What are the best cats for allergies

If you are allergic to your pet and your reactions aren’t life-threatening, there are numerous ways to reduce indoor allergens and allergy symptoms so you and your pet can live together more comfortably.

If your or a family member’s allergies are simply miserable, but not life-threatening, take these five steps to reduce the symptoms:

1. Create an «allergy free» zone in your home—preferably the allergic person’s bedroom—and strictly prohibit the pet’s access to it. Use a high-efficiency HEPA air cleaner, and consider using impermeable covers for the mattress and pillows.

2. Use HEPA air cleaners throughout the relax of the home, and avoid dust-and-dander-catching furnishings such as cloth curtains and blinds and carpeted floors.

Clean frequently and thoroughly to remove dust and dander, washing articles such as sofa covers and pillows, curtains, and pet beds.

3.

What are the best cats for allergies

Bathe your pet on a weekly basis to reduce the level of allergy-causing dander (shed ancient skin cells). Cats can get used to being bathed, but it’s critical to only use products labeled for them; kittens may need a shampoo safe for kittens. Check with your veterinarian’s staff or a excellent book on pet care for directions about safe bathing, It’s a excellent thought to use a shampoo recommended by your veterinarian or other animal care professional.

4. Don’t be quick to blame the family pet for allergies. Enquire your allergist to specifically test for allergies to pet dander. Numerous allergy sufferers are sensitive to more than one allergen. Reduce the overall allergen level in your environment by concentrating on every of the causes, not just the pet allergy.

5.

Attempt treatments. Additional treatments for allergies to pets are include immunotherapy (allergy shots), steroidal and antihistamine nose sprays and antihistamine pills. It is significant to discover an allergist who understands your commitment to living with your pet. A combination of approaches—medical control of symptoms, excellent housecleaning methods, and immunotherapy—is most likely to succeed in allowing an allergic person to live with pets.


Understand your pet allergies

It is significant to see a doctor and be tested to determine what allergies you actually own.

You may discover that you’re allergic to something else and not your pet at all! For example, you may assume that you are allergic to your beloved dog, only to discover out through an allergy test that you’re actually allergic to a specific tree pollen that got on his fur during a stroll together, and that’s actually what’s bothering you.

If an allergy test shows that you are allergic to your pet, it is significant to understand what causes your allergic reaction to them. There are allergy-triggering proteins called allergens in saliva and skin glands that cling to an animal’s dry skin (dander) and fur. The fur and dander then stick to walls, carpets and clothing.

The reaction of someone to these allergens is diverse from one person to the next.

The reaction may range from mild sniffling and sneezing to life-threatening asthma. The reaction can be made worse if a person is additionally exposed to other things he is allergic too, such as pollen, dust mites, cigarette smoke, and mold.

Whether someone has an allergic reaction depends on both the individual person and the individual animal. A person with animal allergies may react less to dogs with soft, constantly growing hair, or one specific cat or dog may cause more or less of an allergic reaction than another animal of that same breed.

You may hear claims about breeds of dogs and cats that are non-allergenic (don’t cause an allergic reaction) or cats and dogs that are hypoallergenic (cause less of an allergic reaction).

However, even hairless breeds may cause a severe allergic reaction.


Be happy you didn’t let allergies break up a beautiful relationship

It is worth it to preserve the bond between you and your pet by checking if you are truly allergic to your pet and, if you are, to attempt these solutions. Join the large number of animal lovers who manage their allergies and live happily and healthily with their beloved pets.

Cat lovers who sneeze and sniffle around their feline friends might one day discover at least partial relief in a can of cat food.

New research suggests that feeding cats an antibody to the major allergy-causing protein in cats renders some of the protein, called Fel d1, unrecognizable to the human immune system, reducing an allergic response.

After 105 cats were fed the antibody for 10 weeks, the quantity of athletic Fel d1 protein on the cats’ hair dropped by 47 percent on average, researchers from pet food–maker Nestlé Purina report in the June Immunity, Inflammation and Disease.

And in a little pilot study, 11 people allergic to cats experienced substantially reduced nasal symptoms and less itchy, scratchy eyes when exposed in a test chamber to hair from cats fed the antibody diet, compared with cats fed a control diet.

The preliminary findings were presented in Lisbon, Portugal at the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology Congress in June.

The Fel d1 protein is produced in cats’ salivary and sebaceous glands. Cats transfer the protein to their hair when they groom by licking themselves and excrete it in their urine. Humans are then exposed to it on cat hair and dander — dead skin — or in the litter box. Cat allergies plague up to 20 percent of people, and Fel d1 is responsible for 95 percent of allergic reactions to cats.

Doctors can’t give humans antibodies orally because the molecules are broken below in the gut and never reach their targets, says Michael Blaiss, executive medical director of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and an allergist and immunologist at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta.

