Cat Allergies

By Heather Legg

During our vacation, we spent time at my cousin’s house and had a wonderful time visiting. My daughters loved their two cats and enjoyed playing with them. Then we noticed itchy eyes and sniffling and remembered the sensitives to cats.

According to, about 10% of the U.S. population has pet allergies, and cats are among the most common culprits. Cat allergies are twice as common as dog allergies. But contrary to what you might think, it’s not the fur or hair that’s the real problem. People with cat allergies are really allergic to proteins in the cat’s saliva, urine, and dander (dried flakes of skin).

I know severity can differ person to person. For instance, I grew up with a cat and was fine with him, unless that is, he slept on my pillow. Then I would wake up with swollen itchy eyes and a sniffly nose. That is like my daughter, unless she plays with a cat directly, she has no symptoms. But then there are those who can’t be in a room or even a house with a cat.

Here are webmd’s list of cat allergy symptoms:

• coughing and wheezing
• hives or a rash on the chest and face
• red, itchy eyes
• redness of the skin where a cat has scratched, bitten, or licked you
• runny, itchy, stuffy nose
• sneezing

Symptoms of a cat allergy might develop in just a few minutes or take hours to appear. About 20% to 30% of people with allergic asthma have severe flare-ups after coming in contact with a cat.

Some tips for controlling a cat allergy are as follows:

• Don’t touch, hug, or kiss cats. It should be obvious, but some people think a little cat contact is OK. It isn’t.
• Beware of visitors who own cats. Even if your house guests leave their cats at home, they can bring the dander with them on their clothing and luggage. This indirect exposure can cause serious cat allergy symptoms in some people.
• Plan. If you have to stay in a house with cats, ask that the cat be kept out of the room in which you will sleep for a few weeks before you arrive. Also, start taking your medicine a few weeks beforehand. Once an allergic reaction gets started, it can be tough to control. But taking medicine can prevent it from happening in the first place.
• Be ready with your antihistamines or decongestants if you know you have a cat allergy and will be around cats.

Remember, you may have flare ups if you are around people with cats who may have cat hair or cat dander on them. Though there’s not much to do about that, at least you’ll know where your sneezing is coming from!


Gotta love kittys, you have to see the utube movie link I left, it’s SO freaking CUTE!

May 27th, 2011 | 6:26 pm

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November 21st, 2011 | 10:44 pm
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