1 And Why Is It Important
All cats produce the cat allergen Fel d 1, the major component in cat allergy, regardless of breed, age, hair length, sex or body weight, but at differing levels. This means that not all cats are equally allergenic. However, there are no cats that are hypoallergenic even though there have been attempts to breed these. Intact male cats produce more Fel d 1 than females, while neutered males produce similar levels to females.
It is often thought that cat hair itself is the allergen, but its what is on the hair, the Fel d 1 protein produced in the cats mouth and skin that is the main allergen. The cat spreads this through its hair during the grooming process as it licks itself and it then gets into the indoor environment and with shedding it then gets onto the furniture and walls.
Fel d 1 is very sticky, light in weight and easily becomes airborne. It has a very small protein structure that can easily get deep down into the airways of the lungs to cause problems, that can exacerbate asthma in sensitised individuals. As it is so sticky, it attaches itself to hair and clothing and gets in places you would not suspect, even behind radiators and skirting boards. It can last for many months before breaking down, which makes it a real nuisance allergen to get rid of. It is often transported out of the home on clothes.
Purina Presents Breakthrough Diet To Reduce Cat Allergies Among Humans
ST. LOUIS Nestlé Purina PetCare on Feb. 26 announced it has developed the first-ever cat diet to help manage cat allergens and reduce adverse reactions among humans. The company first revealed the research behind the cutting-edge diet in June 2019.
Purina had discovered the major allergen that causes allergic reactions in humans, Fel d1 a type of protein that originates in feline saliva could be counteracted by an egg-based ingredient containing Fel d1 antibodies.
Many people think that cat hair is the root of their problem, explained Ebenezer Satyaraj, Ph.D., immunologist for Nestlé Purina Research and lead investigator on the research that led to the development of Pro Plan LiveClear, but its actually whats on it the major cat allergen called Fel d1, a protein that cats produce naturally in their saliva.
This breakthrough solution, Purina Pro Plan LiveClear, does not alter the nutrition or physiology of the cat, but can significantly reduce allergens by 47% on average in as little as three weeks, according to Purina.
According to the company, one in five adults globally are allergic to Fel d1 and can lead to isolation or abandonment of a pet cat.
LiveClear is able to neutralize the saliva in the cats mouth, thanks to the egg-based anti-Fel d1 ingredient, which prevents the allergen from spreading from the cats mouth to its fur during grooming and, ultimately, to its surroundings.
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