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Moving In With Allergic Girlfriend

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
So,
I have a 4 year old cat who I love very much. I also have a girlfriend who I love very much. The thing is, she's allergic to cats. We're going to be moving into a house together soon, and I need to find a solution.

Basically, it's adopt him out to a loving new home, or move him with us, and let him roam around outside.

I don't want to be selfish, because I will certainly miss him, and would love to see him around. But I'm just not sure if this is a great idea. He's not declawed, so he would be able to protect himself, but he's always been an indoor cat.

Any input or thoughts would be appreciated.
post #2 of 22
I would not do either. Please don't make him an outside cat - he won't last long. Is your cat long or shorthair? How allergic is your gf? I suggest you do a trial run for a few weeks before making any decisions.

You can wipe down your cat with DISTILLED water every day to lessen the reactions. Your gf can wash her hands if she's pet the cat. Keep the cat OUT of the bedroom at all times.

Keep the house vaccumned. Get a HEPA filter. And if your gf really loves you, she should consider getting allergy shots. IMO to get rid of your cat you've had for 4 yrs is not the answer. Too many people dump the cat or dog because of "allergies".

Did you know she was allergic when you started going out? What does she say about the situation?
post #3 of 22
There is stuff at the pet stores that you rub on the cat into its skin and it helps for people who are allergic. It's liquid and I can't remember the name but it has Allergy in big letters on the front label.
post #4 of 22
I agree with all the above. If it hasn't been a problem up to this point, and I assume you know her well enough to have had her around your cat, I don't see that it will be a problem. The main point is keeping the bedroom closed.

Lots of folks claim to be "highly allergic" to cats when it isn't nearly as dramatic. My neighbor who breeds/shows cats has many stories of flying in airplanes with so-called highly allergic passengers who had not one sniffle or sneeze during a whole cross country flight with a cat sitting under the seat next to them. She gets a kick out of unzipping the carrier and letting them have a peek as they deplane. LOL

Cally
post #5 of 22
Speaking of allergic people on planes. I was taking one of my rex kittens to a show. He was in the carrier - not a sound. I had a lady and man next to me. Well the carrier moved a bit....lady never noticed or asked up to this point. She asked me 'whats in the carrier". I told her it was a pedigree show cat.

Well all of a sudden she was "highly allergic" to this cat. She never sneezed, etc. at all during the entire flight. She did make her husband switch places to be further away from this kitten that she had no reaction to.

But during this time she complained that I should have put the cat in the baggage part under the plane. I politly told her "look I paid for this cat's ticket to be ON board with me at all times." I wanted to add "if you don't like it then maybe YOU should be flying under the plane with the suitcases".....
post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
I would not do either. Please don't make him an outside cat - he won't last long. Is your cat long or shorthair? How allergic is your gf? I suggest you do a trial run for a few weeks before making any decisions.

You can wipe down your cat with DISTILLED water every day to lessen the reactions. Your gf can wash her hands if she's pet the cat. Keep the cat OUT of the bedroom at all times.

Keep the house vaccumned. Get a HEPA filter. And if your gf really loves you, she should consider getting allergy shots. IMO to get rid of your cat you've had for 4 yrs is not the answer. Too many people dump the cat or dog because of "allergies".

Did you know she was allergic when you started going out? What does she say about the situation?

Please ask your girlfriend to at least try to do something to help out.

There was another thread like this a while back too, I wonder whatever happened in that situation.
post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Well all of a sudden she was "highly allergic" to this cat. She never sneezed, etc. at all during the entire flight. She did make her husband switch places to be further away from this kitten that she had no reaction to.
Ah, people. They annoy me. One of the things that most annoys me is people who use allergies as an excuse to not like cats. Or people who use allergies as an excuse for anything. It's like a headache: no one can prove it so you can use it all the time.

Now to the actual point of the thread:
I would talk to your girlfriend about how she feels. How serious are these allergies. Honestly, I'm slightly allergic to my cats but it's nothing that I can't easily handle. Does she want to live with you AND your cat? If you end up having to give your cat away, will you end up resenting her for being the reason you no longer have him (I sure know I would if I was in a similar situation). How big is this house you're moving into? Is it large enough that you can have some areas where the cat is allowed, and other areas where he isn't? What about the flooring? I find I'm much worse at my parent's house where they have two cats and carpeting. I have two cats at my place and hardwood floors and the difference is amazing.

