There’s nothing worse than being allergic to something you love. For many people, that means having to give up their beloved cats. But is cat allergies really caused by the cat, or is it something that’s passed down genetically?
Let’s take a closer look at the science behind cat allergies to see if there’s any truth to this claim. It’s estimated that between 10 and 15% of the population is allergic to cats. That means there are a lot of people out there who would love to have a feline friend, but can’t because of their allergies.
So, where does this leave us? Are cat allergies genetic? The short answer is yes, they can be.
Cat allergies are caused by an immune reaction to a protein found in cat saliva and skin cells. This protein is called Fel d 1 and it’s present in all cats – even hairless ones! When someone with a cat allergy comes into contact with Fel d 1, their immune system overreacts and produces symptoms like sneezing, wheezing, and watery eyes.
If you’re one of the millions of Americans who suffer from allergies, you may be wondering if your condition is genetic. After all, allergies tend to run in families. And if your parents or grandparents had allergies, chances are good that you will too.
But here’s the thing: not all allergies are created equal. Just because your mom is allergic to cats doesn’t mean that you will be too. In fact, cat allergies are one of the most common types of allergies, but they’re not necessarily hereditary.
So what causes cat allergies? Well, it turns out that it’s not the fur itself that’s responsible for triggering those pesky allergy symptoms. Instead, it’s a protein found in a cat’s skin and saliva called Fel d 1.
When this protein comes into contact with human skin or is inhaled, it can cause an allergic reaction. Interestingly enough, not all cats produce this protein. So even if you’re allergic to Fel d 1, there’s a chance that you could live happily ever after with a hypoallergenic kitty by your side.
But before you go out and adopt a fur baby, be sure to consult with an allergist first to see if living with a cat is really right for you!
Why 90% of Asians are Lactose Intolerant
Are Allergies in Cats Hereditary?
There are a variety of factors that can contribute to allergies in cats, and unfortunately, genetics is one of them. If your cat has allergies, it’s likely that they inherited them from one or both of their parents. Allergies are caused by an overreaction of the immune system to certain environmental triggers, like pollen, dust, mold, or dander.
When a cat comes into contact with an allergen, their body produces histamines as a way to protect itself. This release of histamines leads to the typical symptoms we associate with allergies: watery eyes, sneezing, runny nose, and itchiness. Some cats may also experience vomiting or diarrhea if their allergies are particularly severe.
If you suspect your cat has allergies, the best thing you can do is take them to the vet for a professional diagnosis. Once you know what your cat is allergic to, you can take steps to remove those triggers from their environment and help make them more comfortable.
Are Allergies to Pets Genetic?
Most people are not allergic to pets, but some people are. Allergies to pets are not caused by pet dander, which is a common misconception. Instead, allergies are caused by proteins that are found in an animal’s skin, saliva, and urine.
These proteins can become airborne and cause an allergic reaction when they’re inhaled. People with allergies to animals typically have other allergies as well. In fact, about 30% of people with pet allergies also have asthma.
If you have pet allergies, you’re more likely to have other types of allergies, such as hay fever and food allergies. There isn’t a cure for pet allergies, but there are ways to manage them. If you have mild symptoms, you may be able to reduce your exposure to the allergens by keeping your pet out of your bedroom and using air filters in your home.
If you have severe symptoms, you may need to take medication or get allergy shots.
Can You Build Up an Immunity to Cat Allergies?
Yes, you can build up an immunity to cat allergies. Allergies are caused by your immune system overreacting to a foreign substance, in this case, protein found in cat dander. When you’re first exposed to cat dander, your immune system produces antibodies to the proteins.
These antibodies cause symptoms like sneezing and watery eyes. But with repeated exposure, your immune system can become less sensitive to the proteins in cat dander. You may not have any symptoms when you’re around cats or even when you pet them.
This is called “desensitization” or “immunity.
Why are Cat Allergies So Common?
There are a few reasons why cat allergies are so common. One reason is that cats produce more of the protein Fel d 1 than any other animal, and this protein is what causes most people to have an allergic reaction. Studies have shown that even if a person doesn’t have direct contact with a cat, they can still be allergic to it because Fel d 1 is also found in dried saliva and skin cells which can become airborne and be inhaled.
Another reason for the high prevalence of cat allergies is that the cat’s fur acts as a magnet for pollen, dust mites, and other allergens. When a person petting or playing with a cat rubs their eyes or nose, they’re likely to come into contact with these irritants and experience symptoms such as watery eyes, sneezing, or runny nose. Lastly, it’s believed that some people may be genetically predisposed to being allergic to cats.
So if there’s someone in your family who’s allergic to cats, you may be more likely to suffer from allergies yourself. If you think you might be allergic to cats but love them anyway (or vice versa), there are steps you can take to reduce your symptoms. Regularly bathing and grooming your cat can help remove allergens from their fur before they have a chance to spread around your home.
You can also try using an air purifier with HEPA filters in the room where your cat spends the most time to help remove allergens from the air.
How to Get Rid of Cat Allergies Naturally
If you’re one of the millions of people who suffer from cat allergies, you know how difficult it can be to live with them. Symptoms like sneezing, watery eyes, and a runny nose can make life miserable, and over-the-counter medications only do so much to help. But there is hope!
There are a number of natural remedies that can help alleviate your symptoms and allow you to live a normal life. One of the most effective natural remedies for cat allergies is quercetin. Quercetin is a plant pigment that has powerful antihistamine properties.
It works by blocking the release of histamines, which are the chemicals that cause allergic reactions. You can find quercetin supplements at most health food stores. Another great natural remedy for cat allergies is apple cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar helps to break down histamines in the body and also has antibacterial properties that can help fight off infection. Simply mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with eight ounces of water and drink three times daily. If you’re looking for a more immediate relief from your cat allergy symptoms, try taking a hot shower or bath.
The steam will help open up your sinuses and relieve congestion. You can also add a few drops of eucalyptus oil or lavender oil to your shower to help further relieve symptoms. With these natural remedies, you should start to see a reduction in your allergy symptoms within a few days.
And while they may not completely eliminate your allergies, they will certainly make them more manageable so that you can enjoy your life – allergy free!
There are many factors that contribute to allergies, and genetics is one of them. If you have allergies, there’s a good chance that your children will inherit them. The same goes for cats.
If you’re allergic to cats, it’s likely because you have a genetic predisposition to allergies. There are two types of cat allergies: those caused by the protein in cat saliva and those caused by the protein in cat dander. Both types of allergies are triggered when you come into contact with the allergen, either through direct contact with a cat or by inhaling airborne particles of cat dander.
If you’re allergic to cats, there are several things you can do to reduce your symptoms. These include avoiding contact with cats, using air filters and vacuuming regularly, and taking allergy medication.