Go Down The Medical Route
For a lot of people, the tips we have discussed may not be enough to allow them to tolerate living with a cat. But there is one final bit of hope.
Youre more than likely aware that there is a wealth of over-the-counter allergy medications that can quell your symptoms very successfully. If youre looking to learn how to live with a cat if you are allergic, this could be your last line of defense.
However, if your allergies are particularly severe, it may be worth visiting your doctor who can prescribe you with something a little more substantial.
There is also the possibility of getting a test that will determine the exact source of the allergy. This will allow you to better target that in the home for example, if it is the saliva of the cat that causes an issue, you will know to avoid letting the animal lick you. However, these tests usually need to be done privately so they will likely come with a hefty price tag.
Finally, there is the option of immunotherapy which exposes you to the allergen in a controlled, medical environment through drops, injections, or tablets. The concept is based around the idea that regular exposure to something that causes an allergic reaction will allow the immune system to become more tolerant. Similarly to the previous option, this treatment usually requires you to attend a private clinic, although in some extreme cases, it may necessary to seek medical advice
Cat Allergy Treatments & Remedies
Cat Owners May Be Allergic To Their Feline Friends
To realize a cat allergy after living with a cat for a long period of time is not uncommon, according to Ronald Ferdman, MD, physician in the Division of Clinical Immunology and Allergy at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles. This is something we see very commonly. Certain people with allergic tendencies can get desensitized to their own pets. As soon as they stop contact for a prolonged time the desensitization wears off and they get significant allergy symptoms upon re-contact with the animal, Ferdman explains.
The allergic reaction is caused by the proteins in cat dander , saliva and urine. Allergies to cats are the most commonmore so than dogs and other small animals. Both long- and short-haired cats can cause allergies. If you are curious of hypoallergenic cats, unfortunately those do not exist. Children may react to some cats and not others, to the fallout from other peoples family pets, or even when pets aren’t around, as the allergen sticks to clothes.
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I Have Cat Allergies And Live With Eight Cats Heres How I Survive
In my heart, I’ve always been a cat ladythe kind who seeks out kitties at every party and follows more cats than people on Instagram. But I’ve also had cat allergies all my life, sometimes so severe I would tear up and start sneezing as soon as I entered a house with a cat. I never thought I’d get one of my own.
As it turns out, I didn’t get one. I got EIGHT.
When we moved from the city to a farm five years ago, we started finding feral kittens in our garage, barn, and even abandoned at the end of our long driveway. Thats how we found ourselves, in the span of just a couple years, going from zero cats to, at one point, living with a dozen of them.
Some of our rescues have found new, loving homes, so were now at eight cats here on the farm in Northern Minnesota. My allergies can get pretty overwhelming as a result. Heres how I cope with my cat allergies in a house full of kittiesand how you can, too.
Elizabeth Millard/Chewy Studios
To Get A Cat Or Not To Get A Cat
Suffering from allergies should not mean that you need to live inside a bubble or avoid nature and pets. There are so many proven health benefits to having pets, so keep that in mind when you weigh the pros and cons of expanding your family.
Also, be aware that “hypoallergenic” pets are not totally allergy-freeand this is something you most likely won’t find out until after the fact. However, there are so many different ways to help reduce any allergy reaction, and once you’ve made yourself comfortable you will actually be increasing your allergy tolerance.
How Can I Prevent Contact Allergy In My Cat
The prevention against the appearance of this type of allergy is simply to keep your cat away from any element or product that is an allergen for him .
1- Shampoo used to wash your cat
It is necessary to change the shampoo, and soap .
2- The cat litter
Always clean your cats litter box daily with antiseptics .
Change his blanket and your bed to others that do not have the allergen.
What Causes Cat Allergies
A common misunderstanding about cat allergies is that they are caused by cat fur. Not true!
The allergen is usually certain proteins that are carried in a cats saliva, urine and dander . Every time a cat grooms, they transfer the saliva to their coat, which you then pat and their dander floats off and lands on the furniture, bed, curtains and so on.
But are you sure its your cat that youre allergic to? Its important to understand the root cause. Your pussin might like sleeping under a certain garden plant, and it could be the pollen from that plant that causes you to cough and wheeze.
