Is he really allergic to Cats?

I am a divorced father of two. For about 9 months, I was fostering a cat. My kids loved him, but he did not like my son and would not let him come near him without swatting him.

My son never had any allergy issues while the cat was with me and the cat would actually sleep on his bed when he was not home.

My ex got a cat early this year and my son adored him. He was very affectionate and would lay with my son. It wasn't long until my son developed a horrible rash on his face and neck, and we attributed it to this.

The cat had to stay at the vet for observation over bladder issues. The vet also looked at my son and said it would be a great time to see if his rash was due to an allergic reaction.

The rash subsided while Henry was at the vet and my ex got rid of him for fear of further reactions.

Is my son allergic to cats? Or just Henry? I would love to get another cat, but don't want to repeat this and have to turn another cat away. Any thoughts?

Asked by Member 1076281 on Dec 8th 2011 Tagged allergy in Other Adoption & Rescue
Report this question Get this question's RSS feed Send this question to a friend


  • Cast your vote for which answer you think is best!



Allergies, as I understand it, never occur on first time exposure. You have to be exposed once or multiple times to display an allergic reaction. This is a difficult situation. I would recommend consulting with your internist/allergist/dermatologist. I myself had allergic dermatitis as a child, cause unknown (although I suspect tobacco smoke), which I outgrew. I do have a mild cat allergy, which mainly manifests itself as itchy eyes. You don't mention how old your son is, but if he is elementary school age, he may outgrow his allergies. Cat allergies are caused by cat saliva (which collects on cat hair and skin--skin castoffs like dandruff are known as dander). I doubt that one cat would be more allergy inducing than another, although Siberians are said to be hypoallergenic. Allergy shots seem to work for many people. Have your son be tested for a cat allergy, but remember that I tested negative but have a slight allergy.

Chibi answered on 12/9/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


The rash going away while the cat was at the vet could have been a coincidence. A human doctor would be the best source to decide what your son is allergic to. My ex was allergic and breathing cat dander was actually causing damage to his lungs that affected his breathing even when the cats were not around so it can also get worse instead of better. I only had 2 cats at the time and they were able to live with my mother. But rather than getting a cat and risk having to get rid of it, why not try fostering again? Although it is hard to have a cat and not get attached to it because you know it will not be yours, at least if it doesn't work out with your son then you are not abandoning a pet.

Allie answered on 12/9/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 1 Report this answer


It definately sounds like he's having an allergic reaction to Henry. Strangely different cats produce different amounts of allergens (males generally more than females, some breeds more than others, kittens less than adult cats, etc). You might just find that Henry produced a larger number of allergens than your first fostered cat.

Usually an allergic reaction accurs when one comes into contact with the skin of the cat or any fur that has saliva from the cat (after cleaning itself). This is what your son would be allergic to.

A so-called "hypoallergenic cat" would be a viable option for your family as they are bred to produce less allergens.

Here are a few sites with some information about the myths and truths about hypoallergenic cats.

Good luck finding your new family member!

Runtie answered on 1/24/12. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer