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Allergy to cats and cat dander rubbing off on clothes

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Hi, this question relates to allergy.. Iam allergic to cats and we have more than 5 of them, however they are kept in the garden and i don go there. Our house is small and entry to the house is by the garden and the door to the garden is kept open at times..the cats sleep in the laundry area outside.. I was wondering if clothes are hung outside to dry would this catch their dander onto it? And is it bad yo keep cats in the laundary because its a washng place and their dander could go into the washing machine? I dont go outside to wash my clothes or to hang them my carer does this..and she has a habit of playing with the cats so i assume cat dander would rub off onto her clothes, and would this rub onto the dried clothes when she is bringing it inside for me? Thank you

Category: Allergy and Immunologist

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Category: Family Physician-GP
 25 Doctors Online



Thank you for asking your query at DoctorSpring. 


I would like to know what kind of allergy do you have, when exposed to Cats ?

Do you get skin manifestations alone (as in itching / burning) ? Do you get any respiratory manifestations ? As in breathing trouble ? Cough ?

Since you have cats living there, do you get these allergies now ?


You can reply directly to this email.


Thank you

Patient replied :

thank you for your reply, i mainly get itchy skin..but lately i have been getting sinusitis and have had tinnitus as acomplication of the sinusitus..i also have allergy to dust mites and iam not sure which allergies are causing my sumptoms.I just wanted to know since i dont go into the garden or interact with the cats directly would the cat dander still transfer onto my clothes while its hung out to dry? and perhaps this could add to my allergies maybe?
Thank you



Unfortunately yes, you are at risk of coming in contact with cat dander. The important thing is that, its not just the dander, there are  other allergens in the Cat's body / saliva / secretion or faeces which could cause the allergic reactions. And these allergens can be airborne. So there is no need for direct contact to spread. And yes this can transfer to your clothes (as you have suspected) and can add up to the allergies. 


If you were having no symptoms it would be rather ok to keep the cats there. However since you are having some allergy related symptoms the exposure need to be minimised. You may have take some extreme measures for that including moving the cats to some place. 


Hope this helps.

Thank you

Please feel free to ask followup questions. 

Patient replied :

Thanks for that..yes its unfortunate cause i live with my parents and moving out is not a option for now or for the near future and the cats are my mothers so i dont have the control of replacing them somwhere or giving it away :(

Well, its not that big a problem. It's easier if you could do without the cats, thats all. Most of the common allergens are universally present. So there is no point in taking extreme precautions. 


I understand you are taking care to avoid any contact with cats. That's good. Just make sure that you not exposed to the air in and around the cats dwelling place. (like by not being near the rooms). That should help.


Wish you good health.

Dr. Mayank Bhargava
Category: Family Physician-GP
Fellowship: Gastroenterology, Chotiram Hospital & Research centre, Indore, 2009
Residency: General Medicine, Rajasthan University Jaipur, 2008
Medical School:  MBBS, Rajasthan University Jaipur, 2004
Dr. Mayank Bhargava and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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