Information on Cat Allergies
It’s normal to have questions about cat allergies, whether you have them yourself or a member of your family does. Is it possible that your son’s never-ending cold symptoms are caused by a cat allergy? Will you be sorry that you gave in to your daughter’s pleas for a kitten, despite the fact that you have cat allergies? When it comes to having the pet you’ve always wanted, would a so-called hypoallergenic cat provide the opportunity to do so without causing you sneeze and sniffle? Continue reading to discover all you need to know about cat allergies, including the origins, treatments, and ways to avoid them.
What Causes Cat Allergies?
Pet allergies affect around 10% of the population in the United States, with cats being the most prevalent offenders. Cat allergies are twice as frequent than dog allergies, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. However, contrary to popular belief, it is not the fur or hair that is the major problem. Cat allergies are caused by proteins found in the cat’s saliva, urine, and dander, which are highly allergenic (dried flakes ofskin). What is it about these little proteins that causes such a significant allergic reaction in the body?
Their bodies misinterpret innocuous items – like as cat dander – as deadly intruders and attack them as if they were bacteria or viruses, causing them to die.
Always keep in mind that, even if you don’t have a direct allergic reaction to a cat, your cat might still cause your allergies to flare up indirectly.
And what about cats that are marketed as “hypoallergenic”?
This is true independent of the breed, the length of its hair, or the amount of shed it produces.
What Are the Symptoms of Cat Allergies?
Cat allergies might manifest itself in the following ways:
- Coughing and wheezing, hives or arash on the chest and face, red, itchy eyes, and redness of the skin where a cat has scratched, bitten, or licked you are all symptoms of cat allergy. nose that is runny, itchy, and stuffy
Symptoms of a cat allergy might manifest itself in as little as a few minutes or as long as several hours. About 20 percent to 30 percent of patients with allergic asthma suffer significant flare-ups after coming into touch with a cat, according to the American Lung Association.
How Do I Know if I Have a Cat Allergy?
Despite the fact that the symptoms of a cat allergy are quite evident, it is not usually the cat that is the source of the symptoms. It is recommended that you obtain confirmation from your doctor. After all, you wouldn’t want to be unfairly blaming Mr.
Whiskers for anything. Your doctor can do a skin or blood test to determine whether or not you are allergic. Due to the fact that allergy tests aren’t always accurate, your doctor may also recommend that you try living with no cats for a few months to observe how this impacts your allergy symptoms.
How Are Cat Allergies Treated?
Cat allergies are often treated with over-the-counter allergy medications. Your doctor may advise you to do the following:
- Antihistamines that are accessible over-the-counter – such as cetirizine (Zyrtec), diphenhydramine (Benadryl), fexofenadine (Allegra), and loratadine (Claritin)
- Or antihistamines that are available in a nasal spray, such as azelastine (Astelin)
- Decongestants, such as over-the-counter pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) or allergy medications that contain the ingredient pseudoephedrine, such as Allegra-D, Claritin-D, or Zyrtec-DNasal steroid sprays, which can alleviate allergy or asthma symptoms in a variety of ways
- Nasal steroid sprays are a common treatment for allergies and asthma symptoms. In addition to budesonide (Rhinocort), fluticasone (Flonase), and triamcinolone (Nasacort Allergy 24HR), steroid nasal sprays are also available over-the-counter.
Another alternative is to get allergy injections. Allergy injections are not always successful, and it may take years to complete the course of treatment. They are also not recommended for youngsters under the age of five. However, for some people, they can be of great assistance. Consult with your doctor to determine if they are appropriate for you. Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent an allergy from developing in the first place. According to some research, early contact to pets appears to lower the likelihood of developing pet allergies later in life.
Reducing Exposure to Cats
While medicinal therapy can aid in the control of cat allergies, the most effective strategy is to avoid cats and their dander altogether. Here are a few pointers.
- Cats should not be touched, hugged, or kissed. Although it should be self-evident, some individuals believe that a little cat touch is OK. It isn’t
- Be on the lookout for guests who have cats. While your guests may leave their cats at home, the dander they pick up on their clothing and baggage might be brought into your home. Some people may develop severe catallergy symptoms as a result of this indirect exposure. Plan. Please request that the cat be kept out of the room in where you will be sleeping for a few weeks prior to your arrival if you are required to stay in a home with cats. Additionally, begin taking allergy medicine a few weeks before the event. Once an allergic response has begun, it might be difficult to stop it from spreading. However, taking medication can help to prevent it from occurring in the first place.
But what if you already have a cat in your home? Here’s the most logical piece of advice: if you or a member of your family is allergic to cats, you should avoid having a cat in the house. Of course, such stern advise may be difficult to implement in practice. If your children have already developed feelings for a kitten, what should you do? What if you were determined that you would never, ever part with your cat? If the cat is going to have to remain, there are several more options you may explore.
- Maintain your distance. Keep the cat’s exposure to a minimum. Certainly, another family member should assume responsibility for the cat’s care and do tasks such as litter box cleaning. Set boundaries around the cat’s access to particular areas of the house. Allowing your cat to wander free is not a good idea. Ensure that your cat does not enter your bedroom at any moment. Keep the cat as much as possible in the fresh air. Some individuals use this technique to get past their cat allergies. Make certain, however, that your cat is secure outside. Cleaning should be done thoroughly and frequently. Cat dander finds its way into everything. As a result, you must sweep and wash the floors on a regular basis, vacuum the carpets, and clean the furniture. A HEPA filter should be used in your vacuum since ordinary filters may not be tiny enough to capture allergens. Eliminate dander-attracting carpets and draperies from your home. Remove all traces of pollution from the air. When used in conjunction with filters on the vents themselves, a central air cleaner can assist to prevent cat dander from flowing throughout your home. Bathing your cat on a regular basis is something to think about. Experts are divided on whether bathing actually reduces the quantity of allergen in the air. However, if it does not cause too much damage to the cat, you might experiment with it to see if it helps to alleviate the symptoms.
