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indoor cats soon to live outside....

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
My poor son has started showing some real problems with his allergies and we may have to do something about our three cats living inside. Two of the cats are outside about half of the time and enjoy it alot. I'm very weary of having them live outside permenantly. I live in Missouri and we have some cold winters and hot summers. Underneath our front deck is completely enclosed and has a little slot where you can slip in. I thought I could fix them up a shelter down there or something. And possibly they could come in the basement on freezing or smoldering hot day? What is all your opinions on this?

oh, the other cat does not have claws so she would have to live with a friend.
post #2 of 28
I would not put them out/give them away. Practice meticulous cleaning methods and do not allow the cats in your son's bedroom. Also use a hepa filter in his room. Our allergist told us the most important time to avoid exposure is during sleep time and if there is a "safe room" things are usually fine.

Also, has he been tested SPECIFICALLY for cat allergies? Right now is allergy season in Texas and has probably started up where you are as well. Removing cats will do nothing to help seasonal/mold or other allergies.

Cally
post #3 of 28
There really are a lot of things you can do to help your son and keep your cats in and safe, rather then make them stay outside....

My stepson (he wasn't my stepson at the time though Just my boyfriend's son) was severely allergic to the cats. He would have difficulty breathing and would get rashes where he was exposed to the cats (like if he petted them). There were times in the night that we had to sit outside with him b/c he was having difficulty breathing.

Giving up my cats wasn't an option, so we searched for a compromise. By brushing the cats regularally and wiping them daily with a damp cloth to bring down the loose hair and dander in the house, vaccuuming frequently, and putting Zack on Clariton, it pretty much solved our problems. He still couldn't have prolonged contact with them, but he wasn't sufficating anymore We also made the boys room a No Cat Zone and that helped as well and we put an air purifier in their room which also helped.

Now he is 15 years old and has all but out grown his allergies. He gets a little ichy now and then if a cat sits on his lap all evening, but that is the worse of it. I only had two cats then, now I have 6 plus!

I'd recommend giving these options a try before putting the cats out, I'm sure everyone would be happier all around and I'm sure you'd be happy to have your four legged kids inside too! Plus have your son tested if you haven't already, he may have many other allergens that are causing trouble rather then just the cats. Good luck :-)
post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 
I have been doing most of that now for about 6 months. We have wood floors so that makes it easier, but I wash the walls each week, his sheets are changed twice a week, I am actually VERY meticulous with cleaning because I am a stay at home mom and that's pretty much what i do all day ! I also use only natural products because I have asthma. The cats are rubbed down once a week with cat allergy suppresant. He is being allergy tested on Wednesday so we will absolutly know for sure then. I am just trying to be prepared, his father was allergic to EVRYTHING as a kid and I'm affraid he'll be the same way. I love my cats, but I don't want to have him taking extra meds just so I can keep my cats. I feel really bad because I rescue these cats and I also have 3 dogs that I have to think about too! thank u for responding!
post #5 of 28
If you find that you can't keep the cats, I think it's important that you find new homes for them instead of forcing them to live outside all the time.
post #6 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by emmylou View Post
If you find that you can't keep the cats, I think it's important that you find new homes for them instead of forcing them to live outside all the time.
If it comes down to it, and you won't use allergy medication to keep it under control, then I agree with the above post as well. That way they can be safe and loved inside rather then on their own outside, even with a shelter, it is so dangerous for them out there.

I'd also recommend rubbing them down daily with a damp cloth as well, even though you do it weekly. My stepson's allergies were very severe, but we managed and got along with everything that I posted.



Best wishes.
post #7 of 28
I am Allergic to Cats and alot of other Stuff too. I wouldnt make the Cats live outside. It isnt safe. I used to get Shots 3 times a week for my Allergeies but had to stop because they cost too much. I have Asthma too. You can put the Cats in a seperate room.
post #8 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by genesis637 View Post
I feel really bad because I rescue these cats and I also have 3 dogs that I have to think about too! thank u for responding!

How do you know he's not allergic to the dogs?? Your wording of it tells me you like dogs better... You cant just put an inside cat outside! I dont care what the reason! You find ways to work around it, or find them new homes. Are they even nuetered & spayed?? He could just as easy be allergic to the stuff you're wiping the cats down with. Outside kitties could have anything, and you wouldn't want your furbabies to get it aswell! I hope you find a solution to your problem.
post #9 of 28
I have farm cats. It is a fact that they will live half, if even that long, as my housecats.

