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Old 12-04-2004, 11:30 PM   #1
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Cat allergy symptoms?

I know that I am slightly allergic to my first two cats. I do need to wash the bedspread about every two weeks. (Yes, they all sleep with me.) And my long-haired cat I take to a groomer every three months for a bath. I took my first cat to a groomer once, too, but he went totally ballistic, scratched her, and she told me never to bring him back. But basically the only symptom I really identified with cat allergy was a slight tickling in my nose and just slight breathing difficulties.

In September I added a third cat from the shelter. I noticed right away that I had more breathing problems with her, but the problems seemed to subside, so I thought I was getting used to it. But I have also had terrible, really miserable swelling of my eyelids for the past couple of months. I have blepharitis really bad and thought the swelling was probably from that acting up, but I'm wondering now if the cause might be allergy to the new cat. Is eyelid swelling a normal symptom of allergy to cats? (I'd only heard of breathing problems before.) Is it possible that I have that much more allergy to one cat than the others?

 
Old 12-05-2004, 11:11 PM   #2
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Re: Cat allergy symptoms?

Hi,

Yes, it's possible, because each cat has its own saliva. I definitely have an allergy to the cat I have now compared to my other cats in the past. Even if she puts her nose on my neck, I'll itch like crazy and the area will swell up.

I'm fine when I hold her, pet her, even sleep with her......but if I touch my eyes after touching her.....instant reaction.

I've heard that darker coloured cats are more allergy provoking than lighter coloured cats....does that prove true with your cats?

quincy
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Old 12-06-2004, 06:48 AM   #3
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Re: Cat allergy symptoms?

Quote:
Originally Posted by quincy
Hi,

I've heard that darker coloured cats are more allergy provoking than lighter coloured cats....does that prove true with your cats?

quincy
Yes! My new cat is black. My two other cats are orange. And the first cat I ever had, now deceased, was a brown tabby. The funniest thing is that the black cat has the shortest hair. I would have thought that with shorter hair, they would have less area to cover in grooming, and would be less apt to present problems. My orange tabby has an over-grooming problem to the point he licks his belly raw, and still he seems to present far less allergy problems to me than my little black girl. I even read on a vet website yesterday that male cats tend to present more allergy problems to humans than females because of a certain chemical in their saliva that males have in greater quantity, but it is the exact opposite here.

I don't know what to do. I don't want to take Sheba back to the shelter. The chances of an adult cat being adopted in this area are extrememly slim. I've never used allergy meds much. Don't most of them raise blood pressure? My blood pressure is already at a point where my BP med may need to be increased, and I've been trying to avoid that.

 
Old 12-06-2004, 01:13 PM   #4
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Re: Cat allergy symptoms?

How old is the new cat? Have you bathed her as of yet?

Are they all indoor cats (hopefully).

What kind of food do you feed them....brand?

Do you brush her daily?


You could do a daily wipedown of the cat with an antiallergy soapless product....you'd have to check that out with a pet store as to what's available.

Another option could be for you to use an antihistamine such as Aerius. It's a 24 hour med with no drowsiness and can be used well by asthmatics. I use it and it seems to be fine but the cat allergy isn't why I take it.

The next option would be Singulair which is a leukotrine inhibitor which might at least keep your symptoms to a minimum. I don't know if one can take antihistamine with Singulair.....if so, that would be good for the "bad" days.

As far as your bed.....purchase the "Shark" hand vaccuum. We vaccuum our bed daily (with the larger brush attachment).....that keeps the hair to a very minimum.

As well, you can have a very light sheet or material that is overtop the bed when you sleep that is easier to wash (once a week) (or have two or three and change them every few days) than the comforter.

Or purchase a duvet cover and put it over the comforter and wash it weekly, although, I like the sheet or thin blanket or whatever else is easier to wash and the cats will be more attracted to and be more inclined to lay on that instead of all over your comforter.

Vaccuum that daily as well, and invest in a "magic" brush.

We brush the blanket that the cat sleeps on daily, vaccuum the duvet cover as well as the sheets. DAILY. And wash the sheets weekly and the duvet cover every two months.

cover your mattress with an antiallergy sheet. That will at least keep the dustmites down to help with your allergies. Double or triple cover your pillows and wash the cover and case cover weekly as well. Our pillows are triple covered.

Just a start of suggestions for you....how do you think they can work? Give me more info as to what I've suggested and I can maybe offer you more.

It can definitely work out....you just have to do more work to be able to keep your cat.

One suggestion....don't get any more cats or you will definitely overload your system over and beyond what it's capable of handling -- other problems can arise from that.

Hope this helps.
quincy
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Last edited by quincy; 12-06-2004 at 01:19 PM.

 
Old 12-06-2004, 01:37 PM   #5
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Re: Cat allergy symptoms?

The best thing I have found is nature's miracle pet dander and deodorizer. Wash and wear for cats! Cuts the allergic symptoms down to tolerable.

Do your cats go outside? Could be allergies to the pollen they bring in also, if so.

