If you suffer from cat allergy symptoms when you come into contact with a cat, you’ll immediately recognize the symptoms. An itchy throat , itchy and watery eyes, sneezing and just general horribleness and itchiness all round are all tell tale sign of a cat allergy.
You know you will do anything to feel okay again.
Cuteness doesn’t count with cat allergies, even cute kitties have been disastrous for me.
Fortunately, there are ways to manage exposure, minimize symptoms and reduce exposure to allergens.
Here are some ideas to explain how you can control cat allergies.
How To Control Cat Allergies
Reduce Your Exposure To Cat Allergens – Use An Air Filter
An air filter or air purifier can help by trapping allergens such as dust, pet dander, and pollen, which are commonly found in the air inside homes.
Cat allergens trigger allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to them, like you if you are reading this and me, causing those dreaded symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes.
By trapping cat allergens and removing them from the air, an air filter can reduce the amount of allergens a person is exposed to, which in turn can help to alleviate allergic symptoms.
How Does A HEPA Filter Work?
A HEPA filter in a vacuum cleaner works by using a fine mesh to trap very small particles, such as dust, pet dander, and pollen from carpets, furniture, and other surfaces.
HEPA is an acronym that stands for high-efficiency particulate air.
As the air flows through the HEPA filter, the particles in the air become trapped in the fibers of the filter and the allergen levels in the air are greatly reduced.
This means that even very small particles that would otherwise escape through the filter are captured. The air that comes out of the filter is cleaner and less allergenic.
Dyson vacuum cleaners use HEPA filters. I have a Dyson and love it. It is Dyson V8 Animal. It has quite a few accessories, all of which I use. I could never go back to a corded vacuum cleaner. I’m not saying they don’t work but the convenience of a cordless is priceless.
I even use the smaller handheld part in place of using a traditional duster. The good thing about this is that it nor only dusts but will also trap dander, dust mites and picks up the cat’s hair from upholstered furniture.
Cat Allergies And The different Types Of Air Filters
Some air filters are portable and are specifically designed to help pet allergy sufferers.
These are typically smaller, handheld devices that can be moved around from room to room, or even taken with you when you travel.
Here are some different types of portable air filters
Cat Allergies And Personal Air Purifiers
Cat allergies can be kept under control by using a personal air purifier.
These are small, portable devices that work by pulling in the air around you and filtering out cat allergens such as dust, pollen, and dander.
They can be worn around your neck or placed on your desk or table.
Cat Allergies And Portable Room Air Purifiers
They are usually small and lightweight, making them easy to move from room to room. These devices work like personal air purifiers releasing clean air back into the room.
Cat Allergies And Purifiers For The Car
Unless you have your cat in the car a lot of the time, these filters are probably more for dog owners who may be dealing with dog allergies.
Some cats do travel and these filters would be great for an RV or motor home for any type of pet allergy.
They are designed to clean the air inside a car. These purifiers typically use HEPA filters to remove allergens and odors.
Groom Your Cat Regularly To Reduce Allergen Levels
Do you groom your cat’s hair regularly? Even cats with shorter hair need grooming. We tend to think of the cats that have long coats as being the cats that need grooming and that short haired cats can groom themselves.
This is true up to a point, long haired cats do need grooming intervention from us to look at their best.
By grooming your short haired cat on you will be amazed at the amount of cat hair that is removed. This will help to keep your allergies at bay. I like to brush the cat outdoors, in fine weather.
This article gives a good explanation of the different types of cat grooming gloves to make this job easy. Further in the article there are detailed instructions about how to use the glove properly and how to care for the glove.
Grooming your cat regularly helps to reduce your cat allergy symptoms.
By removing loose hair and cat dander, you can reduce allergens that are circulating in the air. Cats shed hair as part of their natural life cycle, which involves hair renewal and is a normal, natural event in a cats life. This is natural and happens with humans also. This article explains when the cat is most likely to be shedding hair.
Use a damp cloth to wipe down your cat’s fur, or use a pet grooming tool with a rubber brush. This will help remove loose hair, cat dander, and other allergens.
Cat Allergies And Over The Counter Medications
Relieve symptoms of cat allergies with medications that can be bought from the pharmacy without needing a prescription.
