How Do You Live With A Cat If You Are Allergic
Living with Cat Allergies
Keep Your Cats Favorite Sleeping Spots Off
Felines are creatures of habit and usually have a couple of favorite spots where they groom the most, right before taking a nice nap. When cats groom, they transfer allergens from their saliva to their skin, which dries and creates dander that can settle on fabric or become airborne.
Needless to say, if youre allergic, your cats nap area of choice is not the best place for you to lounge. Throw a washable blanket over her favorite sleeping spots to easily clean away the allergens. Another strategy: Make the cats bedroom the same room you used to transition her when you brought her home, says Kate Stryker, a Siberian cat breeder from Buffalo, New York.
How Does A Doctor Diagnose A Pet Allergy
Your doctor will diagnose a pet allergy based on your symptoms, physical examination, medical history and test results. Your doctor can use either a blood test or skin test to aid in the diagnosis. Allergy testing will show if there is allergic sensitization to the animal.
Some people find it hard to believe that they could be allergic to their pets. The doctor may tell you to stay out of the home where the pet lives to see if your symptoms go away. It does not help to remove the dog or cat, because the allergen will remain. Pet allergens still in the home can cause symptoms months after the animal is gone.
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Unsolved Mysteries About Being Allergic To Cats
As I mentioned, my husband, Mark, was allergic to cats when we started dating. Whenever he came to my house, he would cough, wheeze and itch if he didnt wash his hands after petting my cats. Fortunately, his allergies disappeared by the time we got engaged.
Thats because of a process called accommodation, in which people with a tolerable allergy level are exposed to an allergen constantly, and their body learns to tolerate it, said Lundberg, the Siberian breeder from Oregon.
But if you go on vacation for two weeks, you lose it and you have to start over again, he said.
A 2011 study published in the journal Clinical & Experimental Allergy showed that children exposed to cats before age 1 have half the risk of developing pet allergies later in life. Thats great news for pet-loving parents. In other cases, people who have never suffered from allergies can develop them later in life, because of hormonal changes or excessive exposure to pollution, pollen, dust mites or mold.
Didnt I say that allergies are mysterious? We might not be able to explain all of them, but we can manage the effect they have on our lives.
Tell us: Are you allergic to cats but live with felines? How do you manage your cat allergies?
Read more about cats and allergies on Catster.com:
Can Being Allergic To Pets Kill You
Anaphylaxis is a rare but life-threatening allergic reaction, usually caused by things such as insect stings or food items and even pets. It is a sudden and severe allergic reaction that occurs within minutes of exposure and requires immediate medical attention. Without treatment, anaphylaxis can get worse very quickly and lead to death within 15 minutes.
When someone comes into contact with an allergen capable of causing anaphylaxis, they might experience symptoms such as:
- Face swelling
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Can I Become Immune To My Cat Allergy
You may feel that you are not allergic to your own cat, but others. You may find a similar experience with other cats that you spend more time with. Those of neighbors or family members, for example.
In these cases, your body has likely built a degree of resistance to the cats dander. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology explains how Fel d 1 is used as a treatment for cat allergies.
The glycoprotein is injected in small doses, steadily building immunity. After around a year of this therapy, immunity will be vastly improved. The allergy will still exist, but it will not cause such a reaction.
The American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine explains how exposure therapy is especially effective for children. Fewer young people exposed to cats developed asthma, even with a family history.
Can I Get a Shot for Cat Allergies?
Immunotherapy shots can offer relief from cat allergies. Also, a Swiss pharmaceutical company named HypoPet AG is working on an allergy vaccine, dubbed HypoCat.
As explained by the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, this shot is actually for cats. It will require 3 doses over 9 weeks. A booster will follow 6 months later. No side effects for the cat are anticipated. The shot will fill a cats body with antibodies that neutralize the effect of fel d 1. This will make dander completely harmless.
Are Male Or Female Cats Less Allergenic
Female cats produce a lower level of allergens than males, and neutered males produce a lower level of allergens than unneutered males. In 2000, researchers at the Long Island College Hospital found that cat owners with dark-colored cats were more likely to report allergy symptoms than those with light-colored cats.
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What If I Want To Keep My Pet
Removing the pet from the home is often the best treatment. However, if you still want to keep your pet, there may be some strategies to reduce exposure.
- Remove your pet from the bedroom. You spend from one-third to one-half of your time there. Keep the bedroom door closed and clean the bedroom aggressively. You might consider using a HEPA air cleaner in your bedroom.
