There’s nothing sadder than being a cat lover who’s allergic to cats. Luckily, if cats are having you all wheezing and sneezing, you’ll be happy to learn that there are ways around this that don’t include giving away your beloved pet.
What Causes Cat Allergies?
In order to tackle these issues, you should get familiarized with them. First of all, when speaking about allergies in general, oversensitive immune systems are the main culprits behind people developing problems. The bodies of the afflicted mistake harmless things, such as cat dander, for things that can cause harm. Their immune systems then act the same way as they would when fighting bacteria or viruses. This is where the allergy symptoms kick in.
When talking about pets here, cat allergies are significantly more common than dog allergies. This having been said, it’s not the fur or hair that’s the real problem here – people are actually allergic to protein found in cat saliva, urine and dander!
It is vital that you actually make sure that it is the cat allergy that you have – you might be allergic to things such as pollen, mold and other stuff that cats can bring in from outside!
Cat Allergy Symptoms
Here are some common cat allergy symptoms:
- Wheezing, sneezing and coughing
- Red, itchy eyes
- Redness of the skin where you were in contact with your cat
- Runny nose
- Hives or rash on the chest and face
How to Treat Them?
Cat allergies are no different than any other type of allergies and standard drugs include:
- Antihistamines, such as Benadryl, Zyrtec, Claritin, etc.
- Decongestants, such as Allegra-D and Sudafed
- Nasal steroid sprays, such as Rhinocort, Flonase, Nasacort, etc.
There is, however, another way of treating cat allergies – allergy shots. These aren’t always effective and completely finishing the treatment can actually take years, but there is no way of actually preventing an allergy. If you expose your kid to pets at a very young age, chances are that the risk of developing pet allergies will be decreased. Careful with this, though, a child who has allergic tendencies may quickly worsen when exposed to pets!
Living with Cats and Cat Allergies
As mentioned, pet fur isn’t to be blamed for allergic reactions in itself, but rather things such as pollen, dust and mold, which can collect in a pet’s fur. This is why it is vital that you regularly bathe your pet. Three days are usually enough for the allergen levels in pet fur to return to normal, so bathing your pet every other day is recommended if you have allergies.
Designating “pet free” zones within your home is also an excellent way to keep the allergen levels at bay. While it may be difficult to keep cats out of certain rooms, putting cat accessories in other rooms may be enough of a distraction for your pet to come to terms with not being able to visit every room in the house.
Keep in mind that you’ll have to clean often. Very often! Unless you perpetually snuggle with your pet, it is dander that gets into the air that causes allergic reactions. Depending on how severe your problem is, you might have to clean your home, even on a daily basis; but nothing can stop you from being with your favorite animal, right?
Living with a cat and cat allergies may not be easy, but it’s certainly achievable. If you truly love your pet and consider it a part of your family, there should be no insurmountable obstacles. Keep taking the right medication(s), bathe your cat and clean your home regularly.