What works best for cat allergies

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. Female cats generally make less Fel d 1 than male cats.
  2. 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,, 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.

  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

  6. 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.
  7. Light-colored cats generally make less than dark-colored 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.

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. 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.

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

  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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,, 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. 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:

  • Light-colored cats generally make less than dark-colored cats.
  • Get tested.

    An allergy specialist can determine the exact source of your allergic reactions by a simple prick of the skin on your arm or back.

  • 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.
  • 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,, 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.

  • Restrict your cats access to designated areas inside your home. If you own a safe outdoor enclosure, permit your cat some time exterior where dander will waft away in the wind. Brush your cat in the fresh-air enclosure to prevent loose, allergen-carrying hair from dispersing through your home.
  • Eliminate allergen traps such as upholstered furniture and rugs. Carpet can accumulate up to times the quantity of cat allergens as hardwood flooring, so replacing the wall-to-wall with wood will hold allergens from accumulating as much.

    If ripping up the carpet is not an option, own it steam cleaned as often as needed.

  • Look at the whole picture. Because allergies rarely come individually wrapped, other culprits, such as dust mites and pollen, may be causing reactions, too. An individual rarely has a single allergy, says Zuckerman. A cat owner may be capable to tolerate contact with the cat in winter, but when spring arrives, every the allergies together may prove unbearable.
  • Designate your bedroom as a cat-free zone.

    Start your program of allergen reduction by washing bedding, drapes and pillows. Better yet, replace them. Use plastic covers that are designed to prevent allergens from penetrating on your mattress and pillows. Allergen-proof covers are available from medical supply outlets. Dont expect results overnight. Cat allergens are one-sixth the size of pollens, and it may take months to reduce them significantly.

  • Female cats generally make less Fel d 1 than male cats.
  • 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.
  • Wipe the dander away.

    Bathing a cat often is suggested as a way to reduce the dander, but experts disagree on its effectiveness. Bathing a cat was once believed to be helpful, tell Dr. Robert Zuckerman, an allergy and asthma specialist in Harrisburg, PA, but the cat would own to be washed almost daily. Instead, daily use of products such as Pals Quick Cleansing Wipes™ will remove saliva and dander from your cats hair and are less stressful for felines who prefer not to be rubbed in the tub.

  • 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.
  • Get some unused air.

    Highly insulated homes trap allergens as well as heat, so open the windows to increase the ventilation in your home, and run window fans on exhaust. (But remember to always screen windows so kitty stays safely indoors.) Also, clean the air inside your home. Although nothing will remove every of the allergens present, running an air cleaner with a HEPA filter will help.

  • 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.
  • Vacuuming blows as numerous allergens through the air as it removes, so when you vacuum, use an allergen-proof vacuum cleaner bag or a vacuum cleaner with a high efficiency particulate arresting (HEPA) filter.
  • 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.

  • Spray allergens away. Anti-allergen sprays are a convenient way to deactivate allergens, including those produced by pets. Allersearch ADS, made from plant-based, non-toxic substances, can be sprayed throughout the home to take the sting out of household dust by rendering allergens harmless.
  • 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.

  • Take your medicine. Over-the-counter or prescription antihistamines, decongestants, eye drops and aerosol inhalers will assist reduce the symptoms, although they do not eliminate the allergy. If you prefer to take a holistic approach, attempt Nettle tea, a bioflavinoid called quercetin or acupuncture. In recent studies antioxidants such as Vitamins C and E own demonstrated significant anti-allergen effects.
  • 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.

  • Clean the cat box. Cat allergen is found in urine and is left in the litter box when your cat makes a deposit. To assist prevent allergic reactions to the litter box, use a brand of litter that is less dusty and own someone in the household who is not allergenic clean the box.
  • Build up resistance. There is no cure for allergy to cats, but immunotherapy may assist increase your tolerance. Immunotherapy involves getting allergy shots once or twice weekly for up to six months, then monthly boosters for three to five years.

    Some individuals develop finish immunity, while others continue to need shots, and still others discover no relief at all.

However, even with these potential problems in mind, if you own cat allergies and really desire a cat, do not ponder that $4, 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.

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.

What works best for cat allergies

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. Light-colored cats generally make less than dark-colored cats.
  2. Clean the cat box.

    Cat allergen is found in urine and is left in the litter box when your cat makes a deposit. To assist prevent allergic reactions to the litter box, use a brand of litter that is less dusty and own someone in the household who is not allergenic clean the box.

  3. 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.
  4. Designate your bedroom as a cat-free zone.

    Start your program of allergen reduction by washing bedding, drapes and pillows. Better yet, replace them. Use plastic covers that are designed to prevent allergens from penetrating on your mattress and pillows. Allergen-proof covers are available from medical supply outlets.

    What works best for cat allergies

    Dont expect results overnight. Cat allergens are one-sixth the size of pollens, and it may take months to reduce them significantly.

  5. 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.
  6. Get some unused air. Highly insulated homes trap allergens as well as heat, so open the windows to increase the ventilation in your home, and run window fans on exhaust.