I highly reccomend trying to re-home them to indoor homes. Because I cannot tell you how much it's cost me in emergency vet visits.....the farm kitties are always hurt, always on meds, etc. (I spend about $8000 a year of 7 cats in meds/vet visits alone).
post #10 of 28
My Heidi was an outside cat for 13 years of her life (she was 14 when she passed). She lived a long and very happy and fulfilling life outdoors. We gave her all the proper shots and updates along with wormer and flea collar etc and when it was really cold she was allowed in to stay and also in the summers in the heat she would stay in the shade of our huge porch (open underneath). She loved it outside and hated staying in once she got used to being out there. If you still take care of them, keep them updated with their vaccinations and vet checkups, there is no real harm in keeping cats outside. Heidi lived longer than any cat my parents ever had inside. She was active and in good shape so I don't think you'll have a real problem as long as you plan on still caring for them just as much as you do now.
post #11 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&As Mommy View Post
My Heidi was an outside cat for 13 years of her life (she was 14 when she passed). She lived a long and very happy and fulfilling life outdoors. We gave her all the proper shots and updates along with wormer and flea collar etc and when it was really cold she was allowed in to stay and also in the summers in the heat she would stay in the shade of our huge porch (open underneath). She loved it outside and hated staying in once she got used to being out there. If you still take care of them, keep them updated with their vaccinations and vet checkups, there is no real harm in keeping cats outside. Heidi lived longer than any cat my parents ever had inside. She was active and in good shape so I don't think you'll have a real problem as long as you plan on still caring for them just as much as you do now.
She could have lived many more happy years if she would have been an inside kitty! No matter what you do there is still diseases outside that you cant vaccinate for, it does sound like you did a good job taking care of your outside kitty though! I think it really depends on the kitty!
post #12 of 28
The most important thing is your child. That being said, there is most likely things that might be over looked such as causes for your child's reactions that might not be the cats. Some docs will test for about 75 things unless you can find one that will do a full test of 125+ allergens. As those before mentioned, the products you are using to clean, outdoor pollen, dogs or other items could be the problem. Please do everything within your power to find out for sure what the problem is before trying to treat it.

My first cat was adopted from being a semi stray outdoor cat.. she gave birth to kittens and then I had my second cat who was an indoor/outdoor cat. He was a great big healthy cat that would bring home anything it could catch such as full grown rabbits, mice, birds.. and anything else given a chance. I was very young at the time and did not realize the dangers for a cat outside. He was not neutered at first and got into many fights, some were bloody. After being neutered he still wanted to go outdoors because that is what he was used to but he got into less fights.

Some cats do ok outdoors, dont get hit by cars or attacked by dogs or shot by bad neighboors... Others do not do so well and you might as well be taking them to be put down because it only a matter of time.

Eventually that wonderful indoor/outdoor cat I had as a young child died, but it was not natural causes. He was found dead inside the attic of our house with foam around his mouth while sitting by the attic door waiting to be let into the house. -- He had gotten ahold of poison a neighboor put out and it killed him.

Moral of the story, do everything you can for your child but do not settle for less when it comes to your furry babies and please, if you cannot keep them safe find them a home where they do not have to fear dogs, cars, BB Guns, poison, traps, and so many other things.
post #13 of 28
I think Cirque said it better than I did the first time! Your children should always be put first, but do what you can for the kitty! I guess if they normally spend most of their time out there, and you know what to expect it couldn't be all bad! Do you live someplace away from roads or could you build an outside kitty enclosure? That way you have the best of both worlds?? I hope things work out for the best for you and your child... Good luck, and Good

P.S. sorry for being a nasty cow earlier! I have my moments....
post #14 of 28
I am doing the same when spring comes.
My cats are all going outside.

Provide a lot of shelter. We already built a cat house and bought outdoor heating pat for warmth.

I know most people are against having cats outdoor here.
But if that's the choice we made, then we have to try the best for cats being outside.

-Kazy
post #15 of 28
Like others have said, it could be a DOG allergy and not a cat allergy. What would you be willing to do with your dogs if it was the same situation? If you would be willing to re-home the cats for your son, but not the dogs, then I think you need to re-think the whole thing. You can't be willing to do more work with one pet than you would with another pet. It could be that the dogs are bringing in a bunch of outside allergens (mold, pollen, etc.) that may be starting to creep up where you live.

