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Allergy problem

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Ok, both my husband and my son have allergies to the cats. I have been rehoming them, but we would like to keep our oldest kitty Onyx. I've been reading up on how to keep dander down in the house and came across some interesting information.

A website I visited suggested bathing the cat every 6 weeks and after the bath to saturate the fur with a mix of one part Downy fabric softener with 4 parts water , working it in and not rinsing it off. Apparently it coats the fur shafts and the skin and keeps dander at a minimum. I'd like to try this with Onyx, who has pretty flaky skin, but I worry that it may make him ill when he grooms his coat and ingests it. Any thoughts?

I'm also planning to add some oil to his food to keep the flaking skin problem under wraps, what should I use?

Any other tips on allergy control are welcome
post #2 of 9
Get a high quality large area air purifier for the living/dining room areas. Put one in the bedrooms, too. It really does make a difference in trapping lots of airborne allergens. If you have central air/heat, buy the more expensive special allergy filters. They work great. With the two together things are even better in the air. You will breathe a lot better, even if you don't have allergies.

Your husband and son can get allergy shots.

Cat dander gets airborne, so you need to step up the cleaning, as in washing curtains and bedspreads/comforters more often than you might do currently. Vacuum with a vacuum that has a hepa filter, or else the dander and dust will get stirred up in the air more. Dust surfaces more. see http://www.allergybuyersclub.com/solution-cat.html for info and to purchase vacuums with hepa filters and info on airpurifiers. We have the IQ air purifer and are very pleased with it. I had let the filter run out before getting the replacement and wound up with sinus problems again. Once the new filter was in place and running for a day, I can breathe again!

Just ordinary bathing of the cat will suffice, and more than every six weeks. I would not use laundry fabric softener on a cat and particulary not if it is not rinsed off. It's not going to make a difference, as the allergen is in the cat's saliva. The saliva dries on the fur after the cat grooms, and then becomes airborne. Your cat will just wind up licking fabric softener residue off her fur. Not good. Be concerned with the cat ingesting it, or it being absorbed throught the skin. You don't even need to give the cat a total real bath, with shampoo and all. You can just wipe the cat down with a wet washcloth weekly, or buy Allerpet, which is a liquid you put on a washcloth and wipe the cat down, to help reduce allergans.

If your cat has dry, flaky skin, an improved diet of premium foods from a pet store or from http://www.waggintails.com will help that. Grocery store foods are not very good quality, having too high a percentage of grains, and using poor quality ingredients. If you upgrade to something like Nutro Natural Choice, Wellness, Lick Your Chops, Nature's Recipe, Pinnacle, Avoderm, Evolve and other high quality foods, you will see a big difference in your cat's skin and coat. If you are already upgraded to the high quality premium foods, I suggest you get your cat checked by the vet and get his advice. Some ailments can result in dry, flaky skin.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tips

I was concerned about the frabric softener idea, it didn't seem all that healthy to me. I'm going to have a look around for Allepert and if I can't find any, I'll order it online.

I've heard that rubbing him down with a damp car shammy every day can help get rid of dead skin and hair. Today I'm planning to get some fish oil from the feed store, I can't remember what its called, but its specifically made for cats and dogs as a supplement for their food.

Since Onyx is recovering from a bite wound on his paw, I'm not going to bathe him for a while, but when I'm able, how often should I bathe him and should I use cat shampoo every time? I certainly don't want to make his skin any more dry than it already is.
post #4 of 9
You are correct that if you shampoo a cat too much it will dry out the cat's skin. When you do shampoo a cat, be sure to use a shampoo made for cats. Shampoo for humans have too much of an acid ph level for cats. That will dry the cat's skin and make the cat flake more shin, adding more allergens to the air. Probably a shampoo with pet shampoo, very well rinsed, once a month would be fine. Then just wipe the cat down with a wet washcloth, wet in water or with Allerpet, every week.
post #5 of 9
Melissa, I am allergic to cats but I own one. Seems that I am okay with her. However....if I am in "her" area too long, I start sneezing and get itchy eyes etc.... Not fun. "Her" area is where my computer is. She loves it downstairs and sleeps here. My doctor also advised not to allow Whiskers to sleep in the same room as me. She does get away with it at times but I notice that I am congested when I wake up. On the other hand, put me in a room with a strange cat and the sneezing starts immediately! :LOL: If I am not mistaken, in time you develop some kind of immunity against your own pet. Strange but true. I know others on this site have mentioned it also.

I do not do anything to her fur. Guess maybe if I took some of this advice I could stand to be in her area for longer periods.

Now, my question is for galengranny. Hopefully you will see this. The last time I went to my allergist, I was told by him that there is no allergy shot that can be given against cats/dogs. Is this something new? If yes.....I am very interested and would like to investigate this more. I live in the country and all my friends have cats. Makes visiting them difficult at times.
post #6 of 9

The shots that help against cat dander is referred to as immunotheraphy. Basically, your health care provider will begin giving you diluted doses of cat dander within each shot about twice a week. As the treatment progresses, the strength of the dose of dander is increased until you have built up a tolerance to the dander and it no longer bothers you. Hope that helps!
post #7 of 9
My husband has been getting allergy shots recently, specifically for cats, so did my brother-in-law several years back. Unless it is all a big hoax to get $ out of people, by different doctors in different cities, yes, there are indeed shots for cat allergies. My husband is being injected with something!

If you went to a "real" doctor, of course he knows that there exists shots for cat allergies. Maybe he meant he does not believe they work. Or maybe it was many, many years ago that you went to the allergist. The FDA has standards for extracts for allegy shots for cat allergans, so they know that there is such a thing as allergy shots for cat allergies.

Allergy shots are actually "immunotherapy".

See http://www.theanimalspirit.com/allergy.html "New immunotherapy or allergy shots are more effective than ever. Studies show that immunotherapy can now be effective in about 80 percent of cases. (Immunotherapy induces a tolerance to cat allergen by gradually increasing the dose.) Talk to your doctor for more information."

Of great interest is now the possibility of including dander from your very own cat in your own personal allergy shot. As you may know, there are different allergans in different cats, so that would be a good thing. Ask an "up-to-date" doctor about it. I believe it is already being done.
post #8 of 9
One way to stop dander problem is bathing and if you use a mild shampoo and make sure and get all the soap out of the fur, you shouldn't see the skin having a problem. My friend bathes her cat once a week as her 15 year old boy is allergic to cat dander. She also makes the bedroom off limits to her two cats, puts easy to clean throw rugs and slipcovers down.

I would caution you about the fabric softener. It is toxic to plants (I remember an experiment in biology class) so it is in all probability toxic to animals. You can also switch off the perfumed cat litter. Using this type of product will sometimes cause kitties to get irritated skin and they start licking themselves and spread their dander around. If you do groom Onyx do it outside to help as well but other than that keep him indoors as he will bring dander and mold in with his fur when he does go outside on his jaunts. Good luck in your move too!
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for the tips

Onyx will probably not like the baths too much, since hes only had a few in his lifetime. I'm sure he'll get used to it though.

I spent the day yesterday de-dandering my bedroom (wiping down walls, ceiling and floors , as well as washing anything cloth in the washing machine) and that room is now off limits to kitties. I'm not allergic to cats, and it was making me cough and sneeze to clean it up in there

No move in the plans as of yet MA I thought I was going to be moving on Oct 1st but it seems it fell through. However, my brother in law is going to be moving out of his huge and beautiful rental house soon, so I'm holding out for that
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