If you grew up without a cat but have become convinced by numerous YouTube video that they're adorable and delightful creatures, you still may want to think twice before adopting one. As there is absolutely no facet of life that can't be turned into a health scare, experts are now warning that even adults with no known cat allergies may have a horrible reaction when they bring the pet into their home.
Italian researchers found that people who grow up with a cat in their home are less likely to develop a cat allergy at any point in their lives, according to Reuters. However, people who have allergies or asthma and adopt a cat for the first time as an adult are nearly twice as likely to become allergic to it, even if they've been around cats before and had no reaction. The study involved 6,000 European adults with no sensitivity to cat dander, who were questioned and had blood drawn twice over a nine year period. During that time, 3% of those who didn't own a cat developed an allergy, compared to 5% of those who got a cat.
Interestingly, only people who let their new pet into their bedroom developed a cat allergy. Dr. Andy Nish of the Allergy and Asthma Care Center in Gainesville, Georgia, who wansn't involved in the study, said that finding is "remarkable." He said he's always recommended that people prone to allergies keep cats out of the bedroom, and he usually advises people who develop cat allergies to just find the animal a new home. If they can't bear to part with their pet:
Second best is to keep the cat outdoors always ... If it comes in even occasionally, its dander will remain in the house for months. If the cat needs to be indoors, at least keep it out of your bedroom, consider a HEPA filter for your bedroom and consider washing the cat at least once a week.
Though, this advice really depends on how bad your allergies are, and how much your cat hates water. It may be easier to live with some sneezing rather than trying to administer weekly cat baths.
Getting A Cat Ups Allergy Risk In Adults [Reuters]
Image via Patrizia Tilly/Shutterstock.