About 10% of people in the United States have pet allergies and cat allergies are the most common. Dander consists of dead skin cells and particles shed by animals. You do not have to pet a cat to have an allergic reaction to their dander because it is microscopic– Dander can land on surfaces or remain in clothing and bedding until thoroughly cleaned. It can also be breathed in and cause respiratory issues. Cat dander is a common allergy that tends to cause itchy or watery eyes or skin to breakout in rashes or hives. More serious cat dander allergic reactions can result in respiratory afflictions like difficulty breathing or asthma.