How To Live With Allergies And Pets
If you are allergic to your pet and your reactions arent life-threatening, there are many ways to reduce indoor allergens and allergy symptoms so you and your pet can live together more comfortably. If your or a family member’s allergies are simply miserable, but not life-threatening, take these five steps to reduce the symptoms: 1.
Im A Cat Veterinarian Whos Allergic To Cats Heres How I Deal And So Can
It all started a few weeks after my graduation from veterinary school. I went into a routine appointment with a lovely young Siamese cat. Almost immediately, I noticed my eyes beginning to swell and itch. Then came the sneezing and the running nose. By the time I finished the appointment, I could hardly open my eyes and was having trouble breathing.
You guessed it. I had developed a fierce allergic reaction to my favorite patients: cats.
Ive been a cat vet for over 25 years now, and Im still severely allergic to cats. But I love what I do, and I was determined not to change my career or my lifestyle. Heres how I found a solutionand how you can, too.
Are Cats Really Hypoallergenic
Dr. Shelly Zacharias, DVM, MS, VPM, BCMAS is Vice President of Medical Affairs for Gallant, a biotech company that banks stem cells and develops regenerative therapies using a pets natural biology to treat future diseases. Dr. Zacharias says that though there is no such thing as a 100-percent-hypoallergenic cat, there are some important things people should know when it comes to cats and allergies. For example, theres the fact that cat hair isnt really what causes reactions in people who are allergic to catsits their spit .
The primary cause is an allergen produced in a cats saliva, called the Fel d 1 protein. This protein is spread to cats hair through grooming and is then shed into the environment, which makes people believe they are allergic to cat hair, Dr. Zacharias says.
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Visit Friends With Cats
Choose to visit a friend with an outgoing cat to allow you to get up close and personal with a feline but on a limited basis. Ask your friend to choose a time when the cat is fed, comfortable, and relaxed. Ask your friend permission to use an allergy relief spray or wipes on the cat if necessary while you’re visiting.
Use your allergy medication half an hour before the arranged time. When you arrive, let the cat set the pace. You may be greeted by being sniffed at your feet and legs at first. You can dangle your hand to see if the cat rubs up against it, which can indicate petting is acceptable. If your allergies are still under control, you might allow the cat to jump onto your lap. Make your visit about 15 minutes at the most to keep both you and the cat comfortable.
In another week or two, visit again with the same cat, and stay longer, up to half an hour. Begin to branch out and visit other friends with cats.
Start With Your Environment
- Use air purifiers such as Purrified Air, which can be mounted on or over your cats litter box, or in any other space in the house, including the bedroom this product runs silently, so it wont disturb your sleep. It contains a replaceable 2.2 lb activated carbon filter media cartridge, and the filters last at least four months. Along with getting rid of mold spores, dust, litter box odors, and other indoor air contaminants, this air purifier also eliminates animal hair and dander, which are the chief causes of cat allergies in people.
- Designate cat-free zones in your home, particularly your bedroom. If possible, replace carpeting with hard surfaces, and use machine-washable throws on the furniture.
- Vacuum floors and upholstered furnishings regularly to suck up as much cat hair and dander as possible. Get a made-for-pets vacuum with a HEPA filter, and a steam cleaner for any carpeting.
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How To Keep A Cat If You Are Allergic To Cats
This article was co-authored by Alan O. Khadavi, MD, FACAAI. Dr. Alan O. Khadavi is a Board Certified Allergist and a Pediatric Allergy Specialist based in Los Angeles, California. He holds a BS in biochemistry from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and an MD from the State University of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn. Dr. Khadavi completed his pediatric residency at Schneider Childrens Hospital in New York, and then went on to complete his allergy and immunology fellowship and pediatric residency at Long Island College Hospital. He is board certified in adult and pediatric allergy/immunology. Dr. Khadavi is a Diplomate of the American Board of Allergy and Immunology, a Fellow of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology , and a member of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology . Dr. Khadavi’s honors include Castle Connollys list of Top Doctors 2013-2020, and Patient Choice Awards “Most Compassionate Doctor” in 2013 & 2014. This article has been viewed 16,939 times.
Cats make great pets, but if youre allergic to cats, keeping one is a bit more complicated. Allergies to cats are caused by proteins in the cats sloughed off skin cells, called dander, and its saliva. By maintaining an optimal environment that reduces your exposure to cat dander and saliva, as well as taking measures to keep your allergies under control, you can keep a cat successfully even if youre allergic to it.
