In the United States, half the number of households owns either a cat or a dog as pets. However, it is just a little unfortunate that many people are allergic to cats, which discourages them from owning one, despite their fondness for these loving domestic animals. In fact, there are about 10 million Americans who have shown allergic tendencies to cats.
To help manage cat allergies, let us focus on the specific forms of cat allergies. The first one would be dander, which is dust coming from the cat's body. Dander is a term used to refer to old skin that is shed off from the cat's body in the forms of minute flakes.
Aside from causing skin irritation, dander also penetrates the immune system, which consequently causes allergic reactions. Once it enters the immune system, it becomes a problem, and although it is not a disease-producing element, it can certainly cause problems with people prone to allergies.
Cats spread allergens in many ways- blood, saliva, and urine. Even after the cat has left the area, his excretions can still bring about problems. You will find these things all around the house as the cat's daily routine such as licking, scratching, and rubbing, makes it possible to do so.
Allergic Reactions to Cats
Commonly, if a person is allergic to cats, it is shown by the following signs and symptoms:
- Watery eyes
- Difficulty in breathing
Other times, although rarely, fever and chills are experienced, and this is when you need to get medical help right away because this could be a sign of an underlying condition.
Take note however that people may show varying signs and symptoms of cat allergies, and not all the symptoms above could be present.
The most common treatment of cat allergies is decongestants and antihistamines. When do you take these? You take decongestants if you are coughing or have stuffy nose. You take antihistamines if you have asthma attacks, and breathing becomes difficult.
Additionally, there is also an option to get allergy shots but this will depend on your doctor's decision so you may want to consult with him about it. Not only do these cat allergy shots treat the problem, they also help prevent its occurrence.
It is best to get hold of your doctor if you think you are suffering from cat allergies. This qualified medical practitioner should be able to advise you on the necessary steps you need to take, and this may include taking of medication or allergy shots. Your doctor may also advise you to get rid of your cat, if he deems it is best for you to do so.
Cats are wonderful creatures- warm and loving. Kids and adults alike love cats. However, there may come a point when we have to give them away, especially if they are already causing problems to our body, and to our health. This can be a difficult thing to do if you have grown so attached to your pet, but if it is the only recommended way to stop cat allergies then you should learn to let go.