11 answers

How to Tell If a Child Is Allergic to Cats?

Hi everyone-

We just brought two cats home to become members of our family. They are full-grown, indoor, and short-haired. I own a hyla and try to run that several times a week (it's a vacuum/air purifyer - think rainbow). However my 2 year-old daughter suddenly has red blotchy cheeks and red blotches on her arms. She did just get over the flu, we go on walks everyday (but I put sunscreen on her), and it is spring time. Would this be an allergy to cats? Some other allergy? Any ideas? Thanks!

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I would say it's a reaction to the sunscreen. My son gets blotchy cheeks sfter I use sunscreen (even hypo-allergenic sunscreen.

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Are you sure she had the flu and not roseola (which has a rash that comes after the flu-like symptoms)...

1 mom found this helpful

I would wait and see. Since you mentioned that your daughter had the flu, some viruses also cause rashes or other skin conditions, especially towards the end of running their course, but that should be done in a week or two.
If you notice any swelling or breathing problems though, I'd take her to a doctor immediately (and keep Benadryl on hand, always a good thing to have around the house). Most people I know with cat/dog allergies sneeze, itch, have watery eyes, scratchy throat...Also, right now the tree pollen count in Puget Sound is super-high. So if this doesn't improve in a couple of weeks you might want to have an allergy test done, it could be any number of things.

I think it's great you're adopting two adult cats - hope it all works out for your family!

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Two thoughts came to mind... 1) allergy to the sunscreen (I have that trouble, can only use up to spf8 and now usually go without); and 2) female cats have 1/10 the allergen dander stuff than the males.

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Hello - I don't think it would be a cat allergy. I am SUPER allergic to cats. My nose runs off my face, my eyes goop up and seep nasty stuff, the eyes itch, I sneeze, and the inside of my mouth itches.
When I read your question I thought to myself that it may be the sunscreen you are using. I have a harder time with certain soaps and detergents. Maybe since we are just NOW coming into "sunscreen" weather her skin is reacting. It could also be SUN! OR....does she have pollen/tree/grass allergies. I also am dying when the spring hits. I get hives and sneeze my fool head off when I cut the grass.
You could always go to an allergist and have her tested!!
Good luck, I HATE allergy season! L.

1 mom found this helpful

It could also be the sunscreen. My daughter is allergic to some sunscreens. We switched to Banana Boat Baby (which I think doesn't have avobenzone) and it worked great.

Good luck. You can also take your daughter to an allergy clinic to have her tested if it doesn't clear up.


Cat dander is what causes the majority of cat allergies. Take a damp washcloth and wipe your cats down. Their saliva dries on their coats and flakes off, causing the problem. This worked for my brother-in-law, as he was extremely allergic, so it got things down to bearable with an antihistamine. Check with you pediatrician for allergy testing. The skin irritations could be indicative of a food allergy, something she's ingested rather than breathed or touched. Wish you well.

My granddaughter is allergic to dogs but she still loves to love our dog. She gets blotches on her face. If she's with the dog more than 5-10 minutes her eyes itch and water. Her arms and legs itch but do not have hives or a rash. She has asthma and sometimes playing with the dog will initiate a mild asthma response. i.e. feeling congested and a bit difficult to breathe.

You can try having her wash her hands after every time she plays with them. And keep the cats out of her bedroom just to be safe. I would take her in for testing if you have insurance that will pay most of the charge. My granddaughter was first tested at the pediatrician's office. When her eczema and asthma worsened she went to an allergist.

I agree with the other mothers who said the rash could be caused by something else. It would be safe to wait and see if she's not having difficulty breathin. Be aware that if she has one mild episode of having difficutly in breathing the next episode may not be mild. Having Benedryl available is excellent advice. Give it to her immediately if she's wheezing or feels pressure in her chest. If that resolves that episode take her to her pediatrician or an allergist for testing and advice.


Hello, my 5 yr old is allergic to cats and we don't have any. Everytime we would go to my friends house who has two she would swell up in her house need her inhaler itch all kinds of stuff it was awful so awful that we really can't go there anymore. We have another friend that was doing some sewing for me and we were at her house no longer than 10 minutes and my daughter started swelling up and sneezing b/c she has a cat. My suggestion would be to find an allergy specialist and take her there and get a skin test done or a blood draw and find out. B/c our friends daughter is also allergic to cats and they are not getting rid of theirs and their daughter suffers daily it is really sad she developed asthma b/c of it. The skin testing is not bad and you have results right then. My daughter is on Zrytec and Singulair and i have seen huge improvements in her :) Good luck and hope this helps

I would say it's a reaction to the sunscreen. My son gets blotchy cheeks sfter I use sunscreen (even hypo-allergenic sunscreen.

I spent three days at my sisters and she has 4 cats. by the second day my son had red blotchy spots on his arms and legs which turned out to be hives. once we left they gradually went away. sounds like she mightbe allergic....

Could be. Try petting your cats and then rubbing next to her eyes. If they get redder and blotchy you have a good indication. Talk to you doc about either getting a allergy test of getting rid or the cats. (Sigh...)

I do like the wash cloth idea to get rid of the dander.

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