Sneezing, a runny nose, itchy skin and red eyes are all symptoms of allergy.
According to the University of Valencia, between 15% and 30% of people suffer from allergy to cats, but what is it that causes allergy to our feline friends? Despite what you may think, it is not their fur. Most people who are allergic to cats are allergic to the Fel d 1 protein on their skin, which is released with dandruff and which cats spread across their bodies when they lick themselves.
If you are thinking of bringing a new furry friend into the family or if you suddenly start to notice any of the symptoms, here are some routines that you can follow to mitigate the effects:
Wash it! There are no counter indications except that your pet may not like it. A weekly bath with warm water to care for its skin and proper drying can help you combat allergies as well as keeping the cat’s coat shiny and clean. Not only that, after a while they get used to it and some cats end up loving their weekly bath.
There are a number of lotions for cats that reduce often the effects of allergy. Apply once a week with a soft cloth over the coat. This makes for a lovely pampering session that strengthens the bond with your pet. Ask your vet, who can give you more advice.
Some people allergic to cats are also allergic to cat urine. In this case, one option is to use natural bentonite clumping litter, such as the ones in the MyCAT range (with hyperlink). The main advantage of this litter material is that the mineral forms a ball when it comes into contact with liquid, thus trapping moisture and foul odour. By using this type of cat litter, you can discard the substances that cause you daily discomfort and at the same time keep the cat clean and happy.
You should wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after petting the cat. This simple advice, which is often overlooked, will avoid direct contact with your nose and eyes.
No more afternoon naps in bed or hide-and-seek games in the wardrobe. Blankets, pillows and cushions retain pet hair, which in turn contains dandruff. The same goes for clothes in wardrobes. In addition, you will be pleased not to have to brush off stray hairs from your clothes.
Keeping your home free of dust, fur and dandruff will help reduce symptoms. Vacuuming the house regularly, opening windows for airing and removing rugs will all help to reduce allergy.
There exist treatments to attenuate and eliminate the effects of allergy to cats. Tell your doctor about your symptoms.
Although hairless cats are not hypoallergenic as they also produce dandruff, the fact they do not spread hairs containing dandruff around the house decreases exposure to the allergen.
In any case, even if your symptoms are more severe, do not just abandon your cat outside the home to face its fate. 4.4% (Affinity Foundation) of cats are abandoned because of their owners’ allergies. Remember that domestic cats are not used to hunting or fending for themselves out in the wild. Before you make your cat a stray, we encourage you to try out the above tips or find a new, responsible home for it.
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