Cat allergy test
In this article, we're going to be talking about what you can do if you suspect you might be allergic to cats. Do you sneeze a lot, have a runny nose and itchy, watery eyes when you’re around your pet cat? Allergies to cats and other pets with hair and fur are very common. It could be allergens from the cat are causing your symptoms of allergy.
How do you know if you are allergic to cats? Would you like to find out more about allergy tests? And specifically, cat allergy tests?
Testing for cat allergy can start with the Home Allergy Test. The Home Allergy Test can be a first step to finding out if cat allergens might be causing your symptoms. Using sophisticated technology, the test analyses your body's reaction to 294 different substances including 25 pet dander allergens and components. The Home Allergy Test is easy to use and backed by science.
About the cat allergy test
The antibody Immunoglobulin E (IgE) plays a vital role in allergies. By identifying specific IgE antibodies in your blood, the Home Allergy Test can give an indication of your sensitisation to potential allergy triggers.
The cat allergy testing kit contains everything you need to collect a small blood sample from your fingertip. We include a step-by-step guide in the box and you can also watch our how-to video. The test kit also includes a prepaid return envelope. Use this to pop your blood sample in the post to our partner lab for analysis. You need to post the blood sample within 24 hours after collecting it to make sure it’s stable and suitable for testing.
Your test must be activated online so we know it belongs to you. There’s a unique code on the welcome card included in the test kit. Activating your test also creates your secure, online account if you don’t already have one with us. We can't process your test unless it's activated.
The results of your cat allergy test will be available in your online account within two weeks. Your cat allergy test results will show the level of specific IgE antibodies in your blood. The test results can indicate if you’re sensitised to any of the hundreds of different allergens tested, including allergens from cats.
Order your cat allergy test today.
Many allergens, one testThe Home Allergy Test tests and analyses your body’s reaction to 294 different allergens including:
- Pollen 59
- Pets 25
- Insect stings 10
- Moulds & yeasts 13
- Foods 154
- Other 14
Symptoms of cat allergy
One of the main symptoms of cat allergy is allergic rhinitis. Allergic rhinitis is an inflammatory condition, which affects the inside of your nose. The symptoms are similar to the symptoms of a common cold. The difference is that allergic rhinitis symptoms are not caused by a virus but are triggered by an allergic reaction.
When allergens from cats come into contact with your mouth, eyes or nose your body mistakenly interprets them as a threat. And a chain of reactions is set off in defence. Your body releases various chemicals, including histamine. Histamine is part of an inflammatory response.
White blood cells and various fluids flow to the site of the attack to help. This causes amongst other things inflammation and swelling in, for example, your eyes, your skin, your nose and throat. In turn, making you sneeze, your eyes water, your nose runny, your skin itchy… whatever it takes to get rid of the threat as quickly as possible.Cat allergy symptoms checklist:
- Stuffy, runny nose
- Itchy nose
- Itchy, red or watery eyes
- Breathing difficulties
- Tight chest or wheezing/li>
- Eczema/skin rash/hives /li>
Allergies to cats can involve any combination of symptoms from the checklist above. Symptoms of allergy can vary from person to person.
All you need is in the box
Why you should get tested for allergy to cats
When you know what’s causing your symptoms of allergy it’s easier to know how to manage and treat them. If you suspect you might have an allergy to cats getting a cat allergy test means you'll be able to find out if allergens from cats might be triggering your symptoms.
You don't have to put up with symptoms of cat allergy. Cat allergy symptoms may range from mild to severe. Cat allergy symptoms that are not well controlled may have an effect on your well-being in the long term. Allergy symptoms can disrupt your sleep, making concentrating at work or school difficult the next day. Cat allergy can cause eczema resulting in irritated, itchy and broken skin.
Allergy blood tests such as the Home Allergy Test detect Immunoglobulin E (IgE) in your body. Identifying specific IgE antibodies in your blood can give an indication of your sensitisation to potential allergy triggers. It doesn’t mean you’re necessarily allergic though.
The results of the Home Allergy Test can be a first step to finding out if you might have pet allergies. Your doctor will need to consider any test results along with your medical history to give a diagnosis of allergies.
With the right information, managing your symptoms becomes easier. For example, if your cat allergy test results indicate you're sensitised to cat allergens, it may help to try to reduce your exposure to your pet. And with an accurate diagnosis, you'll be able to get access to the most suitable treatments for your cat allergy.
Cat allergy: a closer look
It's quite common to be allergic to cats and other pets with hair and fur especially for people who also have allergic asthma or hay fever. It's often thought that the fur of the cat that causes symptoms of allergy. But it’s not.
Cats produce many proteins that have the potential to cause a pet allergy. Allergies from cats are caused by the protein in the cat’s saliva, urine and dander. Cat dander is particles of their shed skin. The microscopic protein particles can spread when the cat moults or grooms itself.
An allergic reaction starts with your immune system. The job of the immune system is to protect us from infectious bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. But if you have cat allergies, your body perceives their saliva, urine or dander as a threat and takes swift defensive action to try and protect you.
The process of developing allergies is called sensitisation. It starts with your body mistakenly believing that a usually harmless substance is harmful. It records the structure of the allergen so it can produce specific IgE antibodies to fight it. When specific IgE antibodies are present in your blood it’s called being sensitised.
Being sensitised doesn't mean you necessarily have allergies though. Sensitisation is the first step in developing allergies. You can be sensitised without being allergic, but you can’t be allergic without being sensitised first. Detecting sensitisation can be a useful tool to identify potential allergic triggers. If you're diagnosed with cat allergies it means you're sensitised and you experience allergic reactions when you come into contact with cat dander, urine or saliva.
"Very clear instructions and the packaging is high quality. Looking forward to receiving the results." - Sara P
"I got the results and I have to say, I am very impressed.
I have only ever noticed suffering from sensitivity to cats, dust and a bit on grass before moving house at the end of Feb and I’ve always been able to control these reactions with off the shelf antihistamine, the test confirmed sensitivity to all of these.
Since moving I have suffered badly from a far more severe reaction to something unknown, I had assumed it was pollen from the symptoms as I am now surrounded by trees and flowering plants and there is a park behind the house, so plenty of grass too. My hope when taking the test was to find out if this new issue was a general sensitivity or if there was something specific in my new environment which was causing it. I am delighted that the test came back with such a strong positive on Ash tree pollen along with a moderate on Olive (which as I’m reading are in some way connected) while showing no sensitivity to other tree pollen types at all.
Having checked the pollen season for Ash trees it seems to coincide really well with when I had my symptoms, I.e. through March and April I was really bad but its clearing up now in May to the point that its negligible now. Looking around outside I think I’ve spotted the culprit at the back of my garden right next to where I’ve been sitting when outside!
I was sceptical about spending the money on this but at the time my symptoms were so harsh I think I’d have tried almost anything! I’m so glad that I did this now." - Rob S.
"Great product! For a while now, I have suspected that my son might have an allergy. I was leaning towards tree or grass pollen, but he didn’t really seem to be consistently bothered when being outside. I bought the home allergy test to understand what he was sensitised to. The guide that comes with the product, made it a simple exercise to complete the test. Drawing the blood took about 20 seconds, and there is really little hassle at all.
The report came back within a couple of weeks and showed high sensitisation to house dust mite. Didn’t think of that beforehand. So now we know where to focus and we have had dialogue with our doctor for next steps and proper treatment." - Morten S.