What is the cause of cat allergies?

A cat allergy is caused by a reaction to a protein produced in cat saliva and released by glands into their skin. The cat spreads this around by licking itself (getting saliva into the fur), scratching itself (releasing fur and skin particles into the air), and generally just by existing. People breathe in the allergens in the form of dust, particles, etc., or they contact it directly by petting the cat or by sitting in an area where the cat has rubbed against.


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Cat allergens are virtually impossible to eliminate entirely, but it's the concentration in high levels that will cause the allergic reaction. In houses where cats live, there will be large levels of the particles, both in the air (because they are small and easily remain airborne) and around the house where the cat sleeps, plays, and interacts with objects. It can take months after removing a cat for allergen levels to return to normal, especially if you have carpet.

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