Individuals who are allergic to cats may experience symptoms that include coughing, wheezing, rashes and hives. Itchy eyes, sneezing and respiratory problems are additional signs, according to WebMD. It is also possible to experience redness of the skin where it has come in contact with a cat.
Certain individuals may experience allergic reactions immediately after coming into contact with a cat or its fur, while others may experience symptoms hours later, notes WebMD. Between 20 and 30 percent of individuals with allergic asthma experience severe flare-ups after contact with cats.
The symptoms of cat allergy are similar to those of allergic reactions to many other substances. As a result, doctors can perform a skin or blood test to determine whether the allergic reactions are the result of the presence of a cat or other environmental factors. It is important to note that even professional allergy tests can be inaccurate; often, the surest way to determine whether a cat causes allergic reactions is by not coming into contact with a cat for several months and observing whether the symptoms go away during this time. Sufferers of cat allergies typically treat their symptoms using antihistamines, decongestants and nasal sprays, many of which are available as over-the-counter treatments, explains WebMD.