My cat has allergies what can i give her
There are two ways to test for any allergy, including to cats: skin testing and blood tests. There are two types of skin allergy tests. A skin prick test and an intradermal skin test.
Both tests give quick results and tend to cost less than blood tests.
Certain medications can interfere with skin testing, so talk to your doctor about which test is best for you.
Skin testing is generally done by an allergist due to the possibility of severe reactions during testing.
Intradermal skin testing
This test is also performed in your doctor’s office so they can observe any reactions.
Possible allergens may be injected under the skin of the forearm or arm. Red, itchy bumps will appear with a positive reaction.
An intradermal test is considered more sensitive for detecting an allergy than a skin prick test, meaning it can be better at showing a positive result when an allergy exists. But it can also own more untrue positives than the skin prick test. That means it creates a skin reaction when there is no allergy.
Both skin tests own a role in allergy testing. You doctor will explain which testing method is best for you.
Allergy skin prick test
This test is performed in your doctor’s office so they can observe any reactions.
Using a clean needle, your doctor will prick your skin’s surface (usually on the forearm or back), and deposit a tiny quantity of the allergen. You’ll likely be tested for several allergens at the same time. You’ll also be skin pricked with a control solution that has no allergens. Your doctor may number each prick to identify the allergen.
In about 15 to 20 minutes, the skin prick site may become red or swollen. This reaction confirms an allergy to that substance.
A positive cat allergy will generally cause a red, itchy bump to the cat allergen. These unpleasant effects generally go away 30 minutes after the test.
Some people can’t own skin tests done, often because of an existing skin condition or their age. Young children often own a more hard time with skin testing. In these cases, the doctor will order a blood test. Blood will be drawn either at the doctor’s office or a laboratory and then sent for testing. The blood is then examined for antibodies to common allergens, such as cat dander. The results take longer, but there is no risk of an allergic reaction during a blood test.
Genetics appear to own a role in the development of allergies, meaning that you’re more likely to experience them if you own family members who are also allergic.
Your immune system makes antibodies to fight off substances that might hurt your body, love bacteria and viruses. In a person who has allergies, the immune system mistakes an allergen for something harmful and starts making antibodies to fight it. This is what causes allergy symptoms such as itching, runny nose, skin rashes, and asthma.
In the case of cat allergies, allergens can come from your cat’s dander (dead skin), fur, saliva, and even their urine. Breathing in pet dander or coming into contact with these allergens can cause an allergic reaction. Pet allergen particles can be carried on clothes, circulate in the air, settle in furniture and bedding, and stay behind in the environment carried on dust particles.
Reducing cat allergies
Avoidance is best to prevent the allergies in the first put.
But if you discover you’re allergic to your cat, there are other options than getting rid of your pet. Consider these strategies for reducing your symptoms.
- Keep the humidity level in your home at around 40 percent.
- Remove wall-to-wall carpeting and upholstered furniture. Wood or tiled flooring and clean walls assist reduce allergens.
- Vacuum weekly with a HEPA filter vacuum.
- Wash your hands after touching the cat.
- Change the filters on air conditioning units and furnaces frequently.
- Use a face mask while dusting or cleaning.
- Select throw rugs or furniture covers that can be washed in boiling water, and wash them frequently.
- Install an air cleaner.
- Keep the cat out of your bedroom.
- Cover heating and air-conditioning vents with a thick filtering material such as cheesecloth.
- Recruit a nonallergic person to regularly dust the home and clean the litter box.
If you own a severe cat allergy, talk to your doctor about immunotherapy for a long-term treatment solution.
Studies own shown that food allergies overall are the third most common type of feline allergy, outranked in frequency only by allergies to flea bites and inhaled substances.
Although itchy, irritating skin problems are the most common signs of this allergy, an estimated 10 percent to 15 percent of affected cats also exhibit gastrointestinal signs, such as vomiting and diarrhea.
