The Truth About Cats and Dogs (and Their Dander)!
What Am I Allergic To?
Despite what you may have heard, you are not allergic to your animal's hair. Rather, pet allergies are reactions to a protein found in the saliva, dander (dead skin flakes) or urine of an animal. Urine is the main source of allergens from rabbits, hamsters and guinea pigs. In cats, the main source of allergens is a protein called Fel d1 secreted by the cat's salivary glands and sebaceous glands in the skin. Dog allergen also comes most commonly from dander and saliva. Dander particles are similar to, only much smaller than dandruff on the human scalp, and they are constantly shed into the environment. Cat allergen is so sticky that it adheres to walls, furniture, clothing and shoes. People who do not even own a cat can have allergy symptoms due to allergen being tracked into their homes. Any of these allergenic proteins from any animal can easily become airborne and land on the lining of the eyes or nose, or be inhaled directly into the lungs. Continue reading