While these strategies may be beneficial, they may not be sufficient. Even though it may be difficult, if keeping your cat is putting your health – or the health of a family member – at danger, you should seriously consider giving it up. Whatever you do, don’t make the mistake of believing that you can simply wait it out and that your cat allergies would gradually subside with time. It is possible that they will deteriorate more. Uncontrolled allergies may do more than just make life uncomfortable; they can also raise the chance of developing asthma, which is a life-threatening illness.
Instead, consult with a medical professional.
Pets, Dog and Cat Allergies
It’s a pet Generally speaking, allergies are improper or excessive immune system responses to chemicals that, for the vast majority of people, do not cause any signs or symptoms. The symptoms of allergic disorders can be brought on by exposure to a chemical on the skin, to dust or pollen particles in the air (or other substances), or by eating a meal that triggers an allergic reaction in the stomach and intestines. ” rel=”tooltip”>Allergy can contribute to the development of chronic allergy symptoms since exposure can occur at work, school, day care, or other indoor situations even when a pet is not in residence.
Pet Allergy Symptoms
- Runny or stuffy nose
- And other symptoms Face pain (as a result of nasal congestion)
- Coughing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and wheezing are all symptoms of asthma. Eyes that are watery, red, or irritating
- Itchy skin rash or hives
Pet Allergy Management and Treatment
- Avoid being in close proximity to dogs and cats
- If you have a pet at home, take special efforts to reduce exposure. In addition to nasal sprays, antihistamines and bronchodilators can assist in symptom alleviation. Examine allergy injections(Immunotherapy (allergy shots) is a type of preventative and anti-inflammatory treatment for those who are allergic to substances like as pollens, house dust mites, fungi, and venom from stinging insects. Immunotherapy is the process of administering gradually increasing dosages of the chemical or allergen to which the individual is allergic over a period of time. Increasing the allergen concentration over time causes the immune system to become less sensitive to the material. This is accomplished, in part, by inducing the synthesis of a specific blocking antibody, which lessens the symptoms of allergy if the chemical is met again in the future. Immunotherapy (rel=”tooltip”>immunotherapy)
Find expert care with an Allergist.
Don’t allow allergies or asthma get the best of you. It is an inflammatory lung disease that develops over time and is marked by frequent and severe breathing difficulties. People who suffer from asthma suffer from acute episodes in which the air channels in their lungs get smaller and breathing becomes more difficult to breathe.
Allergens are sometimes responsible for asthma attacks, but other variables such as infection, exercise, cold air, and other factors are also key triggers of the condition. Asthma can hold you back. ” rel=”tooltip”>
It’s possible that you have a cat allergy if your nose runs and your eyes moist after caressing or playing with a cat, or you start sneezing and wheezing after being around cats. A cat allergy can contribute to persistent allergy symptoms since exposure can occur at work, school, day care, or other indoor locations even when a cat is not present, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Cats produce a variety of allergies (proteins that can cause allergy). These allergens are present on the hair and skin of animals, as well as in their saliva.
- Cat allergen levels are greater in homes with many cats than in homes with only one cat.
- Dustandpollenin a cat’s coat can also induce allergy symptoms in those who are allergic to cats.
- Our research has revealed that of all the pollen, mildew, animal dander, and dust mites that we have examined, cat dander is by far the tiniest of them all.
- That just allows the allergic patient to be exposed to the allergen on a continuous basis.
Cat Allergy Symptoms
It is possible for cats to cause allergic reactions that are moderate to severe, depending on the individual’s susceptibility and the amount of exposure to cat allergens. Those characteristics may also have an impact on how fast symptoms manifest themselves following exposure. Highly sensitive persons can experience symptoms, such as breathing difficulties or a rash, within minutes of coming into contact with a cat or entering a place where there is a cat. Symptoms of cat allergies include the following:
- The presence of sneezing, a runny or stuffy nose
- Face pain (as a result of nasal congestion)
- Coughing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and wheezing are all symptoms of asthma. Eyes that are watery, red, or irritating
- Itchy skin rash or hives
People who have been scratched by cats may also have skin irritation, such as hives, as a result of the scratch.
Diagnosing Cat Allergies
Do you have a feeling you may be suffering from cat allergies? An allergist can give you with a diagnosis as well as a course of allergy therapy. The most frequent method of identifying a cat allergy is with a skin prick test. It is necessary to have a tiny amount of cat allergen extract applied to your skin for this test. After that, your skin is punctured with a tiny, sterile probe, which allows the liquid to penetrate beyond the skin’s outer layer. After that, you’ll be closely examined for swelling and redness, as well as any other indicators of a response that might indicate an allergy.
Results are usually seen within 15 to 20 minutes after starting the program. You should be tested even if you are certain that your symptoms are caused by a cat. This is because the symptoms might be caused by other environmental exposures as well as cat exposures.
Cat Allergy Management and Treatment
The most effective method of managing a cat allergy is to avoid it. If you have a cat and are allergic to cats, you may want to consider removing the cat from the house altogether. In the event that you already have a cat and do not wish to locate it a new home, or if your family wants to adopt a cat despite the fact that someone in the household is allergic, the following measures may be helpful in reducing symptoms:
- Keep the cat out of your bedroom and confine it to a small number of rooms at a time. Please be cautioned that confining the cat in a single room will not prevent allergies from spreading outside of that area. Petting, hugging, or kissing the cat is not permitted
- If you do, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Continuously using high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) purifiers in a bedroom or living room can significantly lower allergy levels over time. A high-efficiency vacuum cleaner or a central vacuum system can help to lower allergy levels when used on a regular basis. Giving your cat a wash at least once a week can help to lessen the amount of cat allergen in the air.
