Living with Cat Allergies
Cat dander (tiny particles of dry skin) rather than fur can cause allergic reaction in humans such as itchy eyes, sneezing, a runny or stuffy nose, coughing, wheezing, and hives or rash.
Even if your cat is the cause of your allergy, remember that your pet, who has been your friend over the years, is truly depending upon you now. If you can invest the time and effort to find ways to cope with your allergy, your pet can stay where he or she belongs — at home with you.
Try a few of the following before deciding to rehome your cat:
- Perform an allergy test to see if you are allergic to the cat. Your doctor may be able to pinpoint the source more accurately.
- Keep the animal out of your bedroom, especially at night.
- You can buy pre-moistened cloths that quickly wipe away the pet dander and loose hair that can cause human allergic reactions around pets.
- Use an air filtration system or air purifier.
- Vacuum the house and furniture completely and often. You could try using a special vacuum filter that removes dander and other allergens.
- If you have wall-to-wall carpeting in your home, consider replacing it with another type of flooring and using washable scatter rugs.
- Have someone groom your pet on a regular basis.
- Wash your hands immediately after petting the cat.
- Wash bedspreads, sheets, throw rugs and slip covers frequently.
- Add a coat conditioner to your pet’s food to prevent skin dryness, which can increase shedding.
- If your cat tolerates bathing, give the cat a bath every 4-6 weeks using a cat shampoo.
- Consult your doctor about allergy shots or medication to control the allergy symptoms.