Cats May Be Trouble For Any Allergy Sufferer

Cat Allergies

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 participants’ 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 — in this case, a chemical called methacholine.

Chinn’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.

8 Responses to “Cats May Be Trouble For Any Allergy Sufferer”

  1. andy121106 says:

    What kind of BS story is this? I was diagnosed at 4 years old with allergies to cats, dogs, hayfever, dust, etc. My parents were told by a quack allergy doctor to give up their cat and I was forced to take allergy shots once a week until I was 18 at which time I voluntarly stopped getting them. I have had animals ever since, you just have to do a little extra vacumming maybe shampoo the rugs once a year and brush the loose fur out of the animals and take an occasional claritin & wash your hands a couple of more time than you normally would. Allergies only get worse if you let them get worse, I tend to think it is people being lazy that drive stories like this one. I currently have a cat and a dog I would never think of not raising my 3 kids without pets and the chance to teach them respect for animals.

  2. Lis says:

    For years after it became clear that I had allergies, my mother insisted that the dogs and the cats must be making my allergies worse, even though I only test allergic to pollen, mold, chicken feathers, and dust mites. So if she notices this story, she’s going to feel vindicated.

    However, it still doesn’t change the fact that I have more trouble or less trouble in relation to the presence of pollen, mold, chicken feathers, and dust mites, and not in relation to the presence or absence of dogs, cats, or anything else fur-bearing. I have two cats and a dog, and they sleep on my bed. My pillows are goose-feather or foam. I have no plants inside.

    And I have no problems except during pollen season.

    They try to take my cats from me, they’re going to have a problem. A serious problem.

  3. Lynnie says:

    I have always had some allergies - hayfever, smoke, etc. I can handle that. But cats can throw me into an anaphylactic reaction. Once I ended up in the hospital after visiting a friends’ house that was carefully cleaned before I arrived. She only had 1 cat. I love animals, have 2 dogs, 2 birds and yes it would be nice to be able to have cats too. But sadly, they are not for me. Just another side of the story.

  4. 4lgdfriend says:

    I would not be jumping to conclusions about this story. For instance: “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.” Even when a blood test reveals nothing? What this says is simply that OTHER CAUSES are involved. The article fails to account for our massive exposure to chemicals and toxins–many of which have immunosupressive side effects. Or for the nutrients missing from our diets–the very ones that might support a functioning immunive system. The result of all of this is compromised health leaving the especially damanged, the weak or susceptible prone to such allergies.
    I couldn’t say for sure w/out reading the details of the study (which of course are not mentioned) but this sounds like flawed or even slanted science to me — just based on simple common sense.

  5. JJ 2 says:

    Sounds to me like more bs “scientific research” in order to provide an excuse for more official discrimination against cats (not allowing cats in plane cabins, apartments…kill policies for cats in shelters and feral cats, etc…).

  6. Mrs. P. says:

    I have always read that those bloodtests (I think they’re called RAST) are not very accurate. The good old fashioned skin tests are the ones that really work. Anyway, I have 7 cats and I’m allergic to dust and mold, and have hay fever. Everything I own is old. No sick building syndrome here. I get dust and mold reactions in the winter and hay fever symptoms in the summer. That’s it. No change in cat free houses. I’d like to read that entire study.

  7. Susan says:

    Ha. I am *very* allergic to cats (and not much else), but when I scooped a tiny 4-week old feral kitten out of my yard two years ago, nothing would have been able to make me give him up! Of course, I now spend 200 bucks a month on allergy and asthma medication, but he is completely worth it :) I agree with Andy that you can make it work, you just have to do a lot more cleaning than most folks.

  8. Anonymous says:

    When I

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