Allergy to the cat? How to live with it in 5 steps

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Are you allergic to cats and you no longer know how to have a happy coexistence? Or would you like it but are afraid of living a life of sneezing? Some ways to live with a cat, despite the allergy there is, since vaccine to the novelty of the moment of foods which help reduce the allergic potential of cats. But let’s start from the beginning.

One in five adults worldwide is sensitive to cat allergens, especially cat allergens ‘Fel d 1’ protein, which cats naturally produce and is present in their saliva.

«At the base of the allergy there must still be a genetic predisposition. There are eight allergy-causing proteins in the cat’s saliva, but the main culprit is the Fel d 1 protein. When the cat licks it distributes it all over the hair, and therefore in the domestic environment, through the saliva. Mistakenly we tend to say that we have cat hair allergy. It’s wrong: you are allergic to this protein, “he explains Silvia Colombo, veterinarian, European specialist in veterinary dermatology.

All cats produce the “Fel d 1” protein, regardless of breed, age, hair length, sex or body weight, which means that there are no cats that can really be defined as hypoallergenic. “So it is not true that the Siberian cat or the Sphynx (naked cat), for example, do not give allergies. They simply produce less protein than the others. Just as it is not true that long-haired cats produce it in greater quantities. However, it is true that this protein is present more around the muzzle and that its concentration varies according to the hours of the day. Furthermore, it is an ubiquitous protein, meaning it is present in many places, even in homes where there are no cats, on public transport, at school “he always explains. Silvia Colombo.

All is not lost, if you want to take a cat and live with it, there are small attentions to have great solutions to take before moving the cat away, or – as many do – limit its movements to a single room. In fact, this choice would not only be stressful for the cat but also for the owner. «It is in fact known that cats have many benefits on people’s physical and psychological life and relieve the feeling of loneliness – explains Elisa Silvia Colombo, psychologist, psychotherapist – Furthermore, it is known that physical and visual contact with the cat increases oxytocin, the hormone of good mood, and therefore transmits calm and serenity. Another benefit that would be lost “

The cat also suffers because, despite being an independent animal, it does not like solitude. «Any change – he adds Clara Palestrini, veterinarian expert in animal behavior – which in fact concerns routines and habits, such as the hours spent together with his human, is for him a source of stress and anxiety that can cause behavioral disorders, such as marking out of the box, alopecia, psychosis. In addition, the cat perceives the stress of the owner who is unable to harmoniously share existence with his cat as he would like to do ». In short, a stressful situation for both of us is not indifferent.

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