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Cat Allergies: Symptoms and Treatments

As loving cat parents, all we want to do is to be around our fluffy feline little furballs, and shower them with affection all day long. However, it is not uncommon for some cat parents to experience discomfort after interacting with our precious munchkins, as well as develop symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes and prolonged coughing. Although these cat allergy symptoms do not always escalate, they might indicate that you are, however unfortunately, allergic to cats.

How Do I Know If I Have a Cat Allergy?

Being allergic to cats is a very real issue and heartbreaking for cat parents and lovers. Adequate precautions must be taken in such cases to ensure your personal well-being. So how do you know if you have a cat allergy or allergic to cat fur and how to fix allergic to cat fur?

Cats naturally produce proteins that are found on their fur and skin and saliva. These proteins are responsible for triggering an allergic reaction in some individuals. The most common cat allergy symptoms are runny nose and watery eyes, and can cause an individual to sneeze and cough after petting or playing with their feline friend. In severe cases of cat allergy or allergic to cat fur, you may also feel your throat close up or choke, making it important to consult a healthcare professional. 

How cat allergies are diagnosed?

As someone who adores cats, finding out that you might be allergic to cats can be devastating and even the slightest cat fur allergy symptoms often cause cat parents to worry. And although these concerns are justifiable, there is no need to be alarmed unless you have been properly tested by a medical professional with a cat allergy test. An allergic reaction might often be triggered in the presence of your furry munchkin, which can be a result of the dust or pollen that gets trapped within the cat’s coat. In such cases, you are likely allergic to the pollen or dust and not your precious feline friend. 

So, instead of taking any immediate decision, it is always wise to visit an allergist and get a cat allergy test. In addition to a proper diagnosis, your allergist may also be helpful in deciding on effective preventive measures and cat allergy treatments.

The skin prick cat allergy test is the most common and effective way of determining cat allergies in humans, which involves injecting a small amount of cat allergen into the skin using a sterile probe. Once done, your healthcare provider may monitor you for any swelling or redness around the area. Usually, the results are evident within 15 to 20 minutes, and reactions such as redness or swelling can suggest a cat allergy or allergic to cat fur. 

What causes cat allergies?

Cat allergies are caused by allergens, or particular proteins that are naturally produced in the cats' body, and are found on their skin, and fur, as well as in cat saliva. Upon contact, these allergens may trigger the immune system, resulting in an allergic reaction. Although all cats produce allergens, the severity of the allergic reaction is not dependent on factors like the length of the cat’s hair, their gender, or the amount of time they spend at home.

What are the symptoms of cat allergies?

Depending on your sensitivity to cat allergens, the intensity of the cat allergy symptoms of the allergic reaction can vary from mild to severe. Hypersensitive individuals also show an almost immediate reaction to cat allergens, while the cat allergy symptoms may be delayed for others. The most common cat allergy symptoms include:

  1. Runny or stuffy nose followed by prolonged sneezing
  2. Facial pain from nasal congestion
  3. Shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing and tightness around the chest
  4. Watery and red eyes followed by itchiness
  5. Hives or rashes may also appear in severe cases

What can I do to ease the symptoms?

Cats are extremely precious to us, but it is always important to prioritize personal health and well-being as well. And although mild cat fur allergy symptoms of cat allergies can be effectively dealt with, hypersensitivity to cats can be quite annoying, leaving you with no other alternative but to avoid any exposure to cat allergens. 

You can also ask your allergist for effective cat allergy treatments and other preventive measures. Cat allergy treatments as usually determined by the severity of the symptom, such as oral antihistamines and cat allergy medicine for itchy and blocked throat, steroid nasal sprays for congested nose, and antihistamine eye drops to treat watery or itchy eyes. If you have acute respiratory problems, your allergist may also suggest inhaled corticosteroids and bronchodilators as cat allergy medicine to treat tightness around the chest and breathlessness. 

In addition to these cat allergy treatments, you can also consider immunotherapy, which uses cat allergy shots to improve tolerance to cat allergens.

Any risk factors to keep in mind

Immunotherapy and over-the-counter antihistamine cat allergy medicine and cat allergy shots have been proven to be extremely effective against cat allergies, but it is still important to consider all precautionary measures against the symptoms of cat allergies. This is because while the symptoms of cat allergy or allergic to cat fur are not lethal, they can raise the risk of allergic asthma, which is caused when the immune system mistakes cat proteins as allergens, leading to prolonged bouts of coughing and wheezing.

Cat Allergy Management and Treatment

If you are hypersensitive to cats, a complete avoidance of being exposed to cat allergens is the most efficient way of cat allergy management. And heartbreaking as it is, it means having to remove your feline friend from the household. So, it is important that you make sure that your beloved furball gets adopted into a loving home.

However, if you show mild allergic reactions to cat allergens, it might take you a few extra steps to avoid showing symptoms of cat allergy and learn how to fix allergic to cat fur, but it is worth having your furry feline around you. So, mentioned below are some of the most effective cat allergy management options:

  • Restricting your cat’s access to your bedroom can be helpful, as it lowers the risks of cat allergens finding their way in. Although this is not a failsafe measure, it can help you avoid an allergic reaction.
  • Avoid petting, hugging or kissing the cat; but if you cannot help yourself, make sure to wash your hands with soap after each interaction.
  • High-efficiency particulate air cleaners (HEPA) can significantly lower indoor allergen levels, and is effective as a prevention against cat allergies.
  • You can also use a central vacuum or high-efficiency vacuum cleaners instead of HEPA filters to limit the allergen levels within the household.
  • Although not all cats like water, it is important to bathe your feline munchkin at least once a week to keep them clean and remove the allergen present on their fur.


How do you know if you are allergic to cats?

Being allergic to cat can manifest symptoms such as watery and itchy eyes, runny nose, coughing, wheezing and tightness around the chest. Before you learn how to fix allergic to cat fur, an allergist may also suggest the skin prick cat allergy test with cat allergy shots to diagnose different cat allergies.

Can you live with a cat if you are allergic?

If you are mildly allergic, you can easily live with a cat as long as you take the necessary precautions such as restricting your cat’s access to your bedroom, installing HEPA cleaners, and giving your cat frequent baths. 

How can I cure my cat allergy?

There is no failsafe way to completely cure cat allergy. You may look into over-the-counter antihistamine cat allergy medicine and sprays to help with the symptoms. Additionally, immunotherapy with cat allergy shots can also work to build up tolerance against different cat allergies.

How serious are cat allergies?

The severity of the symptoms of cat allergies usually depends on the sensitivity and tolerance of the concerned individual. While cat allergies often result in mild to moderate symptoms that manifest over time, hypersensitive individuals may experience severe reactions almost instantly.

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