Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: The incidence of cat allergies in children has increased over the years. Children with cat allergies have mostly reported respiratory symptoms. The skin prick test (SPT) is the most preferred method to demonstrate sensitization to allergens. However, not all children who develop cat sensitization due to environmental exposure become allergic to cats. In our study, we aimed to determine the frequency of sensitization to cat and cat allergy, cat-related symptoms, and the cut-off value for the SPT that may indicate cat allergy. Materials and methods: Patients aged 2-18 years, who applied to the Health Sciences University İzmir Dr Behçet Uz Pediatrics and Surgery Training and Research Hospital and Balıkesir University Application and Research Hospital Pediatric Allergy outpatient clinics between January 01, 2019 and December 31, 2020, were included in the study. Patients who underwent SPT and found to be sensitized to cat allergen, were evaluated retrospectively. Clinical and laboratory findings of the patients were recorded. Receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analysis was performed to determine the cut-off value for the SPT. Results: Sensitization to cat was detected in 140 (4%) out of 3499 patients who underwent SPT. The median age of the patients was 12 years (min-max: 5-18) and 67.1% were male. Eighty-eight (62.9%) patients were symptomatic upon contact with cats, predominantly with nasal symptoms. These patients had significantly larger cat SPT wheal size than asymptomatic patients. The cut-off value was determined as 5.5 mm with a sensitivity of 72.7% and a specificity of 61.5% (95% CI, 60.5%-78.4%). Symptoms resolved in about half of our patients by reducing contact with cats. Conclusion: The present study is the first to report the frequency and clinical findings of cat sensitizations and allergies in Turkish children. For effective treatment, cat allergy must be diagnosed. In this regard, the use of a practical, readily accessible 5.5 mm cut-off point on the SPT may be helpful.


Allergy, cats, child, diagnosis, prick test

First Page


Last Page