Does Cat Fur Cause Alleriges?

CatChannel veterinary expert, Arnold Plotnick, DVM, explains that cat dander is the trigger for people allergic to cats.

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Q: I am Sara from India. My home is a place where most of the cats in the area come down to have food. A couple of them spend most of their time inside my house, and I am very close with them.

I have heard that cat fur is the root cause for most of the respiratory problems that people experience when they are allergic to cats. I am allergic to dust, but I don’t seem to have a problem with cat fur.

A: Cat fur is not the culprit. Cat dander is the problem. When cats groom themselves, they deposit saliva onto their fur. This saliva dries, and small bits of dried saliva are released into the air, along with dead skin cells. These skin cell flakes with dried saliva clinging to them are known as dander, and it is the primary trigger for respiratory problems in people who are allergic to cats.

Consider yourself lucky that you don’t seem to react to cat fur. Even luckier are all of those strays who depend on you for their meals.

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Does Cat Fur Cause Alleriges?

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Reader Comments

Mari    Phoenix, AZ

2/20/2008 8:49:24 PM

Good information to review and pass on to friends.

Heather    Springfield, IL

2/14/2008 8:10:37 PM

Now that I know this, I need to know how to cut down on the dander. My roommate is very allergic to cats and she knows better than to ask me to part with the cats.

Angela    Hamburg, NY

2/8/2008 8:17:20 PM

This is interesting. I just wonder if cat and dog dander are the same?

Deb    Pittsburgh, PA

2/8/2008 12:11:49 PM

I brush my cats weekly to cut down on the dander.

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