ZocdocAnswersWhy did I get a rash after I slept with my cat?

Question

Why did I get a rash after I slept with my cat?

I am a 23 year old female and my cat likes to sleep under the blankets with me (she always has). I recently adopted her into my home (after she had lived with my parents for the past 3 years) and after the first week of sleeping with her both my partner and I developed a rash on our upper stomach (near rib cage). I have never had this problem before, and I have slept in the same bed with her for many years. The rash only lasted a week, she is an indoor cat so I know it's not fleas. Could it be because we had newly-introduced her to our home, and we just weren't used to the cat dander?

Answer

It is possible that you are allergic to cat dander. Sometimes allergies will worsen over time, so what may have been a very mild allergy to cats that you had when you lived with your parents (and therefore did not notice) could now be a more significant allergy that bothers you. In addition to rash, other symptoms that are typical of cat dander allergy include stuffy nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes. However, if the rash has now gone away and hasn't come back and if you are not having any other symptoms (and assuming that the cat is still sleeping with you) then this is unlikely to be a cat allergy. It is more likely that there was something on the cat's fur that temporarily was irritating to you (but that has since gone away, as the cat is now living in your environment). Another possibility is that the rash was not related to the cat at all, but that since the cat had just moved in you mistakenly associated it with the cat. Regardless, as long as all symptoms have resolved I wouldn't worry about it too much. If symptoms return, however, you could talk to your primary care doctor for more advice.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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