How can I deal with my cat allergy without getting rid of my cat? If you are a cat lover, this is an extremely important question to answer. Especially if you are allergic to cats like I am. However, I own a tabby cat and he is my buddy and would not give him up for anything! I have decided to just live with my allergy but here are 5 things I do to make it easier on myself and to ease the symptoms.
How Can I Deal With My Cat Allergy – I Take Antihistamines
Kind of obvious but it helps! I do not take them every single day, but usually every couple of days. And I usually toggle between two types of over the counter allergy medications – taking Loratadine (generic Claritin) and Reactine which seems to help me quite a bit. (The Reactine seems stronger.) Notice what the Mayo Clinic says about this from their website below:
“Antihistamines reduce the production of an immune system chemical that is active in an allergic reaction, and they help relieve itching, sneezing and runny nose.
Prescription antihistamines taken as a nasal spray include azelastine (Astelin, Astepro) and olopatadine (Patanase). Over-the-counter (OTC) antihistamine tablets include fexofenadine (Allegra Allergy), loratadine (Claritin, Alavert) and cetirizine (Zyrtec Allergy); OTC antihistamine syrups are available for children. Prescription antihistamine tablets, such as levocetirizine (Xyzal) and desloratadine (Clarinex), are other options.”
How Can I Deal With My Cat Allergy – Vacuum Regularly
Another important tactic is to remove cat fur and dander off your carpet. Which, of course means vacuuming or sweeping regularly. Our place has a lot of carpet, and if we do not vacuum regularly, my cat allergy really flares up. That’s why right now we are in process of buying a new vacuum with a HEPA filter which will almost capture of of the dust from the carpet. (Once we select and use our new vacuum cleaner a few times, we’ll definitely post about it here on the blog!) This is what Healthline had to say regarding vacuuming to help with your cat allergy: “Vacuum weekly with a HEPA filter vacuum.” A HEPA filter vacuum helps to contain over 99% of the dust and dander, thereby helping reduce your allergy symptoms.
How Can I Deal With My Cat Allergy – Drink lots of Water
My wife is reminding me to drink more water when I start coughing and hacking due to my cat allergy. I’m always a bit stubborn and can be slow to comply. But you know what? She’s right! It does work and it helps me feel less filled up. And there is science to back this up. Here’s a quote from Doulton’s website regarding drinking water to help with allergies:
“Histamine plays a major part in the body’s response in the event of an allergic reaction and hydration has an effect on histamine levels. When the body becomes dehydrated, histamine levels rise to help preserve water in the body. Water regulates histamine.
As such drinking water is essential to helping maintain normal histamine levels. While drinking water in itself will not act to prevent or treat an allergic reaction, avoiding dehydration by drinking water will help to maintain normal histamine activity.”
Brush Your Pet Regularly
This is definitely one of the challenges that we have with our cat as he does not like to be brushed. However, my wife is resourceful and determined and manages to brush our cat regularly in spite of Milo’s protests. I am thankful that Tina does this as it helps prevent his loose hair and dander from getting into the air, and sticking onto other surfaces like furniture. Here’s a quote from care.com that recommends frequent pet brushing:
“Comb Your Pet
“Brush or comb your pet frequently,” Dr. DeClementi recommends. This is easier said than done, of course. “It’s best to do this outdoors, if possible,” he says. “Wash your hands after handling your companion animal and before touching your face.” Of course, you might need to wear falconry gloves to protect yourself from your brush-hating cat, in which case be sure to leave the gloves somewhere outside of your living space, if possible.”
Wow, needing falconry (wild bird) gloves to brush your cat!? I guess it’s not just us struggling with Milo to get his wild fur tamed with a comb. (We also found this self grooming cat tunnel that looks pretty amazing! We might end up buying one for Milo boy, too.)
Get Someone Else to Clean the Litter Box
For me this is essential as we now have two litter boxes for our cat. Fortunately, my lovely wife is more than willing to do it everyday. Just like clockwork, she does a thorough cleaning of both boxes before bed. If I had to do this task everyday, there would be no way I could have a cat as this would just wreck me. Healthline also agrees with this to help with cat allergies as it says to “Recruit a nonallergic person to regularly dust the home and clean the litter box.”
And having two litter boxes definitely also increases dust, so we are on a mission to increase how often we dust our living space.
Fellow cat lovers, it is possible to be allergic to cats and still have the joy of having them in your life. Obviously, no method is perfect but it is possible to reduce the symptoms. And think of the benefits of having a cat friend with you especially during these stressful times. I for one am very grateful for my tabby cat pal, and no allergy would ever make me give him up . Fortunately, there things I can do so I don’t even have to entertain such a decision. Yes I can I have my cake and eat it too! Urm, I can have my cat and love him too! Long live cats!