Types of Allergies to Cats

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Cat allergies are generally caused by the cat saliva that builds up on the fur from the cat grooming. Also known as cat dander, cat allergies can sometimes be helped by frequent cleaning of the cat's living area with information from a pet industry specialist in this free video on cat allergies.

Part of the Video Series: Cat Care & Information
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Video Transcript

What are the types of allergies to cats? Well really there's only, to my knowledge, one type of allergic reaction to cats. And, most people have the knee jerk reaction to believe that they're allergic to the cats fur, and actually this is a false assumption. Most allergies, if not all allergies to cats are actually related to the cats saliva. It's very easy to misunderstand how that works. Basically, what it is, is since cats are so clean and such obsessively grooming animals, they actually lick their fur so much that their saliva builds up on the fur, and then when the fur touches you or you breathe it in, you have a reaction to the saliva that's actually on the hair of the cat, not the actual cat itself. Generally, this is referred to as cat dander. Basically, it's shed hair and skin that has saliva on it. And, we as people who are allergic to that, have reactions to it that can stem anywhere from being itchy to having watery, itchy eyes to having problems breathing. Whatever it may be. The easiest and best way to help fight that is to make sure you keep a very, very clean household. Lots of dusting, vacuuming, sweeping. Take care of all that excess cat hair that does get shed on a daily basis, and that you probably can't even see. And of course, limiting your exposure to the cat dander. It is not true that cats that are hairless you will not be allergic to. Hairless cats just groom their skin, not their hair. So the cat saliva is still there, it's still on the cat, and you're still allergic to it. So, there you go. That's pretty much cat allergies demystified.

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