Allergic To Cats? — Jackson Galaxy
If you are getting a new cat and have concerns about allergies, consider a shorthaired breed over a longhaired as they release less hair into your home environment. If you are interested in a purebred, consider a Devon or Cornish Rex. These cats lack some of the layers of hair found on other breeds and so may produce less reaction. The Sphinx breed is entirely hairless and extremely affectionate. Keep in mind that all of these cats groom themselves and an allergic reaction is caused by saliva just as much as by hair.
An allergic reaction occurs when your immune system mistakenly believes substances that are harmless to most people to be harmful to your body and responds by producing immunoglobin E (IgE) antibodies to destroy what your body has perceived as foreign invaders (allergens). These IgE antibodies trigger the release of histamines, leukotrienes, and other chemicals to cause allergy symptoms. You do develop allergies from repeated exposure to the allergen. Therefore, anyone can develop or grow out of allergy symptoms at any time. Your age also has something to do with developing allergies. Since repeated exposure to certain allergens can trigger an allergic reaction, it is possible to develop allergies when you're older, as you've had more time to be in contact with the allergens. It is possible that you suddenly develop an allergy to cats. You may be allergic to certain chemicals in pet dander to trigger histamines in your bodies. That said, you should take notice if you are allergic to other cats as well. If you notice that only your roommate's cat gives you the allergic symptoms, perhaps you are allergic to something else. Perhaps you are allergic to the ragweed that is bloomed in the area and the cat is carrying the spores from that ragweed into the house on its fur. The best way to truly know is to see an allergy specialist or primary care doctor to have it checked out so you can be treated accordingly.
YES!!! I'm so glad someone else has had this reaction! I didn't become allergic to cats until I was in college. I went home one weekend with my roommate and the family had a Siamese cat. Not knowing I was allergic, I let it sit on my lap and petted the hell out of it. All of a sudden, my right eye started itching horribly and felt really odd. I went the bathroom and almost had a heart attack. That membrane had swollen horrifically all around my contact lens and I looked like a circus freak (no offense to any circus freaks out there.) It took almost three days for it to go down. To this day, I'm much more allergic to Siamese cats than any other breed.This kind of allergy is the most likely cause of a cat allergic reaction. Fleas inject saliva in the cat when it bites and there are many substances present that can trigger a reaction. Like humans, it is possible to trigger a reaction with a very small amount of irritant. Sometimes only one flea bite is all it takes. The usual symptoms include scabs, thin unthrifty fur in the area and bumps. The cat will want to scratch and bite the irritated area making the reaction worse. It may also lick or groom excessively. Areas most affected is usually at the base of the tail and the area around the lower back. The head and around the ears can also be affected. Sometimes the sores get infected.Flea Allergy Dermatitis (or FAD) is the name of the condition. The sores and scabs are sometimes referred to as Miliary dermatitis. This is a descriptive term used in veterinary medicine to describe a multifocal distribution of skin lesions, with no identifiable pattern. The term miliary means millet-like, as the feel of running one's hands through the coat of an affected cat is comparable to the feeling if a cat's coat contains millet seeds. (from Wikipedia) Although fleas are the most common cause, mosquito bites, ticks, and other insects can cause reactions.The irritation is fairly characteristics and recognizable. Diagnosis is often confirmed by treating the animal for fleas and seeing if there is an improvement. Along with flea treatment of the cat its living area must also be rid of fleas.If flea treatment is ineffective then biopsy or scraping of the affected area might be performed. Further investigation might include subdermal injection of selected irritants and observation of reactions. This is similar to human diagnostic techniques.If the cause is mosquito or other biting fly, removal from exposure will be a good indication of the cause. pageBesides treating the cat and its living quarters to get rid of fleas any side conditions will be treated. If infection has developed in the affected area, then antibiotics might be prescribed.Antihistamines or steroids might be used to deal with irritation and reduce itching. Hyposensitisation therapy might be used. As in human "allergy desensitization--allergy shots" a cat might be injected with gradually increasing doses of flea antigens. This treatment gradually desensitises the immune system and reduces the allergic reaction.Food allergy in cats is not uncommon. This might be triggered by grains in particular wheat, dairy products, eggs, or animal proteins such as fish and beef.