How does cat allergy manifest itself in children, allergy treatment

How does cat allergy manifest itself in children, allergy treatment

24.05.2022 0 By admin

Allergy to cats in children and adults can be congenital or appear during life. Symptoms of the disease are very pronounced, and if it occurs, it is recommended to visit an allergist.

Causes of cat allergies in children

Allergy develops in children sensitive to the Fel D1 protein. This substance is found in dandruff (dead cells of the epidermis), urine and excrement. Cat saliva contains the Fel D2 protein, which also causes allergies, but after an animal bite. They are perceived by the child’s immune system as foreign, so a response begins.

Allergy to cats in children

Allergy to cats in children appears suddenly

The most active distributor of the allergen is cat hair, as it spreads throughout the house, settles on any surface. Therefore, in order for an allergy to develop, it is enough to be in the same room with the animal, and contact with it is not necessary.

Surprisingly, Sphynx cats also develop allergies, despite the fact that these cats do not have hair. Particles of their epithelium are exfoliated and also spread throughout the house.

But it is not always the cat that leads to the appearance of allergies. The reaction can occur from a flea bite, contact with food, litter, or interaction with cat shampoo.

The disease can appear suddenly if the following factors contribute to this:

  • Psycho-emotional stress. If a cat bites, scratches or frightens a child, he may develop an allergy. Stresses not related to animals can also lead to this – the death of someone close, moving to another city, etc.
  • Immune disorders. Chronic diseases lead to a decrease in immunity, so the body may perceive the previously familiar cat protein as foreign.
  • Hormonal changes. Allergies can appear during adolescence due to endocrine diseases and other changes.

In sensitive individuals, unpleasant symptoms may occur when exposed to a cat-like protein. This phenomenon is called cross-allergy. She can appear after interacting with tigers, leopards, and other felines. Therefore, manifestations of allergies can be observed after going to the circus or the zoo. The reaction is also possible when interacting with other animals – for example, dogs and horses.

Allergy symptoms

Symptoms usually appear very quickly – just a few minutes after contact with the animal. Allergy manifests itself as follows:

  • On the part of the eyes: they itch, the mucous membrane swells, there is a sensation of a foreign body. There is profuse lacrimation and temporary blurred vision.
  • On the part of the respiratory system: stuffy nose, abundant watery discharge. The nose is very itchy, causing the child to sneeze. Allergies can be accompanied by signs of bronchial asthma – severe coughing, choking, shortness of breath, chest discomfort.
  • Skin manifestations: itching, redness, rashes on the skin, which may appear at the points of contact with the animal or spread throughout the body.
  • General manifestations: a feeling of fever, although in fact its indicators remain normal. This is due to a sharp expansion of blood vessels. There may also be weakness, drowsiness, tearfulness.

In an infant, skin and gastrointestinal manifestations are usually observed, changes in the eyes and respiratory system are less common. Eruptions appear all over the body. The child becomes moody, refuses to eat, may cry during or after eating. Allergy manifestations are observed only after direct contact with the allergen. It is not transmitted through breast milk.

Some children may develop anaphylactic shock after repeated exposure to the allergen. This is an immediate reaction, accompanied by swelling of the eyelids, itching of the skin, and a drop in blood pressure. Bronchospasm, laryngospasm and swelling of the larynx can occur, leading to difficulty breathing. This condition is very dangerous and in the absence of timely assistance can lead to death. The risk group includes children with asthma, eczema, allergic rhinitis, mastocytosis.


The most dangerous symptom of an allergy is anaphylactic shock.

Allergy treatment

For the treatment of the disease, immunotherapy is carried out – ASIT. It involves the deliberate introduction of an allergen into the body: at first, the doses are very low, then they gradually increase. After the allergy has been treated, the reaction to cat protein should completely go away or become minimal. All medications are prescribed by an allergist.

Symptomatic therapy is also carried out. Antihistamines and hormonal drugs are prescribed.

To relieve symptoms, you can use some traditional medicine, but after consulting a doctor. It is allowed to wash the eyes and nose with a weak decoction of chamomile. To prepare it, 1 tbsp. flowers pour a glass of water and cook for 10 minutes, strain immediately after removing from heat. You can also use other herbs – sage, yarrow, succession.

hypoallergenic animals

All breeds of cats cause allergies. But there are criteria that will help you choose the least allergenic animal:

  • in females, the protein is not as aggressive as in males;
  • castrated animals are safer in terms of allergies;
  • kittens are less likely to cause a reaction than adult cats;
  • fair-haired cats are safer, while dark-haired animals are more likely to cause allergies, as they have a more aggressive protein.

Short-haired cats are safer as they shed less and the allergen is less likely to spread around the house. Among them, the most popular breeds are Javanese, Bengal, Savannah and some others.

What to do to avoid allergies

What to do when you are allergic to cats , but still want to get a pet? Or did the allergy start unexpectedly and you don’t want to part with the animal? To smooth out allergic manifestations, you need to follow a number of preventive measures:

  • carry out wet cleaning of the apartment every day;
  • vacuuming daily;
  • install air filters;
  • ventilate the room;
  • remove fluffy carpets, soft toys, massive curtains – they accumulate a large amount of dust;
  • do not allow the animal to enter the bedroom and climb onto the bed;
  • try to contact the cat as little as possible.

But if there is an allergy to a pet, it is better not to keep it in your home. After all, compliance with preventive measures does not guarantee that symptoms will not appear. And the constant manifestations of the disease can interfere with the usual activities.

An allergic reaction to cats is a very common phenomenon not only in children, but also in adults. The symptoms are very pronounced, and in order to avoid its occurrence, it is necessary to follow preventive measures.

See also: dog allergies in children