Reducing Your Exposure To Cat Allergens With Purina Pro Plan Liveclear
Did you know that you can reduce the amount of allergens released into your home with a specific cat food? PURINA® Pro Plan LiveClear is a new cat food designed to neutralise the Fel d 1 allergen in your cats saliva, reducing the amount of active allergen that they release into the environment.
The cat food has been proven to reduce the allergen on cat hair and dander by an average of 47%, from the third week of daily feeding*.
*A 10-week controlled study of 105 cats showed an average reduction of 47% starting from the third week of daily feeding
The food also offers delicious nutrition for your cat the key egg product ingredient, designed to neutralise the allergen once eaten, is digested like any other protein. Alongside other allergen reduction measures, using PURINA® Pro Plan LiveClear could help to keep a cat in their loving home.
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How To Live With A Cat If You Are Allergic
Asked by: Mr. Marley Thiel
Last update: March 22, 2022Score: 4.4/5
Living with Cat Allergies
What To Do If Youre Allergic
If an allergy test comes back positive, its decision time: Should you find a new home for your pet?
Experts unanimously agree that the best way to reduce allergens is to remove pets from the home. Even so, many people decide not to give away their pets even after an allergy is confirmedthough it depends on how severe their symptoms are and, often, whether children are allergic. Dr. Nish estimates that about 75% of the patients to whom he makes the recommendation ignore his advice.
If families arent willing to remove a pet, the next best thing is to isolate the pet from allergic family members as much as possible, by keeping it outdoors, or at least out of bedrooms. If you live in a multistory home, restricting the pet to the ground floor is a good strategy. Although these steps wont eliminate dander altogetherdander is so pervasive that it can be found even in homes that have never had pets, as well as in schools, shopping malls, and other public placeslimiting the pets roaming area will reduce it.
Replacing carpet with tile or wood floors is also beneficial, since carpets tend to trap dander. Frequent vacuuminganother common suggestionmay actually be counterproductive. Vacuuming tends to stir up allergens without necessarily removing them, and can actually increase the number of airborne allergens, even when newer vacuums containing HEPA filters are used.
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How To Live With A Cat When You’re Allergic
The important thing is that you comb your cat as much as you can or have it combed to reduce hair loss in the House. Also, avoid carpets where the hair can nest and use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter that can absorb the smallest allergenic particles. Finally, you should air out the house every day for 10 to 20 minutes.
The Race To Deliver The Hypoallergenic Cat
Scientists are working on a feline vaccine that could block the protein most commonly associated with allergic reactions to cats.Credit: Nils Jacobi/Getty
Doctor, if you tell me to get rid of the cat, Im getting rid of my kids first, said the parent of one young patient with an allergy to the family pet. Sandra Gawchik, an allergist in Chester, Pennsylvania, knew they were only half-joking she had heard similar threats before. Another patient recounted being pushed out of the house by his wife and daughter over his cat allergy, saying they preferred the feline to him.
Sensitivity to pets is typically the second most prevalent allergy in any region, after pollen or mites, says Joaquin Sastre, an allergist at the Jiménez Díaz Foundation University Hospital in Madrid. Up to 30% of people show sensitivity to cats in some regions.
The effects can be limited to sniffles and sneezes for some people. For others, however, the allergy can prompt dangerous asthma attacks. A US study estimated that, among cat-sensitive people, 47% of emergency hospital visits could be attributed to feline exposure. And allergy is among the main reasons why owners send cats to shelters.
Small doses of cat allergens the major one being a small, sticky protein called Fel d 1 can help to build up tolerance over time. But treatments can cost US$8001,000 annually, require up to 100 injections over 35 years, and are not always permanent or wholly effective.
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Top Hypoallergenic Cats For Allergy Sufferers
First things first, no cat breed is completely non-allergenic. Hypoallergenic cats are breeds that produce fewer allergens than others, and so cause less of an allergic reaction. It is, however, always a good idea to spend time around different breeds to see how you react. Here is a list of the top breeds recommneded for allergy sufferers that want to adpt a feline friend, but just cant wait for a cat allergy cure!
Am I Allergic To My Cat
Before you suspect that you might be allergic to cats, it is worth mentioning that there are a number of things you could be allergic to. Dust mites, for example, or perhaps you have a case of seasonal hay fever? That said, cat allergies are one of the most common allergies in the UK, particularly for those who also have allergic asthma or hay fever. So how do you know if you are allergic to cats?
