This next bit of intelligence is for anyone considering getting a cat: Think twice. That’s because a recent study found that becoming a cat owner as an adult doubles your risk of developing potentially deadly allergies – even if you’ve never been allergic to anything in your entire life.
University of Verona researchers took a blood sample from 6,000 adults – none of whom owned cats. Nine years later, volunteers gave another blood sample. And completed a questionnaire that asked things like, “Did you have a cat as a child?” And “Do you own a cat now?”
The result? People who got a cat for the first time as an adult were twice as likely to develop severe, potentially deadly cat allergies than those who first had a cat as children. Researchers say it’s because when you’re a child and come in contact with a cat, your body develops antibodies against cat allergies that protect you through adulthood. But if you don’t have any real contact with cats until you’re an adult, it’s often too late. So you’re at a heightened risk of developing serious cat allergies.
That doesn’t mean you necessarily have to kiss your dreams of becoming a cat owner goodbye for good. Instead, just keep the cat out of your bedroom 24/7. Researchers say that none of the volunteers who kept their pet out of the bedroom became allergic.