In people who have allergies, 15-30% of them are allergic reactions to cats or dogs. Cat allergies are twice as common as dog allergies.
Pet allergy occurs when the immune system reacts to an allergen in pet dander, saliva or urine. All dogs and cats produce these allergens. There are no breeds of dog or cat that are proven to be “hypo-allergenic.” Symptoms of pet allergy include itchy, watery eyes, stuffy, runny nose, hives due to skin contact, and in some cases, breathing problems such as coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. Pet allergies can be treated with immunotherapy, which can allow people to live with their pet and be symptom-free.