For cat lovers, the most awful situation is when they contract cat allergy. You are extremely fond of your pussy and adore it a lot. However, you have realized that with the cat around, you are having a tough time in terms of your physical health. Cat allergies are common and can range from being mild to the sever ones. This is one of the most foremost reasons that it becomes very necessary to take special care, while around these felines. Nonetheless, you will be happy to know that by taking necessary precautions, you can avoid being inflicted with the allergy. To know more about the symptoms of cat allergy and ways to avoid it, browse through the following lines.
Cat Allergy Symptoms
- Coughing and wheezing
- Hives or rashes on the chest region and face
- Red, itchy eyes
- Redness of the skin, where a cat has scratched, bitten, or licked you
- Sneezing,Runny, itchy, stuffy nose
- Clogged and ringing ears
Diagnosing Cat Allergies
Do you suspect you’re suffering from cat allergies? An allergist can provide you with a diagnosis and treatment.
A skin-prick test is the most common way of diagnosing a cat allergy. For this test, a small amount of an extract of cat allergen is placed on your skin. Your skin is then pricked with a small, sterile probe, allowing the liquid to seep under the skin’s surface. You’ll then be monitored for swelling and redness or other signs of a reaction, signaling an allergy. Results typically become evident within 15 to 20 minutes.
Even if you’re sure your symptoms are caused by a cat, it’s a good idea to be tested, since the symptoms may actually be caused by other environmental exposures.
Ways to Avoid Cat Allergy
- Bathe your cat once a month, using a mild shampoo. This will help remove the build-up of dandruff beneath the skin, which is a major culprit in causing allergies. However, do not wash your cat more than once a month. This is because you may dry out the skin, causing the cat to scratch itself and in turn, raising the dandruff even more.
- It is very likely that a person who is allergic to cats is also allergic to other environmental allergens. To diagnose this get a full allergy test done to determine what other household substances you are allergic to.
- The most likely allergen found in cats is in the sebum and is a protein called Fel d 1. Have your pet spayed or neutered. It has been found that the sebum produced by a cat is highest in unaltered males and lowest in altered males. Having the cat neutered can help reduce this production.
- Get rid of carpets and nylon and synthetic fabric surfaces. They are the breeding grounds for allergy causing agents. It is advisable to use natural fabrics. The more washable surfaces you have in your home, the easier it is to keep clean.
- Allergy desensitization shots or immunotherapy is a very effective way to tackle cat allergy. Immunotherapy will gradually make a person more and more resistant to the allergens. The goal of immunotherapy is to increase the tolerance level to 10 times. This is one of the most effective treatments because it treats the cause and doesn’t just hide the symptoms.
- Use an air purifier in your home to filter many of the airborne irritants is found to be effective ways to avoid cat allergy.
- Wash bedspreads, sheets, pillows, curtains, area rugs and other fabrics often. In case you use a vacuum cleaner, make sure that you get one with a good filter.
- Brush your cat daily to prevent any accumulation of dandruff. You can also use an allergy-reducing spray.
- It is very necessary to keep the pet’s skin healthy. This can be done by feeding the feline a high quality food and a fatty acid supplement.
- Make sure you wash your hands after handling the pet or its toys or even its bed.
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 (immunotherapy) are an effective treatment of allergies by building tolerance over time through gradually injecting increasing doses of an allergen.