Cats are one of the most loved animals in the world, there’s no question about it. In the United States, more than 50% of all households have dogs and cats, and a similar percentage in Europe and especially in France. Although cats are pets, cat allergies are one of the common forms of allergies. In the past, statistics have shown that more than 10 million people in the United States alone have allergic reactions to cats – especially their fur, and about 3% of the French population is allergic to pets.
Dander is the main cause of allergies to cats. Dander is dust produced by the body of the cat. Dander is basically the skin that comes off from cats, normally in the form of small flakes. Although dander can irritate your skin, it can also penetrate your immune system, causing a variety of symptoms and almost immediate allergic reactions.
Dander, once in the immune system, is seen as a threat. Even if it is not classified as a disease, it is rather a reflex of your body and your immune system. Allergies to cats occur quite often due to allergens that spread in the blood, urine and saliva. Although a cat was not present at the time, the excretions are probably still present.
Cat dander, urine and saliva are found throughout the house of cat owners. Cats constantly groom themselves, which involves rubbing their saliva in their fur. When they do, they spread their dander and allergens. While you can try, there is really nothing you can do about it. Cats have a natural instinct for grooming or bathing, no matter how many baths you give them, you just won’t prevent them from grooming.
Normally, when someone is allergic to cats, he or she will whistle, cough, sneeze, itch, watery eyes, or have trouble breathing. Different people react in different ways to cat allergens, which means that some symptoms may not appear at all. Fever and chills are very rare, although it can happen. If a person allergic to cats suffers from fever and chills, you should contact a doctor immediately. Chances are it is not an allergic reaction to cats, but rather another type of disease that a doctor will need to identify.
Allergies to cats are normally treated with antihistamines and decongestants. Those who experience asthma attacks or other forms of allergies normally take antihistamines. Decongestants, on the other hand, are normally used to cure coughs and swollen nasal passages. Sometimes doctors also recommend allergy shots. Allergy shots can help prevent the attack, especially if someone is really allergic to cats. They are a good form of treatment and prevention, and they can also help decrease the risk of allergies affecting the individual.
If you think you have allergies to cats, you should always make sure to see your doctor. He will be able to further diagnose your situation and give you the best options available for treatment. If you do have cat allergies, the best way to stop the attacks is to get rid of your cat.
Getting rid of a cat can be a very difficult thing to do. If you have become allergic to your cat’s fur, there may be no other way to prevent the attacks than to get rid of it. Although doctors can give you drugs and injections, it won’t do much. Cat allergens are not fun, especially if you develop them years after having owned your cat. Cats are great pets to own – although cat allergies are something we could all live without.