If it IS a cat allergy, its important to remember that allergies dont come in one-size-fits-all. You might find that youre highly allergic to a particular cat, but not allergic at all to another cat from exactly the same breed. Or you might be allergic to long-haired cats, but not short-haired ones.
Its important to visit your doctor and have an allergy test so that you know exactly what is causing your allergy. Then you can choose from a range of treatment options.
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What You Can Do:
1. Create an area in your home that is “allergy free”, preferably a bedroom or other room where pets are expressly forbidden and denied access. Keep the air clean in this room using a HEPA air cleaner.
2. Use HEPA air cleaners throughout the rest of the home, and avoid furnishings where dust and dander can more easily accumulate, such as cloth curtains and blinds and carpeted floors. Clean these areas frequently and thoroughly to remove dust and dander and prevent accumulation of these allergens. Frequently wash couch covers, pillows, curtains, area rugs and pet beds.
3. Bathing your pet on a weekly basis can greatly reduce the level of allergy-causing dander . Cats can get used to being bathed, but it’s critical to only use products labeled for them kittens may need a shampoo safe for kittens. Check with your veterinarian’s staff or a good book on pet care for directions about safe bathing, It is also a good idea to use a shampoo recommended by your veterinarian or other animal care professional.
Cat Allergy Tips For Parents
Growing up in London, England, we had a cat, as well as other animals including rabbits, chicken and one tortoise. Since then, we have carried on the tradition with two to three cats at any given time. You can imagine my surprise when my daughter moved away from home only to find out that she is highly allergic to cats!
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Living With Pet Allergy
The best solution to pet allergies is to avoid exposure for example, by not having a pet in your home. Often, the only solution is to find the pet a new home. You should also avoid smoking, as this makes allergies more likely to develop.
Washing the pet, restricting it to one area of the house, using high efficiency particulate air cleaners and removing carpet havent been shown to work.
If you have a pet allergy, always wash your hands after touching the animal and never let it into your bedroom.
If you cant avoid exposure, you might be able to treat the symptoms with medication, such as:
- nasal steroid sprays
Another option is immunotherapy, which is also known as desensitisation. Its offered by a specialist known as an immunologist, and takes 3 to 5 years to complete.
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Living With Cat Allergies: Cleaning
Once you have a cat, diligence around the house is one of the keys to limiting allergies.
- Wipe down smooth surfaces in the home regularly. Microscopic dander can stick to any type of surface and is there even if you don’t see it.
- Use a vacuum with a filter and steam clean carpets often. Restricting the cat’s access to carpeted rooms will also help.
- Frequently wash any bedding or blankets that your cat sleeps on.
- Designate specific rooms, like the allergic person’s bedroom, as cat-free zones.
- Consider replacing upholstered furniture. Cloth-covered chairs and sofas can retain a lot of allergens and be difficult to clean. Either keep the cat off of upholstery or consider investing in wood, plastic or leather furniture that is easy to wipe clean.
- Take down your curtains. Like upholstered furniture, curtains can be a magnet for cat hair. Consider replacing them with blinds or other coverings that are easy to clean. If you decide to keep your curtains, launder them regularly.
- Invest in a HEPA filter. These can be attached to your furnace or air conditioner, or purify the air from a freestanding unit. Whatever model you get, their job is to reduce small particles in the air.
How To Keep A Cat If You Are Allergic To Cats
This article was co-authored by Alan O. Khadavi, MD, FACAAI. Dr. Alan O. Khadavi is a Board Certified Allergist and a Pediatric Allergy Specialist based in Los Angeles, California. He holds a BS in biochemistry from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and an MD from the State University of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn. Dr. Khadavi completed his pediatric residency at Schneider Childrens Hospital in New York, and then went on to complete his allergy and immunology fellowship and pediatric residency at Long Island College Hospital. He is board certified in adult and pediatric allergy/immunology. Dr. Khadavi is a Diplomate of the American Board of Allergy and Immunology, a Fellow of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology , and a member of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology . Dr. Khadavis honors include Castle Connollys list of Top Doctors 2013-2020, and Patient Choice Awards Most Compassionate Doctor in 2013 & 2014. This article has been viewed 14,752 times.