 
Old 12-06-2004, 09:03 PM   #6
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Re: Cat allergy symptoms?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lillypad
The best thing I have found is nature's miracle pet dander and deodorizer. Wash and wear for cats! Cuts the allergic symptoms down to tolerable.
I tried looking that up on the net and can't quite determine what it is exactly. What do you do, spray the stuff on a rag and wipe the cat with it or something?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lillypad
Do your cats go outside? Could be allergies to the pollen they bring in also, if so.
My two boys are allowed outside, but the female, who is the one apparently giving me the most problems, I'm keeping as an inside-only cat. So far she hasn't objected too much. At least she has a smaller voice, so I can put up with her few little objections. At any rate, since she doesn't go out, I don't think pollen is a really big issue, and certainly not at this time of year. Mold spores, which I know I'm highly allergic to, is likely a bigger problem for me. But again, I've had the other cats four and six years. The biggest problems have been after I added this last one in September and initially I could feel the increased breathing difficulty and nose tickling every time she would get up near my face. Thankfully, those symptoms have subsided, whether from me getting used to her or from her getting a little better diet, is hard to say.

 
Old 12-06-2004, 10:02 PM   #7
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Re: Cat allergy symptoms?

Quote:
Originally Posted by quincy
How old is the new cat? Have you bathed her as of yet?

Are they all indoor cats (hopefully).

What kind of food do you feed them....brand?

Do you brush her daily?
The latest cat is between one and two years old. I doubt very much that she has ever had a bath. I believe her first owner was a 94-year-old lady, then she became part of a large starving outdoor colony. After that, she was in the shelter for two months, where she was fed "whatever was donated that week."

I have not bathed her since I got her, and frankly I fear that she will be like my first cat, one of those who turns ballistic in a bath. I do think I'll take her to a groomer soon, though, and let a professional try it. Maybe after that, just wiping her off might help.

I still haven't settled on a regular diet for her. Since I got her she has eaten mostly Iams dry food and Friskies canned food. I've been experimenting with better quality canned foods, but most of them she refused to eat. I think I finally found two flavors of Wellness that she will eat now, so I may order a couple of cases of those.

She still has flaking, I'm assuming dry skin, on her lower back pretty bad. I hoping that a better quality food will help that, but in the meantime I started just yesterday giving her an oil supplement. Can't tell exactly what it is the way the label is covered, but I'm giving her some of what the vet had given me for one of the other cats. If she still has a problem with dry flaking skin after a bath and a few weeks of oil, I guess I'll have to take her to the vet and see what he has to say.

No, I'll have to admit that I don't brush her very often. My long-haired cat takes sooooo much combing and brushing to keep him in shape. and my orange tabby asks to be combed often, so I do it, but somehow little Sheba usually gets left out.

I will definitely check out the pet store for an antiallergy soapless product when I go into a neighboring town later this week.

I've just made a new patchwork quilt for my bed, and will be having it professionally quilted soon. The thought had crossed my mind that I might want to put an old sheet over the top of it at night that I don't mind washing often. I haven't minded washing the old commercial bedspread on the bed now every week or two, but after all the work I put in that quilt, I don't want to wear it out washing it. The sheet idea should work, too, because the cats very seldom get on the bed except at night and they usually wait for me to get in bed first.

That's a good idea about washing the zippered pillow cover, as well as the pillow case, weekly. I've been getting the regular case, but hadn't really thought about doing the zippered cover so frequently, too. And this cat does get up near the top of the bed more often than the others do. I hadn't thought about that.

I'll have to look into those meds. I just want to make sure they don't raise blood pressure.

Thanks for all your suggestions.



Quote:
Originally Posted by quincy
One suggestion....don't get any more cats or you will definitely overload your system over and beyond what it's capable of handling -- other problems can arise from that.
Never fear about that! I have all the cats I want! I'm at the limit (maybe past my limit) on expense and litterbox slavery already!

 
Old 12-06-2004, 10:40 PM   #8
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Re: Cat allergy symptoms?

Antihistimines usually don't raise blood pressure. , Decongestants on the other hand, do raise blood pressure in some people. Singulair, as someone else mentioned is a leukotrine-inhibiter, which is especially helpful with breathing issues. And yes, you can take it with an antihistimine. I take Singulair with Zyrtec daily. Another option for you, is allergy nose sprays.

Something else to think about is a HEPA filter in the bedroom to remove the dander from the air. And although I can't provide a link, lots of allergy websites carry those pet dander "wipes".

 
Old 12-06-2004, 11:30 PM   #9
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Re: Cat allergy symptoms?

We do have an electronic air cleaner on the furnace. And you just reminded me. I need to clean that. My schedule called for me to do that whenever we change to/from daylight savings time and I forgot to do that this fall. I do have a small portable air cleaner, too. I've had it in my sewing room, which is the cat's (and my) usual daytime location. But perhaps it might be more important to move it to the bedroom. I think I'll try that.

Of course, just becoming a better housekeeper and vacuuming more often could help, too. Uff da! I hate vacuuming, and I have about 2000 square feet of carpet here.

 
Old 12-06-2004, 11:37 PM   #10
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Re: Cat allergy symptoms?

Oh, and breathing issues really isn't much of a concern. I do get an occasional little tickle in my nose, and have a runny nose a lot, but I don't feel it in my lungs at all any more like I did when I first got this cat. My biggest problem is my eyes.

 
Old 12-07-2004, 03:21 PM   #11
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Re: Cat allergy symptoms?

i have had different colored, sexes, and hair lengths of cats my whole entire life...

and for some reason... i was never allergic to them... apparently the one cat i have now i am allergic to....

i dont understand it, apparently i am only allergic to him

 
Old 12-07-2004, 03:53 PM   #12
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Re: Cat allergy symptoms?

i have had different colored, sexes, and hair lengths of cats my whole entire life...

and for some reason... i was never allergic to them... apparently the one cat i have now i am allergic to....

i dont understand it, apparently i am only allergic to him

 
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