TheCatSite.com › Forums › Feral Cats and Rescue › Cats S.O.S › Help! Girlfriend Allergic to Cats!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Help! Girlfriend Allergic to Cats!  

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Hello, I am new to this forum. Several months ago, my girlfriend and I moved into an apartment here in Jersey City. Shortly afterward, we discovered that my girlfriend is seriously allergic to my two cats, Heather and Darla. Despite all efforts, my girlfriend's allergies have not abated, and in fact have grown significantly worse, culminating in a trip to the ER! I simply have no choice now but to give away my girls.

A few words about my cats. Heather is 7, and Darla is 5. Both are short-haired animals, and both have been spayed, but not declawed. Heather's coat is black and white, while Darla's is brown and orange. Both are very sweet-tempered creatures, and would probably do well in a household with other pets.

If you live in the Northern New Jersey/New York City metro region, and are interested in adopting one of these lovely animals, please drop me a line here at The Cat Site. Thank You.
post #2 of 27
Aww! That's horrible! Has she tried allergy shots?
post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 
Yes, she is getting allergy shots, and is currently taking three separate allergy/asthma medications in addition to the shots.

If you don't know of anyone in our area who would be willing to adopt them, would you know the names and numbers of any local no-kill animal shelters? We are in Jersey City, NJ, in Hudson County, which is directly across the river from Manhattan.

Thank You.
post #4 of 27
http://fluffynet.com/no-kill-shelter...kill-shelters/

Found those, don't know how close they are to you though. And I'm very sorry about your situation. That would be hard.
post #5 of 27
I'm sorry to hear your girlfriend is allergic to your cats, but I think its kind of cruel to give up your babies to an adoption shelter even if it's a "no kill" shelter. Especially since you seem to have had them for so many years. I know your girlfriend is a priority but have a bit more consideration. Try as hard as possible to find your girls a new home rather than a shelter. They will be devastated.
post #6 of 27
http://www.petfinder.com/shelters/NJ263.html

Here's a rescue, I think it's even in Jersey City.
post #7 of 27
I cannot offer much advice - just be aware, I have know many to give up their beloved pets of many years to the shelter due to the S/O being allergic.....only to have the relationship fail & be faced with an empty house....knowing they gave up their babies for someone who did not last.

Have you tried wiping the cats down daily with distilled water? (Really - it works) Daily combing/brushing? Regular baths?
post #8 of 27
I am allergic to my cat. I have a breathing machine here.

However, it is not as bad as it sounds. Please consider not giving them away. You are their whole life

some tips

vacuum a lot, do not allow cats in the bedroom. She must avoid petting obviously. Wipe your cats down daily with wet face cloths. Keep litter tray in a space where your friend does not visit often and keep the litter spotless (urine) would trigger mine. No sleeping on beds of course.

If I think of anymore I will try and assist. Remember a pet is for life. People do move on, I hate to sound negative but it's true
post #9 of 27
Ok, I can not tell you what to do, and what not to do, and I don't think this is what you are looking for anyways... But I need to give my opinion on this...
It is sad, but the truth - relationships end, more often than not... You might reason "they are "just cats"", but the truth is, for many years, they were family to you, and you were their parent. When you commit to a cat, or a dog, you a committing for life... You are responsible for their well being...
I am going to make an analogy as a cat lover: If your girlfriend didn't like your kids, would you send them to an orphanage? I am pretty sure you wouldn't...
Have you been to a shelter? Have you looked into those kitties eyes? Begging for love and attention, locked up inside of a cage, day in and day out?
Please please, the least you can do is finding a loving home to them yourself... Don't send your kitties to a shelter... They can't understand, and will be petrified without the only person they've known to love, and the safety of their home...
Imagine you being abducted, blindfolded and put inside of a cage without an explanation... Sounds terrifying, right? This is precisely what your are about to do with the ones who have been your family for all these years...
Sorry that I sound kind of tragic, but I am just trying to give you some perspective...
I hope you turn around on your decision and find a loving home for them - they should also go together...
All the best for the 4 of you
post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
I cannot offer much advice - just be aware, I have know many to give up their beloved pets of many years to the shelter due to the S/O being allergic.....only to have the relationship fail & be faced with an empty house....knowing they gave up their babies for someone who did not last.

