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need cat advice

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hello, I'm not a cat owner yet but I am seriously thinking about getting my first cat. The problem is that I'm pretty allergic to them. I've been reading about products like petal cleanse, allerpet and allerca acs and I'm wondering how well they work. I'm sure they help but i'm looking for something that works really well and I don't want to take allergy shots or medicine. I've also read that female cats and cats with lighter fur color are less allergenic, but I don't know if those are just myths. I appreciate the help!
post #2 of 8
Welcome to the site!

I'll move this to Care & Grooming where our experts will see this and be able to give advice.
post #3 of 8
Hmmm, cats give off dander through their saliva when they groom, not through their fur. Even hairless breeds have dander and are not hypoallergenic. I've never heard that about lighter colored cats, but I'm going to have to be honest with you: I highly doubt that there's any truth to it.

Honestly, immunotherapy shots are going to be the best thing for you, followed by a medicine like augmentin or singulair. Without these, you risk the allergy becoming when a cat is added to the mix Remember, taking on a cat is a responsibility for that cat's entire lifetime.

In addition to the meds, air filters and purifiers are also a good idea. Same with vacuuming the floors and upholstery on a daily or almost-daily basis. my kitty spent a month at my parents' house with my severly asthmatic brother...my sister kept Leo in one wing of the house, my brother had an 'Allergen free' wing of the house and the wing with the kitty was kept immaculately clean through air-purifiers and vacuuming so that my brother could spend time there. He certainly didn't sleep there, though! Keep in mind, though, that my brother is on meds. I have no idea how it would work with just the cleaning and purifiers.

I have no experience with them, but you could also ask your dr. about herbal or holistic remedies. I'm sure they're out there! I just don't have any idea of how effective they are.

Hope this helps!
post #4 of 8
I usually have horrible allergies to cats even though I love them! I get all itchy, and sometimes I get an asthma-like response. But the only problem I've had with my two new Birman boys is a little bit of sneezing from loose hair, which I know will quit in a week or two. I've heard other people say that they weren't allergic to Birmans but were to other cats, or were allergic to Birmans and other cats but not Snowshoes. So maybe you'll get lucky like I did, and find a breed that you're not allergic to. I went to visit a breeder and came out with no problems. I did and still try to remember to take my Allegra, and I plan on getting some type of air filtration, as much for my other allergies as any more potential cat allergens. Good luck with a solution so that you can have a cat!
post #5 of 8
Hairless cats don't bother people with pet allergies as much because they don't lick their selves as much as cats with fur and the little bit they DO lick doesn't stay on them as much as when they have fur to keep it there. You also need to give them a bath at least once a week, so that cuts down on dander as well. However, they require a little extra care!

My house-mate is allergic to everything. I mean it. Everything. He says that Allegra-D is the best allergy medicine he's tried, and that nothing else works. It's subscription only, but they give out free samples all the time at my doctor's office.

I'm allergic to pet dander too, and I've always had cats. I think once you're around them for a while you get used to them. I was always miserable at first when we got a new pet, but I got used to them. Other people's pets would still make me miserable unless I was around them a lot. I was never allergic to Cupid, but there are times--like right after he's licked--that he makes me itchy & runny.
post #6 of 8
If you don't want to take shots or medicine, you're going to have an allergy reaction. As Purr said, sometimes people get used to it after a while. But I think you want to resolve this BEFORE you get the cat. It's only fair to the cat.
post #7 of 8
I think my cat cured me of seasonal allergies. I used to have a little bit of a reaction to cat scratches (the area would get puffy and swell), and occasionally I'll get that reaction, but other than that I don't seem to get bothered much. I used to get horrible ragweed alleriges, insanely itchy roof of mouth, sneezing, headache, stuffed runny nose, just miserable, and since I got my cat I've yet to feel any of those symptoms. Wierd huh?

The danger of getting a cat if you know you have an allergic reaction to them is that you might develope a "fatal reaction". Some people are so allergic to certain allergens, it makes them go into shock and can end up dying (bee stings, cats sometimes, jellyfish stings, etc). Do you have a friend that has a cat? Maybe you can try "hanging out" with a friend's cat for a bit and see just how bad the allergies can get. Or go to an animal shelter and play with their cats for a bit.

Problem with cat allergens in particular is that they are HARD to wash away. The allergen responsible for cat allergies is a protein in their saliva, not their fur. The other problem is that these proteins are polarized, and it makes them extremely "sticky". So even if you do use filters and vacuum religiously, the amount of allergen will build up over time, and if you do decide to get rid of the cat after the fact, it could take months if not years before all the allergens fly away.

Are your floors at home hard floor or carpet? If you have carpet, could you make the investment to change it to hardwood type flooring? Hardwood flooring is much easier to clean and you can get some of the allergen off by moping. Carpet seems to hold it in and collect it over time.

Another option would be to get a pet you're not allergic to. Ferrets are great, since people rarely have allergies to them (they're considered hypoallergenic pets), but they're not as cuddly, and more "troublesome" (really kinda depends on what you consider troublesome). They're kinda like cats... mm... like a perpetual kitten, high energy, high maintenance.
post #8 of 8
I have used Petal Cleans for a long time - when visiting my parents and sister (she is allergic to cats and dogs and has asthma)

Petal Cleanse has worked brilliantly for us and I would highly recommend it (as would my sister) It is also great because it conditions your cat's fur too - which is never a bad thing!
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