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  • Allergic to cats but love them??HELP

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    Old 12-02-2010, 01:31 PM   #1
    abmorris10
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    Question Allergic to cats but love them??HELP

    Ok Im allergic to cats and we are getting a kitten for our girls. What allergy medicine has worked for others? I get the itchy eyes, sneezing and puffyness. We are going to make sure we vaccum daily and give him baths weekly, but I need to take something every day to be able to be around it. I love them to death, but I have to be able to live with them too.. HELP

     
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    Old 12-02-2010, 02:21 PM   #2
    jennybyc
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    Re: Allergic to cats but love them??HELP

    I am allergic to cats too but have 3(down from 6). I get allergy shots. It really helps to bring the overall allergic reaction down. You can take Zyrtec for the allergic symptoms but it can make you drowsy. An allergist can order Xyzal which is as strong but it isn't supposed to make you drowsy. Both are 24 hour anti-histamines. Try over the counter eye drops for allergies for the itchy eyes.

    But really, if you want a cat in the house, get the allergy shots. Drugs work just so well and can interfere with other meds. By getting the shots, you raise your tolerance instead of drugging yourself down. Allergists are used to this....they won't deny the shots because you chose to have a cat knowing you are allergic.

    And it's not the fur you are allergic to but the saliva. Cats clean themselves by licking and the dried saliva falls off and that is the allergen. The saliva isn't on the cat for long....it falls off as they walk around, play and scratch. Washing the cat only serves to make the cat lick more. It can also give them very dry skin and then they lick that. Why people think washing cats helps, I don't know but everyone says...wash the cat. It only serves to make the cat lick even more and you end up with a bigger problem. If you want to do anything, take a large towel and get it wet with warm to hot water(no soap or shampoo of any kind)....like bath temperature, wring it out really well and then give the cat a good rub down...make it fun and gentle. That removes the saliva on the fur(and onto the towel and not your floor) without drying out the skin. I have one that runs out in the rain deliberately so that when he comes in, he gets good fluff dry with a big towel. Serves the same purpose.....gets off the saliva but doesn't get his skin wet. And then he runs back out so we can do it all over again in 15 minutes. All "cat towels" get washed/dried together and stay separate from all human wash.

    It is much easier on everyone for you to get allergy shots. It's your problem, not the cats. Use an air cleaner and keep the humidity at a good level and I hope it is a short haired cat...less to keep clean so less licking. Change your pillow case regularly in case any allergen ends up on it or keep your bedroom door closed to the cat. Often having one room that is allergen free helps a lot.

    I just went through another round of shots to reinforce the ones I had years ago and I've gone from someone who couldn't get near a cat to someone who sleeps with them. They work better than anything else.

    Good luck.

     
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    Old 12-02-2010, 03:34 PM   #3
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    Re: Allergic to cats but love them??HELP

    Is there any way that you could get a pet other than a cat? The problem is, what if you get one, everyone gets attached to it & then you are so sick you need to get rid of it? If you feel you have to have a cat, could you maybe start immunotherapy first to desensitize yourself? Your allergy symptoms could well get worse once you have the cat around 24/7, so you might want to put a lot of thought into the decision. Have you tried talking to your allergist to see what he/she recommends?

     
    Old 12-02-2010, 07:15 PM   #4
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    Re: Allergic to cats but love them??HELP

    Hello!
    I agree with both previous posts. I had several cats through the years and I'm very allergic as well (in general). I realized that washing the cat weekly doesn't solve the problem, and besides makes the cat more susceptible for colds. Vacuum does help. What I'd recommend you is to avoid the Persian cats. Although they're extremely sweet and great companion, they shed a lot and in my case it was the only breed that made me sneeze because of the fur. But I kept the Persian kitten anyway and got used to it. My mom, on the other hand, developed bronchitis after prolonged contact with him (4 years).

    Check with your doctor "how allergic" you really are to cats. Maybe with medicine and house cleaning you all can be a big, happy family.

    Good luck,
    Owner of 15 year-old Kitty (domestic Brazilian short hair)

     
    Old 12-03-2010, 02:16 PM   #5
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    Re: Allergic to cats but love them??HELP

    a daily long acting, non drowsy antihistamine such as Zyrtec or Claratin (as an aside, Costco sell bottles of 365 tablets for about 20 dollars of their generic version, which is just as good as the big brand name)

    and also a daily steriod nasal spray such as Vanconase or Flonase

    Keep some Sudafed on hand for times when you feel especialy allergic, it clears the congestion and eye symptoms quite fast.
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    Old 01-10-2011, 10:23 AM   #6
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    Re: Allergic to cats but love them??HELP

    I love animals but I'm allergic to both dogs and cats. I had a cat for 15 year and I was allergic to him. It wasn't so bad that I had to take meds but there were times where I did have some really bad attacks. They just provide you with so much love, most of the time you're willing to put up with the allergies.

