If you are a cat owner and are diagnosed with allergies to cats, getting rid of your cat might not be the favorite thing you would like to do. Maybe you can first find out how to manage your symptoms without having to get rid of your pet. There are ways to co-exist with your feline friend in your own home while keeping your allergy symptoms under control.
The allergenic animal dander from cats is the not their fur, but the dandruff (dust) on the cat’s hair and skin, as well as the proteins in their dried saliva, sweat, and urine that can float around the house and attach to walls, windows, and furniture.
All breeds of cats produce dandruff, although some produce less dandruff than others do, nevertheless, no cat is allergen-free, not even hairless breeds. The amount of allergen on a cat’s fur depends on the length, and possibly the cat’s fur type. Some may be allergic to large quantities of the allergen such as on longhaired cats, but suffer fewer problems with cats that have short hair that produce lower levels of dandruff. The intensity of the allergic reaction all depends on how badly allergic the person is, and not how allergenic the cat is.
Poor thing! People are quick to blame their allergies on their cat, then realizing later on when it is too late, that they are actually just allergic to dust mites, furniture polish, or dust from a new carpet, whereas they have already sent their cat to an animal shelter, or have already killed it.
People with cat allergies are most likely to suffer from itchy and watery eyes, a runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, wheezing, coughing, asthma, and red itchy skin or hives. Separation from the animal for a couple of days will cause the symptoms to subside, but once the person comes in contact with the animal again, the symptoms are sure to recur.
If you think you have allergies to cats, before you throw out the cat and get a reptile or fish as a pet, make sure that you get an allergy test to see if it is really the cat that is causing your allergies. The doctor will advise an immunotherapy treatment to gradually decrease the allergenic effect of cats on the patient.
Living with a cat allergy is easier nowadays since there is more information about allergy management. The most important thing that should be on your to-do list is to keep your kitty clean and well-groomed constantly. Weekly baths and regular brushing of the fur can remove the animal dander on your cat’s skin. Keep your cat’s skin healthy by feeding a high quality food and a fatty supplement.
As much as possible, train your cat to stay outside by preparing a comfortable nook for them to play and sleep in instead of spreading their dander all over your bedding or furniture. Also, don’t allow your cat into the car. Use a pet carrier if you need to bring along your cat for the ride.
For a clean, dander-free home, sweep and vacuum regularly and consider installing a good “HEPA” air cleaner. Always wash your hands after touching, playing, or picking up your cat’s toys. Get rid of your carpets and opt for easy to clean flooring such as wood, vinyl, or linoleum.
And to avoid all these unnecessary hassles, discuss possible immunotherapy or medications with your physician.