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Allergic! Advice!

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
As it turns out, I'm allergic to my cat. He started shedding and my nose and eyes haven't had a rest since then.

Thankfully, I love my cat more than I love allergies, so its the allergy symptoms that will go, and not my cat. He stays. Allergy goes.

So how do I treat this allergy? There must be cat allergic people who still have cats on this forum! I read about pills and other treatments, what do you recommend?

*loving my kitty enough to vaccum twice a week!*
post #2 of 20
This article may help a bit.

http://www.thecatsite.com/Health/223...t-Allergy.html
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much!

Unfortunately a couple of those solutions are not available, as my bedroom is also my computer room and a place my cat and I spent more time together. Eventually I think that will change though. All the other solutions gonna try. Oh he won't like the bath idea, but the combing every day I already do. He sheds like crazy!
post #4 of 20
You can talk to an allergist about treatments. Chances are, cat dander isn't your only allergen trigger.

If you can't keep the cat out of the bedroom and off the bed, get a thin blanket that you can cover the bed entirely with during the day. Dust covers for the mattress and pillows can help (everyone can benefit from these) as well as frequently washing sheets and blankets, and vacuuming your mattress and other furniture. Vacuum and dust often, of course. You might consider covering other furniture in your house so you have an easy to clean surface.

I hope you can find a routine and treatment that helps you feel better.
post #5 of 20
I'm allergic to pretty much everything that can be inhaled with horrible seasonal allergies. Cats are definitely on that list, and we have 5. I would be miserable without Zyrtec (Generic = Cetirizine). It's now available OTC. The generic is very reasonably priced.

Not sure if the article mentions it, but it's not actually the fur you're allergic to it's the dander. Which is essentially dried cat spit (from when he cleans himself). So you can do a lot in reducing the allergen in your home just by getting Pet Wipes or using a damp washcloth and wiping him down daily when you comb him.
post #6 of 20
Get yourself allergy tested! I finally did, and found out that I'm allergic to all three cats (I took in a tuft of fur from each) as well as molds, many common tree pollens and grasses. I get allergy shots, which have helped a lot! I also have a prescription for Nasonex nasal spray, Lotemax eye drops, and an Albuterol inhaler. I also take OTC Zyrtec (Cetirizine HCl) daily... most stores carry a store brand for significantly less than the name brand. It also comes as Zyrtec-D, which contains pseudoephedrine hydrochloride. They have changed my life in a VERY positive way! I vacuum twice weekly (it's a job I detest!) and I wipe the cats down with a wet cloth (usually every other day, but I should DAILY.) My allergist recommended keeping the cats out of my bedroom, but they love to sleep on me, and I enjoy it too. I don't want to disrupt their life, or punish them, for my allergies.
post #7 of 20
I discovered that I have allergies to my cats too! It's not the cats themselves, but the dander that they shed and is deposited all over your house.

I didn't realize until I got a new vacuum (Dyson Animal) that had really good suction and a rotating upholstery tool that I had allergies to the cats. As soon as I vacuumed my carpet and the furniture using the new vacuum, I got almost 2 inches of what looked like drywall dust in the bottom of the canister. That's after having vacuumed with my old vacuum. I noticed almost immediately that my sneezing, sniffles and watery eyes went away.

The only time I have allergy symptoms in my home now is when I haven't vacuumed the furniture and area rug in more than a week.

Brushing the cats help too. My cats are both what I call "Brush Hogs!" They both love to be brushed and absolutely can't get enough. You need a wire brush that can get down to the undercoat near the skin.

