Allergies & Cats
If you or anyone in your home is allergic to animals, please take CAREFUL consideration before adopting a cat! Cat hair does NOT cause an allergy! It is commonly thought that cat “hair” causes an allergy to cats but this is not true. The allergen responsible for the cat allergy is a protein, which is found in the “dander and saliva” of cats.
The cat allergens become airborne as microscopic particles and these are breathed in by the allergy sufferer. These cat allergen particles are very small and can remain airborne for long periods of time. Scientists have named the protein in the feline saliva FEL D-1
What is an Allergen?
An Allergen is a particle of foreign material such as cat dander, pollen grain, dust particles and enzymes from dust mite droppings. Allergic people often have a sensitivity to more than one substance. Allergic reactions are determined by the amount of allergens in the environment and the person's individual sensitivity to those allergens.
What is Dander on a cat?
Dander is minute flakes of skin. These skin cells contain oils (sebum) which are made by the cat's sebaceous glands and aid in keeping the cat's skin and coat in good condition. These skin cell particles become airborne and can be breathed in and also will adhere to most things including carpets, curtains and furnishings. It also adheres to clothing and can be spread on people's clothing to areas where no cat exists.
What are the Symptoms of Cat Allergy?
- Hay Fever. Sneezing, the most common, may be accompanied by a runny or clogged nose
- Itching eyes, nose, and throat
- Contact Urticaria (itchy skin)
- Watering eyes