Cats Cause More Childhood AllergiesDanielle Sullivan
The battle between cat lovers vs. dog lovers is nearly as heated (and pointless) as the stay at home mom vs. working mom debate. Most animal lovers acknowledge that each pet offers their own unique pros and cons. Dogs are great companions and provide a daily reason to get out and exercise. Cats are great for owners who don’t always have the time to be home and available for walks.
However, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, cat allergies are twice as common as dog allergies, and about one in seven children between ages 6 and 19 are allergic to cats.
But it’s not their fur that is allergy inducing; it’s a protein found on cat skin called Fel d 1.
On FoxNews.com, Mark Larché, an immunology professor at McMaster University in Ontario explains:
The protein enters the air on bits of cat hair and skin, and it is so small and light — it’s about one-tenth the size of a dust allergen — that it can stay airborne for hours. Dog allergens don’t stay airborne the same way cat allergens do. The particle size is just right to breathe deep into your lungs.”
Personally, I do know more people who are allergic to cats than dogs. Even my own children will sometimes get itchy eyes if they immediately touch their eyes after petting our cats. Yet we have cats and dogs (and frogs, turtles, and fish, too!). It wasn’t a factor when we got our pets because none of us were allergic to cats or dogs.
Did you consider if you might be allergic to a pet before you got it? DO you know more people who are allergic to cats or dogs?
Image: Flickr/ Sean MacEntee
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