People often become quite attached to their pets, but if a loved one is allergic, going near a cat can lead to issues like sneezing, coughing and itchy eyes. Approximately 10 percent of the U.S. population is allergic to animals, while between 20 and 30 percent of people with asthma deal with allergic reactions to pets, the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology reports.
While investing in medical-grade air purifiers like the IQAir HealthPro Plus can reduce symptoms, a more permanent solution could be on the horizon. Researchers from the University of Cambridge recently discovered a single protein, Fel d 1, in cat hair that they believe is responsible for triggering allergic reactions.
Fel d 1 is a tiny piece of skin typically found along with dried saliva from when a cat grooms itself, for example. This finding could lead the way for a cure for cat and other animal allergies in the future. Until a cure is found, researchers recommend cat lovers try allergy shots to limit the side effects of allergies. On the same note, cleaning the home regularly and keeping felines out of certain rooms like the bedroom can go a long way in curbing symptoms.