Treatment for cat allergy varies according on the severity of the symptoms. Your allergist can assist you in determining which treatment would be most effective in treating your cat allergy. Treatment for nasal symptoms is frequently accomplished by the use of steroid nasal sprays, oral antihistamines, or other oral drugs. Antihistamine eyedrops are frequently used to alleviate eye problems. Asthma and other respiratory symptoms can be treated with inhaled corticosteroids or bronchodilators, which can be used to either prevent or alleviate respiratory symptoms.
Is there an allergy-free cat?
Cats produce a variety of allergies (proteins that can cause allergy). These allergens are present on the hair and skin of animals, as well as in their saliva. All cats create allergies, and there has been no evidence to suggest that cats can be hypoallergenic. Cat allergen levels are greater in homes with many cats than in homes with only one cat. It has been discovered that characteristics like as the length of a cat’s fur, its gender and how much time a cat spends inside have no relationship with cat allergy levels.
A dog may cause your nose to run and your eyes to water when you pet or play with one. You may be allergic to dogs if your nose runs and your eyes water after stroking or playing with a dog. Dogs generate a variety of allergens, or proteins, that can trigger allergic reactions in people. Dog hair, dander, saliva, and urine contain allergens that are harmful to humans. All dogs create allergies, and there has been no evidence to suggest that dogs can be hypoallergenic (not cause allergy). Dog allergen levels rise if the dog is kept indoors, and they are even greater in rooms where dogs are permitted.
It is more likely that the dog is not the source of the allergy, but rather dust or pollen.
Dog Allergy Symptoms
Do you have a feeling you may be suffering from dog allergies? An allergist can help you get the right diagnosis and treatment for your allergies. Symptoms may include any of the following:
- The presence of sneezing, a runny or stuffy nose
- Face pain (as a result of nasal congestion)
- Coughing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and wheezing are all symptoms of asthma. Eyes that are watery, red, or irritating
- Itchy skin rash or hives
It is also possible for some people to get hives or a rash after having their skin scratched or licked by a dog.
Diagnosing Dog Allergies
Do you have a feeling you may be suffering from dog allergies? An allergist can determine whether or not he or she is qualified to give accurate diagnosis and treatment. The most frequent method of identifying a dog allergy is with a skin prick test. This test involves the application of a little quantity of an extract of a dog allergen to your skin. After that, your skin is punctured with a tiny, sterile probe, which allows the liquid to penetrate beyond the skin’s outer layer. After that, you’ll be closely examined for swelling and redness, as well as any other indicators of a response that might indicate an allergy.
Even if you are certain that your symptoms are caused by a dog, it is a good idea to have them tested anyhow because the symptoms might be caused by other environmental exposures as well.
Dog Allergy Management and Treatment
The most effective strategy to treat a dog allergy is to avoid it. If you have a dog but are allergic to dogs, you should consider removing the dog from the house. In the event that you already have a dog and do not wish to find it a new home, or if your family wishes to adopt a dog despite the fact that someone in the household is allergic to dogs, the following tactics may be useful to you:
- Keep the dog out of your bedroom and confine it to a small number of rooms at a time. Please be cautioned that confining the dog in a single room will not prevent allergies from spreading outside of that space. Petting, hugging, or kissing the dog is not permitted
- If you do, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Continuously using high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) purifiers in a bedroom or living room can significantly lower allergy levels over time. A high-efficiency vacuum cleaner or a central vacuum system can help to lower allergy levels when used on a regular basis. A weekly wash for your dog can help to minimize the amount of airborne dog allergen in the air
According to the severity of the symptoms, several treatments are available for canine allergies. Your allergist can assist you in determining which treatment would be most effective in treating your dog allergy. When it comes to treating nasal symptoms, steroid nasal sprays, oral antihistamines, and other oral drugs are frequently used. Antihistamine eyedrops are frequently used to alleviate eye problems. Asthma and other respiratory symptoms can be treated with inhaled corticosteroids or bronchodilators, which can be used to either prevent or alleviate respiratory symptoms.
Is there an allergy-free dog?
A fully allergy-free breed does not exist at this time, despite the fact that poodles, Portuguese water dogs, and numerous other breeds (including various varieties of terriers) have earned a reputation for being hypoallergenic. A 2011 research compared dust samples collected from households with dog breeds that were known to be hypoallergenic to dust samples collected from homes with other dog breeds. Households with “hypoallergenic” dogs have similar amounts of dog allergen to those with other breeds, according to the study results.
Cat Allergies: Symptoms and Treatment
We feature goods that we believe will be of interest to our readers. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of the links on this page, we may receive a small commission. Here’s how we went about it. Living with cat allergies is a challenge. Cats and dogs are allergic to about one-third of all Americans who suffer from allergies. In addition, cat allergies are twice as common as dog allergies in the general population. When you have a pet in your house, it might be difficult to determine what is causing your allergic reactions.
- It is critical to consult with an allergist in order to confirm a pet allergy.
- Many individuals prefer to live with the symptoms of their pet’s illness rather than have it removed.
- Continue reading to learn about the symptoms of cat allergies, as well as what you can do to avoid them.
- Your immune system produces antibodies to defend your body against things that might be harmful to it, such as bacteria and viruses.
- Allergy symptoms such as itching, runny nose, skin rashes, and asthma are caused by this reaction.
- An allergic response might occur as a result of inhaling pet dander or coming into touch with certain allergens.
- It is not necessary to own a cat in order to be exposed to the allergy.
If your sensitivity or allergen levels are low, cat allergies may not manifest themselves for many days.
Over 90% of those with cat allergies are allergic to a cat allergen that is found in the saliva and skin of the cat in question.
Typically, the allergen causes swelling and irritation of the membranes around your eyes and nose, resulting in ocular inflammation and a stuffy nose.
