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Cat Allergy Test: Understanding, Symptoms, and Management

  • Post published:August 10, 2023
  • Post category:Blog

Cat Allergy Test: Are you a cat lover who suspects that your feline friend might be causing you those persistent sneezes and itchy eyes? You’re not alone. Cat allergies are a common issue for many people who adore cats but find themselves suffering from allergic reactions. In this article, we’ll delve into the world of cat allergies, exploring what they are, their symptoms, and how you can manage them effectively.

Understanding Cat Allergies

Cat allergies are immune system reactions to proteins found in a cat’s skin cells, urine, and saliva. When these proteins are inhaled or come into contact with the skin, they can trigger allergic responses. 

What Causes Cat Allergies?

Cat allergies are primarily triggered by proteins found in a cat’s skin cells, urine, and saliva. These proteins, known as allergens, are tiny and can easily become airborne, making them easy to inhale. Allergic reactions can vary in severity from mild discomfort to more severe respiratory issues, such as asthma.

How Do Cat Allergies Develop?

Cat allergies develop when the immune system mistakenly identifies these harmless proteins as a threat. In response, it releases histamines and other chemicals, leading to the classic allergy symptoms we experience.

Symptoms of Cat Allergies

Respiratory Symptoms

Common respiratory symptoms include:

  • sneezing
  • coughing
  • a runny or stuffy nose and
  • watery eyes

These symptoms can range from mild to severe, depending on the individual’s sensitivity to the allergens.

Skin Reactions

Cat allergies can also manifest as skin reactions, such as redness, itching, or the development of hives after coming into contact with a cat.

How Can I Test If I Am Allergic to Cats?

If you suspect you’re allergic to cats, you can consult an allergist. They will conduct various tests to determine if you have a cat allergy. Common methods include:

Skin Prick Test: Small amounts of cat allergens are applied to your skin through tiny pricks. If a raised bump or redness develops, it indicates an allergic reaction.

Blood Test (RAST or ImmunoCAP): These blood tests measure the levels of specific antibodies (IgE) in your blood that are produced in response to cat allergens. Elevated levels suggest an allergy.

Intradermal Test: Similar to the skin prick test, a diluted allergen solution is injected under your skin. The site is then observed for any reactions.

Challenge Test: In controlled medical settings, you might be exposed to cat allergens to observe any allergic reactions. This method is rarely used due to potential risks.

Can I Test for Cat Allergy at Home?

While there are some home allergy test kits available, they might not be as accurate or reliable as tests conducted by medical professionals. It’s recommended to consult an allergist for accurate diagnosis and advice on managing allergies.

Say Goodbye To Waiting Rooms And Long Lines. Speedy Sticks offers at-home testing.

How Do You Know If Your Cat Allergies Are Acting Up?

When your cat allergies are acting up, you might experience symptoms such as sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, itchy and watery eyes, coughing, wheezing, or skin rashes. These symptoms usually occur shortly after exposure to cat allergens. Keeping track of when symptoms occur and what triggers them can help you identify whether your cat allergies are causing the discomfort.

Can Cat Allergy Be Cured?

There is currently no cure for cat allergies, but various strategies can help manage and alleviate symptoms:

Medications: Over-the-counter or prescription antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal corticosteroids can help control symptoms.

Allergen Avoidance: Minimize exposure to cat allergens by keeping your living space clean, using air purifiers, designating cat-free zones, and regularly grooming and bathing your cat.

Immunotherapy: Allergy shots (subcutaneous immunotherapy) or allergy tablets (sublingual immunotherapy) can help desensitize your immune system over time, reducing allergic reactions.

Personal Care: Washing hands and changing clothes after interacting with cats, and using allergen-resistant bedding can help reduce allergen exposure.

Where To Get Tested?

Say Goodbye To Waiting Rooms And Long Lines. Speedy Sticks offers at-home testing.

Diagnosing Cat Allergies

If you suspect you have a cat allergy, it’s crucial to get an accurate diagnosis. There are two main types of cat allergy tests:

Skin Prick Test

During this test, small amounts of allergens are applied to your skin through gentle pricks. If you’re allergic, you’ll develop a raised bump at the test site.

Blood Test

A blood test measures the level of specific antibodies produced in response to cat allergens. This test can provide a comprehensive overview of your body’s immune reaction to these allergens.

Managing Cat Allergies

Creating an Allergy-Free Zone

Designating certain areas of your home as “cat-free zones” can help minimize your exposure to allergens. Keep your bedroom and other commonly used areas free from cat dander.

Grooming and Cleaning Tips

Regular grooming and cleaning can significantly reduce allergen levels. Brush your cat frequently and use a HEPA-filtered vacuum cleaner to trap allergens.

Medications for Symptom Relief

Antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal corticosteroids are commonly used to alleviate allergy symptoms. Consult your doctor before using any medication.

Allergen Immunotherapy

For severe allergies, allergen immunotherapy (allergy shots) can be recommended. This treatment involves gradually exposing your body to small amounts of allergens to build tolerance.

Living with a Cat Allergy

Is It Possible to Overcome the Allergy?

While some individuals may develop a tolerance over time, completely overcoming a cat allergy is unlikely. However, effective management strategies can allow you to enjoy your cat without constant discomfort.

Emotional Connection vs. Allergic Reactions

The emotional bond between a cat lover and their feline companion is powerful. It’s important to weigh the joy and companionship your cat provides against the discomfort of allergies.


Cat allergies don’t necessarily mean you have to bid farewell to your beloved pet. By understanding the causes, symptoms, and management options, you can create a harmonious environment where both you and your cat can thrive.

Say Goodbye To Waiting Rooms And Long Lines. Speedy Sticks offers at-home testing.