About 1 out of 3 homes in the United States have a pet cat. People who own cats carry allergens like cat dander on their shoes and clothes. Cat dander allergens have been found in public buildings and even in homes that do not have cats. This makes it hard for people who are allergic to cats to stay away from cat dander completely. Being allergic to cats can cause your eyes to get itchy, watery and red. Your nose may become itchy, runny or stuffed and you may sneeze a lot.
One way to deal with cat allergy usually includes removing the cat from the home environment. However, once a cat has been removed from inside the home, concentrations of cat allergen do not decrease for a year or longer unless aggressive measures are taken to rid the home of allergens including removal of the carpet and thorough cleaning. Unfortunately, even with these efforts people may continue to have significant cat exposure outside of the home. Allergy to cats can affect quality of life and daily activities. There is currently no cure for cat allergy. Current treatment for cat allergy includes taking over the counter or prescription medications or getting allergy shots for 3 to 5 years to help reduce the symptoms, although they do not eliminate the allergy.