I do hope things work out for you, without having to get rid of your pet. It's a tough situation.
post #8 of 22
I would just never give up my pet, you couldn't give away a child if the child didn't get along with the new boyfriend or girlfriend.
post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by mzjazz2u View Post
There is stuff at the pet stores that you rub on the cat into its skin and it helps for people who are allergic. It's liquid and I can't remember the name but it has Allergy in big letters on the front label.
back when i had a roommate, she had a BF who was allergic. the reason i know this stuff works, is the guy ticked me off and i stopped using the allergy stuff on raven and nabu. the stuff works. he was miserable when i stopped.

if she's truly allergic there are also medications she can get while she adjusts to living with your cat. there are pills, and even shots she can look into. you can get a HEPA filter & bagged vacuum, keep kitty out of the sleeping area, and get an air filter. there are lots of options. a former co-worker of mine had 5 cats and 6 dogs, her BF was quite allergic when he moved in. he was miserable for a while, but his system adjusted and he eventually didn't need the meds anymore. he loved cats even though he was highly allergic to them.

i'd be thinking hard about moving in with someone so willing to pitch your cat out in the cold. if my husband had suggested that when i was dating him, he would have been out the door. but that's just my
post #10 of 22
I am quite allergic to cats and can live with a cat in the house as long as I follow some guidelines. If you and your girlfriend are both willing to take the necessary steps, it could work for you.

Set up a cat-free zone, preferably the bedroom. Your cat should not be allowed in your bedroom. You spend a good amount of your time home sleeping, and this would be the best choice for a cat-free area. Dander can build up on your sheets and blankets, exacerbating your allergies. It is worth it to buy zippered, allergy-proof cases for your mattress, boxspring, and pillows.

Reduce the amount of textiles in your home. Dander gets trapped in soft surfaces like carpets, upholstery and curtains. Consider switching to hardwood or tile floors, leather furniture and blinds.

Place washable blankets and throws where you cat spends the most time. Wash these frequently in hot water.

Clean your home frequently, wiping down all hard surfaces. Wear a dust mask while cleaning. Invest in a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, or use high filtration cleaner bags

Baseboard heating systems are better for cat allergies than forced hot air systems. If you do have a hot air system, change filters frequently.

Brush your cat frequently. If possible, have a household member that is not allergic take care of this task.

Wash your hands after petting your cat, or handling any of their toys, beds, bowls, etc. Do not touch your eyes until your hands have been thoroughly cleaned.

If you have been playing or cuddling with your cat, make sure you change your clothes before lying in your bed. Remember, your bed and bedroom is a cat-free zone.

Invest in a HEPA air purifier

Weather permitting, allow some fresh air in your home every day to clear out some of the allergens

Bath your pet or wipe them down with distilled water. This reduces the allergens on their coat and skin.


You may find just applying a few of the above suggestions greatly reduces your allergy symptoms, or you may need to put them all into practice.

Your physician or allergist may recommend prescription of over-the-counter allergy medications to alleviate your symptoms. Depending on the severity of your allergy, you may be a candidate for immunotherapy, or allergy shots. These injections build up your antibodies to reduce your symptoms.

I hope this helps
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by littleraven7726 View Post
back when i had a roommate, she had a BF who was allergic. the reason i know this stuff works, is the guy ticked me off and i stopped using the allergy stuff on raven and nabu. the stuff works. he was miserable when i stopped.

if she's truly allergic there are also medications she can get while she adjusts to living with your cat. there are pills, and even shots she can look into. you can get a HEPA filter & bagged vacuum, keep kitty out of the sleeping area, and get an air filter. there are lots of options. a former co-worker of mine had 5 cats and 6 dogs, her BF was quite allergic when he moved in. he was miserable for a while, but his system adjusted and he eventually didn't need the meds anymore. he loved cats even though he was highly allergic to them.

i'd be thinking hard about moving in with someone so willing to pitch your cat out in the cold. if my husband had suggested that when i was dating him, he would have been out the door. but that's just my


Yep, like I said before I would never get rid of my pets
post #12 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by LSULOVER View Post
Yep, like I said before I would never get rid of my pets
I second the motion!
post #13 of 22
Having a pet is like having a child in that you must be willing to clean clean clean. I know people who constantly clean and take meds to keep the pet allergies in control but love their pets too much to get rid of them for comfort. Although, I would have to say that human health should be the first priority.
post #14 of 22
My suggestions are to either get allergy shots for your girlfriend, buy her an unlimited supply of allergy pills or hire a housekeeper. I'm terribly allergic to cats but I'd rather take one pill everyday than not have my sweet baby Sadie in my life. I'm lucky, my dh is typically the one who does the cleaning.
post #15 of 22
Oh, everyone gives great advice- a lot of these tatics I use in my own house. I am allergic to ALL my pets. Yes, allergic to my THREE chinchillas, TWO dogs, and Evie. Cats were always the WORST for me. When I was younger, it was terrible, and that's why I never got a cat before. It wasn't like a headache at all- you could tell by looking at me. But, like everyone has said, if it's something you want, there are many solutions. Drugs helped me (but I'm a fighter, so I "weened" myself off of them! ), but cleaning is absolutely important. We also used "Simple Solution Allergy Relief from Cats", and that helped a LOT in the begining.

