Many people want to adopt a cat but after finding out they’re allergic to them, they give up on living with a feline buddy. Cat allergies however, don’t come just from standing beside a kitty; the main culprits are the cat’s saliva, urine and dander which are small particles that shed from creatures with hair, fur or feather. Coming in contact with these triggers the allergic reaction. Now, considering these factors, there’s still a silver lining for cat allergic people who want to adopt their own feline friend. Here are some tips for our fellow cat lovers with cat allergies.
According to Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), cat allergies are more common than allergies caused by dogs; this is due to how feline allergens stay airborne more than dogs’. For this problem, filtering the air is a great step to minimize allergens. Open your windows, have a ventilation system or get an air filter. As much as possible, make ways to bring in fresh air which can help take away dander and other feline allergens.
Replace furniture and carpeting
Furniture and upholstery, drapes and carpets, these are some house stuff that trap allergens. One tip is to replace these with different materials that are more unlikely to retain dust, dander and fur. For instance, instead of carpeting, you may opt for hardwood or tile flooring. For drapes, blinds or curtains, you can use those with washable materials or synthetic ones. While it may be difficult to opt for sofa and seats made from wood or hard surfaces, you can instead encase them with washable material or place allergen protectors on them. Of course, you don’t necessarily need to buy new furniture and house necessities. Constantly cleaning and replacing the dirty covers and fabric will do the trick; it’s a must for people with cat allergies but still want to live with a kitty.
Cat allergic people should stay away from cats’ favorite sleeping spots. On the other hand, keep the allergic person’s bedroom off-limits to cats. A cat allergic person may be able to live with a cat but sleeping with one is definitely not advisable. Also, staying near a cat’s sleeping area for a long time is risky as it’s constantly exposed to feline allergens. To make your life with a cat livable, designate “pet-free” areas; this can help an allergic person take a break from allergen exposure.
Keep your cat clean
Aside from cleaning the house, grooming your cat is a great way to reduce allergens. Bathing a few times a month and daily wiping is recommended. Wiping or bathing is essential as cats groom by licking and their saliva is also an allergen. And if possible, designate this grooming session to another person in the household who doesn’t have cat allergies.
Treatment with Medication or Immunotherapy
Taking over-the-counter medication can help with mild allergic reactions. Another option is to undergo allergen immunotherapy or rush immunotherapy. Known as allergy shots, allergen immunotherapy is a long-term treatment that can lessen the symptoms and decrease a person’s sensitivity to allergens. Eventually, this method can lead to a lasting relief. Rush immunotherapy works the same but it’s more of a short-term treatment. In any case, whether taking medication or considering immunotherapy, seek medical advice from a professional first before undergoing any health-related decision.
“Hypoallergenic” Cats for People with Cat Allergies
There are hypoallergenic felines “purrfect” for cat allergic people who still wish to have a cat. It isn’t scientifically proven yet but many pet owners claim these cats don’t cause as much allergic reaction. Some feline breeds purportedly produce low levels of allergens thus getting the reputation of being hypoallergenic. The Burmese, Balinese and Russian Blue breeds are among the options. However, the Siberian cat is the most popular choice for cat allergic people.
With these things considered, it’s not impossible for cat allergic persons to adopt and live with cats. So re-homing pets shouldn’t be the go-to solution when a person’s allergy can still be remedied. On the other hand, people with severe cases of allergy shouldn’t force themselves to have a cat. You can either visit kitty shelters or a friend with a cat and not put your health at risk. Whichever your situation is, do continue your love for cats and remember to stay healthy.