Friday, March 21, 2008

Can Your Cat’s Allergies Make Yours Worse?

Springtime not only brings warmer weather, but also seasonal allergies as well. Hay fever-like symptoms are common, as are exacerbated allergy and asthma side effects, but it’s interesting to note that humans aren’t the only ones who suffer. Blooming grasses, flowers, and plants can also trigger allergic reactions in dogs and cats, and this will often lead pets to persistently scratching, licking, and biting to get relief.

Unfortunately, when your pets suffer from allergies, your symptoms can also be affected. Particularly in cats, the real culprit behind cat allergies stems from cat saliva, and not fur, as commonly thought. This allergen is called Fel d1, and when a cat licks or bites itself, the saliva is deposited on its fur. This saliva then dries into dust which is released when your cat scratches, moves, or when stroked or brushed by humans. With that in mind, if your cat is itching, it will bite and scratch to get relief, and this will disperse more of the Fel d 1 allergen into the air you breathe – making your allergies even worse.

To counter pet allergies, many people try to regularly brush the animal, vacuum, change coverings, and even use sticky rollers on clothing, but cat hair can still end up floating in the air. Allergy furnace filters and air purifiers can keep you from sneezing, but what about your cat’s allergies?

While the above methods work well at keeping pet allergies to a minimum, one of the best ways to control pet allergies is to address the problem before it begins, and the key to minimizing pet dander is to keep your cat’s skin properly moisturized. In warm, arid climates, cats tend to shed because of dry skin, and installing a humidifier can help alleviate this problems. Switching your cat’s food from dry kibble to canned will also work, as this introduces more moisture into your cat’s skin from within.

Following this advice is sure to keep you and your pet’s allergy symptoms at bay.

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