As everyone else said, she shouldn't ask you to give up your baby. She should have known going in to the relationship. So, *when* she starts living with the kitty, do what the others have advised- make a cat-free zone. From experience, though, I want to add that the bedroom *and* the bathroom should be cat-free. I never allowed Evie in the bedroom in the begining (of course, now is a different story! ), and quickly realized that I *needed* to be able to come out of the shower feeling de-kittied so I could have some relief, or Evie woulda been a gonner. Also what I realized very quickly- cat dander accidentally landing on the toilet paper = *B*A*D*
post #16 of 22
Nate and I are both allergic to cats. For this reason, we will not be getting more than the 2 we have already as we both noticed an increase in symptoms when we introduced the newbie to our home.

Now for both of us, the allergy affects our asthma, which is obviously something we have to be careful with as an asthma attack can be a very serious matter indeed. We control it with steroid inhalers twice a day, and salbutamol as and when we have an attack, which occurs most frequently in the morning having spent the night with the kitten (he has to be in our bedroom at night on a temporary basis, normally we would not allow the cats in our bedroom because of our allergies).

I am pleased to report that my eyes no longer react as badly to the cats as they used to - I seem to be getting used to them and not reacting as badly. Nate still comes up in really bad hives if he gets even the slightest kitten scratch or saliva on him, he refuses to take Piriton for it but that would be an option if it gets really bad.

I admit we don't have HEPA filters or vacuum as often as we should but we cope. Unless it's an extreme adverse reaction that could lead to anaphylaxis and death (in which case being close to someone who had a cat would be dangerous anyway even if she never made direct contact with the cat itself), it is possible to live with allergies. My dad's allergic to tree pollen, but that doesn't mean he cuts down every tree in the garden.
post #17 of 22
Your post is the reason I would never even go out with anyone who said they didn't like cats, or they were allergic to them. Love me, love my cat.
post #18 of 22
Epone, try wiping down your kittens with a paper towel dipped in distilled water once a day to lesssen the reaction. I've recommended that to a lot of people and it really does help. Has to be distilled water (you can pick it up in the grocery stores where they sell bottle/jugs of drinking water)

Gail - I wish my ex-husband had told me the ENTIRE truth re cats. Funny thing was I think it was more mind then real allergy. Cause after we split up and he moved back home to his parents (who had NO pets) he still supposedly had allergies
post #19 of 22
Have the suggestions helped? I hope you can try them.
post #20 of 22
I wonder if the Simple Solutions Allergy Relief works that much better than distilled water? If the performance is similar than I would save my money and go with the distilled water.

I tested as having mild allergies and recently adopted two kitties. My mild allergy is giving me a pretty hard time though and the claritin isn't cutting it.
post #21 of 22
Well, it's been about 1 1/2 months since you started this thread, and I don't know if you've been back. But I am HIGHLY allergic to cats (they make my eyes water and itch, they make my sinuses fill up, I don't sneeze, but I do get hives). We live with seven of them in an RV (like a studio apartment) and have no "cat free" zones. Shelly sleeps basically in my face. One of three cats sleeps on the pillow over my head. There's usually four or five cats in the bedroom at any time every night, and I don't have a problem.

This is what we do.

1) I take zyrtec every day. It costs about $23 a month. IT WORKS.
2) I have prescription steroid cream (ultravete) for the hives. It works.
3) We (try to) vacuum every day.
4) We have throw blankets over the couch and any non-wood chairs. We just lift them up when we want to use them. When it's just us, I leave them on the portion of the couch we're not using (because a cat will usually hang out there) - but I get a cat-hair free space. We wash them every week. It's also very convenient, because when visitors come they lift up, we fold them up and put them somewhere - and no hair all over the furniture.
5) We have a type of brush that removes excess hair from the cat so they shed a lot less. We brush them every evening.
6) We wipe them down with wet paper towels after brushing them every day.
7) I keep visine handy for when I forget to wash my hands after petting a cat and get itchy eyes.

I wasn't familiar with the Allergy stuff used on them discussed in this thread, but sounds like it couldn't hurt either.

I hope you were able to keep your kitty indoors.

Laurie
post #22 of 22
Dont' know if the OP is still reading this post but here is my two sense.....
My boyfriend wanted to move in with me and my cats and he was allergic, So I brushed my cats outside daily, kept the bedroom vaccuumed, wiped down teh cats, and he took allergy meds. After about 6 months his body got used to the cats and he doesn't have any reaction at all, he takes no meds now what-so-ever and has no reaction. He still gets sick around other peoples cats. My younger brother then wanted to move in, and again had allergies, we followed the same regime and kept the cats out of his bedroom....he too now needs no meds and has no reaction to the cats.

Just my own personal experience.

EDIT oh ehehehe, just realized how old this thread is, oooops
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