For some reason, cat and pet allergies in general are largely misunderstood by many people. While in some cases, these misconceptions have minor repercussions, in other cases, they may end in deception or may deter someone from owning a pet altogether. However, it’s important to dispel some of these misconceptions so you can make an informed decision about buying a pet or not. Here are some of the most common myths and misconceptions floating about cat allergies.
Some Cats Are More Allergenic Than Others
Wrong. Completely non-allergenic cats simply do not exist. All cat breeds have certain allergens and are allergenic to a certain degree which will trigger symptoms of cat allergies in allergic people. What you have is hypoallergenic cats. While they aren’t completely free of allergens, they are less prone to trigger symptoms. However, highly allergic people will still react to them.
Cat Hair is What Trigger Allergies
This myth is not only prevalent to cats, but for most furry animals as well. Fur itself is not what triggers most allergic symptoms. The main culprit is dead skin cells. There’s also a particular protein that cats produce when they urinate and that is also present in their saliva that may be the cause behind allergy symptoms.
You Can Form a Resistance to Allergens
Some people believe that being more exposed to cat allergens will allow them to be more immune to them. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. What is true however, is that people who are allergic to cats may be allergic on different levels, but that has absolutely nothing to do with exposure.
Bathing Will Prevent Symptoms from Appearing
Wrong again. Simply washing your cat regularly will not stop allergic symptoms no matter how hard you try. No matter how much you try to scrub and wash your cat, the oils that trigger allergies will always show up and you’ll never be able to completely get rid of them. Cats shed hair and dead skin cells all day long, and these carry allergens with them. These allergens end up contaminating every area the cat frequents and can be difficult to get rid of. However, washing your cat with detergents that trigger these oils may reduce the number of allergens they release, but they will never be able to get rid of them altogether.
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If You Stop Petting the Cat, the Symptoms Will Go Away
Maybe you were thinking of getting the cat for someone in your family and thought that only having limited contact with the cat might help. But again, since cats shed skin cells and hair throughout the day and spread these allergens constantly, simply refraining from having contact with the cat won’t help. All these allergens pile up and contribute to the dust that accumulates around the house. The only thing you could do is to use air purifiers, but the underlying problem will still be there.
Now that you know more about cat allergies, you’ll be able to make a better decision as to whether you should buy a cat either for you or for someone you know.
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