So my advice is to get a better vacuum and to brush them more often if possible.
post #8 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pookie-poo View Post
I vacuum twice weekly (it's a job I detest!)
If you have a lot of carpets, have you considered getting rid of some of them? Mine are going, starting with the living room carpet today - partially because I hate vacuuming and because DH does have asthma and allergies. I also have very nice, virtually untouched wood floors under all this ugly carpet!
...I'm only taking a break from it at the moment because I smashed a finger with the pry bar....
post #9 of 20
Like Heidi, I'm allergic to everything, and I am wickedly allergic to cats. Sorry if I'm repeating anything in the article, but here's what I do (and one cat sleeps on my head and one sleeps basically in my face - I can't imagine sleeping without the kitties! )

1) Get good HEPA air filters. One for the bedroom and as many as you want to cover as many rooms in the house you want. When we lived in the house, we had one pretty much in each room and 2 in the bedroom - but it was large. KEEP THEM CLEAN and change the filters on schedule.

2) We cover the "cushy" furniture with throw blankets. They're easy to fold up when you want to sit on them or you're having company, they keep the furniture cat-hair free, so no worries about having to vacuum the furniture before company comes over - and swap them out and wash them weekly.

3) Vacuum as frequently as you can.

4) TAKE ZYRTEC (it is not only OTC now, it is available in generic - Cytirizine).

5) Get a slicker brush and brush the kitties every day. When done, wipe them down with distilled water on a couple of paper towels or a wash cloth or something.

I'm allergic to everything, so I often have to take Zyrtec-D (with the decongenstant). It's expensive, but it works (for me). It's not available generically that I know of.

I also get hives sometimes from the cats. I have a prescription steroid cream called "Ultravete" from the doc when that happens. (I also get hives from lots of other things).

We don't have any "no go" zones for the cats. Like I said, I can't imagine sleeping without the kitties.

Laurie
post #10 of 20
I second the article and the rest of the advise. I can't take Zyrtec because it makes me too sleepy- but it worked really well! I take generic Claritin- Loratidine 10 mg, which you can get at Target, Walmart, Meijer, etc for 10 dollars for three months. I also take Singulair. I've heard removing curtains and using wooden blinds instead helps. I haven't tried that yet. I swear by my Dyson and wash my bedding frequently. I don't know how much it really helps, but I use Febreze allergan reducing spray.. it smells nice at least and doesn't bug my asthma.
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
If you have a lot of carpets, have you considered getting rid of some of them? Mine are going, starting with the living room carpet today - partially because I hate vacuuming and because DH does have asthma and allergies. I also have very nice, virtually untouched wood floors under all this ugly carpet!
...I'm only taking a break from it at the moment because I smashed a finger with the pry bar....
I only have carpet in the living room, everything else is hardwood (entry way and both bedrooms) or vinyl (kitchen, bathroom and basement) so it isn't much vacuuming....I just detest doing it, lol! I ripped out all of the carpeting when I bought the house, and refinished the hardwood floors right away (virtually pristine red oak...gorgeous!)

Ouch on the smashed finger! Hope it feels better quickly!
post #12 of 20
We bought a house and pulled out all of the carpeting, and it's amazing what just that did for my allergies. Mine are seasonal, plus dust and mold. I haven't been tested, so for all I know the cats could be on the list. I vacuum 2x a week, plus try to remember to dust a lot. We pulled out all but the bathroom curtains when we moved in--there wasn't a blind set in the bathroom. But I changed it and wash the curtain regularly. I have roller blinds in all but 3 windows.

I can tell when I've waited to long on the vacuuming because it's a sneeze-fest. And Lola hair tumble weeds roll across the floor.

I use generic Claritin and allergy eye drops to keep my allergies in check. My neti pot helps too.
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pookie-poo View Post
Ouch on the smashed finger! Hope it feels better quickly!
It has already. It stopped hurting (unless I bump it on something) and some of the swelling decreased - it's a nice shade of green-purple though. I knew I would hurt myself somehow today!

The carpet and pad are in the dumpster and the front room smells better already. That musty dust smell is starting to dissipate. Nasty to think how much of that we were breathing in! The bedrooms, with what I believe is the actual '60s carpet, are next.
Just one of those little things one can do to make it a lot easier on their allergies, and for cleaning. Even if you don't have allergies dust mites (their poo specifically) and mold can make anyone sick. Plus, I think kitties love smooth floors, too.
post #14 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by strange_wings View Post
If you have a lot of carpets, have you considered getting rid of some of them? Mine are going, starting with the living room carpet today - partially because I hate vacuuming and because DH does have asthma and allergies. I also have very nice, virtually untouched wood floors under all this ugly carpet!
...I'm only taking a break from it at the moment because I smashed a finger with the pry bar....

