Many people who face pet allergies assume that it is only because of their particular pet type, and adopting other animals will not cause the same allergy. Here are some facts about pet allergy.
1. What Causes Allergies?
Pet allergy is caused by a confused immune system when it terribly mistakes the identity of harmless protein as germs and creates antibodies to attack them.
The body produces antibodies when exposed to harmful diseases, but the body goes into war with these harmless proteins for an allergic person. This is why an allergic person will sneeze, cough, feel itchy or get watery eyes. Allergies can also cause inflammation which can lead to asthma.
2. Can You Be Allergic to Cats and Not Dogs?
It is a possibility that you can be allergic only to cats and not dogs. Many people assume the allergy is due to the pet’s shedding fur, but that is not the only cause. You can be allergic to the proteins in cats. However, the protein in furred mammals is most probably similar. If you are allergic to one, you are likely to be allergic to most of the others.
In fact, not just cats and dogs but people with one allergy maybe most probably allergic to horses, rabbits, and goats too. As most people are not exposed to these animals regularly, they are not wary of this fact.
You should also know that each animal produces a different protein level; hence you may get a terrible allergic reaction to one another. Also, cats produce more protein than dogs, which means you may be more prone to cat allergies than dogs.
Cats tend to have protein in their saliva as well as their skin. In fact, cats spend 30% of their time grooming themselves, spreading the protein from their saliva all over their body. That is mainly why cats appear more allergy-causing than dogs, as they spread it around a lot.
3. Can You Be Allergic to Dogs and Not Cats?
The type of fur can really be an issue as loose fur can trap dust, which can cause allergies to people who are allergic to dust. Also, breeds that shed a lot can really make the home dirty real soon with their shedding fur, which can again cause allergy.
So, can you be allergic to dogs and not cats? This is not very frequent, but it can happen if you are allergic not to the animal protein but dust and pollen. This also means if you get a cat that has a thick coat, you may still develop such allergies. There is no guarantee that one pet can help your allergies over another.
4. Can You Live with a Pet if You are Allergic?
There is no right answer to this question as it depends on the level of allergy you suffer from. If it is mild, you can maintain a certain distance from the pet, bathe it weekly to get rid of dust in their coat, use a HEPA filter at home to clean the air, and use medications.
There is a high probability you can live with a pet despite your allergies if you can take certain precautions and maintain pet hygiene.