    (But remember to always screen windows so kitty stays safely indoors.) Also, clean the air inside your home. Although nothing will remove every of the allergens present, running an air cleaner with a HEPA filter will help.

  7. Restrict your cats access to designated areas inside your home. If you own a safe outdoor enclosure, permit your cat some time exterior where dander will waft away in the wind. Brush your cat in the fresh-air enclosure to prevent loose, allergen-carrying hair from dispersing through your home.
  8. 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.

    What works best for cat allergies

    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,, 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.

  9. Look at the whole picture. Because allergies rarely come individually wrapped, other culprits, such as dust mites and pollen, may be causing reactions, too. An individual rarely has a single allergy, says Zuckerman. A cat owner may be capable to tolerate contact with the cat in winter, but when spring arrives, every the allergies together may prove unbearable.
  10. 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.
  11. Spray allergens away.

    Anti-allergen sprays are a convenient way to deactivate allergens, including those produced by pets. Allersearch ADS, made from plant-based, non-toxic substances, can be sprayed throughout the home to take the sting out of household dust by rendering allergens harmless.

  12. Eliminate allergen traps such as upholstered furniture and rugs. Carpet can accumulate up to times the quantity of cat allergens as hardwood flooring, so replacing the wall-to-wall with wood will hold allergens from accumulating as much. If ripping up the carpet is not an option, own it steam cleaned as often as needed.
  13. 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.

  14. Wipe the dander away. Bathing a cat often is suggested as a way to reduce the dander, but experts disagree on its effectiveness. Bathing a cat was once believed to be helpful, tell Dr. Robert Zuckerman, an allergy and asthma specialist in Harrisburg, PA, but the cat would own to be washed almost daily. Instead, daily use of products such as Pals Quick Cleansing Wipes™ will remove saliva and dander from your cats hair and are less stressful for felines who prefer not to be rubbed in the tub.
  15. Get tested. An allergy specialist can determine the exact source of your allergic reactions by a simple prick of the skin on your arm or back.
  16. Take your medicine.

    Over-the-counter or prescription antihistamines, decongestants, eye drops and aerosol inhalers will assist reduce the symptoms, although they do not eliminate the allergy. If you prefer to take a holistic approach, attempt Nettle tea, a bioflavinoid called quercetin or acupuncture. In recent studies antioxidants such as Vitamins C and E own demonstrated significant anti-allergen effects.

  17. Vacuuming blows as numerous allergens through the air as it removes, so when you vacuum, use an allergen-proof vacuum cleaner bag or a vacuum cleaner with a high efficiency particulate arresting (HEPA) filter.
  18. 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.

  19. Female cats generally make less Fel d 1 than male cats.
  20. Build up resistance. There is no cure for allergy to cats, but immunotherapy may assist increase your tolerance. Immunotherapy involves getting allergy shots once or twice weekly for up to six months, then monthly boosters for three to five years.

    Some individuals develop finish immunity, while others continue to need shots, and still others discover no relief at all.

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.

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. 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.

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

However, even with these potential problems in mind, if you own cat allergies and really desire a cat, do not ponder that $4, 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.

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.

What works best for cat allergies

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. Light-colored cats generally make less than dark-colored cats.
  2. Clean the cat box.

    Cat allergen is found in urine and is left in the litter box when your cat makes a deposit. To assist prevent allergic reactions to the litter box, use a brand of litter that is less dusty and own someone in the household who is not allergenic clean the box.

  3. 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.

  4. Designate your bedroom as a cat-free zone. Start your program of allergen reduction by washing bedding, drapes and pillows. Better yet, replace them. Use plastic covers that are designed to prevent allergens from penetrating on your mattress and pillows. Allergen-proof covers are available from medical supply outlets. Dont expect results overnight. Cat allergens are one-sixth the size of pollens, and it may take months to reduce them significantly.
  5. 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.

  6. Get some unused air. Highly insulated homes trap allergens as well as heat, so open the windows to increase the ventilation in your home, and run window fans on exhaust. (But remember to always screen windows so kitty stays safely indoors.) Also, clean the air inside your home. Although nothing will remove every of the allergens present, running an air cleaner with a HEPA filter will help.
  7. Restrict your cats access to designated areas inside your home. If you own a safe outdoor enclosure, permit your cat some time exterior where dander will waft away in the wind.

    Brush your cat in the fresh-air enclosure to prevent loose, allergen-carrying hair from dispersing through your home.

  8. 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,, 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.

  9. Look at the whole picture.

    Because allergies rarely come individually wrapped, other culprits, such as dust mites and pollen, may be causing reactions, too. An individual rarely has a single allergy, says Zuckerman. A cat owner may be capable to tolerate contact with the cat in winter, but when spring arrives, every the allergies together may prove unbearable.

  10. 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.
  11. Spray allergens away.

    Anti-allergen sprays are a convenient way to deactivate allergens, including those produced by pets. Allersearch ADS, made from plant-based, non-toxic substances, can be sprayed throughout the home to take the sting out of household dust by rendering allergens harmless.