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What Can I Do With My Cat To Manage Allergy Symptoms
Aside from keeping your house clean and free of allergens, there are several things to be mindful of as you interact with your cat. These include:
- avoid being licked by your cat this will spread allergens to you and could make symptoms worse
- gently clean your cat with a damp cloth
- always groom your cat outside
- after giving them a stroke, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly
- feed your cat PURINA Pro Plan LiveClear to help reduce allergens in your home – more details below!
What Types Of Cats Are Considered Hypoallergenic
Medically reviewed by Neka Miller, PhD on June 6, 2021. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
Cats are some of the most lovable creatures on the planet. They are full of personality, and much like humans, they have their ups and downs. They are surprisingly self-sufficient, though they still rely on humans for chin scratches and playtime.
Some people are allergic to cats. While about 10 percent of Americans are allergic to pets in general, cat allergies are about twice as common as dog allergies. If you suffer from common pet allergy symptoms, consider testing for a cat allergy with a convenient at-home allergy testing kit. Hypoallergenic cats may also help to reduce allergic reactions. If youâre curious to learn about what cats are hypoallergenic, keep reading below.
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Infections Caused By Cats
Allergies are a manifestation of the immune system’s over-reaction to a non-infectious substance. But you can also get an infection due to cat exposure, such as ringworm, or an infection due to a cat scratch.
A parasitic infection caused byToxoplasma gondii is spread by cat feces. This parasite is very dangerous for pregnant women because it can cause birth defects.
Infections caused by cats are different than allergies.
Never Completely Allergy Free
While there are a few cats that are known to be much less irritating for people with allergies, there is no such thing as a completely hypoallergenic cat. If you are allergic to cats, you are actually allergic to the protein Fel D1, which is contained in cat saliva. When the cat licks its fur and that spit dries and becomes airborne you breathe it in and react to it.
The cat breeds that are considered to be hypoallergenic are those that produce less of this protein than others. Listed below are a few examples, but you can also ask your Staten Island animal doctor for more help as to which breed would be best suited to your lifestyle.
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How Are Cat Allergies Treated
Cat allergies can usually be controlled with standard allergy drugs. Your doctor might recommend:
- Antihistamines, which are available over-the-counter — like cetirizine , diphenhydramine , fexofenadine , and loratadine or some antihistamines such as azelastine come in a nasal spray
- , like over-the-counterÃ pseudoephedrine or allergy drugs that contain the ingredient pseudoephedrine such as Allegra-D, Claritin-D, or Zyrtec-D
Nasal steroid sprays, which affect allergy or asthma symptoms in various ways Ã steroid sprays are a common treatment for allergies. Budesonide , fluticasone , and triamcinolone are steroid sprays that are available over the counter.
Allergy shots are another option. Allergy shots are not always effective, and completing treatment can take years. They’re also not usedÃ for children under age 5. But they can be a huge help to some people. Ask your doctor if they make sense for you.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to prevent an allergy. Some studies have shown that exposure to pets as a young child seems to reduce the risk of developing pet allergies later. On the other hand, a child who already has allergic tendencies may get worse with exposure to a pet.
Cat Allergies In Humans
Pet allergies are common, roughly one-third of Americans are allergic to cats and dogs. Cat allergies are caused by a protein in cat saliva, urine, and dander. The symptoms seem to have no change with different cat breeds, as even hairless cats still urinate and salivate.
Identifying allergies isnt always easy, however. Not all cat allergies present with itchy eyes and sneezing. You can also develop a cat allergy at any time, even if youve spent your life around cats without a problem.
Here are some signs you may be allergic to your cat:
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Should I Keep My Cat If I’m Allergic To It
There is not a single correct answer to this question. But before you decide whether to keep your cat, you must make sure that it is your cat causing the allergic reaction. You don’t want to go through the stress and upset of rehoming a much loved pet if your allergic reaction is caused by dust mites.
You have to decide whether the severity of your allergic reaction means you need to re-home your cat.
In some cases, the symptom-easing tips included above are enough to make living with a cat sustainable, but other people find that their allergic reaction makes living with a cat unbearable.
How To Have A Cat If You Have Cat Allergies
The Spruce / Hilary Allison
Although some people avoid cats because they fear or dislike them, there is some hope for those who avoid cats because of fear of allergic reactions. A lot will depend on the nature of your allergies. If yours are of the sneezing, watery eyes, and running nose variety, you may be able to slowly and gradually build up your tolerance to cats.
However, before getting a cat, you should undergo allergy testing first, particularly if you suffer from asthma. For example, about 30 percent of people with allergies are allergic to cats and dogs, but studies show the rate of cat allergies is actually far higher than that.
Here are tips to help you gain control over your cat allergy symptoms while enjoying the lifelong companionship of a feline.
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