Symptoms of Cat Allergies in Children

Children may be allergic to pets. The symptoms of cat allergies in children will include sneezing, skin rashes, swollen eyes, watery discharges from the eyes or nose and even coughing. The allergies in children may be mild or more severe; the child’s reaction depends on how sensitive he is to the cat.

Cat Allergies in Children

Even if an early exposure to pets may reduce the chances of having allergies later in life, some children may develop allergies to cats. The allergies are caused by cat dander, which is composed of dead skin cells that have an active protein compound that causes the negative reactions. The protein is called Fel d.1 and may also be present in the cat’s urine, saliva or blood. However, the Fel d.1 protein amounts are low in the urine, blood or saliva, so the child is most likely allergic to cat dander.

The allergies are a negative reaction of the immune system; a weak immune system is more likely to respond to different allergens including cat dander.

Symptoms of Cat Allergies in Children

The symptoms of cat allergies may depend on how allergic the child is to the cat. Some children develop only mild symptoms such as sneezing, while others may get swollen and have an anaphylactic shock that requires an immediate epinephrine shot.

The Fel d.1 protein will cause common cat allergy symptoms such as:

  • Sneezing
  • Dermatitis
  • Skin itchiness
  • Nose itchiness
  • Transparent discharges from the nose or eyes
  • Congested nose
  • Coughing
  • Swollen eyes, hands or feet
  • Irritated eyes (redness)
  • Swollen air passages and difficulty breathing (requires immediate assistance and an epinephrine shot that will reduce the swelling and facilitate the breathing)

These symptoms may occur at any point in the child’s life. However, the allergic reactions will be more severe after the child has been exposed to cat dander. Please note that the cat dander is not only present on cats, but may also be present in environments where cats live. The cat dander can be shed and may be lodged in furniture, rugs or drapes.

Relieving Cat Allergies

Depending on the severity of the allergies, the doctor will prescribe different treatments. If the allergies are severe, the child should get allergy shots; these allergy shots contain a small quantity of the Fel d.1 protein, which will be injected on a monthly basis; the child should gradually develop immunity and the cat allergy symptoms should diminish.

If the allergies are mild, you can diminish the cat allergy symptoms by administering antihistamines to your child and keeping your house clean, removing the cat dander as often as possible, so that the child doesn’t inhale the dander; the cat should also get more baths, so that the dander is removed. A shampoo that will reduce the dander in your pet is also recommended.

You should also consider getting an air purifier.

Instruct your child to wash his hands every time after playing with the pet.