Have you tried wiping the cats down daily with distilled water? (Really - it works) Daily combing/brushing? Regular baths?
I've been brushing the cats every night, and treating them once a week with something called Simple Solution, a liquid that I purchased from Petco that's supposed to inhibit the spread of dander. Sadly, that has not resolved the problem.

As far as your other comments are concerned: I'm 40 years old, and have been around the block a few times. I'm well aware that relationships DO fail. However, my girlfriend and I have been together for nearly 18 months. At this stage, I consider it unlikely that the relationship will fail for some other, unforeseen reason, but thank you for the advice.
post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MzKitty View Post
I am allergic to my cat. I have a breathing machine here.

However, it is not as bad as it sounds. Please consider not giving them away. You are their whole life

some tips

vacuum a lot, do not allow cats in the bedroom. She must avoid petting obviously. Wipe your cats down daily with wet face cloths. Keep litter tray in a space where your friend does not visit often and keep the litter spotless (urine) would trigger mine. No sleeping on beds of course.

If I think of anymore I will try and assist. Remember a pet is for life. People do move on, I hate to sound negative but it's true
We have a duplex apartment--two levels connected to one another via a spiral staircase. We don't have a bedroom door, so there is no way to keep the cats out of the bedroom during the day. We've been putting them in the master bathroom at night so that they can't sleep with us, but keeping them in there at all times is not practical, for various reasons.

Had we known of this problem before moving into our apartment, we would have chosen a place with a different layout and strictly enforced the "no-cats-in-the-bedroom" rule. At this stage, however, it's too late. Their dander is everywhere. In spite of our efforts to keep the cats and our apartment clean, in spite of all the medications she's on, my girlfriend's allergies have not only not improved, they have actually gotten WORSE.

For a short time, we even considered moving to a different apartment, a place where it would be possible to keep the cats out of the bedroom at all times. We considered this in spite of the fact that we are only six months into a two-year lease. However, after careful consideration of the matter, we have decided that moving is simply not practical at this time.

Forgive me, but there is simply NO WAY ON EARTH that I would ever see my girlfriend need to breathe with the aid of a machine in order to keep my cats. As much as I love my cats, I believe with all my heart that the welfare of HUMAN BEINGS must come first.

Thank you for your response.
post #12 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinalima View Post
Ok, I can not tell you what to do, and what not to do, and I don't think this is what you are looking for anyways... But I need to give my opinion on this...
It is sad, but the truth - relationships end, more often than not... You might reason "they are "just cats"", but the truth is, for many years, they were family to you, and you were their parent. When you commit to a cat, or a dog, you a committing for life... You are responsible for their well being...
I am going to make an analogy as a cat lover: If your girlfriend didn't like your kids, would you send them to an orphanage? I am pretty sure you wouldn't...
Have you been to a shelter? Have you looked into those kitties eyes? Begging for love and attention, locked up inside of a cage, day in and day out?
Please please, the least you can do is finding a loving home to them yourself... Don't send your kitties to a shelter... They can't understand, and will be petrified without the only person they've known to love, and the safety of their home...
Imagine you being abducted, blindfolded and put inside of a cage without an explanation... Sounds terrifying, right? This is precisely what your are about to do with the ones who have been your family for all these years...
Sorry that I sound kind of tragic, but I am just trying to give you some perspective...
I hope you turn around on your decision and find a loving home for them - they should also go together...
All the best for the 4 of you
Thank you for your opinion. However, as I have stated previously, I am a 40-year-old man who has been in a number of intimate relationships with women. I realize that relationships CAN and DO end for various reasons, but I have been with this person for nearly 18 months. Ending the relationship over this is simply NOT AN OPTION.

