The surprising answer, according to a new study, is yes

Italian researchers looked at over 6,000 adults during a nine-year period. At the start of the study, none of the subjects had allergies to cats. About 475 of the people had cats on Day 1. Another 650 or so got cats during the nine years, and roughly 700 subjects had cats for most or all of the study.

The study ended with 271 subjects suffering from some form of allergy to cats. The researchers concluded that people who got cats during the study were almost two times more likely to develop allergies than those who did not have one for the nine years. Those with other allergies or asthma were three-to-four times more likely to develop allergies to cats.

Does anything help developing cat allergies? Well, a percentage of the subjects made it a point not to let their cats in their bedrooms. None of them developed cat allergies. Also, people who had cats for pets as children were less likely to develop allergies as adults.