By Jennifer Copley (Last Updated 6 December 2011)
A 2008 study conducted by researchers at the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health (Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health) found that growing up with a cat may provide protection against the development of asthma in young children. Published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, the results of this study indicate that children who live with cats have a greater likelihood of developing allergy-related antibodies, and by five years of age, these children are less likely to wheeze (an early indicator of asthma) than children who don’t have the opportunity to develop these antibodies.
Unfortunately, getting a cat won’t benefit children who already have asthma. It’s growing up with cats from infancy onward that triggers the protective response.
For more cat articles, see the main Cats page.
Reference: Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health (2008, May 20). “Early Life Exposure To Cats May Reduce Risk Of Childhood Allergies And Asthma Symptoms.” ScienceDaily.com.