Having a cat allergy can be rough sometimes.
Cat allergy? Yea, let me tell you a story. One of my husbands closest friends, let’s call him Jack, comes to our home very often. He loves it here. Since we live in a rather large city, it often is difficult to visit friends on a regular basis, thanks to heavy traffic and long distances.
However, this has never stopped Jack from gracing us with his presence.
Whenever he comes over and takes off his sneakers our two cats run for them. For some strange reason they love playing with people´s shoes. This sadly isn´t the best for Jack.
You see, Jack has a heavy cat allergy.
Once we sit down to watch a movie you can hear the silent sounds of sniffles. Very quit sniffles that are barely audible sometimes.
Twenty minutes into the movie the annoying eye rubbing starts.
If either of those two sound familiar to you, it is most likely because you have a cat allergy. Now, to know exactly what a cat allergy is and what you can do about it , continue reading below:
What is a cat allergy?
Around 10% of the US population is allergic to pets. Unlike many people believe, it isn’t cat hair that you are allergic against. It is their saliva, urine or even tiny skin particles called danders.
And if you are asking why such small minor things cause such a huge reaction, here is the answer:
Your body is protecting you.
As silly as it may sound, your immune system may mistake those things for harmful invaders so it reacts accordingly.
Think of it like this:
You are peacefully minding your own business when suddenly you hear sounds downstairs. Did someone just brake into your house? You don’t want to wait to find out so you go onto the defence. Which is basically the offesive. That is what your body does.
Below you will find a list of possible symptoms you may be experiencing. Now please bear in mind that each person is unique and may react differently to them.
- Coughing or wheezing
- Red swollen eyes (possibly teary)
- Itchy, runny nose
- skin rashes in affected areas (face and chest are the most common).
- Skin redness where a cat has scratched or licked you.
What can you do about it?
1.Take care of your cat
If you just couldn’t say no to your daughters’ pleading gaze and ended up getting her a cat (despite the cat allergy you are suffering from), here is what to do:
Ensure your cat has a well-balanced and healthy diet. This has been proven to help decrease dander shedding, which in term, will save you some troubles as well.
2. Invest in a HEPA
HEPA, AKA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air), is an air cleaner that you can have at home. You should install it in an air conditioner or heater as it circulates the air frequently. This keeps allergens in the air at a minimum.
If installing it at home may prove itself too much of an effort, there are handheld HEPA devices that you can take to your cat-owning friends’ house.
3. Take non-drowsy-making antihistamines
When you get in contact with dander and other proteins from a cats body, yours will accordingly release histamine. It is an immune system protein which, as mentioned above, is only trying to protect you.
However, you do not need protection from such cute and adorable creatures so, it is best to always keep an extra pill on hand if you are travelling.
4. Wash your hands regularly
If you were just over at a friends´house or have been outside in an area with several stray cats, it is very important to practice proper hand hygiene.
Mostly I would recommend you to get bacteria-killing, non-fragrance soap. This also could prevent cat allergies that your feline may suffer from.
5. Do your laundry
Whenever you wear an article of clothing and come into contact with felines- straight into the washing drum.
As simple as this may sound, this can decrease your risk of cat allergy greatly and it helps keep your laundry basket empty.
But what if you reaaallly want a cat?
The answer: Hypoallergenic cats
There are several breeds of cats that are possible candidates for joining your family.
First, there are cats without any fur. That means no saliva can be trapped in it, so go ahead and cuddle away. However, if you are allergic to the dander and not to the cat hair then mazbe teh Sphinx is not the best option for zou.
There are also a few short hair cat breeds such as the Bengal, Russian Blue or Devon Rex that qualify. The last one even made it into The 7 Cutest Teacup Cat Breeds You Need To Know About.
So, as you can see there are many ways to deal with your cat allergy. If you have any more tips and tricks for cat allergy treatments, or have a funny story to share, please comment them down below. Read you next time!