So Purina’s approach to the cat allergy problem is exciting and unusual, he says.

In cats, the antibody to Fel d1 — which is derived from eggs and added to cat food — has its effect in the mouth, neutralizing the protein in saliva, says Ebenezer Satyaraj, director of molecular nutrition at Purina. This way, the antibody disables Fel d1 “after its production by the cat, but before it spreads to the cat’s hair and dander — and before a response occurs in an individual sensitized to cat allergens,” says Satyaraj, who is leading the cat allergen research.

Since the role of Fel d1 in cat physiology is unknown, this approach doesn’t interfere with the normal production of Fel d1 by the cat, Satyaraj says.

So far, he adds, safety tests own found no harm to cats fed the antibody.

Blaiss expects that the new treatment may assist people with mild cat allergies. But those with severe symptoms are unlikely to discover relief from cutting the quantity of athletic allergen only in half. Some people can’t tolerate any quantity of the protein without symptoms, he says.

What are the best cats for allergies

What’s more, diverse cats can produce wildly varying amounts of Fel d1 naturally. “So it just depends on the [Fel d1] levels of the cat and the symptomology of the patient,” he says.

In addition, Fel d1 is known to be a “sticky” protein, Blaiss says. It tends to stick around and accumulate in the home over time. So even with feeding a cat the antibody-laced food, “it could just take more time to build to a level that triggers an allergic reaction.”

Purina is not yet offering products containing the antibody, Satyaraj says, but plans further research to determine its effectiveness for reducing cat allergens in the home.


Questions or comments on this article?

E-mail us at [email protected]

A version of this article appears in the August 31, 2019 issue of Science News.

Q1. I own asthma that is triggered by animal contact, especially dogs. When not in contact with animals I am fine and I don't require medication to control asthma. I had a cat for numerous years that recently died. I did not own asthma symptoms with this cat. I recently adopted a diverse cat from an animal shelter and almost immediately had asthma symptoms and had to return the cat. I really love cats, and I'm anxious to know if there is a way I can own one and not be allergic to it.

If a kitten is bathed on a weekly basis, will it reduce the cat dander? Are male or female cats more prone to cause symptoms? Any suggestions?

— Lorraine, New York

The information you provide in your question touches upon numerous significant points about cat allergies. First, you describe not having noticeable symptoms with your previous cat but reacting dramatically to the new cat. This is absolutely possible, because cats differ in the quantity of allergen they produce. Unfortunately, they don't differ based upon breed, but rather from individual to individual.

First, let me offer a little background about cat allergies.

Most people who are allergic to cats are allergic mostly to one protein that is made in the cat's saliva, sebaceous glands (tiny glands in the skin), and urinary/reproductive tract. This protein is called "Fel d 1." Individual cats produce Fel d 1 in diverse amounts, but there are a few generalizations that can be made:

  1. Try to discover another cat that does not give you symptoms. You might pick one out at the pound and then visit it multiple times before adopting, spending at least 30 minutes petting it at each visit, to see if you develop symptoms afterward.

    This would be hard, but it might work.

  2. Long-haired cats may give off less allergen into their environment than short-haired cats, because their endless fur holds the protein against the skin better.
  3. If you own the funds to do so, you might glance into the new low Fel d 1 cats. There is a company called Allerca that has just developed a "hypoallergenic" cat. They did this by screening cats for low –Fel d 1 production in order to identify those that naturally did not make much Fel d 1 protein.

    Then they bred them. This is a new approach to getting around cat allergies. It makes sense to me, although it is significant to understand that not every people are allergic to the Fel d 1 protein. Some cat-allergic people react to other proteins. Also, these cats are expensive — about $3,500, and there is a waiting list to get them. I do not desire to seem love I am endorsing this approach. I do not know much more about the cats, and I am not connected to the company in any way. I'm not even certain how I personally feel about the thought of creating more cats when the country's shelters are filled with unwanted animals.

    What are the best cats for allergies

    However, it is a extremely novel approach.

  4. Although about 90 percent of cat-allergic people are allergic to Fel d 1, the other 10 percent are allergic to other proteins in cats. One would expect that this 10 percent of allergic people would still react to the Allerca cats. I don't know if the company has some way of determining if a customer falls into this category.
  5. Accept that you are allergic to cats, be grateful for the excellent years you had with your first pet, and give up on finding a new cat.

    You could express your love of animals in other ways — you could volunteer at the local pound or shelter to frolic with the animals there. This approach is probably better than living with an animal to which you are allergic, as that means taking unnecessary medications and possibly worsening your asthma and overall health.

  6. Light-colored cats generally make less than dark-colored cats.
  7. Female cats generally make less Fel d 1 than male cats.
  8. Allergic people own a remarkable ability to form allergies to a wide variety of things.