I have put out word of the situation among friends, family, and co-workers. Of course, the first, best option would be to see the cats adopted by someone I know. As of this moment, NO ONE has come forward, but I remain hopeful that someone will.

Finally, forgive me for saying this, but as a (presumably) adult woman, surely you're aware of the fact that ANIMALS ARE NOT CHILDREN. IF I had children, they would have met my girlfriend long ago. IF there was any friction between them, it MIGHT have caused me to re-evaluate my relationship with my girlfriend, and perhaps even call it off. Under those circumstances, there is NO DOUBT that I would favor my children over my girlfriend.

Let me say this as clearly and as unequivocally as I can. If the roles were reversed--if my girlfriend were the cat-owner and I was the allergic one--there is NO DOUBT IN MY MIND that my girlfriend would do for ME what I am about to do for HER. That's because we share the common belief that while the welfare of animals is important, the welfare of HUMAN BEINGS is even more so. If you can't see that, then I am sorry for YOU.
post #13 of 27
I am sorry 40 yr old male that you've not had something work out.

Are you absolutely SURE that the GF cannot live with the cats?

I would recommend that you place a screen door to the bedroom
to keep them off the bed,

that you NOT brush them (releases more dander)

that you use the cat allergy solution that comes in wipes and wipe daily,

that GF continue with allergy shots (these take about 1 yr to work in many cases also that she investigate the ORAL allergy desensitation method that is NEW from Europe and works very well. Allergy desensitization works, but it takes time.

My old BF was highly allergic to my cats and he started shots and they took a year to work. Sadly, we are not togetger anymore. Had I given up my cats, I'd have been devastated when he
broke up with me.)

Also, no petting of them by her, frequent vaccuming with HEPA - and GET A HEPA filter (I paid 500 dollars for my filter but it is hospital grade, and is fantastic. Sits in my Bedroom and runs all the time. Even though I don't have allergies to my cats, I have pollen allergies and it completely did away with my nighttime stuffies... ) Its called AllerAir...
I got it from www.allergybuyers.com -

Invest in mite/dust covers for the bedding - a good HEPA vaccum and maybe even a steam cleaner. All these things REDUCE the associated allergens that can be present with the cat allergies... eg dust, pollen and dirt/chemical fumes...

If you can - remove as much carpet as you can from your environment. Carpets are HORRIBLE dander traps and dirt traps. They can trigger
allergies just all by themselves. Hard wood, tile, linolum or laminate flooring
is much healthier over all (and yes, I removed all carpeting in my house floor by floor over 2 years and my allergies improved significantly!! And you won't believe how bad the carpet pad and under floors smelled either. NO more smellies now, because no more carpets!!)

If you find none of these work - I urge you be careful... the releationship can end (like mine did) and the cats will be gone forever. You can get more/others, but they won't be YOUR babies as before.

Also, if you are a pet person and she is NOT a pet person - this could cause issues down the road with kids. Eg. you could produce a very very allergy prone kid. Just something to think on.

My current BF loves dogs and cats, a pigs, and horses and snakes and peacocks and well, all MANNER of animal critters. I have no issues with it,
and so we are much more compatible than the last BF. We might actually make it long term....

Just my 2 cents. Oh, and no I don't blame you for wanting to resolve it in favor of the GF. I know how hard it is.... just make sure yr. babies are not PTS. That would be a horrible fate...
post #14 of 27
Actually it's not the dander that people are allergic to, it's the saliva so brushing the cats doesn't make it worse. I'd do everything possible to keep my babies if I were you. There are ways. Even if you have to confine them to one room...Just look up as much info as you can about people with allergies living with cats.
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmac68 View Post
Quote:
Thank you for your opinion. However, as I have stated previously, I am a 40-year-old man who has been in a number of intimate relationships with women. I realize that relationships CAN and DO end for various reasons, but I have been with this person for nearly 18 months. Ending the relationship over this is simply NOT AN OPTION.
Good for you that you are 40 years old and have been around the block a few times... 18 months must be huge for you.