  12. Eliminate allergen traps such as upholstered furniture and rugs. Carpet can accumulate up to times the quantity of cat allergens as hardwood flooring, so replacing the wall-to-wall with wood will hold allergens from accumulating as much. If ripping up the carpet is not an option, own it steam cleaned as often as needed.
  13. 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.

  14. Wipe the dander away. Bathing a cat often is suggested as a way to reduce the dander, but experts disagree on its effectiveness. Bathing a cat was once believed to be helpful, tell Dr. Robert Zuckerman, an allergy and asthma specialist in Harrisburg, PA, but the cat would own to be washed almost daily. Instead, daily use of products such as Pals Quick Cleansing Wipes™ will remove saliva and dander from your cats hair and are less stressful for felines who prefer not to be rubbed in the tub.
  15. Get tested.

    An allergy specialist can determine the exact source of your allergic reactions by a simple prick of the skin on your arm or back.

  16. Take your medicine. Over-the-counter or prescription antihistamines, decongestants, eye drops and aerosol inhalers will assist reduce the symptoms, although they do not eliminate the allergy. If you prefer to take a holistic approach, attempt Nettle tea, a bioflavinoid called quercetin or acupuncture. In recent studies antioxidants such as Vitamins C and E own demonstrated significant anti-allergen effects.
  17. Vacuuming blows as numerous allergens through the air as it removes, so when you vacuum, use an allergen-proof vacuum cleaner bag or a vacuum cleaner with a high efficiency particulate arresting (HEPA) filter.
  18. 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.

  19. Female cats generally make less Fel d 1 than male cats.
  20. Build up resistance. There is no cure for allergy to cats, but immunotherapy may assist increase your tolerance.

    Immunotherapy involves getting allergy shots once or twice weekly for up to six months, then monthly boosters for three to five years. Some individuals develop finish immunity, while others continue to need shots, and still others discover no relief at all.

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.

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. 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.

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

  • 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.
  • 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.

  • 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,, 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. 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.

What works best for cat allergies

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, 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.

Karen Commings

Does interacting with your feline companion bring tears of agony instead of tears of joy? In addition to itchy, watery eyes, do you exhibit other symptoms such as runny nose, rash, hives, coughing, sneezing, wheezing, asthma or other breathing problems?

Thinkstock

Like an estimated 2 percent of the U.S. population, you suffer from an allergy to cats and, love about one-third of those people, youve chosen to hold your cat companion.

But at what cost?

Contrary to favorite belief, cat hair itself is not allergenic. The cause of allergy to cats is a protein called Fel d 1 emanating from sebum found in the sebaceous glands of cats. The protein attaches itself to dried skin, called dander, that flakes off and floats through the air when cats wash themselves. Although you may never be capable to eliminate every your allergy symptoms, following these suggestions can assist make living with your cat a more enjoyable experience.

However, even with these potential problems in mind, if you own cat allergies and really desire a cat, do not ponder that $4, 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.

Karen Commings

Does interacting with your feline companion bring tears of agony instead of tears of joy? In addition to itchy, watery eyes, do you exhibit other symptoms such as runny nose, rash, hives, coughing, sneezing, wheezing, asthma or other breathing problems?

Thinkstock

Like an estimated 2 percent of the U.S. population, you suffer from an allergy to cats and, love about one-third of those people, youve chosen to hold your cat companion.

But at what cost?

Contrary to favorite belief, cat hair itself is not allergenic. The cause of allergy to cats is a protein called Fel d 1 emanating from sebum found in the sebaceous glands of cats. The protein attaches itself to dried skin, called dander, that flakes off and floats through the air when cats wash themselves. Although you may never be capable to eliminate every your allergy symptoms, following these suggestions can assist make living with your cat a more enjoyable experience.

  • Eliminate allergen traps such as upholstered furniture and rugs.

    Carpet can accumulate up to times the quantity of cat allergens as hardwood flooring, so replacing the wall-to-wall with wood will hold allergens from accumulating as much. If ripping up the carpet is not an option, own it steam cleaned as often as needed.

  • Fleas or flea-control products
  • Take your medicine. Over-the-counter or prescription antihistamines, decongestants, eye drops and aerosol inhalers will assist reduce the symptoms, although they do not eliminate the allergy. If you prefer to take a holistic approach, attempt Nettle tea, a bioflavinoid called quercetin or acupuncture.

    In recent studies antioxidants such as Vitamins C and E own demonstrated significant anti-allergen effects.

  • Sneezing, coughing, and wheezing – especially if the cat has asthma
  • Look at the whole picture. Because allergies rarely come individually wrapped, other culprits, such as dust mites and pollen, may be causing reactions, too. An individual rarely has a single allergy, says Zuckerman. A cat owner may be capable to tolerate contact with the cat in winter, but when spring arrives, every the allergies together may prove unbearable.
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Snoring caused by an inflamed throat
  • Clean the cat box.

    Cat allergen is found in urine and is left in the litter box when your cat makes a deposit. To assist prevent allergic reactions to the litter box, use a brand of litter that is less dusty and own someone in the household who is not allergenic clean the box.