Couple of things: make sure to wash the sheets in really hot water or it won't do anything for the allergens. Keep cats out of his bedroom always and anywhere he spends a lot of time (like a play room). I use this brush called the Furminator, it gets rid of the dead undercoat that causes hair to end up everywhere. It's great to use once a week in addition to regular brushing.

If it does turn out to be an actual cat allergy, that's tough. If it were me, and medication could manage it, I would have my son take the medication. Why? It's not because I love my cats more, it's because the cats are my family's responsibility and I couldn't get rid of them. I wouldn't get rid of a second child because he tormented the first child, ya' know? Ok, not the greatest analogy. If you do decide it's best for your family to re-home the cats, then I would re-home them. Screen carefully and do NOT take them to a shelter, keep them until a home is found. Keeping a cat outside...I don't know, I have mixed feelings. Outdoor cats don't live as long, they will need de-worming and flea treatments and shelter. If they were used to being outside all of the time, that would be one thing. But they are already indoor-only cats. Nah, I don't think I could do it.
post #16 of 28
Before you consider tossing the cats outside try this which has helped a lot of those allergic to cats.

1. Wipe down the cats daily with distilled drinking water - it will help neutralize the allergins - and it works too.

2. The less rugs/carpets in the house the better.

3. Keep the cats out of your son's room at ALL times.

4. Have him wash his hands after handling the cats and do not put his face into their fur.

5. Get a HEPA filter.
post #17 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Before you consider tossing the cats outside try this which has helped a lot of those allergic to cats.

1. Wipe down the cats daily with distilled drinking water - it will help neutralize the allergins - and it works too.

2. The less rugs/carpets in the house the better.

3. Keep the cats out of your son's room at ALL times.

4. Have him wash his hands after handling the cats and do not put his face into their fur.

5. Get a HEPA filter.
I completely forgot about this, great suggestion! They make a huge difference.
post #18 of 28
Farm cats are used to living their whole life outside, and that's the life they know. But yours are indoor/outdoor cats, so it's not humane to force them to be all-outside when they've been used to living in a shelter and on intimate conditions with humans.

An indoor cat in my apartment complex was forced into this when her owners divorced and moved away, leaving her in the care of a neighbor who was allergic and so wouldn't let the cat inside. It's been very sad, watching this cat cry on doorsteps, trying to get someone to give her an indoor home again. (And this is in Southern California where it's warm, in contrast to a cold-weather climate.) We're trying to figure out who we can get to adopt her.
post #19 of 28
well hopefully the results of the tests will be able to help you figure the exact cause of your childs allergy.

If it is the cats, i guess i would be one to re-home them before doing a total outdoor living option. I am just no fan of outdoor cats, barn/farm cats i understand but i feel that is a totally different situation altogether.

good luck! very difficult spot to be in.
post #20 of 28
Another thing to keep in mind. You live in Missouri so any outdoor cats you have are at risk for cytauxzoonosis which is a tick-borne disease that is 95% fatal to cats. There is NO vaccine and there is NO cure. Monthly frontline is a MUST for any outdoor cat in that part of the county, but even that is not foolproof.

I lost my indoor/outdoor cat to it in December 2006. She was well cared for. She was frontlined religiously. She still died.

Please do a google search on it. I will never let another kitty outside, especially if I go back to the midwest.
post #21 of 28
My boyfriend is SEVERELY allergic to cats. I'm not talking about some sniffles or sneezing, I'm talking about he can't breathe and he also has allergy induced asthma and has had severe asthma attacks. That being said, when we made the decision for him to move in with me 2 years ago, I had 3 cats. I sat him down and told him in no uncertain terms that the cats lived indoors, and that is where they would stay. He could deal with it or not move in. Well, he's dealt with it. He takes medicine and doesn't touch the cats nearly as much as I do. And the cats are not allowed in the bedroom. It can be done. Putting an indoor cat outside to live is much worse than just taking it and having it put to sleep.

Quote:
I am doing the same when spring comes.
My cats are all going outside.

Provide a lot of shelter. We already built a cat house and bought outdoor heating pat for warmth.

I know most people are against having cats outdoor here.
But if that's the choice we made, then we have to try the best for cats being outside.

