Sniffing, sneezing, coughing, watery eyes – no, it’s not a commercial for your favorite cold medication – it’s your life – if you’re allergic to cats, that is. But just because you’re allergic to those fluffy little felines doesn’t mean you can’t have one of your own. You just have to find ways to deal.
For starters, you can find a breed that sheds less and produces less dander, like the Sphynx (a “hairless” cat with a fine, downy fuzz for hair), Cornish Rex or Devon Rex. They’ve all got hair, but according to The Cat Fancier’s Association, many people who are typically allergic to cats can tolerate these breeds better than others.
If you’re not lucky enough to find one of these purebreds, there are still some steps you can take to become a loving, although allergic, cat owner.
According to PETCO.com, you can alleviate your symptoms by doing the following:
o Washing your hands after play time – and NEVER touching your face after touching your cat.
o Don’t allow your cat in your bedroom – if you do, he’ll surely nap on your bed, spreading allergy-inducing hair and dander.
o Use HEPA air filters and a vacuum with a HEPA filter, as well.
o Leave your cat’s weekly (or daily) grooming to a non-allergic family member. And if the cat will allow it, have him bathed once a week.
o Two or more cats might sound like a nice little pride for your house, but more cats mean more allergens, so make yours a one-feline family.
Until you become less allergic or find the best way for you and your cat to peacefully – and healthily – coexist, be sure to keep treatments on hand to help you through the rough patches. If over-the-counter medications or all-natural treatments don’t work, just ask your doctor – I’m sure he’ll have something up his sleeve that will help alleviate the sniffling, sneezing, coughing…