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Can You Be Allergic to Cats but Not Canines? (Vet Respond to)


Mar 8, 2023
woman sneezing into tissue because of allergy to cats


woman sneezing into tissue because of allergy to cats
Dr. Joe Mallat Photo

The information and facts is recent and up-to-date in accordance with the most recent veterinarian investigate.

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Each pet operator enjoys a cuddle with their furry mate. But what transpires when this cuddling (or patting, or grooming) brings about you to have a flare-up of allergy signs or symptoms? This could signify you have a pet allergy—they’re astonishingly widespread.

It is possible to be allergic to cats but not canine. The reverse is also possible: currently being allergic to canines, but not cats. Even so, folks who are allergic to cats are a lot more possible to be allergic to dogs, and vice versa. Let us check out why pet allergies take place, and some matters that can be performed to regulate them.


What is a Pet Allergy?

Pet allergies are not way too distinctive from other allergic reactions, these kinds of as all those prompted by nuts or dust. An allergy happens when your body’s immune system reacts abnormally to a foreign compound. Your system thinks that the material could be dangerous, even even though it is commonly harmless.

When we assume of pet allergic reactions, we generally think of puppies and cats. These allergies are the most widespread, but pet dogs and cats are also the most prevalent house pets. In actuality, people can be allergic to rabbits, guinea pigs, horses…just about any species of animal!

Opposite to well-liked perception, most pet allergic reactions are not essentially caused by fur or hair. Rather, most allergies are induced by “dander”, saliva, and urine. Dander is the layer of dead skin cells at the surface of the pores and skin, made up of specified protein molecules that the physique reacts to.

Some pets also carry dust, mould, and pollens in their coat, in particular if they devote loads of time outside. Occasionally, “pet allergies” are not induced by the pet at all, but by the dust and pollen within the hair coat.

Why Can I be Allergic to Cats but Not Pet dogs?

Pet dogs and cats secrete unique proteins (“allergens”) in their dander, saliva, and urine. There is heaps of variation in these allergens both equally across species (i.e. in between pet dogs and cats) and inside of species (i.e. some cats or cat breeds have distinct allergens from other cats).

For these explanations, currently being allergic to cats does not essentially mean that you’ll quickly be allergic to canines. Likewise, you may be allergic to some canine or cats, but not other folks. The human body doesn’t realize all proteins in saliva, urine, and dander as allergens—only certain kinds. That being reported, people today who are allergic to cats are much more very likely to be allergic to canines way too. And men and women who are allergic to a person or two cats are additional most likely to be allergic to numerous other cats.

woman allergic to cat
Graphic Credit score: Graphic Level Fr, Shutterstock

What About Hypoallergenic Pets?

You may have heard about “hypoallergenic” pets—pets that are a lot less probably to lead to an allergy. Even though it seems perfect, there are a few of myths that want debunking.

1. Shedding

Some breeds of dogs or cats that don’t shed hair have been referred to as hypoallergenic. Sad to say, this is in all probability not legitimate. As we outlined, most pet allergic reactions are not reactions to hair, but relatively to proteins secreted in saliva, urine, and dander. Hair is not ordinarily the difficulty, so a pet dog or cat that doesn’t get rid of a great deal is not essentially greater for another person with identified pet allergy symptoms.

white british shorthair cat sitting
Impression Credit score: Genuine Second, Shutterstock

2. Hypoallergenic breeds

Other breeds of dog have been set ahead as hypoallergenic, which means that (regardless of hair or shedding) they’re much less likely to result in an allergy. Again, this is not true. All pet dogs and cats secrete opportunity allergens, so all dogs and cats can trigger allergy symptoms.


I’m About to Get a Pet – How Will I Know if I’m Allergic?

The great information here is that individuals with dog or cat allergy symptoms may perhaps tolerate some breeds much superior than some others. Keep in mind, staying allergic to one cat or pet dog unquestionably doesn’t make you allergic to all cats and canines.

The ideal way to know if you’re allergic to a puppy or cat is to shell out some time all-around them. Think about fostering for a few of weeks to see if any allergy symptoms are brought on. Alternatively, arrange to check out a person who has the same breed of canine or cat.

If you’d want not to danger it, there are safer pet selections. Fish, reptiles, and turtles are far much less possible to cause allergy symptoms than canine or cats.

bengal cat on owners lap
Graphic Credit score: golubovystock, Shutterstock

How Can I Control My Pet Allergic reactions?

There are a lot of steps you can get to reduce publicity to pet allergens, and cut down your probabilities of allergy signs and symptoms. The record below is not exhaustive, but it is a terrific start off:

  • Retain animals out of bedrooms or other sites you slumber.
  • Have somebody else brush or groom your pet.
  • Use pet-grade wipes to clean up your pet just after they have been outside.
  • Wash clothes that have been in call with pets.
  • Clean your arms and encounter following touching your pet.
  • On a regular basis wash bedding, rugs, or material home furnishings that your pet has invested time on.
  • Wash your pet with canine or cat shampoo once weekly.



Pet allergic reactions are prevalent and often require ongoing administration. If you have a recognised pet allergy (or non-pet allergy), it’s a excellent plan to expend time with pets prior to getting them on. This indicates you can be self-assured you will not have an allergy to your pet, relatively than assuming a “hypoallergenic” breed will be fantastic. Fortunately, there are heaps of unique breeds accessible, so there’s a excellent prospect you’ll discover just one that you are not allergic to. And if you do have a pet allergy, there are plenty of means to control this at home.

If you feel you have a pet allergy, or if you are showing allergy indications, generally seek health care information from your physician to go over screening and medicines.

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