Untreated allergies are associated with fatigue, as is a persistent cough caused by postnasal drip.
You may have symptoms if you are allergic to cats and cat allergens enter your lungs.
Breathing difficulties, coughing, and wheezing are all possible symptoms.
When a cat comes into touch with a person who has asthma, up to 30% of those persons can have a severe attack.
There are two methods for testing for allergies, including those to cats: skin testing and blood testing.
In terms of skin allergy testing, there are two options.
Both tests provide answers in a short period of time and are often less expensive than blood testing.
Certain drugs might cause skin testing to be ineffective, so consult with your doctor about which test is most appropriate for you. Skin testing is often performed by an allergist because to the likelihood of serious responses occurring during the testing process.
Allergy skin prick test
This test is carried out at your doctor’s office so that they can keep an eye out for any responses. Your doctor will pierce the surface of your skin (often on the forearm or back) with a clean needle and inject a little quantity of the allergen into the skin’s surface. It is probable that you will be tested for a number of allergies at the same time. You’ll also be pricked with a control solution that has no allergies to ensure your safety. Your doctor may choose to number each prick in order to determine which allergy it is.
This response demonstrates that the individual has an allergy to that chemical.
These unpleasant side effects usually subside within 30 minutes of the test being completed.
Intradermal skin testing
This test is also carried out at your doctor’s office so that they can keep an eye out for any responses. Allergic substances may be injected beneath the skin of the forearm or arm to test for reactions. With a good reaction, red, itchy pimples will emerge on the skin. An intradermal test is regarded more sensitive for identifying an allergy than a skin prick test, which means it can be more accurate in indicating whether or not an allergy occurs when it is performed. However, it has the potential to produce more false positives than the skin prick test.
Both skin tests and blood tests are used in allergy testing.
Some persons are unable to have skin tests performed on them, frequently due to an underlying skin problem or their advanced age. Often, young children have a more difficult time with skin testing than older children. In these instances, a blood test will be ordered by the doctor. Blood will be obtained at the doctor’s office or at a laboratory and then submitted to a testing facility for analysis. Afterwards, antibodies to common allergens, such as cat dander, are tested in the blood sample.
It is preferable to avoid the allergen if possible, however when this is not feasible, the following therapies may be effective:
- Over-the-counter decongestant sprays
- Cromolyn sodium, which prevents the release of immune system chemicals and may reduce symptoms
- Antihistamines such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl), loratadine (Claritin), or cetirizine (Zyrtec)
- Corticosteroids such as fluticasone (Flonase) or mometasone (Nasonex)
- Cromolyn sodium, which Allergic reactions can be treated with allergy injections, often known as immunotherapy (a series of treatments that desensitizes you to an allergen)
- Leukotriene inhibitors, such as montelukast (Singulair)
- And antihistamines.
Because of the possibility of serious mental health adverse effects, montelukast should only be taken in the absence of alternative allergy medications that may be found. PurchaseBenadryl, Claritin, or Flonase right now.
Symptoms of cat allergies can be alleviated at home with nasal lavage. It is necessary to clean your nasal passages with salt water (saline), which will help to relieve congestion, postnasal drip, and sneezing. There are several over-the-counter brands to choose from. A solution for making salt water at home is to combine 1/8 teaspoon table salt with 8 ounces of distilled or purified water. National Institutes of Health reports that butterbur (an herbal supplement) acupuncture and probiotics may all be effective in alleviating the symptoms of seasonal allergies.
However, it is not apparent how beneficial these products would be in treating pet allergies in particular.
Herbal medicines that have the potential to be beneficial are those that function in the body in a manner that is comparable to that of regular pharmaceuticals. Shop for butterbur pills on the internet.
Best air purifiers for cat allergies
Highly efficient particulate air (HEPA) filters are among the most effective ways to protect against cat allergies in the home. They do this by pushing air through a specific filter that captures pet dander, as well as pollen, dust mites, and other allergies, so reducing airborne pet allergy levels. HEPA air filters may be found from a variety of retailers. In the scientific community, there is an ongoing controversy about whether infants who are exposed to animals at an early age are more likely to acquire allergies or whether the converse is the case.
- The exposure of babies to cats and dogs in the household, according to a 2015 study, is connected with an increased chance of acquiring allergies throughout the first four years of the child’s life.
- According to a 2017 study, pets such as cats and dogs may be beneficial to newborns by exposing them to particular beneficial bacteria at an early age.
- Your doctor will be able to address any queries you might have regarding your baby or your pet.
- Avoidance is the most effective method of preventing allergies from developing in the first place.
- Take a look at these techniques for alleviating your symptoms.
- Avoid letting the cat inside your bedroom, and always wash your hands after coming into contact with the cat. Remove all carpets and upholstered furniture from the whole room. Wood or tile floors, as well as freshly painted walls, can assist minimize allergies. Throw rugs or furniture coverings that can be washed in hot water should be chosen, and they should be washed often. Use a dense filtering material, such as cheesecloth, to cover the vents for your heating and air conditioning system. Install a purifying air purifier. Change the filters in your air conditioning and furnace equipment on a regular basis. Maintain a relative humidity of 40 percent or higher in your residence. Weekly vacuuming with a HEPA filter vacuum is recommended. When you’re dusting or cleaning, use a face mask. Recruit a non-allergic individual to dust the house and clean the litter box on a consistent basis.
Discuss immunotherapy with your doctor if you have a severe cat allergy and would like a long-term treatment strategy.
How to reduce cat allergies without medication • GEARS
Unless otherwise stated, the material on this site is based on the author’s own experience. In certain cases, what works for some pets may not be appropriate for you and your pet. All health, wellness, nutritional, and behavioral concerns involving your pet should be addressed by a veterinarian. Cats are wonderful to cuddle with, but snuggling them with your cat allergy results in stinging red eyes and never-ending sneezing? Despite this, you continue to spend countless hours on YouTube watching amusing cat videos and daydreaming of one day acquiring a cat of your own.