- Animal allergens are sticky. So you must remove the animal’s favorite furniture, remove wall-to-wall carpet and scrub the walls and woodwork. Keep surfaces throughout the home clean and uncluttered. Bare floors and walls are best.
- If you must have carpet, select one with a low pile and steam clean it frequently. Better yet, use throw rugs and wash them in hot water.
- Wear a dust mask to vacuum. Vacuum cleaners stir up allergens that have settled on carpet and make allergies worse. Use a vacuum with a CERTIFIED asthma & allergy friendly® filter if possible.
When Do Symptoms Develop
This question isnt an easy one to answer. For some, symptoms may develop immediately after contact with the animal, for others it could be hours later. Also, depending on the extent of contact, symptoms could extend over a prolonged period of time, fluctuating in severity as you go about your day-to-day life.
Allergic dander can collect on things like furniture, carpets, clothing and bedding after contact with an animal. Therefore, even if theres no longer one about, you can still experience symptoms of allergic rhinitis as a result of an animal. Also, visiting a friend who owns a pet can cause allergic dander to gather on your clothes and from there it may spread around your own home when you return there. As a result, this may cause symptoms to develop long after your contact with the animal has ended.
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What To Do About A Litter Allergy
- One of the first steps necessary to address a cat litter allergy is to change the litter entirely. Look for a litter that has none of the ingredients used in your cats current litter. To accomplish this, youll probably need to change litter types entirely for example, if youre using clay litter, switching to pine or corn litter can help.
- Before you use the new litter, thoroughly clean out your cats litter box. Give it a good scrubbing to ensure you remove all the dust from the previous litter. Youll also need to clean all the areas of your house where the litter dust could have been tracked. This means cleaning your floors, your carpets, your cats bed, cat tree, and any other areas where he likes to go after using the litter box.
- Change your cats litter over to the new litter and then prioritize frequent cleaning. Vacuuming and sweeping up often can help reduce the allergens in your home. Monitor your cat for signs of symptom improvement to see if the litter change helped.
How To Prevent Allergies In Cats
There is no way to prevent a cat from developing allergies but you can often help to limit its exposure to allergens. Keeping a clean home, using dust-free and unscented cat litter, not using excessive perfumes or deodorizers, not smoking in the house, using regular flea preventatives, and using metal or ceramic food and water dishes can help prevent your cat from having an allergic reaction. If you notice signs of allergies in your cat, it is best to consult with a veterinarian.
Am I Allergic To Cats
According to Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Research, about 10% of people are allergic to domesticated animals. Cat allergies are twice as common as sensitivity to dogs. Symptoms of an allergy to cats include:
- Uncontrollable sneezing, coughing, and wheezing
- Itchiness around the eyes
- Hives and rashes around the face and chest
- Redness and inflammation on the skin that touched the cat
If you exhibit these symptoms when approached by a cat, an allergy is the most likely explanation. Some cats will spark an immediate reaction, while others will appear to have no reaction whatsoever. In rare cases, you may even experience a delayed response.
If you have a feline allergy, you are allergic to all cats. Unique characteristics found in the specific cat dictate how severe the allergic reaction will be. You may be experiencing a reaction, but its minor enough not to notice. Your body may also be building a resistance to the allergy.
Im Allergic To My Cat How Can I Manage My Symptoms In My Home
If you have found out that you do have an allergy, your doctor is the best person to give you advice on managing and alleviating your allergy symptoms. For example, you might benefit from using antihistamine tablets or nasal sprays. There are also a number of things you can do within your home to keep your symptoms at bay. These include:
- having hardwood floors instead of carpets
- using blinds instead of curtains
- installing air filters to remove allergens
- regularly cleaning where your cat sleeps
- washing your cats bed regularly
- moving litter trays and cat beds away from air vents
To find out more about how you can reduce allergens in your home, as well as more information on pet allergies, visit Allergy UKs website
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Symptoms Of Cat Allergies
Immediate reactions to cats could include:
- a flare-up of eczema
- skin rash or hives
For many people, the signs are more subtle and it can be tricky to identify the cause of your allergic reaction particularly if your symptoms are triggered by another factor. Some people are allergic to some cats but not others, as all cats produce their own individual amount of cat allergens.
Want to get a cat but not sure if you are allergic? Try visiting someone that has a cat, or head to a cat adoption centre, to test if cats trigger a reaction.
