What works for allergies to cats

In many cases, the most effective way of managing an allergy is to avoid the allergen that causes the reaction whenever possible.

For example, if you own a food allergy, you should check a food’s ingredients list for allergens before eating it.

There are also several medicines available to help control symptoms of allergic reactions, including:

  1. decongestants – tablets, capsules, nasal sprays or liquids that can be used as a short-term treatment for a blocked nose
  2. lotions and creams, such as moisturising creams (emollients) – these can reduce skin redness and itchiness
  3. antihistamines – these can be taken when you notice the symptoms of a reaction, or before being exposed to an allergen, to stop a reaction occurring
  4. steroid medicines – sprays, drops, creams, inhalers and tablets that can assist reduce redness and swelling caused by an allergic reaction

For some people with extremely severe allergies, a treatment called immunotherapy may be recommended.

This involves being exposed to the allergen in a controlled way over a number of years so your body gets used to it and does not react to it so severely.


Common allergies

Substances that cause allergic reactions are called allergens.

The more common allergens include:

  1. animal dander, tiny flakes of skin or hair
  2. insect bites and stings
  3. food – particularly nuts, fruit, shellfish, eggs and cows’ milk
  4. dust mites
  5. mould – these can release little particles into the air that you can breathe in
  6. medicines – including ibuprofen, aspirin and certain antibiotics
  7. grass and tree pollen – an allergy to these is known as hay fever (allergic rhinitis)
  8. latex – used to make some gloves and condoms
  9. household chemicals – including those in detergents and hair dyes

Most of these allergens are generally harmless to people who are not allergic to them.


Getting assist for allergies

See a GP if you ponder you or your kid might own had an allergic reaction to something.

The symptoms of an allergic reaction can also be caused by other conditions.

A GP can assist determine whether it’s likely you own an allergy.

If they ponder you might own a mild allergy, they can offer advice and treatment to assist manage the condition.

If your allergy is particularly severe or it’s not clear what you’re allergic to, they may refer you to an allergy specialist for testing and advice about treatment.

Find out more about allergy testing


Symptoms of an allergic reaction

Allergic reactions generally happen quickly within a few minutes of exposure to an allergen.

They can cause:

  1. a runny or blocked nose
  2. wheezing and coughing
  3. red, itchy, watery eyes
  4. sneezing
  5. a red, itchy rash
  6. worsening of asthma or eczema symptoms

Most allergic reactions are mild, but occasionally a severe reaction called anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock can happen.

What works for allergies to cats

This is a medical emergency and needs urgent treatment.


Is it an allergy, sensitivity or intolerance?

Intolerance

Where a substance causes unpleasant symptoms, such as diarrhoea, but does not involve the immune system.

People with an intolerance to certain foods can typically eat a little quantity without having any problems.

Sheet final reviewed: 22 November 2018
Next review due: 22 November 2021

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

There are a variety of allergens that cause these symptoms:

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

What works for allergies to cats

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.

Studies own shown that food allergies overall are the third most common type of feline allergy, outranked in frequency only by allergies to flea bites and inhaled substances.

Although itchy, irritating skin problems are the most common signs of this allergy, an estimated 10 percent to 15 percent of affected cats also exhibit gastrointestinal signs, such as vomiting and diarrhea.

The itching that typically signals the presence of a food allergy is caused by the eruption of little, pale, fluid-filled lumps on a cat’s skin, which form in response to the presence of an allergen, a substance to which the animal’s system is abnormally sensitive.

“The itching eruptions primarily affect the head and neck area,” says Carolyn McDaniel, VMD, a lecturer in clinical sciences at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. “They’re not always in that area, but often enough to serve as a clue that the source is a food allergy.”

In themselves, the aggravating lesions do not pose a significant health hazard. But the incessant scratching that they immediate may cause secondary skin wounds and a resulting vulnerability to severe bacterial infection.

In addition, gastrointestinal problems stemming from a food allergy may own far-reaching systemic implications, including food avoidance that can result in health-compromising weight loss.

The most visible signs of a food allergy—the persistent scratching, the emergence of skin lesions, loss of hair, and a general deterioration of the coat—do not develop overnight.

What works for allergies to cats

Instead, they tend to become evident and intensify over extended periods of time—months or even longer—as the animal’s immune system gradually mounts a defense against certain protein and carbohydrate molecules that are present in most standard cat foods. “We don’t know why this allergy develops,” says Dr. McDaniel.

What works for allergies to cats

“A cat of any age can be affected, and it can happen in a cat that has been on the same diet for years.”

