Cats are the second most numerous pets in the world behind freshwater fish. And like potato chips, most people can’t have just one! Even though dogs are frequently thought of as “Man’s Best Friend”, cats fulfill just as much of a companion role.
Most cat owners love their furry little friends like their own children. Unfortunately, this love for cats comes with the harsh reality that cat allergies are the most common pet allergy. Especially a cat urine allergy.
Some of the most common cat urine allergy symptoms are listed below. People are twice as likely to have a cat allergy than a dog allergy. Cat urine allergy symptoms can present with several different signs. Some may be mild and some may become severe.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Many of the symptoms of a cat urine allergy can actually mimic cold or flu symptoms. You may think you have a virus, but you may actually be allergic to your kitty’s litter box!
If a cat urine allergy isn’t properly diagnosed and treated, the symptoms can progress and turn into a serious upper respiratory infection.
How to Know if You Have a Cat Urine Allergy?
There are many different cat urine allergy symptoms. And different people will react to these symptoms in different ways. Some may exhibit all symptoms, while some may only show one or two.
Here are the top 8 most common cat urine allergy symptoms to watch out for:
1. You Have Red and Itchy Eyes
Cat urine itself has a very high ammonia content. It is irritating to anyone’s eyes if they are exposed to it in high concentrations. For example, any litter box that isn’t cleaned often enough and is in an enclosed space can have high concentrations of ammonia.
However, you definitely have a cat urine allergy if even a relatively clean litter box irritates your eyes. Not only can your eyes be red and itchy, but they may also water or swell from the allergy. Eye drops can help reduce the itchiness in eyes.
2. Your Have Itchy Skin
Along with itching eyes, a cat urine allergy may make your skin itch as well. There may or may not be a rash that appears with the itch. Like the red, itchy eyes, scratchy skin caused by a cat urine allergy can occur with what seems like very little exposure.
Even if you keep that litter box clean, residual urine on your kitty’s paws can be tracked all over, leaving you with a terrible itch. Using a cat litter mat is a good idea in such situations. It traps the litter from the box and prevents it from scattering all over the place.
The mat also helps in cleaning the residual urine on the cats paws and can provide relief from itchy skin in case things get out of hand.
3. You Get an Itchy and Runny Nose
One of the more common cat urine allergy symptoms can cause what feels like a perpetual tickle in your nose. Some highly allergic people can tell if a house they are visiting has a cat based on the telltale tickle that appears in their nose within minutes of entering.
If the only thing that has changed in your surroundings since the start of your itching and watery nose is the presence of a cat, then a cat urine allergy may be to blame.
A nasal spray can provide relief from cat urine allergy symptoms like itchy and runny nose.
4. Constant Sneezing
Sneezing often goes hand in hand with an itchy, runny nose, but not always. Some people with a severe cat urine allergy can enter a room that a cat has been in and just start sneezing without any other prior symptoms.
Sneezing can be almost as annoying as a persistent runny nose. And if there are no other known irritants present in the air, it may indicate a cat urine allergy. Allergy relief nasal sprays can help in these situations.
5. Feeling Dizziness
Dizziness may seem like it would only be associated with a severe cat urine allergy, but in reality it can occur in mild to severe cases for a couple of different reasons.
Dizziness can happen simply due to a long term exposure to the allergen without any sort of treatment. It can also happen as a side effect of other cat urine allergy symptoms that you may be experiencing.
Other issues that impede the ability to take deep, clear breaths can also cause dizziness. Taking some medicine for dizziness can provide some comfort against this symptom.
6. Nausea and/or Vomiting
Some people that experience a cat urine allergy have nausea that can also turn into vomiting in some cases.
It can be hard to tell at first if this is related to a bad meal or stomach bug.
However, if the nausea and vomiting seem to be related to the presence of your cat or their litter box (or any potential areas where they may have had accidents), it’s likely to be a cat urine allergy.
Using a pet urine detector can help find the most difficult to locate urine stains in the house. Chewing some nausea relief tablets can help one feel better.
7. Coughing Can Be One of the Cat Urine Allergy Symptoms
A cough that is related to the presence of your cat or their litter box is a very good indicator of a cat urine allergy. As noted before, cat urine contains ammonia, which can irritate everyone’s airway in high concentrations.
An allergic person will cough at much less than a filthy litter box though. Sometimes, just traces of urine on a visiting cat can set of an allergic coughing fit. Taking cough suppressant and antihistamine tablets can provide relief.
8. Upper Respiratory Infections
A step up from just coughing in the presence of a cat and their urine, an untreated allergy can easily turn into a full blown infection.
Often, people with an undiagnosed cat urine allergy will have repeated upper respiratory infections before they realize that exposure to allergens are causing them.
Cough relief syrups work well to ease the symptoms. But it’s best to get yourself checked immediately.
If you have a cat and are experiencing any combinations of these symptoms, you may have a cat urine allergy.
Thankfully, an allergy doesn’t always have to mean giving up your beloved pet. There are many options today that can help control a cat urine allergy such as multiple types of allergy medications such as Allegra, allergy shots, and sophisticated enzyme cleaners that can help control urine outside of the litter box.
Keeping a clean litter area will do a lot to reduce exposure as well. Though not all cats will tolerate it, baths with an appropriate cat shampoo can keep any residual urine from sticking to their fur or paws and spreading all over the house.
Many combinations of these have helped many cat owners all over the world live with their cat urine allergy and keep both themselves and their kitties happy and healthy!