    I would not be surprised if, over time, a person with an Allerca cat starts to develop allergies to other proteins.

So, in theory, a female, light-colored, long-haired cat might be less allergenic. However, every these generalizations may be overridden by a specific cat that just makes a lot of the protein, so they are not actually that helpful.

You should also know that Fel d 1 is incredibly lightweight and sticky, so it remains suspended in the air for a endless while and then settles and clings to everything: carpets, walls, furniture, clothing, draperies.

What are the best cats for allergies

Cat allergens are "stickier" than just about any other type of allergen. Once a cat is in a home, a "reservoir" of allergen quickly develops in and on the furnishings, and as you move about the home, the allergen gets stirred up and airborne again. In homes with cats, there is a relatively stable quantity of allergen around every the time, constantly replenished by the reservoir in the environment, as well as by the cat.

Allergy researchers own done studies to glance at the impact of washing cats and it is, unfortunately, almost negligible. The levels of Fel d 1 are back up to prebath levels in the air surrounding the cat within 24 hours!

The allergen is probably coming both from the cat and from the reservoir, so bathing cats is not worth the effort.

There is another possible explanation for what happened to you, Lorraine. Sometimes, when people own lived with an allergen for numerous years (i.e., your previous cat), they become partially tolerant to that specific animal.

What are the best cats for allergies

This doesn't happen to everyone, but it can happen. Then, when there is an interruption in the constant exposure to that allergen, followed by a re-exposure, the reaction is stronger. This happens to young people who go off to college and then come back to visit their parents and pets, and suddenly discover that they are allergic to something in the home environment in which they grew up. Again, the reasons for this are not entirely clear, but it is a well-known phenomenon.

Hives can be part of the body’s allergic response to various triggers, love foods, drugs, or infections.

They glance love little red or skin-colored bumps or welts. They range in size from as little as a tip of a pen to as large as a dinner plate.Learn More

Putting this every together, my advice would be to consider the following options:

  • Try to discover another cat that does not give you symptoms. You might pick one out at the pound and then visit it multiple times before adopting, spending at least 30 minutes petting it at each visit, to see if you develop symptoms afterward. This would be hard, but it might work.
  • Accept that you are allergic to cats, be grateful for the excellent years you had with your first pet, and give up on finding a new cat.

    You could express your love of animals in other ways — you could volunteer at the local pound or shelter to frolic with the animals there. This approach is probably better than living with an animal to which you are allergic, as that means taking unnecessary medications and possibly worsening your asthma and overall health.

  • If you own the funds to do so, you might glance into the new low Fel d 1 cats. There is a company called Allerca that has just developed a "hypoallergenic" cat. They did this by screening cats for low –Fel d 1 production in order to identify those that naturally did not make much Fel d 1 protein.

    Then they bred them. This is a new approach to getting around cat allergies. It makes sense to me, although it is significant to understand that not every people are allergic to the Fel d 1 protein. Some cat-allergic people react to other proteins. Also, these cats are expensive — about $3,500, and there is a waiting list to get them. I do not desire to seem love I am endorsing this approach. I do not know much more about the cats, and I am not connected to the company in any way. I'm not even certain how I personally feel about the thought of creating more cats when the country's shelters are filled with unwanted animals.

    However, it is a extremely novel approach.

Good luck, Lorraine!

Q2. We just got a kitten in our home and my daughter has been coughing, has a runny nose, and says her chest is hurting. Could she own a cat allergy?

The time frame is certainly suspicious with the addition of a new pet and the onset of allergy symptoms at the same time. It seems likely that the kitten is causing your daughter’s symptoms.

Why not discover out for certain with allergy testing? An immediate skin test at an allergist's office is in order.

If she is allergic to the cat, removal of the animal is the best treatment. However, it’s significant to understand that animal dander can linger on for months, even after the pet has gone. So it would be prudent to treat your daughter with an antihistamine minimally and possibly an inhaler as well. Keeping an allergic person in an allergen-filled environment could result in asthma!

Q3.

What are the breeds of dander-free cats, and are these new "aller-cats" living up to their claims?

— Kristen, California

Let me preempt my answer by saying that I do not endorse or own any financial interests in any allergy products. That said, Allerca is a company in California that sells hypoallergenic cats. For some years, several companies own been trying to create genetically modified cats that will not cause symptoms in allergic people. The approach was to change the gene (the bit of DNA) that carries the code for a protein called Fel d 1, the protein that causes most people's cat allergy. However, for reasons that the companies do not reveal, this approach has not proved to be successful.

Most likely, the animals were not healthy without the protein.

Allerca says on their Web site that they developed hypoallergenic cats in a diverse manner. They screened thousands of cats to discover a few that were naturally lacking Fel d 1 and then bred those animals to develop a line of cats with extremely low levels of the problematic protein. Perhaps these cats own developed some other ways to make up for the absence of Fel d 1.

