If you are allergic to cats, you may have given up hope of ever being able to own one, or spend any time in the company of cats without breaking out in an allergic reaction. However, depending on the severity of your allergy, how you manage it and the type of cats that you come into contact with, you may find that it is entirely possible to own a cat without your allergies making your life miserable!
In this article, we will share six top tips for people who are allergic to cats, and how to lessen the symptoms of your allergy with a view to making life with a cat more comfortable. Read on to learn more!
First and foremost, it is a great idea to get yourself allergy tested by your doctor, so that you can be sure that it is actually cats that you are allergic to, and find out what specifically triggers your allergic reaction.
While most people assume that cat fur itself is the cause of their allergic reaction, in reality, it is a certain type of protein particle that triggers the reaction itself, and this protein is found in cat saliva, skin and urine rather than produced by the fur. However, the fur helps to diffuse and spread the protein, which is why people with cat allergies often react badly when in the presence of cat fur!
Added to this, some people will find that while a few specific cats might trigger their allergies or worsen them, other cats will have little to no impact on the allergy sufferer, and so spending time with a range of different cats can help you to work this out, and possibly give you hope for owning your own cat!
Some breeds of cats such as the hairless Sphynx and the curly-haired Devon Rex don’t have as much dander-shedding fur to spread allergenic compounds around, and so these may be a good pick for allergy sufferers. However, in some cases, just your average moggy may be perfectly fine for you, and only trial and error will help you to work it out!
Anything that traps or distributes the protein particles that trigger allergies will obviously make life worse for those that suffer from them, and soft furnishings including curtains, carpet, fabric-covered sofas and rugs can all trap dander, making allergies more prevalent.
Using blinds instead of curtains, favouring hard floors over carpet, and leather sofas instead of fabric ones will not only help to reduce the build-up of allergens, but also be easier to clean!
Keeping your environment as clear from dander and allergens as possible means a reasonable amount of cleaning is required, in order to remove allergenic triggers from the home.
The average vacuum cleaner recycles the air in the room, venting out used air and so, allergens as part of cleaning. But vacuum cleaners that contain HEPA filters actually trap the tiny allergenic particles themselves, preventing them from being recirculated back into the room. These filters can then be emptied outside of the house.
Air purifiers designed for people with allergies, many of which again use HEPA filtration, will also help to draw allergenic particles out of the air, where once more, they can be emptied and cleaned outside of the house.
Plenty of fresh air and open windows also help-unless you are allergic to pollen as well!
Armed with your new HEPA filtered vacuum cleaner and easy-clean surfaces and furniture, the allergy sufferer with a cat will need to spend a reasonable amount of time cleaning, doing a little bit each day to remove allergens from their environment if possible.
Hoover floors, clean the furniture and wash your cat’s bedding regularly in order to keep allergens to a minimum, and change the filters in your air purifiers regularly.
Understandably, few people wish to take medicines regularly unless this is absolutely necessary, but there are a whole range of different medications that can help with particularly bad allergenic flare-ups, and help to make your life more comfortable.
Antihistamines can help to limit your body’s allergic response to their triggers, while decongestants, inhalers and eye drops can all help to make your life more comfortable when your allergies are at their peak.
While most of the tips and effective advice given on living with cat allergies are based on working around your cat and changing your own lifestyle to accommodate for a cat, there are also a couple of things that you can do for your cat itself to make them less of a hazard to your comfort!
Invest in a good quality premium food for your cat that is a good fit for their age and breed, as cats fed the perfect diet will have healthier skin and fur, and be less likely to shed a lot and maker allergies worse.
Also, brushing and grooming your cat once a day for a few minutes, wearing a face mask if this helps, can help to keep shed hair to a minimum and make the rest of your day easier and more pleasant.