Up to a of Americans with allergies are allergic to cats and dogs. And twice as many people have cat allergies than have dog allergies.
It’s not cat hair that causes an allergic reaction, and even though dander can contain the FEL d1 protein, neither the coat nor dander cause someone to be allergic to cats. Allergens are present throughout the home and can remain active for several months. FEL d1 is around a tenth the size of dust allergens and drifts around in the air. It’s extremely light, and these microscopic allergens can float for hours and easily be inhaled into the lungs. Dog allergens don’t float around in the same way or as long as cat protein does. You can have an allergy to cats and not be bothered at all by dogs.
If you are allergic to dogs you may be wondering if you are also allergic to cats. The allergen that causes the allergy to dogs is different from the allergen that makes you allergic to cats. Consequently, you may be allergic to dogs but not to cats.
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The sad news is that there is no cure for allergies in dogs and cats. There are, however, ways to decrease allergen exposure and to address allergy symptoms in pets. Allergies in dogs and cats occur when the immune system overreacts to something that isn't really a threat. For example, reacting to peanuts, air-borne pollen, or laundry detergent—none of which should cause harm. The material that causes an allergic reaction is called an antigen. Antigens are usually proteins. The term "allergen" is often used rather than the term antigen, but these two terms are slightly different. Antigen refers to any substance causing allergies, and allergen refers to ingested or air-borne substances causing allergies.Yucca is a natural anti-inflammatory that helps the immune system function normally. It helps resolve symptoms without side effects common with steroids. Yucca should be given daily for allergies. , a concentrated liquid medication is a powerful product that is safe for cats and dogs with allergies. It can also be given in your pet's food or applied directly to areas of itching skin.Dogs and cats with allergies are itchy. They itch because histamine is released when their immune system attacks the offending allergen. Areas of the skin that most often itch are ears, eyes, feet—even between the toes—arm pits, groin, and around the anus. This itching causes feet biting, head shaking, face rubbing, and bottom scooting. Some pets also bite or scratch their bellies. About 60% of cats that pull out their hair (barbering) and have bald spots (alopecia) have itchy skin from food allergies.