Not all skin conditions come down to what we're putting into our body's. External factors and the environment around us can also create allergens that our skin reacts to. Whilst the last thing we really want to believe is that our much loved moggy is the cause of that irritating rash, if you're considering there might be a correlation between flare ups and your feline friend, it's time to investigate.
Cat allergy symptoms can manifest in a number of ways, not all of them will show on the skin. If you struggle with any of the following after being around cats, chances are they are posing a potential problem.
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Facial pain (from nasal congestion)
- Coughing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and wheezing
- Watery, red or itchy eyes
- Skin rash or hives
It's all very well to suggest removing the problem from the household ... but I am a huge animal lover myself and it's not quite as simple as parting with your beloved pet. If you're displaying any of the above Cat Allergy Symptoms after spending time with your favourite feline, it might be worth conducting a conclusive test. Testing for an animal allergy is the only way to know for certain what it is you're allergic to. Symptoms which may seem to be caused by an cat, could in fact, be due to other allergies carried on the animals fur - such as pollen or mold.
Six Tips for Naturally Treating Cat Allergy Symptoms
1. Keep Your Home Clean
OK, so this might seem like an obvious one, but if it's a cat fur allergy you're reacting to, regular hoovering, dusting and wiping down surfaces will remove as much of the cat hair as possible from your environment. It's best to use a mild, chemical free cleaner with a warm, damp cloth.
2. Keep Up the Quercetin
Quercetin is a natural plant compound found in many fruit and vegetables. Its anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and antihistamine properties make it great for fighting cat allergies. Quercetin is often called “nature’s Benedryl” because it suppresses histamines that cause the symptoms of cat allergies. It can also inhibit bronchial constriction that causes coughing.
3. Go Pineapple & Papaya Potty
Bromelain and Papain are often used alongside quercetin, because they help the body absorb quercetin more quickly. These enzymes can be found in pineapple (it's important to eat or juice the core as that's where a high concentration of bromelain is found). They can suppress histamines that cause inflammation and cat allergy symptoms, whilst soothing irritated mucous membranes and providing some pain relief.
4. Boost Your Biotics
When the bacteria in our gut is in good balance we are less likely to develop or react as strongly to external cat allergies. Taking a good Multi Strain Biotic is the perfect way to ensure good gut bacteria, especially if you've recently taken a course of antibiotics or used medication over an extended period of time.
5. Oatmeal Soak
An oatmeal soak is so easy to make at home and can provide quick relief from cat allergy symptoms such as itching. Oatmeal has anti-inflammatory properties, and my patients often report instant relief upon soaking. The high mineral and vitamin content can also help skin heal, especially hot spots and irritated patches. Simply add a good couple of handfuls of oats to the sock end of a pair of tights, tie them up and pop in the bath whilst you run the warm water. A muslin bag works equally well.
6. Liquorice Root
Liquorice Root is a natural cortisone that helps regulate the immune system in a similar way to a medicinal steroid. Liquorice has been shown to soothe mucous membranes, detoxify the liver, and offer anti-inflammatory properties. If you're struggling with respiratory problems as a result of cat allergies it can be particularly useful. Taken as a tea, liquorice can also help with digestive issues, and even arthritis.