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Cat allergy: causes, symptoms and what to do
Cat allergy: causes, symptoms and what to do

Allergies to pets are very common, among them, cat allergies seem to be the most common. Contrary to what is commonly thought, however, what causes the allergy is not the hair. So let's see what the causes, what are the symptoms of cat allergy and what to do to get better.

Causes of cat allergy

As we have said, the real culprit of cat allergy is not hers at all hair. Sensitive individuals are actually allergic to one protein contained in saliva, in urine and dead skin of the cat. This protein is called Fel D1. It settles on the cat's fur when it licks it.


It is known that cats, very clean animals, lick themselves very frequently, so the amount of saliva present on the hair contains this allergen, is high. This allergen can be transferred into the air and onto objects through particles present in the air and through direct contact. The presence of these allergens is persistent, especially when it settles on rough surfaces such as i fabrics of the sofa, bed, pillows, curtains and clothes. For this reason, the symptoms of cat allergy can occur even in the absence of the cat.

How does this protein trigger the allergic reaction?

The organism of people allergic to cats has a hypersensitive immune system, for this reason their body reacts to allergens as if they were bacteria or viruses. The symptoms of allergy, therefore, are due to the side effects of the attack that the immune system unleashes the allergens in an attempt to protect itself.

Common symptoms

The main cat allergy symptoms are the classic symptoms of respiratory allergies and include:

  • Allergic rhinitis (runny nose)
  • Frequent sneezing
  • Redness of the eyes
  • Itching
  • Excessive tearing

In the most severe cases of cat allergy, i can also occur symptoms of bronchial asthma which are:

  • Breathing difficulty
  • Wheezing
  • Cough

In some cases it is also possible that cat allergy manifests itself with symptoms of urticaria by contact, and therefore with skin reactions.

What to do in case of cat allergy

If you suspect that you are allergic to cats, and especially if you have one at home or are often in contact with some cats, it is advisable that you contact your doctor to have a prescription prescribed. specific analyzes. These will help you pinpoint exactly what the problem is. Your doctor may then possibly recommend a visit to a allergist specialized.

Precautions that could help in case of cat allergy

For limit the presence of allergens in your home some simple "safety measures" are recommended that can facilitate everyday life:

  • Spaying or neutering your cat (spayed or neutered cats have been shown to produce less allergen)
  • Wash your hands often and especially after touching the cat
  • Wash and brush the cat more frequently
  • Avoid the cat's access to the bedroom, especially on the bed and pillows
  • Often clean and air the home environment
  • Frequently clean clothes and fabrics that may come into contact with the cat


There are some cat breeds that are considered hypoallergenic, as they produce a lower quantity of Fel D1, so small that it is almost imperceptible to man. Among the most famous breeds of hypoallergenic cats are included: The Siberian Cat, the Norwegian Forest Cat and the Siamese.