The itching that typically signals the presence of a food allergy is caused by the eruption of little, pale, fluid-filled lumps on a cat’s skin, which form in response to the presence of an allergen, a substance to which the animal’s system is abnormally sensitive.
“The itching eruptions primarily affect the head and neck area,” says Carolyn McDaniel, VMD, a lecturer in clinical sciences at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
“They’re not always in that area, but often enough to serve as a clue that the source is a food allergy.”
In themselves, the aggravating lesions do not pose a significant health hazard. But the incessant scratching that they immediate may cause secondary skin wounds and a resulting vulnerability to severe bacterial infection. In addition, gastrointestinal problems stemming from a food allergy may own far-reaching systemic implications, including food avoidance that can result in health-compromising weight loss.
The most visible signs of a food allergy—the persistent scratching, the emergence of skin lesions, loss of hair, and a general deterioration of the coat—do not develop overnight.
Instead, they tend to become evident and intensify over extended periods of time—months or even longer—as the animal’s immune system gradually mounts a defense against certain protein and carbohydrate molecules that are present in most standard cat foods. “We don’t know why this allergy develops,” says Dr. McDaniel. “A cat of any age can be affected, and it can happen in a cat that has been on the same diet for years.”
When the signs appear, a cat should get immediate veterinary care.
If a food allergy is indeed suspected, the specific allergen should be identified and removed from the animal’s diet.
After other potential causes of the skin eruptions, such as flea bites, are ruled out and a food allergy is identified as the probable cause of the clinical signs, the next challenge is to identify what precisely in the cat’s diet is responsible for the problem. This process will most effectively be carried out at home by the owner’s introduction of what is termed a “novel” diet, which is based on the fact that most feline food allergies are traceable to the protein or carbohydrate content of an affected animal’s normal fare.
The most commonly used protein sources in cat food include beef, pork, lamb, chicken, turkey, and eggs.
Since protein is a fundamental component of living cells and is necessary for the proper functioning of an organism, the novel diet must contain protein—but it must be derived from a source to which an affected cat has not been previously exposed, such as venison or kangaroo meat. Since the same holds true for carbohydrates, the vegetables that are frequently used in cat foods—wheat, barley, and corn, for instance—would be excluded from the novel diet and replaced by, for example, potato.
If a cat consumes nothing but the novel diet and water for a period of at least eight to 10 weeks, it is likely that the allergic signs will gradually vanish.
In that case, the owner can assume that the allergen was a component of the previous diet. And to identify the specific offending allergen, the owner subsequently reintroduces components of the cat’s original diet one by one and watches carefully for the reemergence of allergic symptoms. If the symptoms recur, they will probably do so within a week or two, in which case the owner will own confirmed at least one source of the allergy.
Through repeated systematic testing—and a lot of patience—it is possible for the owner to pinpoint every dietary ingredients to which a cat is allergic.
Therapy, it follows, requires the permanent exclusion of these ingredients from the cat’s diet.
Allergies to cats are one of the most common allergies among individuals. Among the eight known cat allergens, the most prominent allergen is secretoglobinFel d 1, and it is produced in the anal glands, salivary glands, and, mainly, in sebaceous glands of cats, and is ubiquitous in the United States, even in households without cats. Allergic symptoms associated with cats include coughing, wheezing, chest tightening, itching, nasal congestion, rash, watering eyes, sneezing, chapped lips, and similar symptoms.
In worst case scenarios, allergies to cats can develop into more life-threatening conditions such as rhinitis and mild to severe forms of asthma. Despite these symptoms, there are numerous types of solutions to mitigate the allergic effects of cats, including medications, vaccines, and home remedies. Hypoallergenic cats are another solution for individuals who desire to pets without the allergic consequences. Furthermore, prospective pet owners can reduce allergic reactions by selecting cats of a specific gender or color, which are associated with a lower production of allergens.