-Kazy
And I really am speechless at this post. I know you're waiting til spring comes, but what about when winter comes again? I really am speechless. Find them new homes who will care for them.
post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kit E Cat View Post
And I really am speechless at this post. I know you're waiting til spring comes, but what about when winter comes again? I really am speechless. Find them new homes who will care for them.
I totally understand your feeling, but my case is little different.
My cats were feral in my yard. I was not planning to keep them inside, but ended up that way when I trapped them for spay / neuter.

My husband gave in so much to let me keep them confined in the bedroom. (he never had pets in his entire life and grew up with mom who hates animals.)
I won't try to break up my marriage over my cats.
I will not take them to shelter because they are not tame enough to be adopted.
I made commitment to myself to look after them. So that's what I will do.
I would think twice about converting 100% indoor house cat to outdoor cat, though....

-Kazy
post #23 of 28
Well Ive lived with cats my whole life, and they are very easy to get along with so I dont understand whats up with having to put cats that you brought inside, outside! Sure, you neutered them, but what good does that do to keep them warm in winter?? I also dont understand how your marriage would suffer from cats. Just because he didn't "grow up" with them?? I dont know... so are you on here too trying to figure out a way to put yours outside too??
My babies would die outside, and I know it! So I dont let them go out. Its too cold, and I know from seeing the old neighborhood cats that they can freeze solid overnight! Even a dog can! (that happened to my dad) Why can't you just find good homes for them personally?? Instead of homing them at a shelter, find a couple friends and ask them to take them! Im sure someone has to want them! Cats are wonderful, once given the chance to be!! Come on folks, give em a shot! They can be members of a family too!!! I promise!!
Another idea is to put them on the Emergency Rescue thread!! Maybe a member that lives in your area can help you two out! Or put them on craigslist, or petfinder! There are other ways...
post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kit E Cat View Post
Putting an indoor cat outside to live is much worse than just taking it and having it put to sleep.
I don't think that's true... I'm sure cats would rather be outside and alive, than dead. But it's certainly much better to find an indoor cat a happy, new indoor home than to force it outside.
post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by emmylou View Post
I don't think that's true... I'm sure cats would rather be outside and alive, than dead. But it's certainly much better to find an indoor cat a happy, new indoor home than to force it outside.
Some cats simply do not have the survival skills to live outdoors.

The humane society where I volunteer places cats on farm as an alternative to euthanizing. However, we only place ones we know can/will survive on a farm. If they've never lived outside, we won't let them go to a farm.
post #26 of 28
That would be a rarity, though... a cat who couldn't survive or learn how to. And a good chance of survival is better than a 0 percent chance of survival (euthanasia).

I'm not advocating putting an indoor cat out. I'm just saying it's not literally a fate worse than death.
post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kit E Cat View Post
My boyfriend is SEVERELY allergic to cats. I'm not talking about some sniffles or sneezing, I'm talking about he can't breathe and he also has allergy induced asthma and has had severe asthma attacks.
Kit E Cat, I went through the same thing- my boyfriend, who didn't grow up with cats, but had contact with them at friend's houses (without any problems), suddenly became severely allergic to them at the age of 24 or so. It started with my friend's cat, an all gray house cat. Same thing- full-blown asthma attack. Then he was allergic to all cats, any color/coat length until fairly recently, at the age of 30. He'd noticed that he could spend more time around friend's cats before getting a reaction, if he got one at all.

At Christmas, we visited an old family friend who had three gray cats and it came back with a vengeance. Within a half-hour he was outside gasping for air. And since I had filled out the paperwork to adopt a cat from the shelter I volunteer at (thinking, "FINALLY, I can have a cat again!") I was not happy.

We brought the cat home a week later, though, and were very relieved when at no time in the last 8 weeks has he had a reaction to our black and white cat. So, we think (hope, PRAY!) he's outgrown the allergy. We think he may just still have a reaction to gray cats, since they tend to have thicker coats, and sometimes are a little oilier than other cats.

Has your boyfriend always has this allergy? Maybe there's hope! BTW, what medication is he on? We found that only prescription asthma inhalers would do the trick. I've heard about another medicine, a class of drugs called Cromolyn sodium that are for people with allergy-induced asthma.
post #28 of 28
I would ask your allergist about a subcutaneous injectable drug (tiny needle that goes just under the skin, not into a vein or muscle) called Xolair or generic name omalizumab. If your step-son has asthma he might be able to get a tiny skin prick type of injection once a month and won't have allergic reactions to the cat. My cousin is on it and it's amazing. She used to have severe cat allergy and now she doesn't even react to her mother's cats.
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