Pets are now considered a part of the family. Yet, they are the 3rd most common cause of respiratory allergies. It is estimated that 10 to 15% of adults develop an allergy to cats.
Contrary to the common belief that cat allergies are caused by fur, the primary cat allergen is found in its saliva or urine. Known as Fel d 1, this secretoglobin protein is spread all over the cat’s fur when grooming. It then spreads from the cat’s hair
and squamous cells into its surroundings. This allergen then binds to dust particles, clothing and hair. Therefore, it is found in ambient air for a long time and can easily be transported from one place to another. People can hence have an allergic
reaction to an animal without one even being present. The symptoms are the same as those for allergies to dust mites and pollen: rhinitis, conjunctivitis, and even asthma.
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