How to treat cat allergies
Avoiding the allergen is best, but when that's not possible, the following treatments may help:
- cromolyn sodium, which prevents the release of immune system chemicals and may reduce symptoms
- corticosteroid nasal sprays such as fluticasone (Flonase) or mometasone (Nasonex)
- leukotriene inhibitors, such as montelukast (Singulair)
- antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl), loratadine (Claritin) or cetirizine (Zyrtec)
- over-the-counter decongestant sprays
- allergy shots known as immunotherapy (a series of shots that desensitize you to an allergen)
Buy Benadryl, Claritin, or Flonase now.
Nasal lavage is a home remedy for symptoms of cat allergies.
Salt water (saline) is used to rinse your nasal passages, reducing congestion, postnasal drip, and sneezing. Several over-the-counter brands are available. You can make salt water at home by combining 1/8 teaspoon of table salt with 8 ounces of distilled water.
According to , butterbur (an herbal supplement), acupuncture, and probiotics may improve the symptoms of seasonal allergies.
However, research is limited. It’s not clear how effective these products would be specifically for pet allergies. Herbal remedies that show potential benefits are those that share a similar action in the body compared to traditional medications.
Shop for butterbur supplements.
Best air purifiers for cat allergies
High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are one of the best defenses against cat allergies.
They reduce airborne pet allergens by forcing air through a special filter that traps pet dander, as well as pollen, dust mites, and other allergens.
Shop for HEPA air filters.
Living with cat allergies
Nearly a third of Americans with allergies are allergic to cats and dogs. And twice as numerous people own cat allergies than dog allergies.
Pinpointing the cause of your allergies can be hard when an animal lives in your home. That’s because homes contain other allergens, such as dust mites, which could cause similar symptoms.
It’s significant to see an allergist to confirm a pet allergy.
It can be hard to confess that the cat you love is causing health issues. Numerous people select to endure symptoms rather than get rid of their pet. If you’re sure to live with Fluffy, you can take steps to minimize the symptoms of your allergy.
Read on to study about the signs of cat allergies and what you can do to prevent them.
You don’t own to own a cat to be exposed to the allergen. That’s because it can travel on people’s clothes.
Cat allergies may not appear for several days if your sensitivity or allergen levels are low.
Common signs of a cat allergy generally follow shortly after you come in contact with cat dander, saliva, or urine. The cat allergen that over of people with cat allergies react to comes from cat saliva and skin. It’s found in higher levels on male cats and is transferred to a cat’s fur during grooming. The allergen can cause swelling and itching of the membranes around your eyes and nose, generally leading to eye inflammation and a stuffy nose. Some people may develop a rash on their face, neck, or upper chest in response to the allergen.
Fatigue is common in untreated allergies, as is an ongoing cough due to postnasal drip. But symptoms such as fevers, chills, nausea, or vomiting should be considered related to an illness rather than allergies.
If you are cat allergic and cat allergens get into your lungs, the allergens can combine with antibodies and cause symptoms. These can include difficulty breathing, coughing, and wheezing. Cat allergies can cause an acute asthma attack and can be a trigger for chronic asthma.
Up to 30 percent of people with asthma can own a severe attack upon coming into contact with a cat.
You should talk to your doctor about a treatment plan if your symptoms become disruptive or uncomfortable.
Cat allergies in infants
There is ongoing debate among scientists whether infants who are exposed to animals at a extremely young age are destined to develop allergies, or if the opposite is true. Recent studies own come to conflicting conclusions. A 2015 study found that exposing infants to cats and dogs at home is associated with a higher risk of developing allergies during the first four years of the child’s life.
On the other hand, a 2011 study found that babies who live with cats, especially during the first year of life, develop antibodies to the pet and were less likely to acquire an allergy later.
A 2017 study found that cats and dogs may provide a benefit by exposing babies to certain healthy bacteria early in life. The study concluded that babies exposed to a cat or dog in the home during pregnancy may own fewer problems with allergies in the future than babies who weren’t exposed.
Your doctor will be capable to answer questions you may own about your baby and your cat. For children who are allergic, removing fabric toys and stuffed animals and replacing them with plastic or washable ones may assist relieve symptoms.