How To Combat Cat Dander
If youve been diagnosed with a cat allergy and have a cat, dont fret. Just because an allergy has been diagnosed does not mean you need to get rid of your feline family member! There are methods for combatting cat dander in your home.
Make sure to keep your cat well-groomed and brushed regularly to remove dander, Barrack said. If your cat isnt game for a DIY grooming session, bring him to a professional groomer. Besides making sure your feline is primped, its equally as important to keep up with home cleanliness. Barrack suggests trying to eliminate as much dust as possible and vacuum pet hair regularly. Home air filtration systems can also help decrease the amount of dander in ones home, she added.
Characteristics such as the length of a cats hair, gender and the amount of time a cat spends indoors are not associated with cat allergen levels, Martin says, so banishing your cat to the outdoors for a few hours daily or buying a cat with shorter hair may not be the best bet for combatting allergies. However, there is one aspect associated with allergen levels: number of cats. Homes with more than one cat have higher levels of cat allergens, he said.
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Cat Allergies In Infants
Babies cannot talk about their symptoms, so cat allergies in infants may go undetected. Babies and toddlers who are often sick, who have difficulty sleeping, who have trouble breathing, who develop rashes, or who have unexplained respiratory symptoms may have allergies.
If there are cats or other animals in the house, consider seeing an allergist for allergy testing. Other household allergens, such as dust mites or mold, can also be triggers of allergy symptoms.
The easiest way to treat cat allergies is to avoid homes with cats and to rehome any cats that live with you. For people who view their pets as family, this is unthinkable.
Depending on the severity of the allergy, it may be possible to live with cats. Doing so requires a combination of allergy treatment and diligent management of cat hair and other particles. Knowing what specific proteins cause the allergic reaction can help people with cat allergies decide how best to manage their symptoms.
People with a history of anaphylactic reactions or severe asthma attacks in response to cats should not live with or be around cats. These types of severe allergic reactions can be life-threatening.
Ways To Reduce Allergens In Dogs
If you have dog allergies and have a dog or plan on visiting a dog that you may be allergic to, there are ways to reduce your risk of having an allergic reaction. Allergy shots and medications can help control symptoms, but there are proactive measures you can take as well. To lower the amount of dander a pet carries, bathe the dog once or twice a week and wipe the dog down with a wet wipe daily. If your allergies persist, try doing a deep clean of your home to clear out any allergens that your dog may have shed. You can also buy HEPA filters to help trap allergens.
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Reducing Your Exposure To Cat Allergens With Purina Pro Plan Liveclear
Did you know that you can reduce the amount of allergens released into your home with a specific cat food? PURINA® Pro Plan LiveClear is a new cat food designed to neutralise the Fel d 1 allergen in your cats saliva, reducing the amount of active allergen that they release into the environment.
The cat food has been proven to reduce the allergen on cat hair and dander by an average of 47%, from the third week of daily feeding*.
*A 10-week controlled study of 105 cats showed an average reduction of 47% starting from the third week of daily feeding
The food also offers delicious nutrition for your cat the key egg product ingredient, designed to neutralise the allergen once eaten, is digested like any other protein. Alongside other allergen reduction measures, using PURINA® Pro Plan LiveClear could help to keep a cat in their loving home.
How To Reduce Cat Allergies
If you are a cat lover, allergies can be really frustrating and upsetting. This irritation will be magnified if you are only allergic to certain cats that you really like. The good news is that this suggests that your allergy is not as serious. An allergy does not mean you can never approach cats again. You will not need to rehome a family cat either.
While you are waiting for HypoCat, you can minimize the effects of cat allergies. Use this approach with every feline you encounter, as you wont know how you will react to a cat until the allergic reaction takes hold.
Prepare to Be Approached
A curious quirk of feline behavior dictates that cats will often approach somebody with an allergy. As explained by Animal Behavior and Welfare, cats understand human facial expressions. This means a cat will recognize the smile of a cat lover. Experience teaches the cat that petting and handling will quickly follow.
Some cats will welcome this, but most will proceed with caution. Until a bond of trust has been forged, the cat will be wary of human contact. The cat wants to remain in control and transfer its scent to a new human.
This why cats are attracted to those with allergies. Such a person is unlikely to touch the cat. If anything, it will keep its distance. In the cats mind, this makes the person safe to approach. The cat will rub itself on the persons legs, claiming this non-intrusive human as its own.
Handle with Care
Purify the Air
Keep the Home Clean
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