Status: 04.12.2023, 09:34 a.m.
By: Larissa Strohbusch
Is your cat constantly scratching or sneezing excessively? You may be the cause of this! Here's what you need to know about a human allergy.
You have to sneeze, your eyes burn and everything itches: many people know these symptoms as soon as they come across a cat. Now imagine that the house tiger reacts like this when he meets a human! Strange thought? Not at all – because in fact, a human allergy occurs more often than many people think.
If the cat is allergic: what to look out for
Cats can develop © a human allergy cynoclub7YAY Images/IMAGO
When the immune system reacts to actually harmless substances with a strong defense, it is called an allergy. Many people have problems with pollen or animal dander. Cats can also be sensitive: they often have difficulties with certain proteins in food, pollen or mould, but they can also be allergic to other creatures. A reaction to flea saliva is common, a dog allergy can also occur – and even a human allergy. Researchers at the University of Edinburgh found that around one in 20 pets is allergic to humans. They took a close look at cats in particular: about one in 200 cats is affected, and Siamese cats in particular are sensitive. But the allergy can also occur in dogs, birds or horses.
This is how a human allergy manifests itself:
- Similar to humans, cats sneeze and cough more frequently.
- The cat shows eczema and skin problems: dermatitis, dermatitis, red, oozing patches or itching.
- The cat has hair loss and gets bald spots.
Why are some cats allergic to humans?
What exactly triggers a human allergy is not entirely clear. Proteins in human skin flakes are suspected. As a rule, a tentative diagnosis is made, in which other causes are ruled out. It's also possible that your pet may be sensitive to a new detergent or cleaning product, or may not be able to stand it when you use a new skincare product. Certain bacteria, the mycoplasmas, can also cause respiratory diseases.
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What to do if your cat has an allergic reaction
If your pet is showing allergy symptoms, the first thing you should ask yourself is: Have you changed anything? Maybe you've changed the cleaning agent or you're using a new perfume? Test to see if the symptoms go away when you use other products. You can rule out all other causes, and you're left with the only reason: cleanliness reduces allergens. Be sure to wash regularly and exfoliate old skin cells. Also talk to your veterinarian about whether antipruritic medication or autoimmune therapy is an option.