While cats do make a cute pet, researchers from the University of Verona in Italy have warned that they double the risk of their owners suffering from allergies.
According to the report published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, adult cat owners are more susceptible to suffering from common symptoms of allergies such as coughs, wheezes and itchy eyes.
More than 6,000 people were surveyed by the researchers who took blood samples of the participants twice over a period of nine years. The researchers found that none of the participants were sensitized to cat's dander at the start of the study.
At the end of the study period, the researchers found that over 3 percent of people who did not own cats became sensitized to cat's dander compared to more than 5 percent of cat owners. Around 40 percent of those who became sensitized said that they experienced allergy symptoms when they were around cats and almost all of them had let the pets come into their bedroom.
"Our data support that acquiring a cat in adulthood nearly doubles the risk of developing cat sensitization. Hence, cat avoidance should be considered in adults, especially in those sensitized to other allergens and reporting a history of allergic diseases.", lead researcher Mario Olivieri wrote in the report.