Quote:
I have put out word of the situation among friends, family, and co-workers. Of course, the first, best option would be to see the cats adopted by someone I know. As of this moment, NO ONE has come forward, but I remain hopeful that someone will.
good

Quote:
Finally, forgive me for saying this, but as a (presumably) adult woman, surely you're aware of the fact that ANIMALS ARE NOT CHILDREN. IF I had children, they would have met my girlfriend long ago. IF there was any friction between them, it MIGHT have caused me to re-evaluate my relationship with my girlfriend, and perhaps even call it off. Under those circumstances, there is NO DOUBT that I would favor my children over my girlfriend.
Really? yes, I am an adult woman, but as I stated before, this was my opinion, and in MY OPINION, I DO see my cats as my children.

Quote:
If you can't see that, then I am sorry for YOU.
NO, don't be sorry for me- I am quite aware that animals have feelings, and that humans are animals as well, in case you forgot, you are just another mammal on the block.
.........................
post #16 of 27
I could never abandon my cat. I feel like my cat is my responsibility, he has no one else to look out for him just like you kids dont' have anyone else to take care of them except for the parent. If I abandon my cat I would feel like i'm abandoning a child. You can always work something out without getting rid of your cats...
post #17 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
NO, don't be sorry for me- I am quite aware that animals have feelings, and that humans are animals as well, in case you forgot, you are just another mammal on the block.
No, madam. I have NOT forgotten that "humans are animals too." I simply value the welfare of HUMAN BEINGS more highly. That is MY opinion.
post #18 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
I would recommend that you place a screen door to the bedroom
to keep them off the bed.
As I have stated previously, we RENT the apartment. We do not OWN it. We cannot perform significant changes--such as installing doors and pulling up carpets--without the owner's permission, and we don't have it.

Quote:
Invest in mite/dust covers for the bedding - a good HEPA vaccum and maybe even a steam cleaner. All these things REDUCE the associated allergens that can be present with the cat allergies... eg dust, pollen and dirt/chemical fumes...
Already been done. We've spent a small fortune on dust mite covers, vacuums, air filters, etc.

Quote:
If you can - remove as much carpet as you can from your environment. Carpets are HORRIBLE dander traps and dirt traps. They can trigger allergies just all by themselves.
See above.

Quote:
If you find none of these work - I urge you be careful... the releationship can end (like mine did) and the cats will be gone forever.
I already covered this. I am quite aware of the pitfalls of modern relationships.

Quote:
Also, if you are a pet person and she is NOT a pet person - this could cause issues down the road with kids. Eg. you could produce a very very allergy prone kid.
Actually, she IS a pet person. She adores the girls--she just can't LIVE with them. We're both in our 40's, so kids really aren't in the picture, nor are they likely to be. And from what I understand of these things, severe allergies in children occur primarily as a result of the environment in which the children are raised. Genetics has little to do with it.
post #19 of 27
You will not likely find many who can offer much support - as most of us would do anything to keep our kitties. The reality is that they will likely sit in a no-kill shelter, if they're lucky a cage-free one (hopefully a no-kill has space), for 6 months, maybe a year or more, before being adopted. Kitten season is coming, rapidly, making adult adoptions even slower. Here, we are having trouble adopting out any cats.

The reality is - that many of us have been in rescue (for me, a meager 4.5 years is all I've been "in rescue"). We have seen cats turned in for allergies, moving, whatever the reason. We see them sitting there, try to find them good homes, but there aren't enough homes for them all. I've been bawling for 2 days now, as my favorite shelter kitty was either killed today, or will be tomorrow. She was dumped due to allergies.

