March 4, 2023

Achoo! How to Recognize and Manage Cat Allergy Symptoms

Pet allergies are a common type of allergy that can cause a variety of symptoms in people who are allergic to animals. Symptoms of pet allergies can range from mild to severe and can include sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, and even difficulty breathing. People can develop an allergy to any type of pet, but cats are among the most common causes of pet allergies.

Today, we're going to delve into cat allergies to help you understand more about them and, hopefully, help you understand what can be done to treat your allergic reaction towards them:

What Causes Cat Allergies in the First Place?

The cause of cat allergies is a protein called Fel d 1, found in the saliva, urine, and skin glands of cats. When a cat licks itself, it deposits Fel d 1 onto its fur, which can then be transferred onto furniture, clothing, and other surfaces. When a person who is allergic to cats comes into contact with these surfaces, they can be exposed to the Fel d 1 protein, triggering an allergic reaction.

Another potential source of cat allergies is airborne allergens, which are microscopic particles of cat dander (dead skin cells) and saliva that can become airborne when cats groom themselves or when the fur is disturbed. These particles can be inhaled, causing an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to them.

It's important to note that not all cats produce the same amount of allergens. Some cats produce more allergens than others, and some breeds of cats produce more allergens than others. Larger cats, such as Maine Coons and Himalayans, tend to produce more allergens than smaller cats, such as Siamese and Persians. Additionally, cats that are not spayed or neutered can produce up to three times more allergies than cats that are spayed or neutered.

Finally, the age of the cat is also a factor. Kittens tend to produce fewer allergens than adult cats, so if you're looking for a low-allergen pet, a young cat may be the best choice.

What Are the Common Symptoms of Cat Allergies? 

Cat allergies are one of the most common allergies among people, and they can be a source of frustration and discomfort. Symptoms of cat allergies can range from mild to severe, depending on the individual and the level of sensitivity to the allergens present. In some cases, an allergic reaction can become dangerous if not treated promptly.

The most common symptoms of cat allergies include sneezing, coughing, watery eyes, nasal congestion, and itchy skin. In more extreme cases, an individual may experience difficulty breathing, hives, or anaphylaxis.

Can It Become Dangerous?

Unfortunately, yes. Cat allergies can be a serious and dangerous condition, especially when they are left untreated. While it is not always life-threatening, it can cause serious discomfort and can lead to other health issues.

Now, how does it get dangerous? When the body produces too much histamine, a person may experience anaphylaxis, which is a life-threatening allergic reaction. Symptoms of anaphylaxis include swelling of the throat and tongue, difficulty breathing, dizziness, and shock. It is important for people with cat allergies to seek medical attention if they experience any of the symptoms associated with anaphylaxis. In some cases, doctors may prescribe antihistamines to help reduce the symptoms of cat allergies.

Do I Need to See a Doctor for Cat Allergies?

If you suspect that you may be allergic to cats, it is important to see a doctor. Your doctor can perform an allergy test, which is the best way to determine if you are, in fact, allergic to cats. During an allergy test, a small amount of the allergen (in this case, proteins from cats) is injected into the skin. If the area around the injection site becomes red and itchy, it likely means that you have an allergy.

Once it is determined that you have a cat allergy, your doctor can help you manage it.

How Do I Manage My Allergic Reaction to Cats?

Cat allergies can be a real nuisance, making it difficult to be around your favorite feline friends. And, unfortunately, there's now a way to avoid the reaction completely apart from never getting near a cat. But don't worry! There are ways to manage your symptoms and still enjoy the company of cats. Here are a couple of tips for managing your cat allergy:

1. Invest in an Air Purifier

An air purifier with a HEPA filter can help trap allergens in the air and reduce your symptoms. An air purifier with a built-in ionizer can also help reduce the number of allergens in the air.

2. Vacuum Frequently

Regular vacuuming can help reduce the amount of fur and dander in your home. Make sure to use a vacuum with a HEPA filter to trap the allergens.

3. Bathe Your Cat Regularly

Regularly bathing your cat can help reduce the number of allergens they shed. Make sure to use a hypoallergenic, fragrance-free shampoo specifically designed for cats.

4. Use an Air Filter In Your Bedroom

An air filter designed for allergies can help reduce the number of allergens in the air when you're sleeping. It can also help reduce symptoms such as sneezing, nasal congestion, and itchy eyes.

5. Wash Your Hands After Touching Your Cat

Allergens can stick to your hands after petting your cat, so it's important to wash your hands afterward. This will help reduce the number of allergens you come into contact with and reduce the chances of an allergic reaction.

6. Take Antihistamines

Antihistamines can help reduce the symptoms of allergies, such as sneezing, nasal congestion, and itchy eyes. It's important to speak to your doctor before taking any medication, however, as some antihistamines can cause drowsiness.

7. Opt For Immunotherapy

Finally, immunotherapy is a great way to manage allergic symptoms. It is a type of treatment that helps to build up your immunity to allergens and involves exposing you to small amounts of the allergen over time to help the body become more tolerant. It is a long-term treatment and should be discussed with a doctor before starting.


While many of us love cats, not many of us are blessed to be able to enjoy their presence without any issues. Of course, sneezing and coughing haven't stopped most of us from loving our furry friends, but solutions to manage such allergic reactions are always welcomed. So, follow the tips we've shared with you above and keep in mind the information you need to know about cat allergies. That way, you can love your cats even more, minus the runny nose!

Curex offers allergy immunotherapy to help individuals overcome their allergy symptoms and reactions quickly and effectively. Reach out to us today and see how we can help you live a much more comfortable life.

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