     
    Old 01-26-2011, 08:52 AM   #7
    crossfire
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    Re: Allergic to cats but love them??HELP

    Hello,

    I am in a similar situation, but it's my boyfriend who is allergic to our cat. We've lived together for abour a year now and tried pretty much everything except for the shots and nothing seems to work. Some days are worse than others. It's gotten to the point where my boyfriend thinks I love the cat more than him or that I don't care about his suffering because I'm hesitant to getting the cat out of the house. He's not too crazy about the cat so, ofcourse, thinks he shouldn't have to go through all of this.

    He's tried Zyrtec, Claritin-D, nasal washings, sudafed. I'm not quite sure about how disiplined he's actually been taking these. The Zyrtec and Claritin helped keep the sneezing down, but his biggest anguish is the constant congestion, especially at night.

    I will try jennybyc's suggestions on bathing the cat and see if that alleviates the situation.

     
    Old 01-26-2011, 12:06 PM   #8
    shucky ducky
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    Re: Allergic to cats but love them??HELP

    If you are highly allergic to pets, and do not already own an animal, remain pet free.

    If you own an animal, keep a room of your home as a "pet free zone." The best room for this is the place where you sleep, as the mattress, pillows and blankets are easy targets for harboring massive amounts of pet dander.

    Pets that do not cause allergies are nonexistent. That said, shorter-haired animals shed more, and collect less dander. If you do want to own a pet, think about adopting one with shorter hair and less drooling.

    Buy a good, earth-friendly air purifier to clear your indoor air of dander.

    Clean your pet's bed or area while wearing a mask.

    Shampoo upholstery often

    Try to play with pets outside. Playing with pets stirs up a lot of dander, so it is better to have it in the outside air than in your home.

    Always place clothing worn while cuddling with your pet in a laundry hamper, outside of the bedroom. This will avoid the dander infiltrating your bedding.

    Dust with a wet cloth. Never dry-dust as it only serves to stir up the dander and increase your chances of breathing it in.

    Cover your pillows and mattresses with dander-impermeable coverings.

    Dander accumulates in drapes, curtains, rugs and carpets. Avoid using them, or clean them regularly with hot water and soap to remove accumulated dander.

    Wash bedding often. Use an all-natural laundry detergent and very hot water. Avoid harmful, chemical laden washing products.

    Wash your pet(s) regularly.

    Keep pet excrement far from the main airways of your home. If you have a litter box, make sure to keep it covered, and buy a good filtered box to diffuse odor and bacteria.

    Try using a HEPA vacuum cleaner to clean your home of dander.

    Change the heating and air filters in your home a minimum of every other month. If you do not own a pet, change the filters three or four times a year.

    If you are allergic to pet dander but still want an animal friend, buy a reptile or a fish. They do not cause allergies because they shed scales, not dander.

    Before buying or renting a house or apartment, check with your landlord or real estate agent to find out if the previous owner/renters had pets. Clean well before moving in.

     
    Old 01-28-2011, 02:47 PM   #9
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    Re: Allergic to cats but love them??HELP

    I definitely agree with seeing how allergic you are to the cats. If you are just having the symptoms you mentioned, those seem troublesome yes, but at least not life-threatening. My brother would have his asthma affected by cats, which was considerably worse than my sneezing, itching, and skin blotchiness. I have had some cats without issues in the past, and it seemed to get worse as I became older. I no longer have cats now, but I used to volunteer regularly with an animal adoption center. I would take an allergy pill each time and would be able to make it through just fine! For a while, Claritin D was the most effective for me (although you don't really need the D part if you aren't congested), but unfortunately it hasn't been working for me since I was taking it every day for quite a while. I'm hoping a break will help. I'd check into a non-drowsy pill in the meantime, and consider the allergy shots. I've heard so many people recommend allergy shots for the long-run. I am possibly going to look into them myself for my allergies. I am not allergic to dogs, but even my own dogs bother me at times from picking up allergens on their fur from inside. Keeping your cat indoors will help prevent extra allergens.

    I agree that the frequent bathing is likely not the answer. I agree that it's likely the saliva or the dander from their skin. Fur can definitely irritate you, but a lot of people aren't allergic to the fur itself, but the powdery dander on it. This is why some people might actually be bothered more by short haired cats and not the long haired cats. I find myself to be better around some cats and not around others, but no specific pattern. The last allergic reaction I had from a cat was from an orange tabby that was playing and his claw lightly got my finger. Even though it barely scratched, it burned and the scratch was swollen. I've had both long and short haired cats in the past (including an orange tabby) and luckily didn't have problems with them.

    I understand 100% on how getting the shots/taking meds is well worth it for the love of a pet, as long as your health isn't in major danger. I love my pets so much! My dogs actually have allergies themselves and sometimes have to take benadryl in an appropriate dosage for them. Good luck with everything!

     
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