Cat allergy symptoms: how to recognise a cat allergy

cat allergy symptoms

Furry felines aren’t always a welcome addition to the family if you start coughing, your nose runs and you get a rash every time one comes near. These are all signs of being allergic to cats, but how can you be certain that’s the cause of your watery eyes? We’ll run through the most common cat allergy symptoms, and explain what actually triggers the reaction.

Cat allergy symptoms

Symptoms of being allergic to cats include:

  • Coughing/wheezing
  • Red, itchy, watery eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Runny, itchy nose
  • Rash on the face/chest
  • Redness on the skin where a cat has bitten, licked, or scratched.

Sufferers tend to get watery eyes, a runny nose and sneezing when allergens come into contact with mucous membranes (on the mouth, nose and eyelids) and the respiratory tracts (nose, throat and lungs). As for a cat allergy rash, hives or redness, this occurs as a reaction to direct skin contact with the cat.

Keep a soft tissue, like Cushelle Pocket Pack Tissues, with you to catch the sneezes. They’re gentle on your skin while being strong enough to stand up to all that nose wiping.

What causes cat hair allergy symptoms?

Many people think of their reaction as an allergy to cat hair, but it isn’t really the fur that’s the problem. Researchers have found that it’s a protein in cat dander (dried flakes of skin) that triggers the allergic reaction. So rather than cat hair allergy symptoms, the irritation is actually an allergy to proteins, which are also found in cat saliva and urine.

Still convinced cat hair is the culprit? That’s because those fluffballs lick their coats, spreading their saliva over the fur, plus dander also gets tangled up in their fur. These allergens can sit in upholstered furniture, carpets and mattresses, and can also pass into fine dust particles in the air. They can even be transported by the cat owner to different places.

How soon do you get signs of being allergic to cats?

You can start to show symptoms, such as a cat allergy rash, within a few minutes of being exposed to the allergen, or they can take hours to appear. You don’t even need to have been in direct contact with a cat for some symptoms to appear. As we’ve seen, the allergens can travel further afield.

If you think you’re allergic to cats, there are ways to deal with a pet allergy. The first step is understanding what the symptoms of being allergic to cats are, and now you’ve ticked that box, you can take steps to deal with the issue.


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