Cat saliva, skin cells, and other proteins are all thought to play a role in making your immune system go berserk.
I also learnt a few things about decreasing these allergens to help ease my symptoms. The measures that follow can assist you in realizing your goal – with a little planning, you can peacefully cohabit with furry companions even if you do not use allergy medicine!
STEP 1: Create an allergen-free zone
You should keep cats away from your bedroom. Having an allergen-free environment in which to sleep or relax will significantly reduce your chances of waking up with swollen eyes and sneezing in the morning. Remove the scented candles and plug-in air fresheners from your home. Both of these – particularly when artificial fragrances are used – have the potential to worsen allergy symptoms, causing your immune system to become overwhelmed when cats are involved. Cheese cloth can be used to cover heating and air conditioning vents.
Soft textiles should be replaced with leather, plastic, or wood.
Furniture made of leather, pleather, or wood is the most appropriate for a pet-friendly household.
- Removing any rugs from the house
- Washing your blankets in hot water to remove allergies is recommended. Making the switch from curtains to blinds
STEP 2: Wash your hands often!
Make sure to wash your hands after caressing your cat and before touching your face – this one should go without saying.
STEP 3: Invest in a HEPA Air Filter
Despite the high cost, this purchase will be a game changer for anyone who suffers from cat allergies. It’s the same Honeywell HPA160C True HEPA Allergen Remover that I used while I was living in a basement apartment with nine kittens (a.k.a., a savior). If you have carpeting, you should also get a vacuum with a HEPA filter.
STEP 4: Reduce dander on your cat
No issue if you don’t have a bath! To decrease dander on your cat, use pet-friendly wipes or a moist microfiber cloth to clean it off. Make certain you offer your cat a well-balanced food. A nutritious diet leads to good skin and less dandruff! Also, get someone to brush your cat outside with you (or wear a dust-mask).
STEP 5: Get your non-allergic best friend/partner/roommate/mom to clean your cat litter
To be honest, I think this one is a bit of a long shot. If you are unable to persuade anybody to assist you, be sure to choose hypoallergenic litter brands such as Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra Premium Clumping Cat Litter, which are hypoallergenic. Your feline pals won’t leave a trail of allergens and litter behind them after doing their business with this litter since it is 99.9 percent dust free and low-tracking.
STEP 6: Foster a cat in need
For those who aren’t sure if they’re ready to adopt, fostering with GEARS is the most suitable option. GEARS foster parents are either temporary or long-term in their commitment to the organization. Our temporary fosters provide care for the animal for a few days or weeks, while our long-term fosters provide care for the animal until it is adopted by a new family. If your allergies are too severe to allow you to care for a cat on a permanent basis, becoming a temporary foster might be a wonderful opportunity to get a taste of life with a feline companion without jeopardizing your health.
You will only be placed with animals that are the greatest fit for you and your living condition since GEARS will pay all of the expenditures and supplies for you.
You can learn more about temporary fostering cats atedmontonanimalrescue.org/foster.
This site is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to offer a mechanism for sites to make revenue by referring to Amazon.com and connected sites (such as the Greater Edmonton Animal Rescue Society). Amazon pays a modest percentage on things that are purchased through their affiliate program. Every one of your transactions made through our Amazon affiliate connections helps us further our cause at no additional cost to you. We only recommend things that we have personally used and enjoyed.
How to Manage Your Allergies Around Cats
Living with cats can result in frequent sneezing, watery eyes, runny noses, and wheezing for some poor humans. According to the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, severe cat allergies can aggravate asthma in certain individuals. Far while dealing with cat allergies might be a pain, trying to live without that tiny bundle of purring love is even worse. That, of course, is not an option either. So, how can those who suffer from cat allergies maintain some level of comfort while sharing their home with a feline companion?
Continue reading to find out how to choose the best feline partner, how to keep your house as free of dander as possible, and how to provide routine care for your pet.
How Cat Allergies Develop
If you have cat allergies, you’re not alone; in fact, you’re in the minority. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America reports that cats are twice as likely than dogs to cause allergic reactions in those with asthma and allergic reactions to dogs. But what causes humans to acquire cat allergies in the first place is unclear. Every day, your immune system is hard at work searching for and eliminating foreign chemicals (or eject them through a sneeze). There are differences in the sensitivity of immune systems amongst persons.
Many people feel that pet hair is the source of the problem, yet pet hair is not an allergy in and of itself.
Furniture, mattresses, and carpets may all get encrusted with it, and it can even survive for an extended period of time merely hung in the air.
While it is conceivable that allergic responses can develop as a result of more exposure, this is not always the case.
It’s also possible that someone who has never had a cat allergy before can acquire one in the future. If you suddenly find yourself sneezing, wheezing, or sniffling while you are in the presence of your cat, you should consult your doctor about whether you may have an allergy to cats.
Choosing a Sneeze-Free Cat
You can’t help but sneeze when you see your furry friend for the first time, can you? Starting with the cat you select to bring home, you may, however, minimize the likelihood of you or a family member developing allergic responses to it. A shorthaired cat is preferable than a longhaired cat for allergy-prone pet owners, yet there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic cat. Shorthaired cats shed less than longhaired cats, which means there is less cat hair in your environment for dander to attach itself to.
Thesphynx is a completely hairless creature that is also highly loving.
Other breeds that are suitable for persons who are allergic to cats are the Balinese, Cornish rex, Devon rex, and Siberian.
Living With Cat Allergies: Cleaning
Once you have a cat, one of the most important things you can do to keep allergies at bay is to be diligent around the house.
