Cat allergy in humans is a common occurrence. More than a quarter of the human population has this tendency. The cause for this allergy is more complex than one might think.
The professional consensus in the medical world is that the cat dander is the main culprit. Also, the fur tends to collect dust and pollen, which are also irritants. The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology continues with the fact that the skin and saliva of cats can trigger an allergic reaction.
Allergy symptoms start with itchy, burning eyes followed by tearing. Then the nasal passages begin to swell giving the feeling of a stuffy nose. This allergy can lead to the development of asthma.
The recommendation for those people who are allergic to cats is to stay away from them. However those cat lovers who need them in their lives can take allergy shots that may help relieve some of the symptoms. Scientists are now working on a vaccine for cats that may lessen human sensitivity but that has yet to reach fruition.
The Wisconsin Humane Society veterinarians have mentioned a theory that the human allergen is caused by the secretion of the anal gland. The cat cleans itself spreading the secretion on its fur. Frequent evacuation of these glands may help keep the allergic reactions to a minimum.
Finding a breed of cat that is allergy free for humans is not a reality. The Cat Fanciers Association recommends shorthaired breeds and frequent bathing.
For those Milwaukeeans who are allergic to cats and cannot live without a cat in their lives, they should limit the face hugs and just put up with the allergy.