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Allergic to cat..Help!!!

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I've had my cat for nearly a month now. In that month she escaped on me once. However in the last week or so i have come out in a rash on my arms hands and tummy area. I went to my doc and he said that its the cat and that she haas to go. I'm wondering what this could be. Could it be the cat or the littler or what. She was found abaandoned and I rescused her and now i have to let her go again. So any advice. the rash is like little sores.
Any help would be great.
post #2 of 17
I would first take the cat to a vet. It is possible that while she was "out" she picked up a parasite.

I would also look into allerpet if it does turn out to be you are allergic to her dander. But first, while the rash and bumps are clear on your arms, take her to the vet. Show him your arms and then ask him if there is anything she could have picked up outside to cause this.

Good luck
post #3 of 17
Can't the doctor give you some medicine? I know that people I know of have had good luck with Singulair for respirtory reactions... Maybe you should seek a second opinion from a dermatologist. Sometimes busy family practitioners just give you the easiest, least-involved answer.

Have you tried taking some Benedryl? Stupid question, I'm sure, ut you'd be surprised how many call we get at the shelter with people who haven't tried ANYTHING

WHat about a HEPA air filtration system?

Can you keep kitty confined to certain areas in your home? A good friend of mine with allergies keeps kitty in the living room, dining room and bathroom areas...he's not allowed in the kitchen or bedroom. This helps her a lot.

DO you vacuum every day? Do you dust every day?

Do you have someone there who could brush kitty and wipe her down with a wet rap every day to clean up some of that dander?

Just some suggestions!
post #4 of 17
I'm VERY allergic to Sadie and, as such, I take an allergy pill/antihistamine (Claritin) everyday (yup, 365 days a year) to combat the symptoms. Like you, I also broke out in a rash at first, but the Claritin cleared this up within days. I also invested in a good Hepa air filter which is on 24 x 7 (this helped a lot!). Good luck.
post #5 of 17
Did he actually do a test for cat allergy, or did he just say that since the cat is the only new variable in your environment, then it must be the cat?

Some people have cats and allergies, and simply keep the cats out of their bedrooms, creating a "cat free" area they can sleep in and retreat to when their runny nose (or whatever) gets too bad.

Also, sometimes the body gets used to the presence of a cat, and the allergy clears up on its own... I know I heard a testimonial like that from somebody here on the site.

Don't just let the cat go outside and leave her there... This would be quite bad for the cat. If you have to leave her somewhere, find yourself a no-kill shelter or a friend who can take care of the cat. Naturally a shelter isn't the most wonderful place for a cat; if she isn't fostered, she'll end up in a cage most of the day (some places are different--cat runs and enclosures are among the non-cage options out there). Also, she's a grown cat and will not get adopted as quickly as a kitten might.

But a shelter is better than the street; so if you can't solve the allergy problem, find yourself a place that doesn't euthanize animals and leave her there.
post #6 of 17
Originally Posted by lionessrampant
Can't the doctor give you some medicine? I know that people I know of have had good luck with Singulair for respirtory reactions... Maybe you should seek a second opinion from a dermatologist. Sometimes busy family practitioners just give you the easiest, least-involved answer.
Exactly what I was thinkin. Was this just your regular doc? You could try even getting in with an Allergy Doctor and get his opinion. Me and my mom are both allergic to pretty much all animals, but we still have them and always have. With a reaction that was only a rash (from what you said I think that is all, there could be more I don't know about) getting rid of the cat immediately seems extreme. I would get atleast a second opinion before doing anything that drastic. As has been reccommended, try over the counter or perscription allergy meds. Vaccuming often also helps. Usually when people are allergic to animals, its actually the dander or saliva that is the problem (from what I've been told). There are vitamins/supplements you can buy to give the kitty that will help with shedding, which in turn may help your allergies. Just some suggestions!! Keep us updated on what you find out, k?
post #7 of 17
I'm allergic to Zissou and all cats in general, and have the same rash you describe if they lick me or rub their face on me, especially my neck or elbows.

I take Singulair, and Claritin also helps but is too expensive. When I first lived with cats, I felt like I had a terrible cold all the time and would get that rash if just their fur gets on me at all. Now, I have a bit of a stuffy nose that I hardly notice, and only get the rash if Zissou actually licks me. So, my allergy is much better. I am also allergic to all kinds of other stuff, as are almost everyone with allergies. It could be the litter. It could be spring. It could be your cat.

Regularly brushing your cat helps. The one thing that really helps me is bathing Zissou once a month or so in a tiny bit of mild soap mixed in with the water. I am, for some reason, less allergic to cats that only eat Iams. I have no idea why this is. Every time I'm around cats that don't my allergies are way worse. Could just be I'm used to it, but just something to try.

She sleeps right next to my face, and I hardly get allergic.

Please don't give your cat up just because of that! Although, I knew going in to having a cat that I was this allergic, you did not.
Whatever you do, don't just put it outside. That is cruel.
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all your replies. Ok first I want to make it clear i had no intention of just letting th cat go and just let her wander off.
A bit of information on the cat. She was found in a friend back garden in a terrible state. She was half bald(from stress) and was very much under weight. Now she grow back little of her hair but not much so only has hair on the top off her back, tail and head and a tiny bit underneath. She hasno skin problems that would be causing this just initial stress but it doesn't seem to grow back. So the brushing thing would be maybe not to good. What is Dander?
I will also look around for allergy tablets. Thanks for your help. I'll try post a pic of her.
Tubes and pippy.
post #9 of 17
Dander is the skin cells that the cat sheds when she replaces the old cells.

