There are about 4 or 5 different chemicals that cats produce that people can be allergic to. Some of the most common ones are expressed in cat's saliva. Since cats clean themselves by licking, those allergens get into their fur.
Majority of people are allergic to hair and fur possibly this is the sole reason that cause these allergic reactions
From what I understand, cat dander is the main thing that causes allergic reactions in some people.
It's a by-product of the 20th/21st Centuries, over-sensitivity to natural fibres, in the same way as some people can't eat nuts, or others can't drink milk. The more civilised and germ-free our environment becomes, the more chronic reactions there will be. Already hay-fever is common amongst people, where a century ealier, perhaps more, they'd be considered oddities.
Ever thought, though, that some cats are allergic to people? A lot of cats in the western world are feral. Go to the Colosseum in Rome. The place is crawling with wild moggies - ironically they live where the lions used to be kept!
It's the common household moggie that's the threat. Affectionate, curling up by the baby in his/her cot, smothering the kid with its soft hairs.
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