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Dealing with allergies to cats

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
For the longest time, I have been allergic to cats. So, up until now I have tried to avoid most felines. Recently, I starting taking care of a cat outside our house. Shortly after, it became two cats. Now, they are the best of friends. I feed them regularly and built a pretty solid house for them. Very often, I let them in the house. Just last night, they became enamored with the tree and pawing at the Christmas ornaments. They often wrestle each other and are definitley "less feral" than before. I'd like to bring them in after the holidays, but have a few concerns. Knowing that I'm allergic is probably the biggest concern. Is there a way to deal with this other than vacuuming and using an air purifier. Will an allergist be able to help? Other concerns include furniture (which I guess I can buy stickly paws). My wife grew up with cats but wants "social" cats. I'm sure that will a little more love, these guys would be VERY social. Any tips would be appreciated. We are going away for a week and I might bring them in after Christmas. I have our neighbors feeding them and their house has got two levels of insulation. One of which is a board wrapped in foil. I'm assuming it's some sort of fiberglass. I checked the house last night to be sure there were no loose pieces that the cats might get into. As long as they don't paw the walls, they should be ok. Any insight this issue is appreiated as well.

I'll post pics once I get my desktop computer fixed.

post #2 of 16
My friend happens to be a veterenary nurse and she is allergic to cats, mostly the ones that shed alot of fur.
When a cat scratches her she always gets a bad infection and gets this cream from work that is used on horses and it words like a miracle.
She also said that now there are tablets and injections to prevent the sneezing and other symptoms with allergies towards cats
Hope this is some help
post #3 of 16
I've got allergies as well as asthma. Though I didn't test positive for a cat allergy, I still find that my beasties give me mild symptoms sometimes (someone told me once that the test for a cat allergy isn't that accurate because it tests for a sort of "composite" cat, which may or may not replicate the dander on your particular cat). It helps to keep the house clean, especially if you've got a lot of carpeting that can trap cat hair, which we do--a vacuum with a HEPA filter is helpful, and most vacuums are made with those anyway. I also take a daily allergy pill--for me it's Zyrtec, which treats indoor and outdoor allergies--as well as Singulair for my asthma. If you are allergic to cats it's best if you don't let them into your bedroom, because once dander gets into a mattress, it's impossible to get out. (We let them in our bedroom, but like I said, my allergies are mostly to other things, and the cats just give me mild symptoms).

As for the cats' present accomodations, sounds mostly okay, but I'd just be careful with the foil--from what I've read on here, I think foil contains something that is harmful to kitties if ingested, so if they should start shredding their wall coverings, it could be a problem.
post #4 of 16
I think it depends on how severely allergic that you are. Some people are extremely allergic (like my brother in law who has asthma attacks).

I had allergy testing once (after chronic sinus infections)and was told that the only thing I'm allergic to is cats!
The allergist highly recommended that I get rid of Molly (only had one cat back then).
Now I have 4!!!!

Of course my sinuses are going batty, but I find that taking Claritin and using my Beconase nasal spray helps. I also wash my hands every time I touch the cats and avoid my eyes (will itch like the Dickens!).

It's a sacrifice I make bet well worth it!!!

Kudos to you for helping these strays!!
post #5 of 16
My Sister's asthma and allergies are triggered by anilmal fur and we have found a great product that works wonders!

If you are able to hold the cats, you will be able to us Petal Cleanse/C. It traps any allergens and cleans the fur. It also gives the cats' fur a healthy sheen! All you have to do is brush the cats, then dampen a cloth with the prescribed measure of Petal Cleanse/C and rub the fur (back and forth) then dry them with a clean, dry cloth.

I don't know where you are from, but you can check for stockists and read more about it on the website, www.bio-life.co.uk

It works wonders for my sister and I have recommended it before on this site. It is worth a try!

I hope this may be of some help to you!
post #6 of 16
What a wonderful think you are doing, taking care of these little ones.
post #7 of 16
All of the above advice is great. I'm so glad you're helping these cats.