We do not mean to berate you. Yes, you love your girlfriend, but I am of the opinion that no relationship is worth giving up my pets - mostly as I am well aware not one of my cats is adoptable (they'd hit the shelter & be euth'd immediately). IMO, no person is worth dumping your babies. A jaded outlook? Yes.

You've been given the links to no-kill shelters, I suggest you start calling around - most will probably tell you they are full - but I hope you can find someplace for your kitties to go.

EDIT: I realize that was harsh, I've had a bad couple of days - and next week isn't looking any better. But I feel the need to *try* to explain (which I KNOW I did a poor job) why we feel the way we do. Nothing on the face of this earth could make me give up my cats - I would divorce an allergic husband if he could not/would not live with my cats.
post #20 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ut0pia View Post
I could never abandon my cat. I feel like my cat is my responsibility, he has no one else to look out for him just like you kids dont' have anyone else to take care of them except for the parent. If I abandon my cat I would feel like i'm abandoning a child. You can always work something out without getting rid of your cats...
Animals are NOT children.

(Although some children are ANIMALS...but that's a topic for another day.)

We've been trying to "work something out" for the past six months. We have cleaned. We have vacuumed. We have administered allergy remedies of varying types to both the human and feline residents of the household.

And my girlfriend's allergies have continued to grow WORSE.

She was admitted to the ER not long ago when things got so bad she could barely draw a breath. She's recovered nicely, though. Thanks for asking.

Let me pose an open question to the group: Short of tying them up and throwing them into the river, it seems to me that giving away one's animals is the most extreme action that a pet owner can take. Why would you--or anyone else for that matter--assume that we would start with the most extreme action before trying other remedies first?

Anyone?
post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmac68 View Post
Let me pose an open question to the group: Short of tying them up and throwing them into the river, it seems to me that giving away one's animals is the most extreme action that a pet owner can take. Why would you--or anyone else for that matter--assume that we would start with the most extreme action before trying other remedies first?

Anyone?
You have no idea how many people just dump them. The cat that dies here - they did nothing. Nothing. They dumped her in the garage & called us. Left her sit in dire need of medical attention for 10 months - didn't matter to them.

We have another cat - 7 y/o - baby suddenly developed allergies. The same day the Dr. told them the baby had allergies, they were at the vet's office to kill her. Thank god someone cared enough to talk them out of it. They obviously didn't try anything.
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by white cat lover View Post
Nothing on the face of this earth could make me give up my cats - I would divorce an allergic husband if he could not/would not live with my cats.
I second that! My boyfriend knows how much i love my cat and he would definitely never have me get rid of him, no matter what.If he can't live with Jake, he'd move to another place where there is space for Jake to be isolated and not cause allergy problems...He knows I love my cat no less than I love him and is okay with that....But that's so biased, I know most people don't feel that way about their cats beyond TCS...
post #23 of 27
You can go to petfinder.org, put in your zip code on the left and it will list rescue groups in your area and the options on how to contact them. I would go through them before I would take them to a shelter. Some only have email contact and some have phone #'s.

Be aware that right now, the homeless pet situation is probably one of the worst its ever been or worst, in a long time. People all over the country have lost jobs and homes and abandoned their pets. Shelters, rescue groups and foster homes are overloaded with animals that they are trying to help.

Also be aware that there are some bad people who look for "free pets' advertised to use for bad things such as dog fights.

If you try to place them yourself, ask for vet references and an adoption fee. People who are genuine about taking them, understand why there is a fee.
If you place them yourself, by running an ad, try to place them together, so it will make the transition easier on them.

A lot of us have rescued cats and dogs and have possibly come from someone who had to give them up for allergies, so its possible for them to find a good home, just make sure you are proactive in making sure they go to a good, safe and loving home.
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pami View Post
You can go to petfinder.org, put in your zip code on the left and it will list rescue groups in your area and the options on how to contact them. I would go through them before I would take them to a shelter. Some only have email contact and some have phone #'s.