Apparently, the company will not let exterior sources measure the protein levels or do other testing to verify their claims, although my understanding from colleagues is that they did permit an independent allergy researcher to expose allergic patients to the cats in a testing environment and that the patients had no symptoms with short-term exposure.

Allerca claims that the cats are extremely low in Fel d 1, although they are not claiming the animals lack it altogether. Presumably, the levels are low enough that most cat-allergic people do not react. I do not know how numerous cat-allergic patients the company has tested or how endless the people were exposed to the cats.

Therefore, based on the available information — again, extremely little of which is confirmed by independent researchers — the cats appear to be hypoallergenic. The potential problems that I can ponder of with this approach are the following:

Good luck, Lorraine!

Q2.

We just got a kitten in our home and my daughter has been coughing, has a runny nose, and says her chest is hurting. Could she own a cat allergy?

The time frame is certainly suspicious with the addition of a new pet and the onset of allergy symptoms at the same time. It seems likely that the kitten is causing your daughter’s symptoms. Why not discover out for certain with allergy testing? An immediate skin test at an allergist's office is in order.

If she is allergic to the cat, removal of the animal is the best treatment. However, it’s significant to understand that animal dander can linger on for months, even after the pet has gone.

So it would be prudent to treat your daughter with an antihistamine minimally and possibly an inhaler as well. Keeping an allergic person in an allergen-filled environment could result in asthma!

Q3. What are the breeds of dander-free cats, and are these new "aller-cats" living up to their claims?

— Kristen, California

Let me preempt my answer by saying that I do not endorse or own any financial interests in any allergy products. That said, Allerca is a company in California that sells hypoallergenic cats.

What are the best cats for allergies

For some years, several companies own been trying to create genetically modified cats that will not cause symptoms in allergic people. The approach was to change the gene (the bit of DNA) that carries the code for a protein called Fel d 1, the protein that causes most people's cat allergy. However, for reasons that the companies do not reveal, this approach has not proved to be successful. Most likely, the animals were not healthy without the protein.

Allerca says on their Web site that they developed hypoallergenic cats in a diverse manner. They screened thousands of cats to discover a few that were naturally lacking Fel d 1 and then bred those animals to develop a line of cats with extremely low levels of the problematic protein.

Perhaps these cats own developed some other ways to make up for the absence of Fel d 1.

Apparently, the company will not let exterior sources measure the protein levels or do other testing to verify their claims, although my understanding from colleagues is that they did permit an independent allergy researcher to expose allergic patients to the cats in a testing environment and that the patients had no symptoms with short-term exposure. Allerca claims that the cats are extremely low in Fel d 1, although they are not claiming the animals lack it altogether.

Presumably, the levels are low enough that most cat-allergic people do not react. I do not know how numerous cat-allergic patients the company has tested or how endless the people were exposed to the cats.

Therefore, based on the available information — again, extremely little of which is confirmed by independent researchers — the cats appear to be hypoallergenic. The potential problems that I can ponder of with this approach are the following:

  • Although about 90 percent of cat-allergic people are allergic to Fel d 1, the other 10 percent are allergic to other proteins in cats.

    One would expect that this 10 percent of allergic people would still react to the Allerca cats. I don't know if the company has some way of determining if a customer falls into this category.

  • Allergic people own a remarkable ability to form allergies to a wide variety of things. I would not be surprised if, over time, a person with an Allerca cat starts to develop allergies to other proteins.

However, even with these potential problems in mind, if you own cat allergies and really desire a cat, do not ponder that $4,000 is too costly, and don't object to promoting the breeding of cats when the nation's animal shelters are already full of unwanted cats, then yes, I ponder these animals might be worth a attempt.

So far, the only information available indicates that these cats are what they claim to be.

Learn more in the Everyday Health Allergy Center.

ugh about 90 percent of cat-allergic people are allergic to Fel d 1, the other 10 percent are allergic to other proteins in cats. One would expect that this 10 percent of allergic people would still react to the Allerca cats. I don't know if the company has some way of determining if a customer falls into this category.

  • Allergic people own a remarkable ability to form allergies to a wide variety of things. I would not be surprised if, over time, a person with an Allerca cat starts to develop allergies to other proteins.
  • Hives (known in the medical community as urticaria) are red, swollen welts that can be painful or itchy.

    They glance love a lot of other common skin ailments, but they generally show up and vanish in a diverse pattern. Here’s what you should know.Learn More

    However, even with these potential problems in mind, if you own cat allergies and really desire a cat, do not ponder that $4,000 is too costly, and don't object to promoting the breeding of cats when the nation's animal shelters are already full of unwanted cats, then yes, I ponder these animals might be worth a attempt. So far, the only information available indicates that these cats are what they claim to be.

    Learn more in the Everyday Health Allergy Center.


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