Oh, the age-old question cat owners ponder – why am I only allergic to my feline friend sometimes? When you thought living with a furball was challenging enough, it turns out your relationship may be somewhat… complicated.
Indeed, for mysterious reasons many pet parents claim to have only certain types of reactions or none at all when around their pawed companions.
Never fear though—this blog post is here to help explain the science and psychological elements underlying these changing allergy symptoms!
Why Am I Only Allergic To My Cat Sometimes?
As a cat owner, it can be frustrating and concerning to experience allergic reactions only sometimes when around your furry companion.
The reason for this is likely due to a combination of factors, including the type of allergy you have, the level of allergens in your environment, and your own personal susceptibility to allergens.
First, it’s important to understand the different types of allergies that can affect individuals who are allergic to cats. The most common type of cat allergy is known as allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, which is an allergic reaction to proteins found in cat dander, saliva, and urine.
This type of allergy typically causes symptoms such as sneezing, congestion, and itchy, watery eyes.
Another type of cat allergy is known as allergic asthma, which is an allergic reaction to proteins found in cat dander that triggers asthma symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
In both cases, the severity of your allergic reaction may vary depending on the level of allergens present in your environment. For example, if your cat frequently sheds dander or urinates inside your home, the allergens may be more concentrated and trigger a stronger reaction.
On the other hand, if your cat is groomed regularly and spends most of its time outdoors, the allergens in your home may be less concentrated and cause a milder reaction.
In addition to the level of allergens in your environment, your personal susceptibility to allergens may also play a role in the severity of your allergic reactions.
Some individuals may have a higher sensitivity to allergens and may experience more severe reactions, while others may have a lower sensitivity and may only experience mild symptoms.
I’m Allergic To My Cat What Can I Take?
If you are allergic to your cat, it can be a difficult situation for both you and your furry friend. Allergies to cats are caused by a protein called Fel d 1, which is found in a cat’s skin, saliva, and urine. This protein can trigger an allergic reaction in some people, causing symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, and even difficulty breathing.
Fortunately, there are several options for managing your allergy to your cat. Here are some steps you can take to reduce your symptoms and continue to enjoy your feline companion:
Avoid Direct Contact With Your Cat
This may seem difficult, but it’s important to limit your exposure to the allergen. Try to avoid touching, petting, or even being near your cat when possible. If you must handle your cat, make sure to wash your hands afterwards.
Keep Your Cat Out Of Certain Areas Of Your Home
Designate certain rooms in your home as “cat-free” zones, and keep your cat out of those areas. This will help to reduce the amount of allergen in the air and prevent you from coming into contact with it.
Use An Air Purifier
Air purifiers can help to remove allergens from the air, making it easier for you to breathe. Look for a purifier with a HEPA filter, which is designed to trap small particles like pet dander.
Consider Allergy Medication
Over-the-counter or prescription allergy medication can help to reduce your symptoms and make it easier to be around your cat. Be sure to talk to your doctor about the best option for you.
How To Test For Cat Allergy At Home
If you suspect that you or a loved one may be allergic to cats, it’s important to confirm the allergy with a proper test. While it’s best to see a doctor for a professional allergy test, there are some steps you can take at home to determine if a cat allergy is present.
To test for a cat allergy at home, start by spending some time around a cat and paying attention to any symptoms that may arise.
If you don’t have a cat, try visiting a friend or family member who has one. If you experience any of the symptoms listed above, it’s possible that you have a cat allergy.
Another way to test for a cat allergy at home is to use a kit that is specifically designed for allergy testing. These kits are available at many drugstores and online, and they typically include a patch that is placed on the skin for a period of time (usually 48 hours).
The patch contains a small amount of the allergens that are known to cause reactions in people with cat allergies. If you develop a rash or redness where the patch was placed, it’s a sign that you may be allergic to cats.
It’s important to note that home allergy tests are not as accurate as professional tests performed by a doctor. If you suspect that you have a cat allergy, it’s best to see an allergist for a proper diagnosis.
An allergist can perform a skin prick test or a blood test to confirm the allergy and determine the best course of treatment.