July 4, 2020 at 1:18 pm #24825JasonParticipant
Very happy to have the opportunity to post on this forum.
A close relative of mine who does not live with me was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis last year and my grandmother passed away from it as well.
Looking at ways to reduce risks to those of us not yet diagnosed. The doctors recommend against exposure to bird dander, but what about cats?
Does anyone know of risks of cat ownership to people at risk of getting IPF? Should we sell our cats? We are attached to our cats, but worry that even small amounts of dander could increase the risks over 20 or 30 years. Can we be sure it is safe?
Please provide any opinions and even links to studies if any are available.
Thank you, and Best Of Luck to Everyone.
July 4, 2020 at 9:53 pm #24830Charlene MarshallKeymaster
Thanks so much for writing and welcome again to the forums! Your relative is very lucky to have you being such an advocate for him/her and learning so much about IPF.
I cannot speak to whether cats/dander of pets is dangerous as I am not a doctor but I do have a cat and am an IPF patient. She isn’t very cuddly though, so I rarely hold her or have my mouth/face near her fur and she usually sleeps in another room. I always mask when I do her litter though, as the dust triggers my cough and I think I remember reading somewhere that cat litter is not good for people with ILDs, so I mask just in case 🙂 I do know folks on the forum have chatted about this, and others have kept their cats based on their doctor saying its ok. It might be worth it to have a conversation with the specialist about this, based on your relative’s disease stage/progression/triggers. Let us know what the doctor says if you ask them and can get back to us.
July 4, 2020 at 10:30 pm #24836JasonParticipant
Thanks for your response!
To be clear, this post was not about my relative, but about my immediate family, so this was about prevention. My relative does not have cats. But those in my immediate family worry about risks of getting IPF in future. So, the question posed is, would owning cats predispose one to getting the illness later in life?
That’s good to know that doctors have suggested cats would be okay. It would be interesting to see the studies on birds and see if the knowledge of bird risk came from studies that looked at more common pets like cats and dogs, which one would expect.
So you’ve decided to keep your cat but take common sense steps to mitigate the risks. I’ve tried to do the same. My best is that anything in the lungs at all in amounts greater than a certain threshold are probably not good. But lower amounts may be that. A scientists by the name of Rhonda Patrick mentioned in a video that young children exposed to pets, as in before the age of one, actually had greater resistance to disease later in life. Interesting.
- This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by Jason.
July 5, 2020 at 8:36 am #24839Charlene MarshallKeymaster
Thanks for clarifying – I misunderstood your question! 🙂
I can understand your family members being worried about a predisposition to IPF, although I wouldn’t imagine a direct link can be made between cats/dander/litter and IPF. I’ve not read any studies on that, nor can I recall hearing any patient say their doctor’s made that direct correlation. However, it may be good to speak with your relative’s doctor about your concerns for certainty. He/she may be able to provide some clarification on the potential predisposition to IPF from an environmental and/or familial perspective. I did keep my cat and I know many other patients have as well, and like I mentioned, just reduced any risk of inhaling litter, urine, etc into my lungs.
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