Name of a tomcat, many of us are allergic to cats. Why ? How ? And are hypoallergenic cats the ideal solution?
The other night, I was exhausted. Exhausted from my period, from my day and even from our society. I needed my “anti-depression” miracle recipe to avoid sinking into a Baudelairian spleen of which only I had the secret. Surely you understand me too… In short, I granted myself a hearty fast-food and a scientific journal on cats. And I was immediately better.
Mamour, my heartily purring cushion-relaxed Buddha, was of course by my side. What was our surprise to discover, that evening, in this book on cats, that his breed was… hypoallergenic! I remained doubtful. Admittedly, my feline’s leopard-like dress is made up of short hairs… But they lose them en masse! Ask my vacuum cleaner whose filter gets clogged every week!
I looked at the ambient air around me, hairs in weightlessness polluted it… But how could it be impossible not to trigger an allergic reaction in this environment? With a coo Mamour nodded, we had to investigate.
26% of Europeans are allergic to cats
According to a veterinary survey carried out by Nestlé-Purina Pet Care France, and published in October 2021 by La dépêche Vétérinaire, feline-related allergies are common, with the cat being the animal identified as the main culprit in human allergy casesas confirmed by Emmanuel Bensignor, veterinarian specialist in dermatology in the investigation report:
“In Europe, 26% of allergic patients are affected. »
During an allergic reaction to the cat, the symptoms can be multiple: rhino-conjunctivitis, asthma, and more rarely atopic dermatitis (i.e. patches of chronic flying eczema in flare-ups). In the most serious cases, an anaphylactic crisis can even be triggered, which can be fatal.
Cat allergy is said to be immediate : the symptoms appear in a few minutes or in the hours following the contact with the animal or with allergens of the cat deposited for example on the clothes of its owner. People with a genetic predisposition to the cumulative development of common allergies are more likely to be allergic to cats, but in 10% of cases, there is no known history.
Many received ideas still reign over this cat allergy. Is it due to their hair? Fake ! The main allergens responsible for this allergy are two proteins present in the salivary secretions and the sebaceous glands of the animal: Fel D1 and Fel D4. Its diffusion on the whole coat of the cat is done by licking. As for hair and dander, they allow its spread in the environment.
Treatments and tips to limit your allergic reaction
But can we then control our cat allergy and welcome a hairball safely into our home? According to veterinarian Bensignor, the management of feline allergies is based on a multimodal strategy:
“The therapeutic approach most often consists of reducing the quantity of allergens in contact with patients, while treating their possible symptoms. »
If the allergy is proven, after tests with an allergist, several treatments can be offered to you: antihistamine drugs, nasal corticosteroids or eye drops if the symptoms are minimal. In the event of an attack, the doctor may also prescribe a bronchodilator.
Also, desensitization by sublingual route is possible in adults as well as in children from 5 years of age. However, many health professionals doubt its effectiveness. We would lack hindsight in relation to this approach, the interest of which is for the moment left to the discretion of the attending physician.
Health professionals advise allergy sufferers toprevent the cat from accessing their room, or even other rooms. An impossible mission as Emmanuel Bensignor declares:
“It is difficult to achieve in practice. You can at least remove rugs and carpets, which may retain animal hair and therefore allergens. There are also HEPA filter vacuum cleaners, which are more efficient than standard models. »
Of course, to limit the spread of allergens in your environment, you can wash your cat. But for this measure to be effective, it would have to be completely bathed every day… And rare are the tomcats who love water!
Hypoallergenic cats do not exist… not!
hypoallergenic cats are they therefore the ideal solution if you want to adopt a ball of fur (and love!) but are allergic to it? First news: it does not exist. And yes, it was bullshit! This is confirmed by the veterinarian doctor:
” Even a hairless cat produces allergens. The sterilization of the cat certainly reduces the secretion of allergens by the sebaceous glands, but in a very limited way. »
Several studies have shown that neutered cats and neutered cats produce less Fel D1 protein due to the reduction in their progesterone and testosterone levels. Also, certain breeds of cats produce this protein in small quantities, reducing the allergic attacks that are triggered on contact with them. Beware, humans are as different as cats are. Some will have no reaction to a characterized hypoallergenic cat while others will suffer the same effects as with a so-called normal cat.
There are currently ten breeds of cat named, mistakenly you will have understood it, hypoallergenic (and of course, I advise you that of mine, the Bengal, if you like to play and walk everywhere with your animal):
- The Siberian
- The Balinese
- The Devon Rex
- Cornish Rex
- The LaPerm
- The Javanese
- The Russian Blue
- The Sphynx
But then, to avoid cat allergy, should we completely stop frequenting cats? Well no ! This is not necessarily necessary as long as the human agrees to follow an appropriate treatment every day. According to numerous studies, owners of allergic cats prefer this daily medication to separate from their animal. Finally, thanks to love, we bear everything. Mamour nodded, this answer pleased him. (So he won’t hesitate to wake me up three times a night to play!) And neither one nor two, I vacuumed, so that we both breathe better!…
Read also :
The golden rules for taking your cat everywhere with you safely
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