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Is My Cat Allergic to Me… or am I Allergic to My Cat?

Is My Cat Allergic to Me… or am I Allergic to My Cat?

Posted by Andrea on 13th Feb 2022

Can My Cat be Allergic to Me? People often joke about their cat acting as if she is allergic to her person. Don’t laugh. It can really be true! Chances are that Kitty is not allergic to you but is allergic to something in your environment, i.e. a product you use on your skin or something you use to clean your house.

Visual signs of cat allergies include itching, fur loss, redness of the skin, scabs, or open sores. If your cat develops chronic sneezing, this could also indicate an allergy. As mentioned, Kitty may be reacting to lotions or potions that are common to you or your home.

Strong-scented products like body sprays or heavy perfumes may cause allergies in our pets. Scented waxes, essential oils, cleaners, or even plug-in air fresheners, can cause allergic reactions. If you are a smoker, the nicotine in your cigarettes can cause irritation to the cat’s delicate respiratory system.

If you think your cat may be allergic to a product you use, or something in your house, the obvious thing is to remove that product. This way, you can determine if it is the cause by seeing if the allergic reaction stops. If this doesn’t resolve the issue, it may be time to visit the vet who may refer you to a veterinary dermatologist. This specialist will test Kitty’s skin against any number of common allergens to determine the root cause of her allergy.

If Kitty is truly allergic to you, via human dander and skin cells that accumulate in your environment, she can be put on immunotherapy. These are injections to help desensitize her immune system and prevent her from reacting to human dander and hair. HEPA filters, where possible, are also recommended. Finally, steer clear of any strongly scented fragrances on your person or in your house.

Or, Can I be Allergic to My Cat? When you are close to your favorite fur friend, do you sneeze? Do your eyes become watery? Cat allergies are, in fact, twice as common as dog allergies. But this does not have to keep you apart! Besides the dander common to the cat’s fur and skin, what is less well-known is that people can be allergic to the proteins present in the cat’s saliva or urine. For this reason, the so-called hypoallergenic breeds, such as the hairless Sphinx, may not be the answer to eliminating your allergic symptoms. The following are some workable suggestions and tactics on how to better cope with your feline-related allergies.

First, Make Sure the Cat is the Cause: Pet allergies can manifest on a low level. However, something like congestion can be a chronic problem. Note that if your cat goes outdoors, her fur could bring in pollen or allergens from the foliage outside. In this case, also, the first thing to do is to see an allergist for skin testing to rule out various environmental causes that could leave Kitty totally in the clear.

Adjust Kitty’s Diet: Since cats are “obligate carnivores,” they require meat protein to survive and thrive. If their diet has too much kibble, they can develop yeast reactions from too many carbohydrates and grains. Their skin becomes dry, and this causes scratching which can exacerbate your own allergies. Grain-free diets and natural meat diets can usually help control this--and make her healthier, too.

Change Your Environment: In addition to HEPA filters, do what you can to reduce pet dander around the home. This means tile floors instead of carpeting, as well as regular cleanings using washable furniture covers and throws. Launder in the hottest water possible to reduce any lingering dander or allergens.

Take Anti-Allergy Medications: This is the not only the first, but the last remedy to the situation. Sometimes, a simple daily antihistamine is enough to do the job. Finally, you can breathe easy knowing that both you and your fur companion can exist comfortably without the annoyance of those bothersome allergies.

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