It can be a worrying time for you if you discover you have an Allergy to your cat. The severity of a pet allergy can vary greatly. Some people can easily control their allergy with just a few changes, while others may have severe symptoms which they feel incapable of controlling.
Is it my cats fur I am allergic to?
Many people believe it is their pets fur causing their allergy, but in most cases it is actually caused by your pets dander (dead skin cells) or saliva.
What are the symptoms?
- Red, watery or itchy eyes
- Runny or blocked nose
- Rash on the face or body
- Tight chest
A lot of people who own a pet and get Allergy Symptoms may automatically assume it is a pet allergy, but many other allergies can cause symptoms similar to those of a pet allergy such as dust, hay fever and food allergies. So it is best to see a doctor who can do tests to confirm which type of allergy you have.
Will I have to give my cat up?
Sadly some owners do decide the best thing for all involved is to give up their cat. Really it does depend on you and how well you can cope with and manage your allergy. People with mild allergies can usually make some small changes and easily keep living happily alongside their cat. Unfortunately those with severe allergies may have no choice but to re-home their cat.
Can I reduce or prevent my allergy symptoms?
- Keep your cat/s out of any rooms you sleep in.
- Groom your cat often to remove dead skin and fur, you may want to get someone else to do it to prevent allergy flare ups.
- Wash your hands after touching your pet.
- Keep your home clean, vacuum regularly to remove dander from floors and carpets, wipe any surfaces your cat has been on and dust regularly.
- Keep any litter trays clean and wash pet bedding regularly.
- Soft furnishings such as cushions, rugs and carpets trap allergens and so it’s best to avoid soft furnishings in your home.
- Ventilate your home and open windows when possible.
- Antihistamines can help relieve allergy symptoms and decongestants will help you to breathe more easily.
I myself developed a mild allergy to cats a couple of years ago, even though I have lived in a home with cats since I was born. But I have managed to control my symptoms by making some of the changes I mentioned above and I live happily alongside my cat.
My life saver! (maybe not life saver… but definitely symptom reliever!)
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