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People that have allergies to cats. Having a cat was the cure for me

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
As a child i was extremely allergic to cats. I got told i would never be able to live in a house with a cat. My eyes would water like rivers,i would have trouble breathing.

Nevertheless i grew up in a house with cats.

I did not realize it til about when i was 30 years old and continuously owning a cat,i was no longer allergic to cats. I no longer had allergic reactions with cats, no longer trouble breathing. I think about age 15 is when i stopped being allergic to cats.

So it must be true, one must develop immunity to cat allergies.
post #2 of 15
It's different from person to person.

My grandma overcome her dog allergy by simply living with a dog. It was nasty in the beginning, but after a year or so, she was clear of allergies. BUT - it was monitored by a doctor and her symptoms were not too bad too handle.

I outgrew my pollen allergies eventually, too. To a degree, at least.

Long story short - I wouldn't suggest exposing oneself to any allergen just like that. There are doctors out there for a reason.
post #3 of 15
My mom is/was allergic to cats. It varied from cat to cat. She was soooo allergic to her boss' cat, Hootie. He loved her though and while she'd be working on the computer he'd walk back and forth in front of her and rub his back underneath her nose. Not very fun for a person who was allergic to him.

There was a Siamese cat a friend had that she didn't have any reaction to, though. Years later when I really wanted a cat again and there was a litter meezers I convinced her to go see with me. No reaction. So Molly and later Polly came home with me.

Even though she doesn't have allergy symptoms around them, there must be something going on there because living through the last years with them seems to have built up an immunity to all cats.
post #4 of 15
I overcame my cat allergies...kinda
If I go into someone else's house that has cats, my allergies flare up, but my cats bother me only very mildly.
post #5 of 15
My mother told my sister and I we were allergic to everything she did not like, so we both grew up thinking we were allergic to cats, among dozens of other things. When we both left home, we realized we were not really allergic. I had a reaction for a short time, but nothing much. I got my first cat after being around other people's, and lost my symptoms very soon after.
post #6 of 15
I'm allergic to cats, but once I'm around them for awhile my allergies don't bother me anymore.
post #7 of 15
My mother has lived with several indoor only cats for 20 years. She went to get another allergy test a few years ago and it showed she's allergic to them. She doesn't have any symptoms though.

I have also lived with indoor only cats for 20 years and I think I'm starting to develop an allergy to them.
post #8 of 15
I tested mildly allergic to cats as an adult. I had never spent any time around cats at all.

Three years ago, I decided I wanted to have a pet and I volunteered with a private cat shelter to make sure my allergy wasn't going to be a problem. I occassionally had a reaction (my sinuses close up and I get sinus headaches and if it's bad, I get infections) but after about three months I realized that I was going to be okay. I adopted my two girls and really haven't had any problems since. At first I was a little anal retentive about allergy prevention (keeping the cats out of my bedroom, bathing them monthly, etc) but I dropped all the routines and I'm still okay.

I also continue to volunteer with the shelter and I still very ocassionally react. I'm not sure if it's just because of a cat or more likely having to deal with the badly ventiliated area where the cages are situated and lots of litter, cleaning items etc.
post #9 of 15
Me too! When I didn't have cats anytime I visited my sisters house her cats would make me so wheezy I had to use an inhaler, I used to be miserable with allergies for the first 5 days. Now I have my own 2 cats and am completely fine
post #10 of 15
I've had the same issue! As a child, we had an outdoor cat and I had horrible allergic reactions when I had any contact with cats. Of course, despite this, I still would cuddle neighborhood cats and then come running home when I could barely breathe . Eventually, when I was about 16, I noticed that my allergic reactions weren't as severe, if I got any at all. At that point, I convinced my parents to let me get a kitten (childhood cat was long gone), and I've had cats ever since! I can even bury my face in their fur with NO reaction whatsoever!
post #11 of 15
Since I got Zelda 2 years ago, I've had to take Claritin daily. If I miss a dose, I end up with itchy eyes and sneezing. The other 3 cats never bothered my allergies.
post #12 of 15
We lived with an indoor cat for ten years and were fine. When she died, we got another indoor cat and were fine. After a year or so, we added another one. My husband began to have serious problems. We thought it was a head cold and low immune resistance since his mother had just died and he had been depressed for a long time. We finally figured out it was the cats and moved them both outdoors, We bought the cat fence in system and have used it ever since. He can sit on the screened in porch where they are, once the pollen is gone. He can't handle them or let them on his lap. If he does, he washes up good and changes clothes. He simply could not live with them in the house. The meds didn't work as long as the cats were there. Allergies and the problems they cause can turn into asthma problems and it is not worth the risk to a human being, no matter how much we love the cats.
post #13 of 15
I agree that it's different from person to person. Even though I'm being exposed day and night to cat dander, my allergies are getting worse, much worse.

It is now to the point where if I do not take my allergy pill daily right when the "24 hours relief" wears off, I will start wheezing and my throat becomes constricted. It could potentially become very dangerous if I'm not careful. Sometimes I still wheeze and have trouble breathing, so then I have to resort to my bronchodilator.

Also, either the cat dander brought out my asthma or I developed asthma due to cat allergies over time.
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by KatGoddess View Post
I agree that it's different from person to person. Even though I'm being exposed day and night to cat dander, my allergies are getting worse, much worse.

It is now to the point where if I do not take my allergy pill daily right when the "24 hours relief" wears off, I will start wheezing and my throat becomes constricted. It could potentially become very dangerous if I'm not careful. Sometimes I still wheeze and have trouble breathing, so then I have to resort to my bronchodilator.

Also, either the cat dander brought out my asthma or I developed asthma due to cat allergies over time.
Sometimes I think that maybe people are not aware of the health risk regarding asthma when they keep exposing themselves to things they are allergic to.
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by blueyedgirl5946 View Post
Sometimes I think that maybe people are not aware of the health risk regarding asthma when they keep exposing themselves to things they are allergic to.
Thanks for the reminder! I am fully aware of the health risks of asthma and I agree it's a serious condition. Trust me, I know that from a health point-of-view, it would be best in my interest to not have any cats at all. But my boy means the world to me and I cannot give him up. Not to mention I would probably never be able to find him a home even if I tried because of his extensive food allergies, hence I have to make his diet from scratch at home. Of course, I would not be adding anymore cats after this.

Interestingly, my doctor told me that he's seen cases where cat allergic people who continued to expose themselves to cat dander eventually developed dog allergies, too. Has anyone heard or know of such cases?

(That's my biggest concern right now because I have a dog as well and it would suck to not be able to have either species as pets in the future.)
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