Help and hope for those who live with cats and allergies.
Pam Wesolowksi's allergic reaction to cats goes beyond the usual sniffling and sneezing. But, it hasn't stopped the South Bend, Ind., resident from owning three felines - Henry, Dom and Stewart James - and caring for feral cats in her community. "I tend to make decisions based on my heart," says Wesolowksi, a paralegal. "My pets are my family and they have brought so much love to my life that I think it's worth taking some extra precautions and medications to keep them."
Why Cats Cause Allergies
Wesolowksi isn't alone. An estimated four to five million U.S. pet owners suffer from animal-related allergies but choose to live with a pet anyway by making changes to their homes and habits.
Most cats produce harmless proteins in their salivary and sebaceous (skin) glands which, in sensitive people, causes the body's immune system to believe it's under attack, triggering an inflammatory response and classic allergy symptoms, such as itchy eyes, sneezing, runny nose and wheezing.
**Get the March 2012 issue of CAT FANCY to read the full article or click here to purchase a PDF version.**
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