London: People keen to own kittens, beware! A study has found adults, who never owned a cat before, might find the feline friend making them twice as likely to develop wheezing, sneezing and itchy eyes.

The nine-year survey of over 6,000 European adults also found that those who as child had a pet cat may be protected against future allergies, the Daily Express reported.

Mario Olivieri, from the study team at University Hospital of Verona, Italy, said: “Acquiring a cat in adulthood nearly doubles the risk of developing cat sensitization.”

“Those sensitised to other allergens and reporting a history of allergic diseases should consider avoiding cats.”

But if you can't resist buying a moggie, don't let it in your bedroom, say researchers.

(Agencies)