What causes skin allergies in cats
You may be capable to tell that you own a cat allergy based on the timing of your symptoms. If you start to cough, sneeze, feel itchy, or develop a rash correct after visiting your friend who has a cat, then you might own an allergy to the cat.
Sometimes it can be hard to know that a cat allergy is causing your symptoms, especially if you live with the cat. While some people are allergic to every cats, you might be allergic to a cat even if you own not had allergies to other cats in the past—this can make the effects hard to figure out.
You may also own a hidden exposure to cat allergens, such as when moving to a new home where a cat used to live.
If you own a rash or persistent upper respiratory symptoms, you should see your doctor. After a history and physical examination, your doctor may do some diagnostic tests.
Blood tests can include an IgE level to see if you own an allergic reaction.
Skin Prick Test
You may be advised to own a skin prick test.
This would involve your doctor placing a little quantity of the cat hair or skin on your skin with a needle. You would then be observed for about half an hour to see if you develop a reaction.
You can experience symptoms of a cat allergy correct when you enter into a room or home where a cat lives. Or the effects can start after you spend several hours in the area or with the cat.
A cat allergy can produce upper respiratory symptoms or may affect your skin.
Common effects f a cat allergy can include:
- Sore throat
- A skin rash, redness, or itching
- Red, itchy, or watery eyes
- A runny or stuffy nose
While it is rare, swelling of the face, throat, or any part of the body can develop due to a cat allergy. If you develop swelling or become short of breath, seek medical attention immediately.
Cat allergies are more common than dog allergies, but this does not own anything to do with how friendly the cat or the person is.
Cat allergies are not associated with how much you love a cat or how much the cat likes you.
Getting along with your cat or a friend's cat is a completely diverse issue than having an allergy.
Living with cat allergies
Nearly a third of Americans with allergies are allergic to cats and dogs. And twice as numerous people own cat allergies than dog allergies.
Pinpointing the cause of your allergies can be hard when an animal lives in your home. That’s because homes contain other allergens, such as dust mites, which could cause similar symptoms. It’s significant to see an allergist to confirm a pet allergy.
It can be hard to confess that the cat you love is causing health issues. Numerous people select to endure symptoms rather than get rid of their pet.
If you’re sure to live with Fluffy, you can take steps to minimize the symptoms of your allergy.
Read on to study about the signs of cat allergies and what you can do to prevent them.
You don't need to own shut contact with a cat to develop allergic symptoms. Some people can own the effects of a cat allergy after coming into contact with fabric, such as a blanket or clothing, that was touched by a cat. And you may even develop symptoms from breathing air in an area where a cat lives.
Cat allergies are triggered by cat hair, skin, saliva, sweat, urine, blood, and dander. Cat dander is a tiny material shed by cats.
The dander is airborne and sticky. The size of the cat dander particles is extremely small and it is inhaled deep into the lungs.
Dander can be present in public places, even where there are no cats—because it can be carried on the clothing of people who own cats and then shed in public places.
Allergens are harmless substances that trigger an allergic reaction. Several proteins that are produced by cats, including Fel d 1, Fel d 4, and albumin own been identified as cat allergens. These allergens trigger a rapid immune reaction mediated by an antibody called IgE. The IgE antibody rapidly activates an inflammatory response that produces the symptoms of a cat allergy.
Cat allergens are produced in large amounts and are extremely potent.
Cat allergens are partially under hormonal control. They are particularly prominent in male non-neutered cats.
Cats generally are not bathed, and they use their own saliva to groom and clean themselves. This can spread the allergen if it is present in the cat's saliva.
Infections Caused by Cats
A parasitic infection caused byToxoplasma gondii (T. gondii) is spread by cat feces. This parasite is extremely dangerous for pregnant women because it can cause birth defects.
Infections caused by cats are diverse than allergies.
An Overview of Toxoplasmosis
For people with a cat allergy, avoidance of cats is the mainstay of therapy. However, cat owners may not desire to part with their pets, despite the symptoms they endure.
