There are some individuals who experience an allergic response to pets such as cats and dogs. Cat allergy is considered more common though. It is a known fact that cats typically shed dander that can easily trigger allergies. Pet hair can also contain other potential allergens such as pollen. Once an individual develops an allergic response if a cat is present, the immune system attempts to ward off the threat. The protein from the saliva of the cat or the skin it sheds can also cause a reaction, resulting to the manifestation of the symptoms.
Steps to determine if an individual has cat allergy
- Observe for the initial symptoms of an allergic reaction. The eyes will itch and swell while the nose starts to drip or become congested. Additionally, the individual will also cough or sneeze.
- Check the skin for any irritations. If the individual is scratched or licked by a cat, it can cause the redness of the skin. Do not forget to look for a rash on the upper extremities that can develop among individuals who are highly allergic to cats.
- An allergy skin test that is carried out by the doctor can help determine if the individual is allergic to cats. The doctor will prick the skin and introduce the animal protein. If the individual is allergic, the skin will start to itch and a bump can develop.
- A blood test can screen for specific antibodies that are responsible for causing the allergy. This test is required if the individual could not undergo an allergy skin test usually due to the interaction of certain medications.
If the individual experiences an allergic reaction, the basic first aid is to provide oral antihistamines to help ease the symptoms.
How to live with cat allergy
Some individuals usually refuse to accept that they are allergic to cats and choose to suffer from the symptoms that range from mild to severe. If this is the case, the individual who wants to lead a better life must accept the reality.
If the individual suspects that he/she has cat allergy, the cat must be removed from the house for a span of two months if possible. While the cat is away, the individual must clean the house at least once in a week and monitor the symptoms. If he/she feels better, it is best to find a new home for his/her beloved cat. On the other hand, if the individual is still determined to keep his/her cat; there are certain considerations to bear in mind in order to minimize the symptoms of the allergy.
Initially, if it is a tomcat, it must be neutered. A neutered male will produce less allergen. Other ways to live with a cat allergy include banning the cat from the bedroom, removing the favorite hangouts of the cat, installing an air cleaner, using throw rugs that can be washed and even bathing the cat regularly.