Be aware that right now, the homeless pet situation is probably one of the worst its ever been or worst, in a long time. People all over the country have lost jobs and homes and abandoned their pets. Shelters, rescue groups and foster homes are overloaded with animals that they are trying to help.

Also be aware that there are some bad people who look for "free pets' advertised to use for bad things such as dog fights.

If you try to place them yourself, ask for vet references and an adoption fee. People who are genuine about taking them, understand why there is a fee.
If you place them yourself, by running an ad, try to place them together, so it will make the transition easier on them.

A lot of us have rescued cats and dogs and have possibly come from someone who had to give them up for allergies, so its possible for them to find a good home, just make sure you are proactive in making sure they go to a good, safe and loving home.
Good advice.

I am sorry that you are feeling 'attacked' here -- at least that is the tone I am getting from your posts. You are asking a bunch of AVID cat lovers about giving up something that they see as irreplaceable treasures.

That said, it sounds as though you have gone the extra mile to resolve the cat allergy issue and I applaud you for that. Some people just use it as an excuse b/c they are just tired of looking after the animal.

Cat allergies are among some of the worst - just ask any allergist. I know my brother is VIOLENTLY allergic to cats - he just cannot be around them.

(and to be specific - the allergen is a protein in the cat's saliva and pee, and can also come through the skin.)

If you feel as a last resort that you just cannot keep the cats, Pami's suggestions are sound ones... as are Natalie's and others. TRY local no-kill rescues. I also volunteer with one here in Michigan, which is foster based. Rescues and shelters here are bulging at the seams with surrendered, dumped and abandoned animals. And as Natalie said, kitten season is approaching, which makes it that much more difficult to place adults.

If you do this yourself, be picky about where the cats go; Placing them may take a while. Older,(adult) paired cats are among the toughest placements to make. I wish I knew someone in the Metro NYC area who could take them, but unfortunately, I don't.

As for trying to make the environment as allergy free as possible, sounds like you have tried just about everything. Shampoo the carpets, bathe the cats (Oh they would just love that -not), dust and vacuum religiously, use an air cleaner, including a good one on the furnace if you have a separate one that heats your apt. You could also get a second opinion from another allergist about course of treatment.

I am also mildly allergic - when I go do my volunteer work, I have to take zyrtec, put cortisone spray up my nose and patanol or pataday in my eyes.
post #25 of 27
dmac68, i know what cat allergies can do. my mother is extremely allergic to cats. her eyes swell shut, lips turn inside out, throat closes up. and the same as with your gf my moms steadily got worse. she has to carry an epi-pen to give herself a shot just in case she comes in contact with a cat and cant make it to the hospital in time, along with a multitude of other things...

so i had to give away a cat once for that reason, so i know where you are coming from. your gf, imo, is acutally pretty amazing to even try to live with the cats, my mom wouldn't. but i cant blame her, her life is more important than the cats. who btw went on to live a very nice life at the local vets office. they kept her as one of the many office pets. hope everything works out for the best!
post #26 of 27
I realize allergies are problematic but your boyfriend and yourself are on a CAT WELFARE site and a FAMILY one at that . Truthfully from both of your responses it may be best for your boyfriend to re home these cats for the cats welfare ..... I am moderately allergic to cats , I have five . I take necessary precautions : like distilled water wiping( commercial wipes are available also ) , air purifiers and more than average housekeeping .... Oh and ER meds always at hand .
post #27 of 27
due to the passionate nature of this topic and the fact that is has rapidly gone downhill, the thread will be locked.

I ask that in the future everyone please keep in mind that everyone's situation is different and as the old saying goes, Judge not, lest ye be judged. We are here to help cats and their families, not drive them away.

Any help you can offer the OP for re-homing his cats, which was the intention of this thread, can be directed to him.

Thank you.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cats S.O.S
This thread is locked  
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Feral Cats and Rescue › Cats S.O.S › Help! Girlfriend Allergic to Cats!