Cat Allergy Question

Updated on October 22, 2011
B.S. asks from Lansing, MI
11 answers

Ok so awhile back I posted a question about getting a cat...we did end up getting one. Its almost been 1 month ago. Things are/were going really well. But now I'm seeing things go on with my daughter that scream a cat allergy. She's been handling the cat since day one and symptoms have only popped up in the last couple days.

So my question is, would allergies pop up this late? Also she has been around and handled many other cats. My dad and a close friend have cats and she's been around them since she was born....with no allergy symptoms. My dads cat has always allowed her to pick him up and carry him around everywhere when she wants.

Her symptoms:
red eye
stuffy nose
a red bumpy rash all over her legs (although she hasn't been itching it so I don't think its itchy)

To confirm whether it is or not, should I take her to the pediatrician and have them run a test? I'm guessing there is such a thing???? (Sorry I've never been a pet owner nor had allergies)

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So What Happened?

You are all so helpful...

And yes it is an indoor cat.

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answers from Baton Rouge on

Sounds like an allergy. My husband is allergic and asthmatic, and we found that adding brewer's yeast to the cats' food helped his symptoms. Apparently it changes the chemical composition of the dander so that it's not as irritating to people who are sensitive to it.

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answers from Lakeland on

I was taught that cat allergies are from their saliva not the dander like dogs. Since they clean themselves by licking. And allergies can come up at anytime. Did you change cat foods? Or are you putting something on the cat like a flea collar? These can cause irritations too. I know they can test for allergies, I think they do skin tests. For now be sure to have her wash her hands after holding the cat and don't let it sleep on her bed or clothing (I know that may be impossible).
My nephew gets the same symptoms including the rash, only he usually needs to get shot or go to the hospital right away after exposure.

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answers from Washington DC on

Yes she can develop the allergy after a while.
THe body's inhibitors can only hold off so long then they just let go and cannot take any more of the allergens. So she could be fine for a month then show allergic symptoms.
Same thing happens with food allergies. One can eat peanuts for a long time then one day they'll eat one and BAM! they have an allergic reaction.

You can wash your cat. It isn't very fun at first but some cats get used to it. Some hate you forever, though.
Keep kitty indoors.
Do not let kitty sleep with your daughter.
Have her wash hands after she plays with kitty and definitely after she changes litter, when she gets old enough.

The pediatrician will most likely have to refer her to an allergist. There they will run tests, usually a prick test on her back. She must not have any antihistimines for 3 days prior to the test. She will be given a control prick that will itch terribly, but they do have benadryl to give them.

My husband is allergic to cats and dogs. We have three of each. He takes Allegra. THe animals stay.

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answers from Charleston on

Your daughter's symptoms sound just like mine when I'm around a cat. Especially if I touch one and then touch my face - whoa! Red rash, stuffy nose, itchy eyes... I have been tested, and yes I'm allergic. Started when I was about 15. Before that I was fine. It's weird. If I take Benadryl, it all calms down within a few minutes, but then I'm sleepy. You might have to take her for allergy tests at an allergist specialist office - not sure they do those tests in a pediatric office. Maybe just tell your pediatrician her symptoms and he could give you some insight as to what type of medication - benadryl, claritan, etc might help her. I'd rather go that route than have her go through all those pricks on her back - that is miserable. :( Good luck!

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answers from Honolulu on

Allergies, can arise ANY time... throughout a person's life.

Now, since I was a child, I have had a cat allergy. We had pets of all sorts, ALL my life. One day, I was allergic to cats.
What are my reactions?
- red swollen itchy eyes
- sneezing
-runny nose

SO, even if we have had pets/dogs/cats/horses when I was a child, I just learned to NOT put my hands to my face at all... while I was playing with or petting our pets.
THEN, washing my hands immediately afterward and changing my clothes.

It is the fur and dander of said animal, that triggers the allergy.

If she is allergic, you probably have to get rid of the cat?
Or she can take medications, per your Doctor.

OR, the alternative is... is that she is sick. And this is not an allergy.
So, TAKE her to the Doctor.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

Your daughter could have already had a cat allergy but it was so mild that minimal exposure meant symptoms didn't show up. Now that you have a cat in the home she's having prolonged exposure, and that's giving allergic reactions the time to come out and be noticeable. It's also possible that she's allergic to only specific breeds of cats.

In my case, I'm pretty allergic to cats. My allergies improved after getting my own cats, but I have to stay away from Siamese cats. I do have to take Claritin every day or else I can't keep even mild symptoms under control... however I do have some really bad year-round seasonal allergies so I take the Claritin daily anyway.

I also get these pet wipes to wipe down their fur. It wipes off dander and dust to help minimize the allergens. Especially since if I attempt to bathe the cats with allergen-minimizing shampoo, I won't have a face any more.

I vacuum their fur frequently from the couches and area rugs. We don't have carpeting because of my allergies. I wash floors regularly.

Don't let the cat sleep in your daughter's bed if you can help it. DEFINITELY keep her as an indoor cat as you have been. :-)

You should notice a decrease in symptoms.

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answers from Austin on

Is this cat strictly an indoor cat?

Our cat ran in and out of the house all day and night.

She shared poison ivy with my husband and of course the pollen from out side..

But most of the people I know that are allergic, it is the itchy eyes and nose..

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I am not saying it is possible but my daughter's boyfriend is allergic to cats. He calls our cat the Judas cat. :p He has red eyes within five minutes, within an hour he looks like someone did something awful to his eyes.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

It could be an allergy. Try keeping her bedroom door closed and the cat out. Don't allow her to pet the cat without washing her hands after. There are many things you can do to help her before getting rid of the cat. vacuum every day, try bathing the cat or get Allerpet.

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

These symptoms are also an explanation for a virus that our kids have passed around recently with a rash that lasts a couple of weeks. I'd wait a week or two to see if it goes away.

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answers from Raleigh on

I have a 14 year old cat and a 10 year old cat. Both have been indoor cats for my son's entire life. His most recent visit to the allergist revealed a significant cat allergy. He has never test positive before. He is 5.
He had the same symptoms. However, over time, he developed these extremely dark under eye circles. So much so that his daycare provider asked once if he had been hit in the eye. Since then, the cats are out of the house and his symptoms are gone. He still likes to go up and pet them occasionally, but his allergy medication helps with the brief encounters. It's sad because he loves them so much. :(

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