Another thing that helps me is getting allergy shots (immunotherapy) for cats. I've also noticed that with continued exposure to a particular cat, it bothers me less & less over time, while new cats really upset my symptoms.
post #8 of 16
I'm allergic to cats, but I don't have health insurance and won't for at least another year. Right now I just take Alavert and Sudefed. They work ok. I notice a huge difference if I don't take Alavert, I sneeze like crazy and my eyes get really red and poofy. When I'm on these two OTC drugs I just blow my nose a lot, as opposed to all the other annoying symptoms. I'd like to try Zyrtek (sp?) when I get insurance.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
I've used Zyrtec before for allergies in general. I might just call my doctor for a refill when we decide to bring them in. It's kinda funny, because I never imagined having a cat. Then it went from not having a cat to bringing one cat in the house. Now, it's two cats. I'm thinking they might adjust quicker to the house if they have each other's company. Last night, I pulled out the insulation and placed another layer of styrofoam insulation. I feel much better knowing they'll be safe and I'm sure the house is warmer with the second layer. As I was working on the house, Buddy was playing with one of the balls I had bought him. This was major because those have been sitting out there for months and he wouldn't touch them. Now, he's always playing outside...flying around the backyard with the ball. I just got my camera back and will post pictures of Steve & Buddy in the Feral & Strays forum. Thanks for all the tips for allergies. I'll try Zyrtec and possibly shots. No worries about them getting close at this point. They come close but at their pace.
post #10 of 16
Good luck with your new kitties. How wonderful of you to take these little guys into your heart and home.
post #11 of 16
Sure hope Zyrtec is effective for you! Congratulations on your new little additions to your family!
post #12 of 16
Just thought I vouch for Sarah's recommendation of Petal Cleanse. I have three cats and am also have a cat allergy. I have been using Petal Cleanse for about 5 weeks and have noticed a big difference in my symptoms. I wish I'd known about this product 14 years ago when I got my first cats, I spent years loving them from a distance and refusing to let them climb on my lap.

Obviously to use Petal Cleanse you have to handle the cats a lot, so if they have been feral cats it might take a while for you to get to this point, but it's worth bearing in mind for the future.

Sarah - you are in UK too, I notice. Have you actually found a shop that stocks Petal Cleanse? I have been buying it online from an Allergy stockist and paying £3.95 delivery for 2 bottles. On their list of stockists they have Pets At Home, but the Sheffield one doesn't sell it. I've asked and have been told that they used to have it but they stopped because no one ever bought it. They have some anti-allergy wipes instead - I've not tried these because they're about £4.00 for only 8 wipes.
post #13 of 16
Originally Posted by Jan
Sarah - you are in UK too, I notice. Have you actually found a shop that stocks Petal Cleanse? I have been buying it online from an Allergy stockist and paying £3.95 delivery for 2 bottles. On their list of stockists they have Pets At Home, but the Sheffield one doesn't sell it. I've asked and have been told that they used to have it but they stopped because no one ever bought it. They have some anti-allergy wipes instead - I've not tried these because they're about £4.00 for only 8 wipes.
Have you tried Tesco?
South Yorkshire\tTesco Stores Ltd\t
Abbeydale Road

I can also get it from my local chemist! Maybe if you ask at your local chemist, they may be able to order it in for you? If not, I will see how much it would be from me to buy it and send it to you, could be a lot cheaper!? Plus, I wouldn't mind doing that for you!
post #14 of 16
Cheers, Sarah, I'll try Tesco first. I tried to download the list of Tescos that are stockists on the bio-life website, but just kept getting timed out. Never thought of asking local chemist, though I have asked at Boots before. They also say that you can ask your vet to get it for you - I wouldn't like to think of what they'd charge per bottle!!

I did notice when I revisited the Bio-Life website that you can buy it from them direct, and they only add 49p per bottle p&p - that sounds pretty unbeatable. Trouble is the order is given over a non-secure site and I don't fancy doing this. There's no phone no. only a fax and I would think it's as dodgy faxing your credit card details as it is e-mailing them.
post #15 of 16
Isn't there additives to cats food you can give them to cut down on there sheading and dander outputs?

Also I used to be obnoxiously allergic to cats...Till I owned cats..now I am not bothered anymore...I think my allergies became immune...maybe this can happen for you too..Doofus will make my eyes itchy once in a while...but thats about it.....This is much better them before where it would feel like a I had a bad cold for the next 12 hours
post #16 of 16
OMG what a noble action yours, these little one need you so much!!!!!
I wish you a biggggg Good Luck!!!!!!!
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