Hmm... I wonder... have you had your cat to the vet to see if she is healthy? Humans can catch some things from pets. Maybe your cat had some sort of skin problem and she needs medication for it? If so, ask the vet to see if you could have caught it from the cat.

There's also air filters out there, which you plug in and they filter your air. Some cats don't mind baths, and that can get rid of dander (but don't traumatize her if you don't have to!).

Also you could be allergic to the cat's saliva and not her dander; in that case you might just buy yourself a pair of cotton gloves to wear when handling the cat, and not allow her to lick you. (I'd say latex gloves, because those are nonporous, but I imagine they'd pull at the cat's fur and she wouldn't like being petted if you were wearing rubber/latex on your hands.)

It's good that you're making sure to take good care of the cat, despite your allergies. Cats need people like that in the world!
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Yes i took her to the vet. She was in perfect condition only for she was underweight and had lost her hair, from stress...but this hasn't seem to come back but the vet said she doesn't see it as a problem..she has no skin problems.

Also. The rash isn't just on my hands its also on my tummy and legs.
Any ideas.
Thanks for all the help
post #11 of 17
I don't know if this will help but I'm a lifelong allergy sufferer. Chose to go petless because it was *so* bad and then on top of my problems I have one child who had two sinus surgeries by age 6 and another who has asthma. Obviously we aren't the world's best candidates for cats.

Anyway, I decided to see what I could do with meds to get by while we have this kitten and I pretty much launched an all out war: Antihistamine/decongestant Allegra-D, Singulaire which can be used in addition to an antihistamine, washing my hands after handling the kitten and showering followed by application of hydrocortisone cream at the first sign of rash. So far it's kept things tolerable but I'm not betting the farm that it will hold for the long haul.

Hope this helps. Good luck to you.
post #12 of 17
A note about Singulair:
I've been on Singulair for at least five years, and started when it was just for asthma. Now it's approved for allergies too. I don't think that it has helped mine at all! It is a miracle drug for asthma though! Most of my allergies I didn't even know about when I started taking it, and it does not help my cat allergies. Or maybe it does, and my allergy would be waaaaayyyy worse without it
Claritin really helps, since the skin rash thing is more of an antihistamine sort of thing. Singulair probably does better with respiratory and sinus symptoms.
Just for a quick fix, rub some hydrocortisone cream like Pippen suggested on the rash, like that stuff for poison ivy. Its cheap, and OTC. That's what I use on my cat allergy rash.
Good luck!
post #13 of 17
Hi there~
I am sorry to hear that you are having allergy issues. I am a vet tech and I hear this alot from the clients at work and my husband is allergic to them too, (but that doesn't stop us from having 5! ). I even work with a few Veterinarians who are extremly allergic to cats. Here are my two cents worth and a few ideas. First off-I know you said you took your cat in for and exam and everything looks good-but years ago I too broke out in the same sort of rash and the doctors could not figure it out. I am wondering since she was an outdoor kitty-did she ever have fleas? If so-here is what I am thinking-I eventually figured out that my rash was flea bites-yup humans cannot physically be a carrier for fleas but they can bite us! If she did have fleas and you did not flea bomb the house they could be living in your carpets and furniture and they are biting YOU! Not to give you the creepy crawlies but this may be the problem. I would also suggest the following-try to bathe your kitty atleast once a month to get off all the dead hair and skin. Vaccuum daily. There is also a way to medicate your cat's water with a mix of Acepromazine and water so that they shed less and less dander. Most people who are allergic to cat's are NOT allergic to the fur or the dander-it is their saliva-Acepromazine helps cut down the amount of saliva they produce when grooming. Acepromazine is also a sedative, but is used in the smallest dose possible I have found a few clients who think it works great. You would have to ask your vet to make up this mixture. I know I am getting kind of long here-sorry just have lots of thoughts to try and help you out. Also I am wondering about the hair loss and not growing back-how old did the vet say the kitty was and did he run bloodwork to check the thyroid? If a cat has thyroid problems then untill medicated to get it back in check the hair will be slow to grow back or not at all. Good luck and please let me know if there is anything else I can do to help!
post #14 of 17
First of all you dont know if you are allergic to the cat, she could have brushed poison ivy and you got it from her. But in the case you are allergic, there are many things you can do.

I am also wildly allergic to cats and get weekly shots and take an antihistamine daily. I have a hepa filter, vacuum daily, don't let her sleep in the bedroom, wash her frequently and use dander free spray on furniture.

As long as I dont go into respiratory arrest I am keeping her.
One simply has to decide if avoiding the allergies or the having the cat enhances your life more. i chose the cat.
post #15 of 17

this is what I do to be able to keep my cat.
post #16 of 17
I am also allergic to cats and take Singulair, Zyrtec and Nasonex. Doctors are always very quick to blame the cat, when it may not be the cat at all. If it does end up being her, here are a few suggestions:

Keep her out of your bedroom. You need a safe area.
Wash your hands well after petting her.
Do not wear fur covered clothes to bed.
Put throws where she frequently sleeps or sits, and wash these often.
I second the suggestion for a HEPA filter.
Brushing often also helps.
post #17 of 17
We had something that sounds similar. We adopted a stray. Everyone in the family got dots or bumps. I got it the worst - chest, tummy, frontal thighs. They were itchy and kinda - I dunno - oozy? Anyhow, they weren't going away and they kept coming. The vet said it sounded like mites although except for the fact that our kitty had some hair loss, a little dandruff, and a few scabby like little areas, she couldn't find any mites. We treated with Revolution and after two treatments our bumps stopped coming. After three treatments her skin cleared up.

Just thought I'd share - in case.
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