I think that my landlords would kill me if I ripped up the carpet. Then they'd throw me out. I might try looking for an apartment without wall to wall shag. I'll talk to my social worker and landlord about it.
post #15 of 20
My boyfriend is allergic to cats. He spends almost all of his nights in my apartment and I have three cats here (and they have access to the bedroom). He doesn't get any reactions from them, and I think the main reason is my kitties diets. For example they get salmon oil which reduces the shedding and dandruff. I try to keep this place as tidy as possible, and vacuum twice a week. He still gets reactions from other cats.
post #16 of 20
^A strange thing can happen with some people. They can become fairly tolerant to their own cat (or cats they're frequently around), yet still be allergic to other cats.
But I'm sure that a good diet, grooming, and a good cleaning schedule is one of the biggest factors that keeps him from having too many problems at your home.

And it's too bad for renters.
post #17 of 20
Please pardon my post if I'm just repeating others. I'm exhausted but I wanted to answer before I forget so I didn't read any other replies.

DH is allergic and we do several things to combat his allergies, many were suggestions I picked up on here before. He takes allergy meds, a generic Loratadine (sp?) that works pretty well for him. We also keep the girls out of our bedroom most of the time, and definitely off the bed. Other than that we do run an air purifyer in the bedroom. We used to in the living room but I didn't think it was as effective (just the one we bought). I try to keep the girls well groomed so they shed less on our furniture. The Furminator brush was one of the best investments I ever made in cat care products! Our vacuum has a good attachment for vacuuming where the girls like to lay on the furniture. I used to bathe them more regularly or use a waterless bath; but I've not done that in a while now. Grooming with the Furminator seems to help just as much. I've noticed that the longer we have the girls, the less they seem to bother DH. Now when he goes to my parent's house and is around their 3 cats; they will bother him more. But for the most part he's fine with our cats now. He does avoid putting his face in their fur and washes his hands after playing or before bed. That's about it. I hope this made sense! I'm off to bed now!
post #18 of 20
I am so glad for this thread. We've had our kitty fo almost 3 weeks and my 18 month old son has developed all the usual allergy symptoms. Pollen in this area is also high, but that has been since April. My thought is that adding he cat just worsen the problem. We will follow y'alls suggestions and hopefully it will work. He is so young and allergies' meds are not really recommended. He had a lil dose tonight so h could sleep.
post #19 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by rockstarkitties View Post
I am so glad for this thread. We've had our kitty fo almost 3 weeks and my 18 month old son has developed all the usual allergy symptoms. Pollen in this area is also high, but that has been since April. My thought is that adding he cat just worsen the problem. We will follow y'alls suggestions and hopefully it will work. He is so young and allergies' meds are not really recommended. He had a lil dose tonight so h could sleep.
Definitely look into the series of shots for his allergies when he gets older. It's a lot for a child to go through, but than so are lifelong allergies - which early treatment could lessen the severity of.

My DH used to be very allergic to a lot of things as a child - including common foods (corn, mustard, cucumbers/pickles, etc). He can eat all of these foods now... though some will still set off a minor asthma attack or, in the case of coconut, cause his lips to swell up and look like a bad collagen injection.
post #20 of 20
I can truly empathize,Firecat! I was fiercely allergic to cats as a child and also for most of my adult life.For some bizarre reason I have NOT had any symptoms with this new kitten,Alley,that I rescued. I`ve used Zyrtec and Patonol(Rx eye drops)with excellent results at my parents` house(they have 2 cats).I think steady exposure is the best thing you can do to desensetize yourself.When I lived with my folks for a month(after my surgery)my allergic symptoms almost completely disappeared.

Hang in there,k?
HosMan
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