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allergies

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
i would really love a cat one day - but think i might be allergic to them? is there any way around this? has anyone had this problem?!
post #2 of 14
I'm allergic to cats, and so are my mother and my girlfriend (my girlfriend also has asthma). I've had cats all my life, and I couldn't imagine life without them.

To minimize problems, some people suggest having one "cat-free" room in your house, probably the bedroom. I've never done this - though I've made a few attempts - but it can be your sanctuary for when your allergies are acting up.

If you allow them in the bedroom, be meticulous about washing your bedding. If you have carpeting (I have hardwood floors, which I think helps), vacuum more often than you normally would. Also, they make special "pet vacs", which some people find helpful. Keep on top of your couches, chairs, etc. also.

Wash your hands after petting/touching your cat and before touching your eyes, nose, etc.

Talk to your doctor. S/he may be able to prescribe medication, like Allegra (which is what I use) to help you, or there are a ton of OTC meds that work just fine (I like Sudafed Allergy/Sinus.)

Keep your kitties indoors to keep away outdoor things that can exacerbate allergic reactions, like fleas (my girlfriend has terrible reactions to fleas.)

They make special allergen-reducing sprays, detergents, etc. that you might find helpful.

It's possible to share your home with cats, even with allergies.
post #3 of 14
Amen to the above -- and also, I've heard that most people who have allergic reactions to one cat may not react at all to another. I don't know the source on that, and it may not be true, but you could certainly test it by spending a few hours alone with any particular cat you'd like to adopt. Maybe you'd find one who didn't trigger your symptoms!
post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolPetunia View Post
Amen to the above -- and also, I've heard that most people who have allergic reactions to one cat may not react at all to another. I don't know the source on that, and it may not be true, but you could certainly test it by spending a few hours alone with any particular cat you'd like to adopt. Maybe you'd find one who didn't trigger your symptoms!
That's definitely true, as well. I hardly react at all to Lt. Pants; I never really did. With my new addition, my reaction is much more severe... luckily, though, your body can become accustomed to the allergen and not react as badly. I've noticed a definite decrease in my symptoms from when he first arrived.

Also, of course, short-haired cats tend to cause fewer problems than long-haired... and there are the hairless variety, as well!
post #5 of 14
One of the best things to help with allergies is to wipe the cat down daily with distilled drinking water - has to be distilled. Someone with allergies told me that long time ago and it works well for most people.

Also you might want to look for cats that are low shedding. Rexes, Birmans, Ragdolls, Burmese, are among the type of cats you might be able to tolerate.

You may only be able to tolerate one cat, so an older kitten (over 6 months) or a young adult would be better as they could adjust to being more of an only cat.

If any of the above breeds are interesting to you, contact a close by breeder and see if you can visit their cattery/cats and see if there is any reactions. I did that for a family when I bred my rexes. Unfortunately their daughter was still allergic to the rex and they sadly had to return the kitten. But they did give it a test run of a week to find out.
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaete View Post
Wash your hands after petting/touching your cat and before touching your eyes, nose, etc.
That is key for me! Can't emphasize it enough. I was always very allergic- not severely, but very- and finally my boyfriend convinced me to get one. I suffered for a bit, but was meticulous about cleaning the house daily, and doing it thoroughly weekly. And, after a few months, I got used to her! But even now, after being not-Evie-allergic for almost 2 years, if I touch her then anywhere on my face- POOF, I swell up like a poisoned prairie dog and my eyes get red and watery (if you could see them, anyway), and I get all stuffed up and runny (love how that works! ).

So yeah, always wash hands!!

I'd also like to add- I used an allergen reducing shampoo and bathed her regularly. That sure seemed to help a lot. Often it's their saliva that causes strong reactions, so if you keep them clean, it's not so bad. And one more thing, that allergy-free room? I swear, it's gotta be the bathroom!! For the LONGEST time, I wouldn't let Evie any where near the bathroom. That way, if my allergies were bad, I could at least get clean! A lot of people say the bedroom should be kitty free, and to keep their litter in the bathroom. It's up to you what works, but I say the bathroom's gotta be the clean zone!

So it's definitely possible. If you want a cat, don't let allergies stop you! I did for the first 23 years of my life, and now I regret it!!
post #7 of 14
I am allergic to everything! But I have grown up with cats and when I got my own place from my parents' I just had to have some babies. I adopted one at a time. As long as you follow all of the great advice given above, I sorta believe you actually develop an immunity to your own pet. Now I can rub my face in my guys' fur and kiss them and cuddle them with no problem. But when I go to the vet's office, watch out! Good luck!!
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
um . . . some interesting tips. now you come to mention it, when i got my rats a year ago i had the most terrible allergic reaction. now i have hardly any symptoms - i guess its the same principle for cats!! Feeling quite excited now!!
post #9 of 14
Also make sure your vacuum has a HEPA filter on it.
post #10 of 14
I am Allergic to Cats and everything also and have Asthma.
My Coco is Allergic with Asthma also.
When i first got Asthma my Dr said get rid of the Cats and I refused.
I did Allergy shots for a few years.
I notice long hair Cats make me sneeze non stop.
I do get hives when I get clawed but I have noticed its way less then before.
I take Flonase for my Allergies also.
Why dont you go see some Cats and see how yu react to them.
post #11 of 14
My husband and I are both supposed to be allergic to cats. . . We seem to have an immunity to our own cats. They are only short haired little buggers, and I keep them brushed and bathed to minimize loose hair and dander floating around the house. Vacuum the furniture regularly and try our best to keep them out of our bedroom (try - our - best)

Wash hands after petting them before touching face or eyes. That is a bad one for me. No touching the eyes!
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by HORSEFACE View Post
i would really love a cat one day - but think i might be allergic to them? is there any way around this? has anyone had this problem?!
I went to the allergist because I was allergic to everything after moving to CA. In my first few shots he took care of cat allergies. I lived with my aunt and uncles cat and dog and my birds so I wasn't too worried about the cats.

The length of hair doesn't matter because it is the saliva that causes the allergies. The length may matter if the cat is an outdoor cat because they can track in pollen on their hair.
post #13 of 14
I agree it is the Saliva but I sneeze like crazy from long hair Cats.
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by BelongsToEvie View Post
... I touch her then anywhere on my face- POOF, I swell up like a poisoned prairie dog...

BelongsToEvie!

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