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Can I Live With A Cat If I Have A Cat Allergy?

Can I Live With A Cat If I Have A Cat Allergy?

Many people have pet allergies in the World and especially the ones who already have a tendency to other allergies or asthma. You love animals and really want to have a cat, but you are asking yourself: “Can I live with a cat if I have a cat allergy?” “Or should I completely forget about having a cat?” These and other related questions about cat allergy will be answered here. 

By The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine information provided around 15 to 30% of the population in the United States have cat allergies. This is not such a small number unfortunately. If you already own a cat and only realize later that you are allergic to a cat it can prevent close bonds between you too because you need to keep a distance. 

Cat allergens can be all over the place, for example offices, classrooms, homes and there is a big myth that people are allergic to cat fur. Humans can carry allergens on their clothes and this is why cat allergens can be found even in places where a cat has never been. I will explain in the next paragraphs the causes and treatments of cat allergy, but let’s have a look first: “what is an allergy?”

Allergy is a defense mechanism to foreign substances called allergen. Interesting fact is that our body can produce proteins (antibodies) at any age, so you can get an allergy reaction anytime even if you have been around these allergens all your life. 

Cat Allergy Causes

As I mentioned before, cat allergy is not caused by fur or hair. It is actually caused by allergens in urine, saliva and dried flakes on skin (dandra). Cat allergens can cause some symptoms even six months later since a cat is gone. Allergens are not dangerous on their own, but there are humans with very sensitive immune systems which see allergens as a danger. If the body thinks it is dangerous it reacts with a protection mechanism which is in this case watery eyes, sneezing, stuffy nose and so on. 

If you know now that the main cause is not in the hair and fur of the cat, do you think a term “hypoallergenic cat” exists? Probably not because even the Sphynx cat breed has dead skin cells on the skin. Just some cats produce less allergens than others and you want to choose a short-haired cat over a long-haired one. 

Read about cat brushes in this article: 9 Best Brushes For Long-Haired Cats In 2022

cat allergy

Cat Allergy Symptoms

Good news is that you can live with your cat if you have an allergy, but only if it is not severe. At the same time there are many people who choose to live with cats even if they suffer from allergy symptoms. In this case you need to know how to make these symptoms more bearable. This is why I will explain which symptoms of cat allergy are mild and which are more serious. 

Mild Cat Allergy Symptoms Include: 

  • Sneezing and coughing
  • Red or watery eyes
  • Skin rash or hives
  • Fatigue 
  • Runny/ stuffy nose 

Severe Cat Allergy Symptoms Include: 

  • Difficulty to breathe
  • Anaphylactic shock 

Living With Cat Allergy. What to do?

One of the first things you need to do is to go and make an allergy test to determine if you have one or not if you still do not know that. Let’s remember that allergies can be all sorts of intensity starting from some red eyes, sneezing and ending with really serious health issues.

Often grooming with a good quality brush for cats especially spring time when cats shed more. If you live on your own then you need to do it yourself, but if you have someone who is not allergic you can give this task to that person. 

Veterinarian visits should be booked to receive the best antihistamine tablets to reduce a symptoms. If you go to visit your friend who has a cat make sure you use your pill 30 minutes before you get in contact with the kitty. Find out more information in NHS site.

Cleaning the house on a regular basis should be a practice anyway if you have any pets, but if you have an allergy to cats it is important to clean even more frequently. Brush off sofas and other surfaces. Use a good quality vacuum cleaner with an air filter (HEPA) to reduce allergens going back in the air. Use a face mask while cleaning all dust. 

Keep your bedroom cat free for better sleep. Also allergies tend to appear more at night, so this is why it is a good idea. 

Eliminate air fresheners, candles, upholstered furniture or anything else that can attract more cat dandra and make things worse. 

Choose a short haired cat over a long hair cat because they shed less. As I mentioned before there is no such a thing as hypoallergenic cat breed, but cats with short hair shed less. 

Swap curtains to blinds because it is easier to clean them. 

You can use salt water for nasal lavage that cleans your nasal passages. I even remember my mum used to give me this when I was cold and it really helped to breathe. 

Cover up air conditioning and heaters with cheesecloth. 

Wash your hands after you touch a cat. 

cat allergy

Conclusion

Can I live with a cat if I have a cat allergy? Yes, you can if you do not have serious asthma and you follow our suggestions. Keep your place very clean at all times and find out which cat breeds are less allergic than others before you buy one. Of course it is not a hundred percent that you will not get any allergy because you can get it outside of your house. When you feel symptoms and think it can be cat allergy, visit a specialist to help to find a suitable solution. 

Read More: 
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9 Best Brushes For Long-Haired Cats In 2022

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