When the signs appear, a cat should get immediate veterinary care. If a food allergy is indeed suspected, the specific allergen should be identified and removed from the animal’s diet.

After other potential causes of the skin eruptions, such as flea bites, are ruled out and a food allergy is identified as the probable cause of the clinical signs, the next challenge is to identify what precisely in the cat’s diet is responsible for the problem.

This process will most effectively be carried out at home by the owner’s introduction of what is termed a “novel” diet, which is based on the fact that most feline food allergies are traceable to the protein or carbohydrate content of an affected animal’s normal fare.

The most commonly used protein sources in cat food include beef, pork, lamb, chicken, turkey, and eggs. Since protein is a fundamental component of living cells and is necessary for the proper functioning of an organism, the novel diet must contain protein—but it must be derived from a source to which an affected cat has not been previously exposed, such as venison or kangaroo meat. Since the same holds true for carbohydrates, the vegetables that are frequently used in cat foods—wheat, barley, and corn, for instance—would be excluded from the novel diet and replaced by, for example, potato.

If a cat consumes nothing but the novel diet and water for a period of at least eight to 10 weeks, it is likely that the allergic signs will gradually vanish. In that case, the owner can assume that the allergen was a component of the previous diet. And to identify the specific offending allergen, the owner subsequently reintroduces components of the cat’s original diet one by one and watches carefully for the reemergence of allergic symptoms.

What works for allergies to cats

If the symptoms recur, they will probably do so within a week or two, in which case the owner will own confirmed at least one source of the allergy.

Through repeated systematic testing—and a lot of patience—it is possible for the owner to pinpoint every dietary ingredients to which a cat is allergic. Therapy, it follows, requires the permanent exclusion of these ingredients from the cat’s diet.

What Is Pet Dander and How Do You Get Rid Of It?

What Is Pet Dander?

Pet dander is extremely tiny particles of skin that had been shed from animals with fur or feathers.

So, foxes produce dander, parrots produce dander, and horses produce dander. Since most people don’t own these animals in their home, their dander is not a problem. But the dander from cats, dogs, rabbits, ferrets and little rodents is a problem. Every animals shed bits of skin. Some of the bits are large enough to be seen with our eyes. Other bits are so little you can’t see them without a microscope. No matter the size of the dander, it is a problem if you are allergic to animals.

Sensitivity

The exaggeration of the normal effects of a substance. For example, the caffeine in a cup of coffee may cause extreme symptoms, such as palpitations and trembling.

Allergy

A reaction produced by the body’s immune system when exposed to a normally harmless substance.

How Pet Dander is Spread?

Those little bits of skin own ragged edges.

They are also extremely light-weight. That is a terrible combination. It means that the ragged edges permit the dander to stick to absolutely everything and the light mass makes it giggle in the face of gravity.

The dander flakes off the animal and becomes airborne. If you don’t inhale it immediately, it will stick to the first surface it hits. Once shed, the dander repeatedly floats in the air, sticks to a surface, and then becomes airborne again. Every little disturbance sends it into the air. As soon as it touches something, it hangs on until it gets knocked loose again.

In reality, this dander hitches a ride on people and belongings.

You can go to the mall and discover cat dander; even if a cat has never been in the mall. That’s because the dander rides on the clothes of pet owners. Dander can be found in offices, hospitals, and numerous places where pets don’t generally go. It rides in human hair and on clothing. It is easily transferred.

A cat owner can take dander on an airplane, transfer it from their clothes to the seat and leave it behind for the next passenger. Dander can fly coast to coast. Animal dander is where you don’t expect it.

Why is Pet Dander a Problem?

For people with allergies, pet dander is a genuine problem.

The dander contains a protein that causes allergic reactions. In addition, the protein is also found in the urine and saliva of these animals as well. So, every time the animal empties it’s bladder the protein from the urine can stick to the skin.

Even if you take your dog exterior and below the highway to do its trade, you are going to bring some of that allergen back inside in the form of tiny droplets of urine that touch the skin. Once that bit of skin is shed, it has a double dose of the protein that causes the allergic reaction.

Dose one is the skin itself and dose two is the protein from the urine.

But wait, there’s more! The protein that causes allergic reactions is also found in the saliva of the animal too. Now every time the cat or dog (or rabbit or ferret) licks, it spreads the protein. Since our pets bathe by licking their fur and skin, they add more of the allergy-causing protein. The skin that was groomed by the pet has a double dose of the protein thanks to the saliva.

When you inhale these tiny particles of skin, skin + urine, or skin + saliva your immune system thinks it is under attack by germs. In allergic people, the immune system misidentifies these harmless proteins as evil invaders.

