A recent study is saying that even if people are not specifically allergic to cats, people with allergies may have trouble breathing when they are around our feline friends.
Researchers found that people with various types of allergies were more prone to airway constriction when their house was filled with cat dander even if they have had a blood test showing that they were not sensitive to cats. The study authors are saying that if the findings are correct, then it may be best for allergy sufferers to avoid cats.
Since the findings were unexpected, more additional studies will be done to confirm the results.
More about the cat allergy study after the jump.
The study included 1,884 adults from 20 areas across Europe. Researchers went to participantsâ€™ homes to take measurements of dust mite and cat allergens, and all underwent blood tests to detect allergies to any of four substances: cat dander, dust mites, grass or mold.
Study participants were also given tests of bronchial responsiveness, which refers to the degree of airway constriction in response to an irritant â€” in this case, a chemical called methacholine.
Chinnâ€™s [the research fellow] team found that allergy sufferers, regardless of type, showed greater airway constriction on these tests when their homes contained a relatively higher amount of cat dander. There was no similar pattern when it came to dust mite exposure, however.
If these findings are confirmed in future studies, people with any type of allergy may need to limit their contact with cats, according to Chinn.