“I love cats but I’m allergic!”
My Kitty Care has heard this many times. In fact, I too am very allergic to cats, but I love my two cats. when my doctor said “OK, since you should get rid of your cats, but I know you never will, take allergy shots.” Which I did for five years, but stopped because it was awful.
So what to do?
if you’re allergic to cats try this:
- First, and most importantly, make sure you are not so severely allergic to cats, that contact could trigger a life threatening reaction. If you are unfortunate enough to be that allergic, yes, you should not live with or have any contact with cats. But if your symptoms are mild, or even chronic and uncomfortable, like mine, here’s some suggestions about what to do if you’re allergic to cats but love them:
what about a Sphinx (hairless cat)?
Sphynx may be hairless, but they are not hypoallergenic because they still produce dander: dead skin cells. There is no scientific evidence that any breed or cross breed is more or less allergenic than any other cat.
In humans, it’s called dandruff, but with cats it’s called dander, also saliva, and even their urine may contain the proteins that people are allergic to. Sometimes people are able to build up a tolerance to their cats over time, at least enough so that they can live with them comfortably.
- It’s always recommended to make your bedroom (or the bedroom of your allergic family member) a cat-free zone.
I failed miserably trying this because I missed my cats nestled next to us, and so did they: they’d scratch at our door until we let them in to join our cozy bed. Good luck to those trying!
- A high-quality air purifier does help rid the air of allergens.
- Vacuum your home often and thoroughly, which means sofas, rugs and carpeting, pillows, upholstered furniture, etc.
- Wash all cat bedding weekly in hot water.
- Wash your hands after handling your cat.
- Shower and shampoo before going to bed to minimize carrying dander to bed with you.
- Reduce allergenics in your cat’s saliva by gradually eliminating genetically modified foods you may be feeding your cat.
- Make sure your cat is getting plenty of essential fatty acids in her diet to reduce shedding and dander.
- Bathe your cat regularly, taking care to use only a safe, non-drying herbal cat shampoo.
Some of these suggestions are immediately doable (like frequently vacuuming your home) while others will take time, like changing your cat’s diet or bathing your cat.
Next post: about bathing your cat.