Cats make great pets, but if youre allergic to cats, keeping one is a bit more complicated. Allergies to cats are caused by proteins in the cats sloughed off skin cells, called dander, and its saliva. By maintaining an optimal environment that reduces your exposure to cat dander and saliva, as well as taking measures to keep your allergies under control, you can keep a cat successfully even if youre allergic to it.
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I Got Rid Of My Cat So Why Do I Still Get Just As Sick At My House
With cat allergies, the allergens tend to be your cats dander , their fur, saliva, and even their urine. Coming into contact with these pet allergenic particles will trigger the allergic symptoms. These particles can even be carried on clothes, circulate in the air and settle in furniture. Therefore, even people who no longer own cats, but are allergic to them, can have reactions when they go into a house that once had a cat. Even if the cat has been gone for a time, there is still residual dander and hair in the home. In fact, saliva substances on minute particles of dander and hair are left embedded in the walls, carpeting, upholstery, and other household fabrics and substances. Cat dander is so small and light, it can stay in a house for months or even years after the cat is gone.
Don’t Forget To Clean Yourself
I know this sounds patronizing, but its one of the most important tips. If you are an allergy sufferer, or if are living with one, then you need to make sure to wash your hands as frequently as possible. You also may want to consider changing your showering schedule to make life more comfortable. Most of us shower before we leave the house, but showering right before bed ensures that you’ve got the allergens washed off of you and you can have a more restful sleep. If you’ve opted to have an allergy-free bedroom, then make sure to change your clothes the second you get in there. Allergens will travel with you, so be conscious of that!
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Reduce The Allergens And Your Symptoms
If you are allergic to your pet and your reactions arent life-threatening, there are many ways to reduce indoor allergens and allergy symptoms so you and your pet can live together more comfortably.
If your or a family members allergies are simply miserable, but not life-threatening, take these five steps to reduce the symptoms:
1. Create an allergy free zone in your homepreferably the allergic persons bedroomand strictly prohibit the pets access to it. Use a high-efficiency HEPA air cleaner, and consider using impermeable covers for the mattress and pillows.
2. Use HEPA air cleaners throughout the rest of the home, and avoid dust-and-dander-catching furnishings such as cloth curtains and blinds and carpeted floors. Clean frequently and thoroughly to remove dust and dander, washing articles such as couch covers and pillows, curtains, and pet beds.
3. Bathe your pet on a weekly basis to reduce the level of allergy-causing dander . Cats can get used to being bathed, but its critical to only use products labeled for them kittens may need a shampoo safe for kittens. Check with your veterinarians staff or a good book on pet care for directions about safe bathing, Its a good idea to use a shampoo recommended by your veterinarian or other animal care professional.
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What Causes Cat Allergy
Children with allergies have overly sensitive immune systems that mistake the protein from cat dander for something that will cause harm to their bodies. Your childs body attacks those proteins just as it would a bacteria or virus. In response, the body reacts with a wide variety of symptoms, including:
- Allergic shiners
- Itchy throat or roof of mouth
- Itchy, watery or red eyes
- Itchy rash if the cat scratched or licked the area
- Runny, stuffy or itchy nose
- Waking up in the night with nasal stuffiness, sneezing or coughing
These symptoms are usually noticeable immediately. If your childs allergy symptoms are present for more than two weeks and are not going away like a common cold or your child is having trouble breathing, then contact their doctor.
Why Do Pet Allergies Cause You To Sneeze Anyway
First of all, its important to understand what causes your allergy flare-ups. Dr. Hong says that its actually a protein in the saliva, urine and feces of these pets that were allergic to. It gets on their fur and skin, she adds, explaining how it spreads so easily.
As for why some pets may bother you more than others, its because certain proteins last longer than others. Cat protein can last up to four months in your home environment, Dr. Hong explains, while dog dander can linger for shorter periods of time.
That doesnt mean a dog wont make you sneeze and wheeze. One of the reasons is that all of these proteins can linger in your home. They get attached to couches, any sort of cloth surfaces like rugs and carpets and other upholstery and they stain and linger there, she says.
Dr. Hong says one other thing to be aware of is that theres no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog or cat. Even hairless cats arent 100% hypoallergenic. Even if they dont shed fur and spread dander everywhere, theyre still shedding the protein were allergic to.
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