When a person come in contact with cat’s dander and it results in allergic reactions it means the person is suffering from cat allergy. It is less common and around twenty five percent are affected by cat allergies. It is due to a protein called Fel d1. It is found in the dandruff and saliva of cat. When the cat licks the fur or skin it gets stuck there. Then when dried flake of skin i.e. dander is released in air the people inhale these allergens and experience allergic reactions. The allergen is very light and therefore travels to distant places. These allergens go inside the lungs and cause allergic reactions. Cats produce allergens in different quantity. Male cats are said to secrete more of protein Fel d1 and thus produce more allergens than female cat. Some of the symptoms of cat allergy are coughing, wheezing and rashes. The best way to avoid cat allergy is to keep away from cats.
Symptoms of Cat Allergy
Symptoms of cat allergy differ from person to person. It could be mild or severe. Some of the symptoms are as follows:
- Nasal inflammation
- Hay fever
- Tightness in chest
- Watery and red eyes
- Sore throat
- Inflammation of skin
- Itching of nose
Cat Allergy Treatment
The best method to treat cat allergy is to keep away from cats. If cats are kept then the entire environment should be kept clean. The cat should not be allowed in the bedroom. Anything that the cat has used for long time should be removed and the whole house should be cleaned thoroughly. With time most probably the symptoms may vanish with all the above measures and one may not have to take medicines to cure it. If still needed the medical expert can recommend good allergy medicines or give allergy shots. Drugs like antihistamines such as Claritin or Benadryl can be taken. It reduces the symptoms and brings relief from inflammation of skin and itching. Also decongestants such as Sudafed are prescribed.
How to reduce or prevent cat allergy
Some steps to reduce the cat allergen are:
- Daily the cat should be wiped and cleaned with a wet cloth.
- Directions that are given to keep house dust mite free should be followed
- HEPA room air cleaner should be kept to use it in bedroom and other parts of the house.
- Regularly the house should be vacuumed with a HEPA equipped vacuum cleaner
- Cat should be bathed nicely and thoroughly at twice a week.
- Ensure that the cat is sterilized.
- The cat should not be kept in bedroom. The cat should be kept in kennel or in garage. If it is kept inside then one should ensure that the room or part of the room does not have carpet floor.
- If the above mentioned measures do not work then it is advisable to get do away with the cat especially if the person has asthma.
Cat allergy vaccine
There are allergy shots given to bring relief to 8 to 10 percent of people who have cat allergy, but they are costly and not without side effects. But now scientists have come up with cat allergy vaccine known as ‘peptide immunotherapy’ wherein a low dose of the vaccine is administered onto the skin. Intitally, one may need four to eight doses a year.