  • Antihistamines as a preventative
  • Vacuuming blows as numerous allergens through the air as it removes, so when you vacuum, use an allergen-proof vacuum cleaner bag or a vacuum cleaner with a high efficiency particulate arresting (HEPA) filter.
  • Household cleaning products
  • Itchy, runny eyes
  • Get tested.

    An allergy specialist can determine the exact source of your allergic reactions by a simple prick of the skin on your arm or back.

  • Paw chewing or swollen, sensitive paws
  • Prescription drugs
  • Some cat litters
  • Perfumes and colognes
  • Ear infections
  • Food
  • Designate your bedroom as a cat-free zone. Start your program of allergen reduction by washing bedding, drapes and pillows. Better yet, replace them. Use plastic covers that are designed to prevent allergens from penetrating on your mattress and pillows.

    Allergen-proof covers are available from medical supply outlets. Dont expect results overnight. Cat allergens are one-sixth the size of pollens, and it may take months to reduce them significantly.

  • Wipe the dander away. Bathing a cat often is suggested as a way to reduce the dander, but experts disagree on its effectiveness. Bathing a cat was once believed to be helpful, tell Dr. Robert Zuckerman, an allergy and asthma specialist in Harrisburg, PA, but the cat would own to be washed almost daily. Instead, daily use of products such as Pals Quick Cleansing Wipes™ will remove saliva and dander from your cats hair and are less stressful for felines who prefer not to be rubbed in the tub.
  • Get some unused air.

    Highly insulated homes trap allergens as well as heat, so open the windows to increase the ventilation in your home, and run window fans on exhaust. (But remember to always screen windows so kitty stays safely indoors.) Also, clean the air inside your home. Although nothing will remove every of the allergens present, running an air cleaner with a HEPA filter will help.

  • Spray allergens away. Anti-allergen sprays are a convenient way to deactivate allergens, including those produced by pets.

    Allersearch ADS, made from plant-based, non-toxic substances, can be sprayed throughout the home to take the sting out of household dust by rendering allergens harmless.

  • Cortisone, steroids or allergy injections for airborne pollens
  • Restrict your cats access to designated areas inside your home. If you own a safe outdoor enclosure, permit your cat some time exterior where dander will waft away in the wind. Brush your cat in the fresh-air enclosure to prevent loose, allergen-carrying hair from dispersing through your home.
  • Pollen, grass, plants, mold, mildew, and other organic substances
  • Build up resistance. There is no cure for allergy to cats, but immunotherapy may assist increase your tolerance.

    Immunotherapy involves getting allergy shots once or twice weekly for up to six months, then monthly boosters for three to five years. Some individuals develop finish immunity, while others continue to need shots, and still others discover no relief at all.

  • Flea prevention products

Coping with an allergy to cats is nothing to sneeze at. Its a commitment. After every, shelters get cats for this reason every day. Hopefully, following these tips will make a world of difference.

Karen Commings is the author of Manx Cats (Barrons, ), The Shorthaired Cat and Shelter Cats (Howell Book Home, and , respectively).

Courtesy of
ASPCA
East 92nd St.
New York, NY
()

Happy International Cat Day!

The perfect way to celebrate is by enjoying the company of a local feline. Sadly, cat allergies prevent some cat admirers from enjoying their adorable smooshy faces. But even if you’re terribly allergic, there are steps you can take to assist alleviate symptoms and enjoy every day with these volatile furballs.

There are a lot of misconceptions about what part of the cat is actually causing every the itchiness and sneezing. Surprisingly, it’s not the hair they leave everywhere. It’s not even their dander, but a protein in the dander, according to Web MD. That protein is also found in their saliva and urine.

While any furry animal produces these protein-soaked materials, cats both lick themselves and pee in a box in your home, so you can imagine how it gets into the air. Most people with allergies just attempt to avoid cats entirely, but under are some options for allergy sufferers who refuse to live a life without joy.

Take Meds

Some discover that the side effects of antihistamines are mild compared to the side effects of kittens, according to There are plenty of once-a-day medicationsthat will assist with mild allergies that are also non-drowsy—I take Zyrtec for my pollen allergies and the only change I’ve noticed is that I’ve stopped sneezing.

Everyone has diverse reactions, however, and it’s best to consult your doctor if you desire some direction. It also might take a couple experiments to discover the medication that works best for you. Unless you want to be drowsy, so you can sleep next to your kitty on the sofa every day.

Clean The Cat Itself

There are conflicting accounts of how productive it is to literally wash your cat. “Bathing a cat was once believed to be helpful, but the cat would own to be washed almost daily,”asthma specialist Dr.

Robert Zuckerman told Petfinder.

Efficacy aside, extremely few cats will willingly cooperate with a daily dunk. But there are liquids that supposedly assist reduce the quantity of allergen in the air by keeping it on the animal, love Allerpet. According to the Allerpet website, shedding increases as animals age, because their skin gets less supple and becomes drier. Humidity helps to hold them from releasing dander, as does unused air, but a light application of their product basically keeps the animal moisturized. Applying it also removes some of the dander on the fur, because you’re wiping it with a washcloth.

