About 10 percent of the population experiences symptoms triggered by pet-related allergens , and felines are frequently to blame. Contact with the proteins in cats' saliva, dander skin flakes and urine can cause the body to go into overdrive, attempting to fight off these harmless interlopers as it would more treacherous invaders such as dangerous bacteria and viruses. Based on the symptoms, it can be hard to tell the difference between allergies and other maladies like a cold or the flu, and once you've determined allergies are to blame, figuring out what's sparking them can be even more problematic. But there are some symptoms which, when taken together, might suggest your kitty could be causing the problems. Ready to find out if some persistent symptoms are being triggered by the presence of your pet?
Top 5 Cat Allergy Symptoms
Allergic Reactions to Cats
Grace Ibay has been a freelance writer and blogger since , specializing in the medical sciences and health care. She worked at Johns Hopkins University and the National Institutes of Health as a research associate and has been published in various scientific journals. Ibay holds a master's degree in health science from Johns Hopkins University in Maryland. Cats shed skin flakes and deposit them in their fur when they groom. This is dander. Allergy-causing proteins in the dander can provoke reactions including hives, rhinitis and asthma. Thorough removal of dander in the home will significantly reduce symptoms associated with a cat allergy.
An Overview of Cat Allergies
Pet allergy is an allergic reaction to proteins found in an animal's skin cells, saliva or urine. Signs of pet allergy include those common to hay fever, such as sneezing and runny nose. Some people may also experience signs of asthma, such as wheezing and difficulty breathing. Most often, pet allergy is triggered by exposure to the dead flakes of skin dander a pet sheds.
Nearly a third of Americans with allergies are allergic to cats and dogs. And twice as many people have cat allergies than dog allergies. Pinpointing the cause of your allergies can be difficult when an animal lives in your home. It can be hard to admit that the cat you love is causing health issues. Many people choose to endure symptoms rather than get rid of their pet.