Is Cat Fur Harmful for Human Health?
Specialist Veterinarian Serkan Güngör
Cats, which we feed in our house and which have become an irreplaceable member of the family over time, are creatures that know very well how to establish a throne in our hearts with their cute attitudes. However, there is a question that comes to mind when adopting a cat and causes many people to worry: Is cat hair harmful to human health?
While it is possible to talk about the many positive effects of stroking and petting the soft cat hair on human health, whether it is harmful to health or not has been a subject that has been discussed for many years. However, the answer to this question is quite simple.
We can easily say that cat hair is not harmful to human health. On the other hand, it is useful to mention some factors that lead to the belief that cat hair is harmful. Thus, you can better understand the source of unexpected changes in your health and make the necessary adjustments in your life and lead a happier life with your cat.
Here are some of the factors that lead to the belief that cat hair can be harmful, and some questions that bother the minds.
Does Cat Hair Cause Allergies?
Developing an allergy to pet hair is actually directly related to your immune system. However, people who have allergic reactions often tend to see pets as the primary culprit.
Actually all cats; They contain allergens in their fur, skin and saliva. However, while many people live a comfortable life with their cat without being affected by these allergens, many people may experience allergic symptoms. This may be due to some changes in the immune system, or it may be due to the excess amount of allergen in the environment.
So, for example, if your cat has very long hair or if there is more than one cat in the house, it can be argued that there is a higher level of allergen in the environment. Therefore, the probability of experiencing an allergic condition manifested by symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, nasal itching, and reddening eyes will be higher in such cases.
On the other hand, dust and pollen in your cat’s fur may also cause you to have an allergic reaction. In this case, we can infer that you are allergic to dust or pollen, not cats.
If you think you have an allergic reaction to cat hair or any allergen originating from your cat and are experiencing discomfort, we recommend that you clean your house frequently, use a high-efficiency vacuum cleaner, and ventilate all rooms at regular intervals. If you think that your quality of life has decreased due to allergies despite taking every precaution, it would be in your best interest to consult your doctor for possible treatment methods.
Does Cat Hair Cause Cyst Formation?
One of the misconceptions about cat hair in society is that ingesting cat hair causes cyst formation in the body. Although scientific research has revealed that cat hair does not cause cyst formation, many people stay away from cat care at home because of the widespread use of this false belief.
However, what causes cyst formation; They are parasites that infect hair, not animal hair. These parasites can be found in raw vegetables and fruits, as well as in cats fed raw food and in contact with other animals. In order to prevent these parasites from harming the body, it will be sufficient to wash vegetables and fruits and regularly spray your cat with a parasite vaccine.
As it can be understood from here, cat hair is actually quite innocent and accusing pets that are not directly related to cyst formation with false information is the easiest way for uninformed people. But trying to find answers to all these questions by doing some research and consulting a veterinarian who is an expert in the field will be a much more logical step in terms of spending time with loving animals such as cats and dogs without getting nervous.
Does Cat Hair Cause Illness?
It is possible to give a clear answer to this question, which is one of the concerns that families with small children have about cat care at home: Cat hair does not cause illness.
Although it is possible to get sick due to viruses and bad bacteria forms, it is worth noting that the hair of healthy cats that are fed in a healthy way and whose veterinary controls are carried out without interruption will not cause any disease.
Let’s also give the information that virus transmission from animals to humans is very rare. Therefore, not only worrying about bacteria, but taking the necessary precautions to prevent bacterial growth will also help you minimize the possibility of disease.
If you have such a concern for the hair of street cats and you are not sure that they are regularly groomed, petting them and washing your hands after stroking their fur will help reset the possibility of disease.
Does Cat Hair Trigger Asthma?
Cat hair does not cause allergies, nor does it trigger asthma. Here, too, the reason for the inconvenience; they are probably proteins found in cat hair, saliva, and skin. These proteins can be considered as allergens that cause people with asthma to overreact and even experience an asthma attack.
These small scale proteins, which can be found in the fur, skin or saliva of cats, can be critical for asthma sufferers and are often not recommended for pet owners. However, if an asthmatic has to visit an area with pets, we strongly recommend that they avoid direct contact with cats, given the potential for seizures.