Alternately, you could just use a damp microfiber cloth for your pet’s jacket.

You’ll probably both be happier with that than if you attempt to dunk your pet in the bath, though it’s highly possible they’ll be annoyed by a cloth, too. Introduce them to it slowly and not when it’s sopping wet. They love to be stroked and licked, so it may be a more natural fit than you’d think.

Keep Them Out Of The Bedroom

It’s helpful to limit where your cats are allowed. The best put to ban them is the bedroom, because it’s where you lay still with your mouth open eight hours a night. Your bedroom is also likely full of lots of dander-catching blankets and pillows.

If you do let them snuggle with you when you’re most vulnerable, attempt to wash every your blankets twice a month, rather than never, which is what I do. Also change your sheets and pillow cases regularly, and store them somewhere they won’t accumulate dust and dander, love a plastic container.

General Cleanliness

focuses on every the ways that keeping a clean home will make it possible to cohabitate with a little dander machine. They recommend daily vacuuming, and on top of that, they propose you use a steam cleaner. Steam cleaners are chemical free and especially effective on upholstery and carpets, which are basically just magnets for spores, dust mites, bacteria, and everything else making you sneeze.

Heck, it might not even be the cat! Though, remember that thing about the protein being in their urine? If you’re coughing more than usual, clean the kitty litter. Yes, it is in the air.

Get An Air Filter

The most commonly recommended filter for cat allergies is a high-efficiency particulate air filter, or HEPA. If you own an air purifier already, you may be capable to discover a HEPA filter that fits it, but there are also lots of favorite models on Amazon. There are also HEPA vacuums, if you desire to HEPA your life. But allergist Asriani Chiu, MD, warned on Web MD to be careful not to purchase air systems that incorporate chemicals.

As for those air de-ionizers/purifiers often hawked on late-night infomercials, they may make allergies worse by releasing harmful ozone gas.

Wash Yourself

Always clean your hands after petting the cat so you don’t finish up rubbing dander in your eyes.

That is, if you ever take a break from scratching that adorable kitty-cat.

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Contributing Author, writing my first book for the Dial Press called The Lonely Hunter, follow me on @alutkin

Like people, our feline friends can develop allergies. This happens when their immune systems become sensitive to substances present in their surroundings. Known as allergens, these irritating substances may not annoy you or other animals in your home, but as your cat’s body tries to get rid of the offending substances, he might show every kinds of symptoms.

Because there is such a wide variety of allergens, cat allergies are generally divided into 3 main categories: flea allergy, environmental allergies (atopic dermatitis), and food allergy. Flea allergy and environmental allergies – the ones that cause “hay fever” symptoms in humans – are the most common. However, cats often own multiple allergies, so a thorough examination by your veterinarian or veterinary dermatologist is recommended.

Symptoms
Allergic kitties are often extremely itchy and own skin problems associated with allergic dermatitis.

They also might exhibit some of these symptoms:

  1. Sneezing, coughing, and wheezing – especially if the cat has asthma
  2. Snoring caused by an inflamed throat
  3. Itchy, runny eyes
  4. Ear infections
  5. Vomiting or diarrhea
  6. Paw chewing or swollen, sensitive paws

There are a variety of allergens that cause these symptoms:

  1. Pollen, grass, plants, mold, mildew, and other organic substances
  2. Household cleaning products
  3. Perfumes and colognes
  4. Fleas or flea-control products
  5. Food
  6. Prescription drugs
  7. Some cat litters

Gastrointestinal symptoms generally accompany a food allergy, so it is significant to avoid feeding your cat food to which he or she has a known allergy.

Also, allergies tend to be more common among outdoor cats because they are exposed to a wider range of potential allergens, especially from plants and organic matter.

Diagnosis
If something appears to be making your kitty miserable, the best thing to do is pay your veterinarian a visit. He or she will initially do a finish history and physical exam for your cat to determine the source of the allergies.

If your vet suspects your cat has allergies, he might desire to act out blood tests or experiment with your kitty’s diet to narrow below the cause.

Or, if your vet thinks your cat has a skin allergy, your cat might be referred to a veterinary dermatologist.

Treatment & Prevention
The best way to treat your cat’s allergies is to remove the allergens from his or her environment. For instance, if your cat’s allergies are caused by fleas, using veterinarian-recommended flea and tick preventatives can eliminate the cause. If the problem is cat litter, substituting your normal litter for a dust-free alternative could do the trick. In fact, this might assist correct a bigger problem if your cat’s been missing his or her litter box.

When it comes to pollen, fungus, mold, or dust, bathing your cat a couple of times per week can assist alleviate itching.

Your veterinarian can recommend an appropriate shampoo to assist you avoid drying out your cat’s skin.

A diagnosis of food allergies may require you to provide your cat with a prescription diet or even home-cooked meals free of the offending allergens. Your veterinarian will provide recommendations as to the best course of action. It is possible that your cat will need dietary supplements to ensure he gets every the vital nutrients he needs.

