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How To Cope With Cat Allergies

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

Humans are effected by five different allergens that cats produce. Cat allergens are generally found in cat saliva but may also be found on the skin of the cat. People are not actually allergic to cat hair, they are allergic to cat dander. Dander is another term for dead skin cells. Dust settling all over everything in people's houses is actually the dander of their families(all mammals give off dander) and pets. When looking for a cure for cat allergies there are many different options available.

If you, or a loved on, suffers from cat allergies it is important that you do research and find a cat allergy cure that works for you. Finding a cure for cat allergies, especially if you must be around them, can improve your quality of life greatly, especially if there are cats in your own home.

Cat allergies give people several different symptoms. The cat allergens that are let off into the air cause what is known as a histamine reaction. Histamines are a biogenic amine and acts as a neurotransmitter once it gets inside the person's body. Histamines can effect a person's immune responses and their physiological function. Your body treats cat allergens as a foreign pathogen. This means your body will trigger inflammatory responses. Glycoprotein FEL d 1, is the main allergen produced by cats. Like most common allergens it is a protein. This protein is found primarily in a cats saliva and its dead skin(dander). The protein is produced in a cats sebaceous gland.

A particularly bad cat allergy can have many different symptoms. A common symptom is a problem known as dyspnea(which is pronounced disp-nee-ah). A person experiencing dyspnea would begin to have trouble breathing and shortness of breath, set off by the cat. Other uncomfortable respiratory symptoms may soon follow. A person who commonly suffers from other allergies may begin to have the same symptoms as other allergies but set off by the cat. Cat allergies can be very similar to season allergies for some people.

Identifying the source of your allergies is a very important step in finding a cure for them. If you do not identify that what you might believe to be seasonal allergies are actually caused by your cat then no matter what medication you choose to take you will still be miserable. The symptoms that cat allergies share with season allergies, which are allergies related to certain plants or trees blooming, include a discomfort in the eyes. This usually includes swollen eyes, watery eyes, and red or itchy eyes.

Like seasonal allergies you will also experience problems related to the nose. Nasal congestion, an itchy nose, or sneezing often are common. A person who suffers from a really serious cat allergy may also have a chronic sore throat with coughing and wheezing. Skin conditions are also commonly caused by contact with cat allergens. This can be caused by a scratch or just contact with its fur. A rash, itchy skin, and even swelling of the feet can be caused by contact.

A cure for cat allergies that was invented quite recently is to get a hypoallergenic cat. A hypoallergenic cat is a cat that was bred to be significantly less likely to give humans an allergic reaction. There are also breeds of cat that some consider to be naturally hypoallergenic. Siberian and Russian Blue breeds are the ones that are usually mentioned. However, the LaPerm, Sphync, Devon Rex and Cornish Rex cats may also be hypoallergenic but to a noticeably less degree when compared to the Siberian and Russian Blue. These hypoallergenic cats lack some of the layers of fur that appear on most cats. Therefor, these cats are less likely to provoke an allergic reaction because they let off less dander. If you only suffer from a mild allergic reaction to cats then one of these breeds of cats may be alright for you. If you suffer from a bad allergic reaction to cats however, these breeds will likely not help.

The actual effectiveness of so called hypoallergenic cat breeds has been brought to question however. This is because most allergy sufferers are far more likely to be allergic to cat saliva. Hypoallergenic cats may let off less amount of dander attached to each hair, but they still get saliva on each hair whilst cleaning themselves and thus still carry the same allergens responsible for the majority of allergic reactions. There are also cats that have been bred by certain companies that claim to be completely hypoallergenic. They claim to have achieved this through selective breeding. A high amount of skepticism has been shown to this claim from both scientists and consumers. None of the companies have yet to allow peer reviews on any of the cats and therefor have never backed up their assertions.

There is no simple way to completely remove the cat allergy other than to get rid of the cats all together, but there are a few different methods that many people have had success with in order to keep living with the cat and still have a high level of comfort. For some people having a cat for an extended period of time will desensitize them to the allergens of a particular cat. Other people's cats will still be allergic to the person however. I have had a good amount of success with this method myself. After getting a new cat sometime last year I was extremely allergic to it for a short period of time. Within a few weeks the symptoms began to subside and I eventually became completely immune to the new cat. Its important to note that this works best for people with a very mild allergy. Desensitization will work differently for all people and unfortunately over time many people can become more allergic to the cat. If you are allergic to cats then this should probably not be the method you plan on using when getting a new cat. When getting a cat you should have a plan to at the very least have another home you can send the cat to if you find you are still too allergic after a period of time.

Lowering a person's exposure to allergens can also lead to great success. You can do this by removing objects from the house that are notorious for holding allergens long periods of time. Carpets, pillows, and rugs are the main allergen traps. Some pieces of furniture can also hold allergens for a very long time. This method of removing allergens will require you to clean your house often and also brush the cat regularly. Some companies also make special air purifying systems that you may find to help tremendously.

There are a few other options if you still find that you have trouble living with cats after trying these methods. There are medical cat allergy cures such as medications and even a cat allergy vaccine. Before you make a decision to take a medical cure please see a doctor and do further research before making any serious decisions.


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