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I'm allergic to cats. I like cats just fine, in fact, I think they're great, they just turn me into a sneezing and sniffling wreck. And now researchers are finding that just like some people are allergic to cats, some cats may be allergic to people!

PJ the Cat

Feline asthma is a common condition in cats - one of every 200 has the disease. Researchers are exploring how the lifestyles of the people who live with cats are possibly causing asthma attacks. Cats who live exclusively indoors are more likely to develop feline asthma as their exposure to household dust, dust or other chemical vapors from their kitty litter, cigarette smoke (if they live with a smoker), human dandruff and pollen from household plants is much higher.

Research in the study of human asthma has suggested a link between bacterial Mycoplasma infection and a worsening of asthmatic symptoms. Studies conducted in the United States and Australia report finding Mycoplasma in a fifth of all lung fluid samples from cats with asthma.

If you have a cat that suffers from asthma, researchers suggest that you remove possible triggers from your home, and switch from a granule based litter to a newspaper based product. Personally, I'm looking forward to the day when hypoallergenic cats are inexpensive and generally available.