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Is there anything we can do?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
John has severe allergies that usually flare up twice a year, and he gets sick for 2 weeks to a month. He is not allergic to the cats but they seem to irritate his allergies when he has a flare up. He spends a lot of time sleeping on the couch because he can't stand to be in the basement. He's on primatine to help his breathing as he also has asthma.

As most of you know, we live in the basement of his parent's house and it's not looking like we're going to get a place of our own anytime soon. His mom keep telling us that if we didn't have the animals, he wouldn't be sick. I feel like it's my fault because I wanted the animals in the first place. John loves them as much as I do, and he's the reason we kept so many of our foster kittens.

But I'm tired of him having to sleep on the couch. I hate sleeping alone and it's not fair to him to have to sleep up there all the time, plus his mom constantly telling me its because of the animals is starting to depress me.

I clean ALL the time down here in our room. That's pretty much all I do. John refuses to buy an air purifier even though I think it will help him greatly. He's convinced it's just a waste of money. The cats get weekly baths and brushed but I don't think it's doing much good.

I'm afraid we might have to re-home most of the cats, even though it is killing me to even think about. I want to know if there's anything else we can try before we go that route. John says he'd rather just sleep on the couch the rest of his life than re-home the cats but that's just not fair at all.

Things I have tried: cleaning constantly, bathing the cats weekly, washing the sheets and blankets 3-4 times a week, he's taking Primatene which does help but only helps the asthma and not the allergies.

Also, it's not at all possible to just keep the cats out of the bedroom. Like I said, we're living in his parents basement. Our bedroom is half of the basement and the other half is 1.) entirely full of stuff, and 2.) has way too much possible access to outside and I won't take that chance.

Suggestions please!!
post #2 of 10
Instead of weekly baths - try wiping down all the cats with distilled water twice a day. That will neutralize things. Do you have rugs in the basement on the floors? Hair, dander can get trapped in rugs and its hard to get out.

Is John willing to try allergy shots? And seriously, I'd get the air purifier whether he thinks its a waste or not!
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Instead of weekly baths - try wiping down all the cats with distilled water twice a day. That will neutralize things. Do you have rugs in the basement on the floors? Hair, dander can get trapped in rugs and its hard to get out.

Is John willing to try allergy shots? And seriously, I'd get the air purifier whether he thinks its a waste or not!
I'll try wiping them down. We don't have carpets or rugs or anything. Just a concrete floor. The only "material" we have down here is on the bed, and the animals bedding which gets cleaned every other day usually.

I'm not sure about the shots, only because it's next to impossible to get him to the doctor for any reason. He hates doctors and just won't go unless he absolutely HAS to. We're working on getting him there this week, it's going to be tough though.
post #4 of 10
First of all, he HAS to go to the doctor. Primatene is nearly ineffective for allergy induced asthma symptoms. I'm allergic to my cats and they trigger my asthma. I use an albuterol inhaler, which takes care of the problem very well, and Claritin (Loratadine) pills daily. I wipe the girls down in the morning before work and in the evening when I come home from work (when I remember) and it works well. He needs to be allergy tested. It's very possible that he's allergic to some environmental allergens (since it happens once or twice a year.) He would have constant problems if he was allergic to the cats. If it turns out that he isn't allergic to the cats, you can tell your MIL to stuff it! Second....ignore him. Buy the best HEPA filter air filter that you can afford. It absolutely is the best investment I've ever made. When I had a new furnace put into my house, I had the high efficiency filter installed there too, but the large HEPA that I have in my bedroom is a life saver.

Those three things....Allergy testing, proper medication for allergies/asthma and a HEPA filter will make John feel 99% better, I almost guarantee it. If you do those things, I am willing to bet that you will not have to re-home any of the cats. Good luck!
post #5 of 10
I'd absolutely get an air purifier. I have one of those ionic ones from sharper image (the ones on the infomercial... I can't think of the name...) and when my allergies (pollen) start to flare up I actually sleep with it blowing directly on me so I'm only breathing clean air at night. Works wonders!

The sharper image ones aren't cheap... I just got lucky that I knew someone with a really good employee discount So if you can't afford it, I think they have a similar one made by a different brand at walmart. Still probably about $100, but so worth every penny IMO. It also does wonders with paint fumes... I don't know if that's a big deal for you (I paint walls so much my family already jokingly says my walls a 1" thicker than when I moved in - a year ago!) but it's a nice bonus if you ever do paint
post #6 of 10
You should just buy an air purifier anyways - it can't hurt Air purifiers are always a good investment...

Heres an article: http://cats.about.com/od/allergiesan...ergictocat.htm

That wouldn't be good to rehome the kitties...you are doing a great job with them Just keep trying every option possible! Hopefully you two can find something that works...at least tell everyone to just be patient so you can find something that works for his allergies. If it takes him to go to the doctors for a shot, then thats what it takes...as long as you can keep your kitties
post #7 of 10
I also think he should have some allergy testing. It may tell him he's NOT allergic to cats, and you can use that to get his mom to quiet down. You could also try Freecycle or Craigslist for air filters.
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Well, he's going to the doctor this afternoon... FINALLY, LOL. He's going straight from work so I won't be able to go with him, I won't know anything until he gets home.

Please send vibes that it's nothing more serious than allergies or a cold or something, and that we don't have to re-home the kitties!
post #9 of 10
I think the likelihood is that he's allergic to a lot more than the cats. If there's a lot of stuff in the basement, there's probably a lot of dust. Dust was one of my *biggest* allergens. Mold was another one. A damp basement is a prime area for dust *and* mold. Allergy shots will do wonders. I think you've got bigger fish to fry than the kitties, honestly.

Now, to help with cutting down on their dander, in addition to the above suggestions.. I'd get a furminator, and brush the cats really well with it, and daily. It will reduce the amount of fur and dander on them significantly. It really pulls out the undercoats. I don't think the bathing will be as necessary and it will ultimately be much easier on you. You might even be making the dander problem worse by bathing them weekly as it may dry out their skin, but I'm not sure about that.. I just seem to remember reading it somewhere.

Oh, and tell that MIL to stuff it, the witch. Especially if it's *her* stuff in the basement because I'm certain she's not down there cleaning and dusting and it's more likely to be her house than it is the cats that are making her son sick. She just needs a victim to blame it on.

I don't know how you're dealing with her.
post #10 of 10
I would go out and buy an air purifier myself if I were you. Don't tell him, just bring it home and set it up.
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