What are allergic reactions to cats
Allergic reactions to cats occur when the body's immune system reacts to a cat allergen, usually a protein found in cat saliva.
Allergies to cats are very common, affecting approximately 10% of cat owners.
It is very important to identify the cause of an allergic reaction and treat it appropriately.
What are the signs of an allergic reaction to cats?
Allergic reactions to cats may include the following:
Fever and chills
Itching and skin rash
Swollen or itchy eyes
Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
It is important to note that allergic reactions to cats can vary from person to person, and are often unpredictable. Some people will experience symptoms of a cat allergy and others will not.
How are allergic reactions to cats diagnosed?
Allergic reactions to cats are diagnosed by ruling out other possible causes. A thorough history and physical examination may be done to rule out other possible causes.
The doctor may perform skin testing to confirm an allergy. The skin test is performed by scraping a tiny amount of skin from the back of your hand. The reaction to the skin test is compared to a standard test that is given in a lab.
If a skin test is positive, other tests such as blood tests or allergy tests will be done to make sure the allergy is the correct diagnosis.
How are allergic reactions to cats treated?
Allergic reactions to cats may require immediate medical attention.
The doctor may prescribe an antihistamine for allergic reactions to cats. Antihistamines are used to treat allergic reactions to cats.
Steroid treatments may also be used. Steroids are medications that can be very effective in controlling allergic reactions to cats.
If you are allergic to cats, you should avoid direct contact with the cat's saliva. You should also avoid petting, holding, or kissing the cat.
If you experience any symptoms of a cat allergy, you should seek medical attention immediately.
How can I minimize the risk of an allergic reaction to cats?
Allergic reactions to cats can be prevented by learning the symptoms and avoiding contact with your cat.
If you are allergic to cats, you may want to consider getting a cat allergy test.
Allergy tests may be performed on your skin, or in a lab. This test measures the level of cat proteins in your body. If you are allergic to cats, your body will produce antibodies. The level of antibodies in your body can be measured by a test.
Allergy tests are performed by a doctor. You may choose to have a skin test or an allergy test performed by a doctor.
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