Medication
Medication is sometimes prescribed for cats in case certain allergens cannot be removed from the environment. Medications include:

  1. Cortisone, steroids or allergy injections for airborne pollens
  2. Antihistamines as a preventative
  3. Flea prevention products

How do allergies affect asthma?
If your cat is allergic to environmental pollutants, it may worsen your cat’s asthma.

In this case, your vet may prescribe medications that open your cat’s airway for the short-term; endless term solutions include corticosteroids. And here’s a excellent reminder: cigarette smoke is bad for your cat, especially if your cat has asthma.

If you own any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian – they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.

NomNomNow Blog

The Best Cats for People with Allergies

Photo Credit:/ Alamy Stock Photo

If you’re an animal lover and an allergy sufferer, you’re not alone.

According to theAsthma and Allergy Foundation of America, as numerous as three out of every ten people in the U.S. suffer from pet allergies. Of those, allergic reactions to cats are some of the most common. In fact, it’s estimated that cat allergies are about twice as common as those from dogs. Humans are not alone, of course. Cats can also suffer from allergies. If you’re curious about what’s causing your cat to own allergies, check out both his environment and his food. Study more about how giving specially formulatedprobiotics forcatscan assist his allergies.

Coping with an allergy to cats is nothing to sneeze at.

Its a commitment. After every, shelters get cats for this reason every day. Hopefully, following these tips will make a world of difference.

Karen Commings is the author of Manx Cats (Barrons, ), The Shorthaired Cat and Shelter Cats (Howell Book Home, and , respectively).

Courtesy of
ASPCA
East 92nd St.
New York, NY
()

Happy International Cat Day! The perfect way to celebrate is by enjoying the company of a local feline.

Sadly, cat allergies prevent some cat admirers from enjoying their adorable smooshy faces. But even if you’re terribly allergic, there are steps you can take to assist alleviate symptoms and enjoy every day with these volatile furballs.

There are a lot of misconceptions about what part of the cat is actually causing every the itchiness and sneezing. Surprisingly, it’s not the hair they leave everywhere. It’s not even their dander, but a protein in the dander, according to Web MD.

That protein is also found in their saliva and urine. While any furry animal produces these protein-soaked materials, cats both lick themselves and pee in a box in your home, so you can imagine how it gets into the air. Most people with allergies just attempt to avoid cats entirely, but under are some options for allergy sufferers who refuse to live a life without joy.

Take Meds

Some discover that the side effects of antihistamines are mild compared to the side effects of kittens, according to There are plenty of once-a-day medicationsthat will assist with mild allergies that are also non-drowsy—I take Zyrtec for my pollen allergies and the only change I’ve noticed is that I’ve stopped sneezing.

Everyone has diverse reactions, however, and it’s best to consult your doctor if you desire some direction. It also might take a couple experiments to discover the medication that works best for you. Unless you want to be drowsy, so you can sleep next to your kitty on the sofa every day.

Clean The Cat Itself

There are conflicting accounts of how productive it is to literally wash your cat. “Bathing a cat was once believed to be helpful, but the cat would own to be washed almost daily,”asthma specialist Dr. Robert Zuckerman told Petfinder.

Efficacy aside, extremely few cats will willingly cooperate with a daily dunk. But there are liquids that supposedly assist reduce the quantity of allergen in the air by keeping it on the animal, love Allerpet.

According to the Allerpet website, shedding increases as animals age, because their skin gets less supple and becomes drier. Humidity helps to hold them from releasing dander, as does unused air, but a light application of their product basically keeps the animal moisturized. Applying it also removes some of the dander on the fur, because you’re wiping it with a washcloth.

Alternately, you could just use a damp microfiber cloth for your pet’s jacket.

You’ll probably both be happier with that than if you attempt to dunk your pet in the bath, though it’s highly possible they’ll be annoyed by a cloth, too. Introduce them to it slowly and not when it’s sopping wet. They love to be stroked and licked, so it may be a more natural fit than you’d think.

Keep Them Out Of The Bedroom

It’s helpful to limit where your cats are allowed. The best put to ban them is the bedroom, because it’s where you lay still with your mouth open eight hours a night. Your bedroom is also likely full of lots of dander-catching blankets and pillows. If you do let them snuggle with you when you’re most vulnerable, attempt to wash every your blankets twice a month, rather than never, which is what I do.

Also change your sheets and pillow cases regularly, and store them somewhere they won’t accumulate dust and dander, love a plastic container.

General Cleanliness

focuses on every the ways that keeping a clean home will make it possible to cohabitate with a little dander machine. They recommend daily vacuuming, and on top of that, they propose you use a steam cleaner. Steam cleaners are chemical free and especially effective on upholstery and carpets, which are basically just magnets for spores, dust mites, bacteria, and everything else making you sneeze. Heck, it might not even be the cat! Though, remember that thing about the protein being in their urine?

If you’re coughing more than usual, clean the kitty litter. Yes, it is in the air.

Get An Air Filter

The most commonly recommended filter for cat allergies is a high-efficiency particulate air filter, or HEPA. If you own an air purifier already, you may be capable to discover a HEPA filter that fits it, but there are also lots of favorite models on Amazon. There are also HEPA vacuums, if you desire to HEPA your life. But allergist Asriani Chiu, MD, warned on Web MD to be careful not to purchase air systems that incorporate chemicals.

