Get started

Customized by You

Design your pet’s plan in less than 60 seconds.

(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.
(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.
(If you're a human, don't change the following field)
Your first name.

Pets and child allergies

Q: I am pregnant for the first time, and I’m concerned that our child will develop allergies from growing up with our two cats. Should I find the cats a new home?

A: Multiple studies have proven that pets in the home actually protect children from allergies. A recent study shows that protection increases with the number of pets in the household.

The study followed nearly 1300 children from age 6 months until they were 8 to 9 years old. Researchers recorded the number of cats and dogs in the home and the children’s allergy episodes, including allergic rhinoconjunctivitis (sneezing, runny nose and itchy eyes), eczema and asthma.

They found that nearly half the children without pets developed allergies. By contrast, significantly fewer children who lived with pets during infancy experienced allergies as they grew up.

Moreover, the study showed that a larger number of pets in the home was associated with a lower incidence of allergy, which gradually declined to zero for children who lived with five or more pets.

These children were protected from both animal and pollen allergens, suggesting that the children’s immune systems learned to tolerate allergens from the animals themselves and the pollens they carried on their fur.

These findings are consistent with earlier studies that showed a decreased incidence of allergies in children who grew up on farms.

Your two cats will help lower the chance of your child developing allergies—but not as effectively as if you adopt three more pets.

Lee Pickett, V.M.D. practices companion animal medicine. Contact her at

The warm weather is here and with it...

Q: We found worms on...

Q: We keep the cat...

More From Figo Blog

Sometimes, we think of cats as needing less...

Each year, heartworm affects millions of...

Scarf’d: Apple Cake Crunch Pup Pops | Figo Pet Insurance

We’re officially celebrating 4 human years/...

English Bulldogs, also known simply as...

Pet Professionals: Interview With Kristen Levine Pet Blogger | Figo Pet Insurance

We recently had the opportunity to interview...

It can seem overwhelming, but there are a...

It takes hard work and a diverse skill set...