Study finds that cats cause more allergic reactions than dogs
According to a new study from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, cat owners are more than twice as likely to suffer allergic reactions from their furry friend than they would be if they owned a dog.
The study found that a protein produced by cats, which secretes from their pores, is more irritating to the human respiratory system than a similar protein that dogs create.
Researchers found that one in every seven children under the age of 19 suffers from an allergy to cats.
The reason why cat allergies are so prevalent is related to the size of the allergenic protein, which is small enough to keep it airborne and enable inhalation deep into a human lung. The size of the protein is about one tenth of the size of a speck of dust.
The protein is also more prone to stick to clothes and furniture than similar allergens produced by dogs. Even if a cat is removed from a house, the protein is likely to still be around for at least another six months.
Researchers found that male cats made more of the protein than female cats, especially when the feline is not neutered, as higher levels of testosterone invigorate production.
The results from this study suggest that people with pet allergies should talk with their doctor to figure out a proper treatment plan for their conditions. To make this better at home, allergy sufferers can use HEPA air filters to rid the air of animal proteins that may cause allergic reactions.