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.
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.