Does your baby seem sniffly when your cat’s around? Then you might be wondering if they they’re allergic to your cat.
In this post we’ll explain how cat allergies work with babies, before exploring some things you can try to solve the issue.
Can Babies Be Allergic to Cats?
Yes, babies can be allergic to cats. Babies are more likely to be allergic to cats if one or more of their parents also have a cat allergy. But any baby can develop a cat allergy. So even if you and your partner are fine around cats, it’s still possible for your baby to have an allergy.
Pet allergies can develop at any age. But in many cases, the symptoms don’t start to show until the age of two.
How Do Cat Allergies Work?
It’s a common misconception that cat allergies are caused by a cat’s fur. The actual culprit is the proteins found in cats’ saliva, urine, sweat, and dead skin flakes. This is why people with cat allergies react just as badly to short-hair cats as they do to long-hair cats.
Babies have heightened immune systems. Their bodies are constantly on the lookout for potentially harmful substances, and they can overreact to any perceived threats.
If your baby’s allergic to cats, then their immune system will falsely identify these cat proteins as harmful substances. Their system will react by releasing antibodies. These protect your baby, but in doing so they can also produce inflammation in your baby’s lungs, eyes, nostrils, and skin.
How Do I Know If My Baby is Allergic to Cats?
The problem is that the symptoms of a cat allergiy to cats are almost identical to the symptoms of the common cold. These include:
- Runny noses
- Wheezing and laboured breathing
- Itchy eyes
- Skin rashes
If your baby develops these symptoms, you need to pay attention to how long they last, and when they’re triggered. It’s natural for a baby to suffer through a few colds in the colder months, but the symptoms should go away after a few days. If they persist, then you should consult your doctor as soon as possible.
How to Tell Allergies From a Cold in Babies
One way to tell cat allergies apart from a common cold: The symptoms of a cat allergy will be triggered either when the baby and the cat have been in direct contact, or when the baby enters a room where the cat’s been.
What To Do If Your Baby’s Allergic to Your Cat
You should talk to your doctor, or an allergist, if you think your baby has a cat allergy. They’ll be able to advise you on the severity of the allergy, and they’ll be able to recommend some steps you can take to solve the problem.
But there are also a few things you can try yourself:
- Clean regularly. Wash your hands after handling your cat, and vacuum as often as possible. Those pesky cat proteins that cause the allergy tend to linger after your cat rubs herself on the furniture. Regular hoovering can remove some of this lingering protein, which could help alleviate the problem.
- Keep your cat and the baby apart. This might not be practical if you live in a small house or flat. But it’s a good way to make absolutely sure that you’re facing an allergy rather than a seasonal illness. If your baby’s symptoms only flair up when the cat’s been about, then it’s more likely to be an allergy.
- Get an air purifier. Our air purifiers come with particle and carbon filters, and they can effectively remove up to 99% of particles including dust, pollen, mould, and pet dander. So they can help your baby manage their allergies and breathe easier. Head here to browse our range of home and bedroom air purifiers.