Cat allergy: why does it occur, symptoms and how to treat?

Cats are pets that are successful as pets.

Despite being present in the homes of several people, some individuals are allergic to the animal, which causes a certain fear when deciding whether or not to have the pet at home.

Know the causes and what to do in case of allergy:

Is there cat allergy? Why does it occur?

-Yeah . Cat allergy is a problem faced by people of different ages and, contrary to popular belief, its cause does not have an exclusive origin in the animal’s fur.

Sensitivity occurs because cats produce substances that are considered allergenic to humans – those that the human body does not recognize. They are present in urine, saliva and peeling skin cells.

The main one, pointed out as the most allergic, is Fel d 1, a protein that makes up the animal’s saliva.

However, for the allergy to manifest, it is not necessary for the feline to lick or come into direct contact with the person.

Cats usually perform the well-known cat bath, in which pets lick themselves to cleanse their bodies. The big problem is that, when doing this, the proteins released by the saliva pass to the animal’s hair and, subsequently, detach themselves from the coat and propagate in the environment.

Thus, for those who are allergic, it is enough to be in a place where there was the presence of cats for the symptoms to appear.

Cat allergy: what are the symptoms?

Symptoms of allergy to cats may vary in intensity but are, in general, characteristic of allergic rhinitis and asthma .

They occur because of the body’s exaggerated immune reaction against allergens. This reaction promotes the release of histamine – a substance that helps in the immune response processes and causes sneezing, itching and redness.

Check out the main symptoms of this allergy:

Sneeze and runny nose

Sneezing and constant runny nose are usually the first characteristics noticed by those who have the allergy. These symptoms are the body’s attempt to eliminate elements considered foreign to the body.

In addition, nasal obstruction can also be a manifestation.

Nasal obstruction is the inflammatory process of the nasal mucosa – tissue that lines the nose internally. When allergenic substances are inhaled, the body initiates a defense process to prevent them from entering and, therefore, congestion occurs.

Cough

The respiratory system is composed of cilia that help to filter impurities that enter the body through breathing. Despite this, some particles may not be filtered.

The cough , as well as other symptoms, is the body’s reaction to eliminate foreign substances which may be in the respiratory tract – in this case allergenic particles.

Itching and redness

When the body experiences some irritation due to the presence of allergenic agents, there is also the presence of itching and redness in the skin and eyes.

Breathing problems

In more severe cases, breathing problems can occur. Asthma symptoms, such as difficulty breathing and wheezing, are the most recurrent.

Watery eye

The eyes have their own protection and lubrication system. In addition to keeping your eyes moist, tears also act to protect against impurities.

When a person is in the midst of an allergic crisis, a frequent symptom is increased tear production.

As with other symptoms, this occurs as a reaction by the body to try to protect and eliminate foreign substances from the body.

How do I know if I have a cat allergy?

If the person has symptoms of itching, sneezing or coughing just because they are in the same environment as the cat, even without getting too close to it, it may be a sign of allergy.

To confirm the diagnosis, it is important to consult a doctor, who will assess the presence or absence of the allergy.

The diagnosis can be made through blood tests or contact.

In one of the tests in which contact is made, drops of potentially allergic substances are applied to the body, usually in the region of the arm. Then, small punctures are made with a needle so that the substance penetrates the skin.

About 15 to 20 minutes later, in case of allergy, it is possible to observe the reactions on the skin.

Who has allergic rhinitis can have cat?

It depends. Even though the allergenic substances present in the cat stimulate the appearance of rhinitis symptoms, there are precautions that can prevent attacks. However, those who have a high degree of sensitivity may have difficulties in living with the animal. Specific medications also help in controlling the disease.

What to do?

The first thing to do when an allergy is suspected, is to consult a doctor. If the diagnosis is made, there will be indication for the best treatment and remedies to alleviate the symptoms.

If you have discovered that you are allergic, but do not want to give up the company of your pet, rest assured. Some precautions can help control allergy.

The main ones are:

  • Brush the animal’s fur frequently and outside the house;
  • Prevent the cat from remaining in the environment in which the individual sleeps;
  • Bath the pet at least once a week;
  • Wash hands thoroughly after contact with the animal;

In cases of more severe allergies, the use of antiallergic agents may be necessary. In addition to home care, medical monitoring is essential to control the disease.

What medicine to take?

In general, antihistamines are indicated, as they inhibit the action of histamine, a substance that causes an exaggerated immune response.

Among the options are:

  • Cetihexal;
  • Desloratadine;
  • Agasten;
  • Alektos.

Always remember that the use of medications should only be done under medical prescription.

How to improve?

In addition to drug treatment, there are other options for the short and long-term improvement of allergic attacks. Find out what they are:

Amid the crisis

In the midst of an allergic crisis, the nose is usually congested. To reduce obstruction and facilitate breathing, nasal lavage with saline is indicated – just put the liquid in a dropper and drip the serum into the nose.

Other recurrent symptoms are itchiness and watery eyes. To relieve them, cleaning with serum is also advised.

Despite this, it is important to emphasize that care should not be performed only at the moment of the crisis, but constantly.

Long term

Some steps can be taken to try to prevent allergic attacks from occurring.

Some of them are:

  • Always use the vacuum cleaner and damp cloth to clean the environment;
  • Avoid using carpets and rugs at home, as it is a place for accumulation of allergens.
  • Change bedding regularly;
  • Use an air purifier.

These measures may not end crises permanently, but they can help to reduce the frequency with which they occur.


Allergy to cats is a problem faced by several people, including those who have great affection for pets.

To promote better coexistence with the animal and the improvement of symptoms, there are some actions that can be taken. The Healthy Minute presents other information about the universe of pets and how to improve the quality of life of pets. Check out!

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