(PCM) No matter how cute they are, if you’ve never owned a pet before, you may want to steer clear of bringing cats into your home. A new study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology found that buying a cat for the first time as an adult could increase your risk of developing cat allergies by 85 percent.
The study followed more than 6,000 people between the ages of 20 to 44 who were free of cat allergies at the start of the nine-year study. Of those people, 651 bought cats during those nine years, and researchers found that they were much more likely to become sensitized to cat dander and develop allergies than people who had never owned cats. They also found that people who already suffered from asthma, nasal allergies, and eczema were the most likely to develop cat allergies.
If you grew up with a feline during childhood, you’re in luck: having a pet cat as a child protected against future cat allergies well into adulthood. If you didn’t, well, cats just aren’t the best pets for you!