- Cleaning smooth surfaces in the home (including walls and floors) on a regular basis is a good idea. Microscopically little dander can adhere to any surface and is there even if you are not aware of it
- Make frequent use of a vacuum with a filter, and steam clean your carpets. It will also be beneficial to restrict the cat’s access to carpeted areas. Wash any bedding or blankets that your cat uses on a regular basis. Cat-free zones should be established in certain places, such as the allergic person’s bedroom. Replace your upholstered furniture with something more durable. Furniture with a cloth covering, such as chairs and couches, may trap a lot of allergens and be difficult to clean. You may either try to keep your cat away from your upholstery (good luck with that!) or consider buying in wood, plastic, or leather furniture that is simple to clean. Remove the drapes from your windows. Curtains, like upholstered furniture, can act as a magnet for cat hair and dander. Take into consideration replacing them with shades or other window treatments that are simple to maintain. If you decide to maintain your curtains, make sure to wash them on a regular basis. Invest in a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter to keep your indoor air clean. These may be added to your furnace or air conditioner, or they can be used as a freestanding device to cleanse the air. Regardless of the model you choose, their primary function is to minimize microscopic particles in the air.
Caring for Your Cat
Other strategies to decrease the impact of cat allergies include things you should already be doing to care for your pet, such as brushing and cleaning his teeth. By reducing shedding, regular brushing can aid in the decrease of allergic responses – and your cat will thank you for the reduction in hairballs! When she’s shedding her winter coat in the spring, you may brush her more frequently than in the winter. It is preferable to have someone who is not allergic to cats take on the job of brushing the cat and to do it near a window or outside on a leash if at all feasible.
- Once again, it is preferable if this task is taken on by someone who is not allergic to cats.
- Some cats may find this practically difficult, whereas others aren’t bothered by it at all.
- You’ve done all of these measures, yet you’re still sneezing all the time.
- For many people, living with cat allergies is a possibility as long as they take the necessary steps to avoid exposure.
Kara Murphy is a model and actress who lives in New York City.
Kara Murphy is a freelance writer who lives in Erie, Pennsylvania, with her cat, Olive.
Tips for Living with Cat Allergies – Treatment & Remedies
Transcripts are available for download. Is it more common for you to shed tears of misery than tears of joy when you connect with your feline companion? Do you have additional symptoms, such as a runny nose, rash, hives, coughing, sneezing, wheezing, asthma, or other breathing issues, in addition to itchy, watery eyes? Do you have any of these symptoms? You suffer from a cat allergy, like an estimated 2 percent of the population in the United States, and, like around one-third of those people, you’ve decided to keep your cat buddy with you.
Contrary to common perception, cat hair itself does not cause allergic reactions in people.
When cats bathe themselves, the protein attaches itself to dry skin, known as dander, which flakes off and floats through the air.
Cat Allergy TreatmentsRemedies
- Create a cat-free zone in your bedroom by closing the door. Begin by cleaning your bedding, draperies, and pillows to get a head start on your allergy reduction program. Better yet, get them replaced. Use plastic coverings on your mattress and pillows to prevent allergens from entering the surface of the mattress and pillow. A variety of allergen-proof coverings are available from medical supply stores. Don’t expect to see results right away. Cat allergens are one-sixth the size of pollens, and it may take months to dramatically diminish their presence in the environment. Keep your cat’s access to your home restricted to certain places. Allow your cat to spend some time outside if you have a secure outside enclosure where the dander will be carried away by the wind. Prepare the fresh-air enclosure by brushing your cat in order to avoid loose, allergen-carrying hair from spreading around your home. Remove allergen-attracting items such as upholstered furniture and carpets from the home. Carpet may build up to 100 times the amount of cat allergies that hardwood flooring can, therefore replacing carpet with hardwood flooring can prevent allergens from accumulating as much in the first place. It is not necessary to tear up the carpet if steam cleaning it on a regular basis is possible. When you vacuum, use an allergen-proof vacuum cleaner bag or a vacuum cleaner with a high-efficiency particulate arresting (HEPA) filter to ensure that as many allergens as possible are removed from the air. Take a deep breath and get some fresh air. Highly insulated homes retain allergies as well as heat, so open the windows to enhance ventilation in your home and turn on the window fans on the exhaust side of the house. (However, always remember to screen windows to ensure that kitten is secure inside.) Additionally, purify the air within your home. Although nothing can completely eliminate the allergens in the air, using an air cleaner with a HEPA filter will assist
- Remove the dander from the carpet. Bathing a cat is frequently recommended as a method of reducing dander, but experts are divided on whether it is beneficial. Doctor Robert Zuckerman, an allergy and asthma expert in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, says bathing a cat was formerly thought to be beneficial, but the cat would have to be bathed on an almost daily basis as a result. To eliminate saliva and dander from your cat’s fur, use products such as Pal’s Quick Cleaning WipesTM on a regular basis. These products are less stressful for cats that prefer not to be massaged in the tub
- Spray allergens away. The use of anti-allergen sprays is a practical technique to deactivate allergens, which can include those generated by animals. It is possible to spray Allersearch ADS around the house to take the sting out of household dust by turning allergies harmless. Allersearch ADS is manufactured from plant-based, non-toxic chemicals and may be sprayed throughout the house. Make sure the kitty box is clean. Cat allergen is present in urine, and it is left in the litter box after your cat has made a deposit in there. Keep the litter box clean, and select a kind of cat litter that is less dusty to help reduce allergic responses. Also, take your medication as prescribed. Antihistamines, decongestants, eye drops, and aerosol inhalers, available over-the-counter or on prescription, can help alleviate the symptoms, but they will not completely remove the allergy. If you want a more holistic approach, try nettle tea, a bioflavonoid known as quercetin, or acupuncture to alleviate your symptoms. Get checked for allergies. Recent research have shown that antioxidants such as Vitamins C and E have strong anti-allergen effects
- Get tested. In certain cases, a simple prick of the skin on your arm or back might provide enough information for an allergy specialist to pinpoint the specific source of your allergic responses. Take a look at the big picture. Due to the fact that allergies are seldom packaged individually, additional culprits such as dust mites and pollen may be producing responses as well as allergies. “It is uncommon for an individual to have a single allergy,” adds Zuckerman. “A cat owner may be able to manage contact with the cat during the winter, but when spring arrives, the combination of all of the allergens may become overwhelming. “
- Create a strong sense of resistance. There is currently no treatment for cat allergy, although immunotherapy may be able to help you develop your tolerance. To begin immunotherapy, patients must have weekly or biweekly allergy injections for up to six months, followed by monthly booster doses for three to five years. While some people gain total immunity, some people continue to require injections, and still others do not get any relief at all
A cat allergy is no laughing matter, and dealing with it is no walk in the park. It entails making a commitment. After all, cats are taken into shelters on a daily basis for this reason. Following these suggestions, hopefully, will make a significant impact. Her books “Manx Cats” (published by Barrons in 1999), “The Shorthaired Cat” (published by Penguin in 2000), and “Shelter Cats” (published by Penguin in 2000) are all about cats (Howell Book House, 1996 and 1998, respectively).
