If you are an adult, have a cat, and find yourself sneezing and coughing while at home, then it is possible that you are allergic to your feline. Allergies can develop at any time to any type of allergen at any point in your adult life. This type of problem is referred to as adult-onset allergies. This means you could be allergic to your cat even if you have not experienced any symptoms before. An allergist can help to determine your allergy through a skin or blood test. Afterwards, treatment options can be discussed. While treatment can help to reduce symptoms, you may need to cut down on the allergens that you are exposed to.
Empty Litter Boxes Often
Many people think they are allergic to the hair alone when they are found to have a cat allergy. If you are allergic to cats, then your immune system responds to the proteins that can be found in cat hair, dander, saliva, and urine. If you are not diligent about changing the litter in your cat's box, it can actually cause an allergy attack through the strong odor that reaches your nose. While the majority of the urine is made up of water, it does contain a small amount of protein. Not only can the odor make you ill, but urine crystals can dry up and blow through the air if you allow the urine to sit for too long.
Under normal circumstances, pet experts say to clean the waste from your cat's litter box at least once or twice a day if possible. You also need to make sure there are at least two boxes in the house so that wastes do not accumulate extensively in one box. You should purchase litter that is unlikely to release dust into the air so you can keep the urine crystals out of the air you breathe. Look for a clumping clay litter made out of bentodine, or find a litter made from old newspapers, silica gel crystals, or pine chips. All of these litter varieties are dust-free.
If you find that you sneeze and cough when changing the litter, then make sure to wear a dust mask when you complete the chore. Look for a particulate filter mask with a 95%, 97%, or 100% rating. These ratings refer to the percentage of allergens that are removed from the air. Many masks are marked with a 95% rating. They are typically more than effective when it comes to allergy particle reduction, and the masks will be easier to breathe through than masks that offer full 100% particle filtration.
Reduce Skin Issues
Some cats seem to release large and thick pieces of skin or oily dandruff all over the house, while others seem to shed bits of dandruff everywhere they go. If your cat seems to be itchy and releases a lot of dandruff, then this may be causing your allergy symptoms to worsen. Fortunately, your cat may have a treatable skin condition called exfoliative dermatoses. This means that you can greatly reduce your allergy problems by resolving the skin disorder. In some cases, the skin disorder may be caused by a parasite, allergy, diabetes, or an immune system disorder. You should take your cat to your local veterinarian so that illnesses and other serious issues can be ruled out.
Your veterinarian may ask you about the food that you feed your cat, since exfoliative dermatoses can occur if you feed your feline a poor food. Specifically, the skin condition can be caused by general malnutrition, a vitamin A deficiency, or a zinc deficiency. Food allergies can also cause extensive skin issues. To help reduce the skin problem, make sure to purchase a high quality hypoallergenic food for your cat. Try the food for several weeks to see if it cuts down on dander issues in your home.