You might find yourself in a situation where you need to share your space with a cat. It might be a temporary situation or heaven forbid a permanent set-up. Or you just dream of owning one and think that this is the right time to make that dream a reality.
Some might see this as no problem at all and the idea is actually exciting.
But not when you are allergic to cats. Having cat allergy is not a pleasant feeling. The sneezing, runny and itchy nose, and headache, are just some of the symptoms of allergies to cats. If you have a cat fur allergy, having a pet around is no fun at all.
Contrary to popular belief though, it is not the cat hair itself that is allergenic. The culprit is a protein called Fel D 1 coming from sebum that is found on the sebaceous glands of cats and on their saliva. This protein attaches itself to dried skin that is referred to as cat dander that flakes off and freely floats in the air when cats wash themselves.
Living with cats by will or by force especially when you are allergic can be real drag. Although you might not be able to get rid of your cat allergy symptoms, you still have options and you could try the following options to make your living arrangements with your feline buddy tolerable, peaceful and even enjoyable.
Talk To Your Doctor
Confirm that your allergy is really feline related. Most pet allergies are manageable but others can be serious too so discuss the possibility of having to live with a cat. You might be provided with allergy medications for cats and there are many available from prescription drugs to over the counter selections.
Your doctor might suggest a daily dosage intake but if you are not too keen on that, you can always make sure that you have antihistamine for cats, eye drops, decongestants, and aerosol inhalers always available so long as your doctor is aware of any OTC medications you are taking to lessen your allergic reaction to cats.
Go With a Hypoallergenic Breed
If you have some say in the matter, then it would be recommended that you share your living quarters with hypoallergenic cats. Yes, there are such breeds and it will point you to the direction of hairless cats.
Remember that dander is associated with the fur and skin so a cat that doesn’t shed as much would be good for you and no hair means lesser chances of flea allergy dermatitis cats. Although there is no cat that is 100% hypoallergenic, you can keep your cat dander allergy at bay with breeds like the Bengals, Balinese, and Russian Blue cats.
- Trivia #1: The allergens or Fel d 1produced by female cats are lower compared to male cats. Compared to full tom cats, neutered males produce lower levels of allergens.
- Trivia #2: With its long coat and thick fur, Siberian cats are also considered as a hypoallergenic breed. The Siberian cat hypoallergenic is for those who want a feline who is puffy and fluffy.
- Trivia #3: A Delaware based biotech claims to have produced an allerca hypoallergenic cat done through selective breeding.
Learn To Clean Like a Pro
There is a big possibility that you just don’t suffer from cat skin allergies so you have to take note of all allergic triggers and aim for an allergen-free home. You can do this by cleaning and vacuuming regularly using a high efficiency particulate arresting (HEPA) filter, dusting anything where dirt accumulates and washing your linen and beddings once a week.
Anything that your cat comes in contact with even if just for an instant needs to be laundered. You might also need to redecorate and get rid of blinds because they are best in collecting hair and dust. Consider replacing your carpet with wood floors or tiles. You also need to invest in a good humidifier-diffuser device or an air purifier.
Set Your ‘Cat’ and ‘Me’ Boundaries
Sure, you can let your cat wander around the house but there should be restricted areas too and you have to decide and implement that strictly. Cat related toys, litter boxes, beds and everything else should just be controlled in your designated ‘cat’ areas to address any possible cat food allergies you may have.
You might indulge in a quick petting and bonding moment with your cat but the time you spend with it needs to be controlled. You’d definitely not be burying your face on its fur or sleeping and purring together else you risk a cat non stop sneezing reaction.
After touching them, you need to make sure you wash your face and hands and remember not to touch your eyes or nose.
Build Up Your Resistance
There is no cat allergy cure as of yet so you just have to live with it. Make your body stronger. Live healthy and just like with some allergies, you may just become immune to it over a period of time.
Did it ever occur to you that it’s not only humans who can have allergies? Cats do too! Yes, quite surprising but symptoms like watery eye in cat and cat with runny nose might just be a common cold or it could mean your cat is having allergies too. You might have more things in common by sharing a dislike for allergens.
Helping your cat go through its allergies is the kindest gesture. One popular sneezing cats remedy is to give it some antihistamines with your vet’s approval. You might also need to invest in some hypoallergenic food for cats and dust-free or plant-based litter.
Living with a cat while being allergic to them is not the easiest experience –for you and your feline house buddy but it can be a feasible living arrangement. Being able to claim that, ‘I am allergic to cats but I live with one would actually be pretty amazing.'