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Allergy testing?

Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 5:22 pm
by Flora_L
Hello, dear people at CatChat!

Lovely to be here. Finally, we can take in a precious cat into our homes. But we read on a few adoption agencies' websites that some cats needed to be taken in because they caused their owners to have an allergic reaction. So we decided to take an allergy test beforehand. However, as we are from Europe, we don't quite know how this works... Do we go to our GP and ask for a test; is it carried out right there or does it need an appointment? If you have a mild allergy, can you live with a cat? (We live in a flat which makes things a bit more complicated I guess). Is the scratch test efficient or should we ask for a blood test instead?

I hope these questions are acceptable and am looking forward to your answers!

Have a great evening! xx

Re: Allergy testing?

Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:35 pm
by alanc
Can't help with how or how quick tests are done, but I have a work colleague who is mildly allergic to cats (though not as bad as he is to dogs) and he lives with his wife's cat in residence, whilst taking anti-histamine and such like stuff.

Re: Allergy testing?

Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:09 pm
by Sniper1
I believe the cat allergy tests are antibody tests in the UK you can buy them online but I think they rely on previous exposure to cats its probably worth calling your GP surgery and asking them I would imagine they could answer your question more reliably but it may not show up how serious any allergic could be as many people are only mildly allergic and can cope with it in various ways

Re: Allergy testing?

Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:58 pm
by Kay
do you know someone who has a cat, and who you could visit?

but I wouldn't give too much weight to cats put into care because their owners or family were allergic - it's often used as a valid excuse to give up a cat, because the owner doesn't want to admit they just don't want it any more - at least that's my experience

someone who has reached adulthood without a problem is unlikely to be allergic, as they are unlikely never to have encountered a cat

Re: Allergy testing?

Posted: Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:41 pm
by booktigger
Honestly, when doing home visits for people who haven't owned cats before, I suggest either visiting a friend with a cat, or going to a shelter and spending some time to see what kind of reaction you have. However, it is possible to only react to certain cats, as it is the dander on the fur that causes allergies, but equally you can become immune to them.

Re: Allergy testing?

Posted: Wed Dec 19, 2018 9:34 pm
by Flora_L
Thanks so much for the answers! Visiting the local shelter is a great idea! We'll definitely do that! I also got an appointment for a phone call with our GP between the holiday seasons. Thanks all!!