Sneezing and itching because of cats
Cats are cute, adorable pets but many people can’t stop sneezing and itching around cats. Unfortunately, many people suffer allergic reactions around dogs and cats. Fortunately, there are hypoallergenic cat breeds. No living creature can be truly hypoallergenic but there are breeds with traits that lessen allergic reactions and so they are considered hypoallergenic.
What causes allergic reactions to cats
People with cat-induced allergies may react to a protein called Fel d 1. This protein is produced in cats’ sebaceous glands and salvia. Kittens produce it less than older cats and female cats less than male cats. Neutered males produce proteins Fel d 1 in
quantities similar to female cats. There is no evidence that spayed female cats produce less protein Fel d 1 than unaltered females. Other mammals have this protein but aren’t commonly kept as pets, so people believe their allergic to cats and not the protein. There are eight recognized allergic cat stimulants but Fel d1 is the most common cause of allergic reactions in humans. Other proteins released during grooming may cause dermatitis in children.
Allergic reactions to cats
We observe allergy to cats if we:
● Itchy nose or skin
● Tightness in chest
● Watery or swollen, red eyes
● Chapped lips
● Skin rash
● Nasal congestion
● Ear pain
● Other symptoms are possible
Cat allergies may be treated with:
● Immunotherapy injections
● Avoiding cats.
Some companies are working to develop a vaccine for cats that will reduce the emission of the protein Fel d 1. We can remove Fel d 1 in significant quantities by bathing the cat every two or three days. Some cats tolerate bathing but many will not.
Cats that produce less allergens are considered hypoallergenic. Clinical studies, together with owners’ experiences, determined that some breeds are significantly stable and neutral in allergic reactions. The most popular hypoallergenic cat breeds are the Siberian and Balinese cats. These breeds were created by cross-breeding two breeds. For example, the Siamese cat and Oriental Longhair and Shorthair make up
the lineage for the Balinese cat. But it is more than genes. The long-haired Balinese is hypoallergenic but a short-haired Siamese isn’t. Siamese cats are hypoallergenic if they have a long-hair Balinese ancestor.
Cat breeds for allergy sufferers:
- Russian Blue
- Siamese long-haired
- Bengal cat
- Cornish Rex
- Devon Rex
- Oriental shorthair
- Abyssinian cats
How to reduce allergens in non-hypoallergenic cats
Bathing a cat every three days significantly reduces the quantity of Fel d 1 protein. Cat bedding, carpet and toys should be washed frequently to reduce the allergen in the environment.
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