As for those air de-ionizers/purifiers often hawked on late-night infomercials, they may make allergies worse by releasing harmful ozone gas.

Wash Yourself

Always clean your hands after petting the cat so you don’t finish up rubbing dander in your eyes.

That is, if you ever take a break from scratching that adorable kitty-cat.

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Contributing Author, writing my first book for the Dial Press called The Lonely Hunter, follow me on @alutkin

Like people, our feline friends can develop allergies. This happens when their immune systems become sensitive to substances present in their surroundings. Known as allergens, these irritating substances may not annoy you or other animals in your home, but as your cat’s body tries to get rid of the offending substances, he might show every kinds of symptoms.

Because there is such a wide variety of allergens, cat allergies are generally divided into 3 main categories: flea allergy, environmental allergies (atopic dermatitis), and food allergy.

Flea allergy and environmental allergies – the ones that cause “hay fever” symptoms in humans – are the most common. However, cats often own multiple allergies, so a thorough examination by your veterinarian or veterinary dermatologist is recommended.

Symptoms
Allergic kitties are often extremely itchy and own skin problems associated with allergic dermatitis. They also might exhibit some of these symptoms:

  1. Sneezing, coughing, and wheezing – especially if the cat has asthma
  2. Snoring caused by an inflamed throat
  3. Itchy, runny eyes
  4. Ear infections
  5. Vomiting or diarrhea
  6. Paw chewing or swollen, sensitive paws

There are a variety of allergens that cause these symptoms:

  1. Pollen, grass, plants, mold, mildew, and other organic substances
  2. Household cleaning products
  3. Perfumes and colognes
  4. Fleas or flea-control products
  5. Food
  6. Prescription drugs
  7. Some cat litters

Gastrointestinal symptoms generally accompany a food allergy, so it is significant to avoid feeding your cat food to which he or she has a known allergy.

Also, allergies tend to be more common among outdoor cats because they are exposed to a wider range of potential allergens, especially from plants and organic matter.

Diagnosis
If something appears to be making your kitty miserable, the best thing to do is pay your veterinarian a visit. He or she will initially do a finish history and physical exam for your cat to determine the source of the allergies.

If your vet suspects your cat has allergies, he might desire to act out blood tests or experiment with your kitty’s diet to narrow below the cause. Or, if your vet thinks your cat has a skin allergy, your cat might be referred to a veterinary dermatologist.

Treatment & Prevention
The best way to treat your cat’s allergies is to remove the allergens from his or her environment. For instance, if your cat’s allergies are caused by fleas, using veterinarian-recommended flea and tick preventatives can eliminate the cause. If the problem is cat litter, substituting your normal litter for a dust-free alternative could do the trick. In fact, this might assist correct a bigger problem if your cat’s been missing his or her litter box.

When it comes to pollen, fungus, mold, or dust, bathing your cat a couple of times per week can assist alleviate itching. Your veterinarian can recommend an appropriate shampoo to assist you avoid drying out your cat’s skin.

A diagnosis of food allergies may require you to provide your cat with a prescription diet or even home-cooked meals free of the offending allergens. Your veterinarian will provide recommendations as to the best course of action. It is possible that your cat will need dietary supplements to ensure he gets every the vital nutrients he needs.

Medication
Medication is sometimes prescribed for cats in case certain allergens cannot be removed from the environment. Medications include:

  1. Cortisone, steroids or allergy injections for airborne pollens
  2. Antihistamines as a preventative
  3. Flea prevention products

How do allergies affect asthma?
If your cat is allergic to environmental pollutants, it may worsen your cat’s asthma.

In this case, your vet may prescribe medications that open your cat’s airway for the short-term; endless term solutions include corticosteroids. And here’s a excellent reminder: cigarette smoke is bad for your cat, especially if your cat has asthma.

If you own any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian – they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.

NomNomNow Blog

The Best Cats for People with Allergies

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If you’re an animal lover and an allergy sufferer, you’re not alone. According to theAsthma and Allergy Foundation of America, as numerous as three out of every ten people in the U.S.

suffer from pet allergies. Of those, allergic reactions to cats are some of the most common. In fact, it’s estimated that cat allergies are about twice as common as those from dogs. Humans are not alone, of course. Cats can also suffer from allergies. If you’re curious about what’s causing your cat to own allergies, check out both his environment and his food. Study more about how giving specially formulatedprobiotics forcatscan assist his allergies.


Is There Such a Thing as a Hypoallergenic Cat?

Based on what scientists know today, every cats produce Fel d 1, meaning that at present, there are no truly hypoallergenic cat breeds.

However, there are some breeds that purportedly cause fewer allergy symptoms than others. Additionally, there are a number of things any cat parent can do to lessen the allergic effects their pets cause. For example, keeping surfaces in the home clean, bathing and brushing your cat regularly, installing a HEPA air purifier, and steam cleaning carpets can every assist reduce exposure to allergens.