These medications treat the symptoms of cat allergies, such as sneezing, runny nose, and itching eyes.
Cat Allergies And Antihistamines
Cat allergy symptoms such as sneezing and itching can be reduced by using antihistamines.
Antihistamines work by blocking the action of histamine, a chemical that is released in the body during an allergic reaction.
Examples of oral antihistamines include loratadine (Claritin), cetirizine (Zyrtec), and diphenhydramine (Benadryl).
Note – Zyrtec works well for me but most definitely makes me sleepy.
You may need to try a few different brands to find one that works for you with no sleepy side effects. Medication with loratadine is working for me at the moment.
Cat Allergies And Decongestants
Cat allergy sufferers can benefit from decongestants. Decongestants can help to reduce the congestion and stuffiness that can occur during an allergic reaction.
Pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) and phenylephrine (Sudafed PE) are decongestants.
Discuss the difference between Sudafed and Sudafed PE with your pharmacist before using these products.
If appropriate your pharmacist will recommend seeing a doctor for further information and advice based on your medical needs.
Cat Allergies And Nasal Sprays
Cat allergies symptoms can be treated using some over-the-counter nasal sprays.
These include saline sprays, which can help to moisturize and soothe dry, irritated nasal passages, and nasal corticosteroid sprays, which can help to reduce inflammation in the nasal passages.
Examples of over-the-counter nasal sprays include fluticasone (Flonase) and mometasone (Nasonex).
I find that just a plain saline nose spray will also help alleviate cat allergy symptoms.
Just to reiterate – Always read and follow the label directions when using these medications, and if symptoms persist or worsen, consult a doctor.
Consult with a pharmacist or a doctor before using any medication.
Some of these medications may have some side effects, such as drowsiness, hence you need to be careful when driving or operating heavy machinery, or when drinking alcohol.
Cat Allergies And Immunotherapy
Immunotherapy is a long-term treatment option that can help to reduce your sensitivity to cat allergens and other pet allergies. This treatment firstly involves having a skin prick test. Depending on the results of the skin prick test, receiving regular injections of allergens over a period of several months or years.
As your immune system and body becomes accustomed to the allergens, your symptoms will become less severe.
I had this treatment as it emerged that I had quite a few allergies.
My treatment was some time ago, so I will not describe the method, except to say that I had allergy shots spaced out over the period of a year, tapering off towards the latter end of the year.
The difference for me, was definitely positive.
As well as cats and dogs and horses no longer giving me allergy symptoms, I could literally stick my head in a wall full of ivy and not sneeze. It was really worthwhile.
It hasn’t lasted forever but I don’t think the cat allergy and the seasonal allergies have ever been quite as bad as before the treatment.
Keep The Cat Out Of The Bedroom
This is essential if you suffer with cat allergies or any other pet allergies for that matter. It is not always easy keeping the cat out of the bedroom.
In this article I have outlined several ideas for keeping a quiet quiet at night. Some of the suggestions include how to keep the cat out of the bedroom.
This will limit exposure to the cat in your bedroom.
Closing the bedroom door was not a solution for us, as the cat would rattle the door to get in.
Oh no, we had to be far craftier and limit access at a different point in the house. This photo is dark but you can see the cat contemplating the door closure. We referred to it as he cat staying in his own apartment for the night.
A cat free zone is sometimes the only solution for cat allergy sufferers.
How Do Cat Allergies Occur?
Very simply, cats cause cat allergies in humans due to the proteins found in the cat’s saliva and shed fur.
These proteins become airborne when the cat grooms itself, and when they come in contact with the skin’s surface, they can trigger a reaction.
Common symptoms of cat allergy include coughing, wheezing, sneezing, and asthma attacks. In some severe cases, there may even be skin irritation such as hives or rashes.
To reduce your risk of a cat allergy, it is important to limit your exposure to cats and keep them away from your living or workspace.
Consider Rehoming Your Cat
This is a last ditch solution.
If your cat allergies are severe and you’re unable to control your allergy symptoms, you may need to consider rehoming your cat.
Although it’s a difficult decision, it may be the best thing for both you and your pet or another family member.
Reach out to local animal shelters or rescue groups to find a new home for your cat.