Pet allergy – Diagnosis and treatment
Symptoms, an inspection of your nose, and your responses to questioning from your doctor may lead him or her to assume that you have a pet allergy. In order to examine the state of the lining of your nose, your doctor may employ a lighted tool. It is possible to have a bloated or pale or bluish nasal passage lining if you have an allergic reaction to a pet.
Allergy skin test
A skin test for allergies may be recommended by your doctor to establish exactly what you are allergic to. In order to do this test, you may be sent to an allergy expert (allergist). This test involves pricking your skin’s surface with tiny quantities of pure allergen extracts, which may include extracts containing animal proteins. This procedure is often performed on the forearm, although it can also be performed on the upper back. After 15 minutes, your doctor or nurse will check your skin for symptoms of allergic responses to determine if you have any.
Itching and redness are the most often reported adverse effects of these skin tests.
The existence of a skin condition or interactions with certain drugs may prevent a skin test from being done in some instances.
Your doctor may also request a blood test to examine your blood for particular allergy-causing antibodies to several common allergens, including numerous animals, as an alternative. This test may also reveal whether or not you are allergic to a particular allergen.
As a first line of defense against pet allergy, it is best to stay away from the animal that is triggering the allergy as much as possible. As a result of limiting your exposure to pet allergens, you should anticipate to experience allergy reactions that are less frequent and less severe in the long run. It’s frequently difficult or impossible to totally remove your exposure to animal allergies from your environment. Even if you do not have a pet, you may unintentionally come into contact with pet allergies that have been transferred on other people’s clothing.
If you have nasal allergy symptoms, your doctor may recommend that you take one of the following drugs to alleviate them:
- Antihistamines work by inhibiting the synthesis of an immune system molecule that is involved in an allergic reaction. They can also assist to decrease itching, sneezing, and runny nose associated with allergies. Azelastine (Astelin, Astepro) and olopatadine (Olopatadine) are two prescription antihistamines that are administered by a nasal spray (Patanase). Antihistamine pills available over-the-counter (OTC) include fexofenadine (Allegra Allergy), loratadine (Claritin, Alavert), and cetirizine (Zyrtec Allergy)
- OTCantihistamine syrups are available for children with seasonal allergies. Other choices include prescription antihistamine pills such as levocetirizine (Xyzal) and desloratadine (Clarinex), which are available by prescription. If you have hay fever, corticosteroids administered through a nasal spray can help decrease inflammation and regulate symptoms. Fluticasone propionate (Flonase Allergy Relief), mometasone furoate (Nasonex), triamcinolone (Nasacort Allergy 24HR), and ciclesonide are examples of medications that can help with allergies (Omnaris). In contrast to oral corticosteroids, nasal corticosteroids deliver just a little amount of the medication and are associated with a far decreased risk of adverse effects. Decongestants can help shrink swelling tissues in your nasal passages, making it easier to breathe through your nose. Antihistamines and decongestants are both included in certain over-the-counter allergy medications. If you have high blood pressure, glaucoma, or cardiovascular disease, you should avoid using oral decongestants since they might raise your blood pressure. Consult your doctor to determine whether or not you may safely use a decongestant. Over-the-counter decongestants used topically to the nasal passages may temporarily alleviate allergy symptoms. The use of decongestant sprays for more than three days in a row might cause congestion
- Leukotriene modifiers, which inhibit the function of certain immune system chemicals, can worsen congestion. If corticosteroid nasal sprays or antihistamines are not effective treatments for your allergies, your doctor may prescribe montelukast (Singulair), a prescription medication. Upper respiratory infection, headache, and fever are all possible adverse effects of montelukast use, according to the manufacturer. Some of the less frequent side effects include changes in behavior or mood, such as nervousness or despair.
- Immunotherapy. It is possible to “train” your immune system to become less susceptible to an allergy. Immunotherapy is administered by the administration of a series of allergy injections. One to two weekly shots expose you to extremely small quantities of the allergen, in this example, the animal protein that triggers an allergic reaction, and allow you to monitor your reaction. The dose is progressively increased over a 4- to 6-month period, with the majority of patients experiencing no side effects. Maintenance injections are required every four weeks for three to five years after the initial treatment. Nasal irrigation is frequently used in conjunction with immunotherapy when other basic therapies are ineffective. A prepared saltwater (saline) rinse can be administered by a neti pot or a squeeze bottle that has been carefully developed to drain thickened mucus and irritants from your sinuses. If you’re making your own saline solution, be sure it’s free of contaminants by using water that’s been distilled, steriled, previously boiled and chilled, or filtered using a filter with an absolute pore size of 1 micron or less before using it. When finished with a session, make sure to clean the irrigation device thoroughly with contaminant-free water and leave it open to air dry
Lifestyle and home remedies
The most effective treatment for pet allergies is to avoid contact with animals. This may not sound like a viable choice for many individuals, mostly since family members are frequently quite connected to their dogs. Seek advice from your doctor to determine whether minimizing your pet’s exposure rather than finding a new home for your pet is more effective in treating your pet allergy.