Allergy medications may control symptoms, but in numerous instances, symptoms may persist if the person lives with one or more indoor cats.
Allergy shots may also be a treatment option for people who are allergic to their own pet cats.
There are some ways to decrease cat allergen exposure for cat owners:
- Have cats stay exterior, in the garage, or in a part of the home with an uncarpeted floor
- Use a HEPA room air cleaner for use in the bedroom and/or other parts of the home (it is best to hold the HEPA filter off of the floor to avoid stirring up more dust)
- Ensure the cat is neutered
- Bath the cat at least once or twice a week
- Wipe the cat with a wet cloth or hand towel daily
- Keep the cats away from air vents to the bedroom
- Keep the cat away from the bedroom and the bedroom door
- Vacuum frequently with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) equipped vacuum cleaner
- Follow home dust mite avoidance precautions
If the above measures do not assist to reduce allergic symptoms, you may need to remove your pet cats from your home.
This is especially significant if you or someone in your home has uncontrolled asthma.
Cat dander will persist for months in the home even if the cat is gone – therefore it is significant to clean thoroughly.
- Vacuum every hard floors
- Wipe below every hard surfaces and furniture
- Steam clean every carpets and upholstered furniture
- Launder or dry clean every bedding and curtains
- Replace any air conditioner and heater vent filters
A Expression From Verywell
You may be disappointed to discover that you own a cat allergy.
Parting with a beloved cat can be unhappy. There own been some suggestions that hypoallergenic cats may be available, but this concept has not been proven. Some experts own suggested vaccinating cats tor feeding them a certain diet to reduce allergic reactions in owners. These are new strategies that are not widely used.
Keep in mind that even if you are allergic to one cat, you might not be allergic to every of them. And numerous other pets might not trigger an allergy for you—such as dogs, bunnies, birds, and fish.
You can develop a psychological aversion to being around a cat if you tend to own allergic symptoms after your cat encounters.
Cat dander is a common cause of allergic asthma, and cat owners who are allergic to cats are more prone to the development of asthma symptoms.
While it is not common, you could own an allergy to cat food or to material in the cat's littler box, rather than an allergy to the cat.
Hold this in mind when you are observing your reactions and when you get tested.
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Manifestations of feline pruritus
Common manifestations of pruritic skin disease in cats include:
- ‘Miliary’ dermatitis – this form of skin disease is characterised by the presence of tiny 2-3 mm diameter crusts throughout the body surface.
The skin and jacket may also be greasy and own excessive dandruff
- Symmetrical hair loss
- Overt itching, scratching and self-induced skin damage
- Eosinophilic granuloma complicated – see eosinophilic granuloma complicated in cats – this is a variety of skin lesions (indolent ulcer that affects the upper lip, and eosinophilic plagues or eosinophilic granulomas that can affect various areas of the body and also the oral cavity.
They are generally associated with allergies. Every of these manifestations of pruritus glance completely diverse, but can every be caused by the same things — in most instances the cause is fleas but other parasites and allergies can be involved. Some cats may own more than one manifestation of disease present simultaneously eg, indolent ulcer and symmetrical hair loss.
What can cause cats to itch other than fleas?
Important causes of pruritus other than fleas include:
- Insect bites
- Ear mites and other mites
- Food intolerance/allergy
- Atopy (house dust and pollen allergy)
- Bacterial infections
Ear mites – Otodectes cynotis
Ear mites are well known as the major cause of otitis externa (ear inflammation) in young cats and in breeding colonies – see common ear problems in cats.
However, it is also possible for the mites to wander onto the skin around the head and neck and cause pruritic skin disease at these sites. As cats sleep curled up, spread of infection (and subsequent dermatitis) to the rump and tail may also occur.
Harvest mites are a recognised cause of skin disease in cats in some areas in tardy summer and autumn – see harvest mite infection in cats.
These tiny orange dot sized mites are visible to the naked eye and generally found between the toes and in Henry’s pocket of the ear flap.
In some parts of the world, the mites Noedres cati and Sarcoptes scabiei may be found on cats and may be a cause of intense pruritus.
