Kids & allergies to cats

Why some people are allergic to cats

I had been wondering about this, especially since I am quite allergic to cats. I didn’t find out until I was an adult that I was allergic to cats at all. Which, coincidently, was when the first of our cats entered my life. Turns out, it may not be a coincidence.

The journal Clinical & Experimental Allergy published a study about kids and allergies to cats, conducted in 2011. The study followed over 550 kids from birth to 18 years old, by regularly collecting data from the families of the kids about the presence of cats in the home. Once the data was gathered and the study ended, blood samples were taken from each kid to test for allergies to cats.

Kids who had a cat in the house during their first year of life were 50% less likely to be allergic to cats than the children not exposed from birth to one year. Therefore, It was exposure during infancy that is significant. In the study authors own words, they concluded,

“The first year of life is the critical period during childhood when indoor exposure to cats influences sensitization to these allergins.”

Researchers also discovered that exposure to cats for kids a few years older didn’t make much of a difference.

kids and allergies to cats

photo shari smith dunaif ©2015

 

 

So here we have yet another great reason for families to enjoy cats in their home ESPECIALLY if you’ve got a baby! Your infant’s exposure to cats will enable your child, once they’ve grown up and have their own home, to be able to choose if they want to have cats, rather than allergies preventing them from having the option.

So now I know at least one reason why I’m allergic to cats.

 

 

Kitty litter tip for people with cat allergies

I am terribly allergic to cats, but I Love My Cats, so here’s a tip on how I handle cleaning their kitty litter
20140817-190752.jpgI bought a box of mask filters, and use one every time it’s kitty litter time

20140817-190717.jpgIt helps

20140817-191035.jpg

Scientists working on allergies to cats

Scientists are working on allergies to cats. At last!20130726-184944.jpg

It’s good news for cat lovers: A new, more effective
treatment for allergies may be on the way, thanks to scientists working on allergies to cats.  At the
University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom have discovered the
receptor protein in human cells that triggers cat allergies. They
anticipate that new drugs will be developed to bind the protein and
prevent people from having an inflammatory response. “It has long
been known that cat allergies are caused by people reacting to cat
proteins secreted by the salivary or scent glands being transferred
to the fur,” Dr. Clare Bryant, lead researcher, told Yahoo! Shine.
“Other allergen—for example house dust mite allergy protein—trigger
a receptor protein in host [human] cells and we wondered if cat
allergen would have similar effects. We did not expect this to
happen because the cat allergy protein is very different to the
house dust mite protein, so we were very surprised to find that it
triggered inflammation through the same receptor.”  About 10 percent of people have pet allergies, and reactions to cats are twice as common as
reactions to dogs. Cat allergies are especially pernicious because
the proteins are small, light, and sticky. They float through the
air and when they land on a surface—a piece of clothing for
instance—they can be transferred to places that are cat-free.
Symptoms include sneezing, watery eyes, stuffy nose, sore throat,
hives, wheezing, and in severe cases, asthma. Currently the only
way to treat cat allergies is to reduce the symptoms with
antihistamines or decongestants or endure weekly shots to boost the
immune system—which can take as long as a year to kick in and may
not even be effective. Bryant can’t predict exactly how long it
will take for new drugs to reach on the market—that’s up to the
pharmaceutical companies—but says that “drugs that inhibit the
receptor have already been tested in clinical trials for conditions
such as sepsis.” She added, “I would anticipate that an allergic
person could, say, inhale a blocking drug before going to a house
with cats and not get a reaction.” And allergic dog lovers have
cause for hope, too. Bryant believes the findings could lead to
improved treatment for canine allergies. The research will be
published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Immunology.