While no cat will be a grand fit for people with severe allergies, here are the cats that may cause fewer allergy symptoms than others:

Photo Credit: Krissi Lundgren / Alamy Stock Photo

Sphynx

Known for its hairlessness, the Sphynx cat was first bred in the .

Numerous frequently consider the Sphynx cat less allergenic because it does not own any fur to trap allergens. Even though this breed does not own any fur, Sphynx cats actually require a lot of grooming, especially baths, to remove oils on the skin and wax in the ears. Exterior of their physical appearance and grooming needs, Sphynx cats are famously extroverted creatures, exhibiting friendliness toward strangers and affection for their parents.

Photo Credit:/ Alamy Stock Photo

Oriental Shorthair

The Oriental Shorthair is part of the Siamese family of cats.

With more than colors and patterns, Oriental Shorthairs own the largest range of physical characteristics of every cat breeds. With regard to allergies, they own a short, fine jacket that does not shed often. Because of this, pet parents of Oriental Shorthairs report these cats spread fewer allergens around the home. Frequent grooming can also minimize dander and as an extension the possibility of an allergic reaction.

Photo Credit: Łukasz Szczepanski / Alamy Stock Photo

Russian Blue

Despite its name, the Russian Blue is a cat whose fur varies from a light silver to a dark grey. Russian Blues are short-haired but own double coats that own given them a reputation for density and lushness.

Love Siberian cats, Russian Blues are believed to produce less Fel d 1 and also shed much less than their thick coats would propose. Personality-wise, Russian blues are pleasant companions who develop shut relationships with their parents.

Photo Credit: Elena Kovaleva / Alamy Stock Photo

Balinese

Also known as the “long-haired Siamese,” Balinese cats are excellent candidates for pet parents with allergies because they produce less of the Fel d 1 protein than other breeds and are therefore more hypoallergenic.

In addition, this breed is notable for its single jacket and relatively little shedding among long-haired cats, meaning it spreads less dander, too. Balinese cats are renowned for their intelligence and friendly demeanors.

Photo Credit: TongRo Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Javanese

Contrary to the name, Javanese cats are not native to the island of Java in Indonesia. Rather, they were bred in Japan and own adopted a southeast Asian name in the tradition of other Oriental (and especially Siamese) cat breeds.

While most cats own three layers of jacket (top layer, middle layer, and undercoat), Javanese cats own only a fine top jacket. Because these cats own less hair, they do not shed as much and are therefore reported to collect and spread fewer allergens.

Photo Credit: Edward Phillips / Alamy Stock Photo

Devon Rex

The Devon Rex has several unique physical characteristics: large ears, a lightweight jacket, and hair that grows in curls and waves love a poodle.

Devon Rexes own a jacket composed of soft below, with extremely little hair as a top jacket.

What works best for cat allergies

As a result, these cats do not shed as much as hairier breeds. This lack of shedding reduces the quantity of saliva-coated particles in the air.

What works best for cat allergies

While other hairless or less hairy breeds require frequent bathing, the Devon Rex calls for less maintenance; for most grooming sessions, cleaning the paws and ears only will suffice.

Photo Credit: imageBROKER / Alamy Stock Photo

Siberian

Siberian cats are highly athletic, strong, and long-haired. At first glance, these cats might not seem love they would be well-suited for pet parents with allergies. However, compared to other cat breeds, Siberians own less dander, shed much less, and produce lower levels of Fel d 1.

This combination of factors decreases the likelihood of eliciting an allergic reaction.

Photo Credit: Schwarz / Alamy Stock Photo

Cornish Rex

Closely related to Devon Rexes, Cornish Rex cats also only own a single jacket of fur. This lack of fur means that Cornish Rexes shed less than other breeds, but love the Sphynx cat, they require frequent bathing in order to get rid of excess oil on the skin. The combined lack of shedding and frequent bathing reduces the buildup of dander and saliva on these cats, which in turn lessens the possibility of provoking an allergic reaction.

Because of their thin, light coats that make them sensitive to low temperatures, Cornish Rexes are best suited for indoor living.


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What Causes Cat Allergies?

Allergies are the immune system’s abnormal response to otherwise harmless substances called allergens. A person with cat allergies has a hypersensitive immune system that triggers a reaction when the body comes in contact with, or proximity to, cats.

While numerous people ponder that a cat’s fur is the primary allergen, this is actually a widespread misconception.

According to theAmerican College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology, the allergic potential of cats is not driven by their fur, but rather by the presence of a protein (Fel d 1) in the animal’s saliva, dander, and urine. Although the fur itself is not an allergen, it can collect saliva, dander, and urine in addition to other allergens love dust and pollen, which means that cats with less fur may be less likely to collect allergens and easier to hold clean.

One of the reasons cat allergies are so common is that thesize and shape of the Fel d 1 proteinmolecule conducive to remaining airborne for endless periods of time, subsequently sticking to fur, carpets, fabrics, and other surfaces.

This is why highly sensitive people can experience cat allergies even when an animal isn’t present. Research has shown that cat allergens can even appear inrelatively high concentrations in public placeswithout cats, such as schools and libraries.


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