If you find a new home for your pet
If you are successful in finding a new home for your pet, your allergy problems will not subside overnight. Your house may contain substantial amounts of pet allergies for several weeks or months after it has been thoroughly cleaned. The following methods can assist in lowering the levels of pet allergens in a household that has recently been pet-free:
- Clean. Hire a cleaning service that is not allergic to pets to clean the whole house, including the ceilings and walls
- Replace or relocate any upholstered furniture that has been damaged. If at all possible, avoid using upholstered furniture because washing will not completely eliminate all pet allergies from it. Move upholstered furniture from your bedroom to a different part of your house. Carpets should be replaced. If at all feasible, get your carpeting replaced, particularly in your bedroom
- Make a new set of bedding. Because it is difficult to entirely remove pet allergies from sheets, blankets, and other bedcovers, it is recommended that you replace them. Bed pillows should be replaced. You can encapsulate your mattress and box spring in allergen-blocking coverings if you are unable to replace them. High-efficiency filters should be used. When you clean your air ducts, you should consider using high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters to capture allergens in the air. HEPA vacuum bags can also help minimize the quantity of dander that is stirred up during the cleaning process. HEPA air purifiers may also be effective in reducing airborne pet allergies.
If you keep your pet
If you decide to keep your pet, you may assist reduce the amount of allergies in your house by following these guidelines:
- Bathe your pet on a regular basis. Every week, enlist the help of a family member or friend who is not allergic to bathe your animal. Create a no-pets zone in your home. Designate some areas of your home, such as your bedroom, as pet-free zones in order to limit the amount of allergens present in such areas. Remove any carpeting and dander-attracting furniture from the room. Instead of carpeting from floor to ceiling, choose tile, wood, linoleum, or vinyl flooring instead, which will not house pet allergies as readily as carpet. Other allergen-attracting items, such as upholstered furniture, curtains, and horizontal blinds, should be considered for replacement. Enlist the assistance of others. Allow a family member or friend who does not suffer from pet allergies to perform the cleaning duties when it is time to clean your pet’s kennel, litter box, or cage. High-efficiency filters should be used. The use of high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) purifiers and vent filters may aid in the reduction of airborne pet allergies. Keep your pet on a leash outside. It is possible to lessen the number of allergies in your house if your pet is able to live happily outside. This alternative is not suitable for many pets or in some conditions
- Thus, it is not recommended.
Preparing for your appointment
If you have a runny nose, sneezing, wheezing, shortness of breath, or any other symptoms that may be connected to an allergy, you should consult your family doctor first. Because visits can be quick, and because there is frequently a lot of material to cover, it is a good idea to prepare for your session in advance of your appointment.
What you can do
- Make a list of any symptoms you’re having, even if they don’t seem to be connected to allergy-like symptoms. Record the history of allergy and asthma in your family, including particular types of allergies if you are aware of them
- Make a note of all of the drugs, vitamins, and supplements that you are now taking
- Inquire as to whether you should discontinue any drugs, such as antihistamines, that might affect the findings of an allergy skin test.
It will be easier to make the most of your time together if you prepare a list of questions ahead of time. Some basic things to ask your doctor if you are experiencing symptoms that may be due to a pet allergy are as follows:
- Identifying the most likely source of my indications and symptoms is essential. Is there any alternative possibility for the problem
- Will I be required to undergo any allergy tests? Is it necessary for me to consult an allergy specialist? What is the most effective therapy
- I have a number of additional health issues. What is the most effective way for us to handle these problems together? Is it possible to keep my pet if I have a pet allergy? In order to alleviate my problems, what modifications can I do at home? Does the medication you’re providing have a generic equivalent available? Is there any written information, such as brochures, that I may take with me when I leave the office? What websites do you think people should check out?
Along with the questions you’ve planned to ask your doctor, don’t be afraid to ask additional questions throughout your session.
What to expect from your doctor
A variety of questions will almost certainly be asked by your doctor. Being prepared to respond to their questions may allow you to set up additional time to go over any issues you wish to spend more time on. Your doctor may inquire as follows:
- When did you first notice that you were suffering symptoms? What times of the day do your symptoms seem to be worse? Have you noticed a worsening of the symptoms in your bedroom or in other parts of the house? Do you have any pets, and do they have access to your bedrooms? What kinds of self-care strategies have you tried, and how well did they work for you? When it comes to your symptoms, what, if anything, appears to make them worse
Issues if you have asthma
If you have already been diagnosed with asthma and are having difficulties controlling the condition, your doctor may suggest that you consider the potential of allergies as a possible cause of your symptoms. Despite the fact that allergens are a significant contributor to asthma, the effect of allergies on asthma is not always clear. Because pollen allergies are seasonal in nature, the impact of a pollen allergy may be obvious. For example, during the warmer months, you may have more trouble controlling your asthma for a brief period of time.
Even if you do not have a pet, you may be exposed to pet allergies at other people’s houses or on other people’s clothing while at work or school, regardless of whether you have a pet.
You may not notice allergies as a component potentially exacerbating your asthma when, in reality, it may be the major cause of your symptoms when you should.
What you can do in the meantime
If you feel that you may have a pet allergy, you should take precautions to restrict your exposure to your pets’ fur and feathers. Pets should not be allowed in your bedroom or on upholstered furniture, and you should wash your hands promptly after handling them. The date is August 4, 2021.