It creates a specific antibody for the protein. Next time it sees the protein, it cues the antibody to start stimulating mast cells. A cascade of reactions occurs and the result is one or more of these symptoms:

  1. Coughing
  2. Wheezing
  3. Sneezing
  4. Itchy or watery eyes
  5. Eczema
  6. Stuffy nose or a runny nose.

Now that is a problem. For as endless as the exposure continues, the reaction continues. A prolonged allergy attack can lead to a secondary infection such as bronchitis, sinusitis, or otitis media (ear infection).

Allergies can also trigger asthma.

How Do You Get Rid of Animal Dander?

If pet dander is so easily spread, how do you get rid of it? You can get rid of pet dander by grooming the pet to reduce the quantity of dander produced, vacuuming frequently, using a HEPA air filter, use anti-allergen sprays and limiting where the pet goes.

First, brush your pet regularly to remove dead skin cells and fur. Ideally, brush the pet exterior. If you are highly allergic, wear a mask while you groom the pet.

Resist the temptation to frequently wash the animal. The more you wash, the greater the chances you will dry out the animal’s skin.

Dry skin flakes more easily. So, frequent washing can actually make the situation worse.

Better instead to wipe the pet below between washes with wipes made for pet grooming or apply a jacket conditioner like Allerpet Pet Solutions to remove loose dander. As a bonus, Allerpet also conditions, which can slow below the shedding process.

«There’s nothing more upsetting than to hear people tell they own to get rid of cats because so and so is allergic. Well, it’s b.s. actually because if they’d do some research and purchase this Allerpet C, and the ADMS spray, they’re problems will be gone.

Yes, once a week you own to wipe pets below, spray ADMS spray on furniture, bedding, pets bedding, etc, and sweep regularly to pick up the hair.

«I’ve been using this stuff for years and years. I’ve never had a problem with people coming over to home that’s allergic to cats/dogs ever, ever own a reaction.»Rural.Life

Dander denaturing agents are available in spray and powder form. We recommend sprays in most situations.

What works for allergies to cats

Anti-allergen sprays are simple to use and when used properly are extremely effective.

Look for tannic-acid based products or products that use alkaline substances or enzymes that break below the problem causing proteins. Vacuum first before spraying, and if using for the first time test for colorfastness. Tannic acid-based solutions can cause staining. Personally, we recommend the Allersearch ADMS Anti Allergen spray because it is highly effective and can be used on most fiber surfaces.

«I’ve been using this product for years and years and it’s also allowed a lot of friends to visit who were allergic to cats and or dogs.

I spray this once a month on curtains, furniture, pet bedding, but if I wash the bedding, pet bedding I’ll respray. I also use with allerpet C, allerpet D, allerpet shampoo, and just received the dusting spray but haven’t used it yet.» CM

If you desire to do something frequently, vacuum with a HEPA filtered vacuum cleaner. And speaking of vacuum cleaners, stay away from the models without a bag. You don’t desire to expose yourself to allergens when you empty a dust container.

Vacuum thoroughly. This is where a canister-style vacuum cleaner comes in handy. Vacuum walls, floors, carpets, rugs, furniture, and draperies.

Many pet owners discover relief from allergies by running a HEPA air cleaner. Run the air cleaner in the room where you and the pet spend the most time. Make certain it has a excellent HEPA filter and the machine is the correct size for the room.

Now for the really hard part. Hold the pet out of the bedroom and especially off the bed. You don’t desire your bed covered in dander. You sleep 8 hours every night, make certain you sleep in a dander-free zone.

In addition, wash dog toys frequently to remove dried saliva, a source of allergen.

Cat owners should wear a mask when cleaning the cat box as the urine is wealthy in allergy-causing protein.

So now you know what pet dander is and how to get rid of it. See, with a little work, you can live with pets and pet allergy.

Wishing you the best of health

The Allergy Store

Allergy elimination is about eliminating the allergy-causing substance in your home the best you can. Once you do this, you may be capable to eliminate the need for every the medications and doctor visits. For additional information please click here to download your free copy of» You Can Do It! Allergy Free Living.

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What causes allergies?

Allergies occur when the body’s immune system reacts to a specific substance as though it’s harmful.

It’s not clear why this happens, but most people affected own a family history of allergies or own closely related conditions, such as asthma or eczema.

The number of people with allergies is increasing every year.

The reasons for this are not understood, but 1 of the main theories is it’s the result of living in a cleaner, germ-free environment, which reduces the number of germs our immune system has to deal with.

It’s thought this may cause it to overreact when it comes into contact with harmless substances.


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