Food intolerance or allergy
No-one knows the exact mechanisms by which certain foods can make animals and humans itch. Allergy may be involved, but in some cases, it is possible that the pruritus may result from chemical reactions to the food or to additives and preservatives.
However, it is well recognised that changing the diet to a food that cats own not previously been exposed to can cure some cases of pruritic skin disease.
Most of these are probably food allergies but the terms ‘food intolerance’ or ‘food-responsive’ skin disease are sometimes used as a specific diagnosis is often not made.
Cats may need to be fed an alternative diet for a period of 6-8 weeks to law out food-response dermatitis, and the choice of food is significant. This is not simply switching one brand of cat food for another, as the ingredients are often extremely similar. Your vet will advise you on the most appropriate diet to use – this might be a home-prepared diet, or your vet may propose a special ‘hypoallergenic’ diet for the trial period. Numerous cats also hunt or may be fed by neighbours, which can complicate the trial as it is significant that no other foods are eaten during the trial period.
Atopy (atopic dermatitis; dust and pollen allergy)
Atopy is not well characterised in cats.
In humans and dogs, the term is strictly used to describe an inherited predisposition to develop allergic reactions to environmental allergens (such as pollen and home dust). Allergies to pollen and home dust happen in cats, and may be a potential cause of pruritus, but they are hard to diagnose and it is unknown whether there is an inherited component to the disease.
In most cats, atopy is diagnosed by ruling out other potential causes of pruritus, including fleas and other parasites, and food. Allergy testing can be performed on cats (for example intra-derma skin tests) but the results are rather unreliable.
Blood tests are also offered by some laboratories to ‘diagnose’ atopy and the underlying cause of the allergy, but these are less dependable than skin tests, and both untrue positive and untrue negative tests are well recognised.
Atopy is incurable and life-long medication is needed to prevent unacceptable discomfort. Treatment with essential fatty acids and anti-histamines is successful in only a minority of cases. Numerous cats need long-term corticosteroids or other immunosuppressive drugs such as cyclosporin. If an allergy test has successfully identified the offending allergen, then it is possible to use a ‘hyposensitisation vaccine’ as a therapy – these rarely resolve the disease but in some cases reduce the need for drug therapy.
Insects such as wasps and bees can cause stings that lead to dramatic, painful and swollen skin.
However, some other insects including fleas, midges, flies and mosquitoes may bite and the reaction to the bite (or the insect saliva) may cause intense irritation and pruritus. Flying insects generally bite relatively hairless areas such as the bridge of the nose and ears. Notably, mosquitoes own been reported to cause an eosinophilic granuloma-like reaction on the bridge of the nose of some cats (mosquito-bite hypersensitivity).
Bacterial skin infections (pyoderma) and fungal (yeast) infections
Although bacterial skin disease in cats is unusual, it may happen and there are occasional cases of spectacular recovery following antibiotic treatment in pruritic cats.
This is unusual, but more work is needed in this area.
Dermatophytosis (infection with a dermatophyte fungal organism) is not generally pruritic, but skin infection with yeasts (Malassezia) can be a problem in some cats – this is often secondary to allergic skin disease, but the yeasts may also contribute to the pruritus.
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Are You Allergic to Your Pet? Breathe Easy—You Can Still Hold Your Animal Companion!
Although numerous people own discovered the beneficial effects of caring for a furry friend, the fact remains that roughly 15 to 20% of the population is allergic to animals. The result?
Countless pet parents in unhappy, unhealthy situations—and their beloved pets are the cause! Allergen is the medical term for the actual substance that causes an allergic reaction. Touching or inhaling allergens leads to reactions in allergic individuals. Symptoms can include red, itchy, watery eyes and nose; sneezing; coughing; scratchy or sore throat; itchy skin, and most serious of every, difficulty breathing.
The most common pet allergens are proteins found in their dander (scales of ancient skin that are constantly shed by an animal), saliva, urine and sebaceous cells. Any animal can trigger an allergic response, but cats are the most common culprits.
