Cat allergies are the most common form of allergy reported in the United States according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. People that suffer from cat allergies are typically not allergic to a cat’s fur, but to dander shed by their cats or the cat’s saliva. Dander is skin that flakes off and is picked up in the air you breathe.
If you experience allergic reactions from a cat your immune system is reacting to the dander/saliva which results in your allergy symptoms. Your body is reacting to proteins your immune system perceives as a threat. Cat dander can be picked up in the air and circulated throughout your home. Dander is produced when your cat grooms itself; this grooming introduces saliva into the dander problem spreading allergens wherever the cat goes.
Symptoms of Cat Allergies
If you experience sneezing, wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and water eyes at home around your cat, you probably have cat allergies. People with extreme allergies also experience chills and fever; although this could indicate another serious condition.
The most common treatment for cat allergies is taking decongestants and antihistamines. Your doctor can recommend a specific course of treatment for you; however, you may be able to minimize dander in your home to the point where your allergies may not be a problem.
You can purchase air filters for your home specifically designed for filtering out dander. Vacuum cleaners are also available that are designed for removing pet dander from your carpets. Cleaning your air ducts regularly will help reduce the amount of dander circulated throughout your home. Finally regular grooming with a brush may help reduce the amount of dander coming off your furry friend.
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