People can also become allergic to exotic pets such as ferrets, guinea pigs, birds, rabbits and rodents. There is no species or breed to which humans cannot develop allergies. Fur length and type will not affect or prevent allergies.
Certain pets can be less irritating than others to those who suffer from allergies, but that is strictly on an individual basis and cannot be predicted.
Once the diagnosis of a pet allergy is made, a physician will often recommend eliminating the companion animal from the surroundings. Heartbreaking? Yes. Absolutely necessary? Not always. Hold in mind that most people are allergic to several things besides pets, such as dust mites, molds and pollens, every of which can be found in the home. Allergic symptoms result from the entire cumulative allergen load.
That means that if you eliminate some of the other allergens, you may not own to get rid of your pet. (Conversely, should you decide to remove your pet from your home, this may not immediately solve your problems.) You must also be prepared to invest the time and effort needed to decontaminate your home environment, limit future exposure to allergens and discover a physician who will work with you. Read on for helpful tips:
Improving the Immediate Environment
- Use anti-allergen room sprays. These sprays deactivate allergens, rendering them harmless.
Enquire your allergist for a product recommendation.
- Dust regularly. Wiping below the walls will also cut below on allergens.
- Create an allergen-free room. A bedroom is often the best and most practical choice. By preventing your pet from entering this room, you can ensure at least eight hours of liberty from allergens every night.
It’s a excellent thought to use hypoallergenic bedding and pillow materials.
- Limit fabrics. Allergens collect in rugs, drapes and upholstery, so do your best to limit or eliminate them from your home. If you select to hold some fabrics, steam-clean them regularly. Cotton-covered furniture is the smartest choice, and washable blinds or shades make excellent window treatments. You can also cover your furniture with sheets or blankets which you can remove and wash regularly.
- Vacuum frequently using a vacuum equipped with a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate arresting) filter or a disposable electrostatic bag.
Other kinds of bags will permit allergens to blow back out of the vacuum.
- Install an air purifier fitted with a HEPA filter. Our modern, energy-efficient homes lock in air that is loaded with allergens, so it’s brilliant to let in some unused air daily.
- Clean the litter box frequently. Use low-dust, perfume-free filler. Clumping litter is a excellent choice.
- Invest in washable pet bedding and cages that can be cleaned often and easily.
Decontaminating Your Pet
- Note any symptoms of dermatitis exhibited by your companion animal.
Dermatitis often leads to accelerated skin and fur shedding, which will up your allergen exposure.
- Wipe your pet with a product formulated to prevent dander from building up and flaking off into the environment. Enquire your veterinarian to propose one that is safe to use on animals who groom themselves.
- Bathe your pet at least once a week. Your veterinarian can recommend a shampoo that won’t dry out his skin. Bathing works to wash off the allergens that accumulate in an animal’s fur.
- Brush or comb your pet frequently. It’s best to do this outdoors, if possible.
(The ASPCA does not recommend keeping cats outdoors, so make certain your feline is leashed if you take him outside.)
Taking Care of Yourself
- Designate a “pet outfit” from among your most easily washed clothes. Wear it when playing or cuddling with your companion, and you’ll leave other clothing uncontaminated.
- Wash your hands after handling your companion animal and before touching your face. The areas around your nose and eyes are particularly sensitive to allergens.
- If possible, own someone other than yourself do the housecleaning, litter box work and pet washing, wiping and brushing.
If you must clean the home or change the litter, be certain to wear a dust mask.
- Find a physician, preferably an allergy specialist, who will make certain that your pet is the cause of your allergies and will assist alleviate your symptoms. Medications and immunotherapy (desensitizing shots) can often permit you and your companion animal to remain together happily ever after.
Allergies to cats are fairly common, affecting up to 25 percent of people who also own other types of allergies. A cat allergy can cause symptoms such as red eyes and sneezing.
These allergies can be triggered by direct exposure to cats or by indirect exposure through fabric or air.
You may notice a cat allergy based on the timing of your symptoms. Sometimes, getting medical anti-allergy treatment can assist. But avoiding the cat may be necessary.