12 Top Tips for Those Suffering from Cat Allergies
Believe it or not, people suffering from cat allergies can actually live quite comfortably alongside their feline friends. They simply need to put some very simple tips into practice to limit their exposure to allergens.
If you think you’re suffering from cat allergies, you’re not alone. A huge proportion of the world’s population suffers from one or more allergies (an estimated 30 – 40%), and experts believe that they’re actually becoming increasingly common all over the world.
Cat allergies are caused by proteins that are secreted in the cat’s skin, saliva and urine. When these proteins enter the air, they can quickly exacerbate symptoms in those with allergies.
In this article, we’ll give you some simple guidelines that can help you live with your cat without serious symptoms.
How to limit the spread of allergens if you’re suffering from cat allergies
1. Bathe your cat every week: this can decrease the concentration of allergens on the cat’s skin by up to 84%. Be sure to use a shampoo that’s specially formulated for pets.
2. Brush your cat every day: brushing helps to remove loose hairs and dandruff, reducing the amount of allergens in the environment. It will also reduce the cat’s need to groom itself, decreasing the amount of saliva and proteins that are distributed on the fur during the grooming process.
It’s always best for someone who doesn’t have a cat allergy to brush the cat. Ideally, it should also be done in a room that the person with the allergy doesn’t use all that often
3. Neuter or spay your cat: this has been shown to help decrease the production of allergens.
Effective ways to reduce your reaction to allergens
4. Get diagnosed: your GP will use a skin prick test or a blood test to diagnose allergies. They may discover that your allergic reaction is actually being triggered by something else, such as mold, dust mites, or another pet.
5. Wash your hands frequently: it’s important to wash your hands immediately after touching your cat. That way, you can remove any allergens from your hands before they come into contact with your nose or mouth.
6. Avoid having large numbers of cats: the more cats you have in the house, the higher the concentration of allergens in the environment.
7. Change your diet: experts have discovered that a diet rich in Omega-3 can help to reduce allergic reactions. It’s also believed that taking an extra dose of vitamin C can help combat sneezing.
Other supplements, such as zinc picolinate and cod liver oil also have anti-allergy properties and can help you manage your cat allergy.
8. Avoid prolonged exposure to allergens: people suffering from cat allergies should bathe and change their clothes regularly. Showering before bed is especially important for reducing the amount of allergens in your sleeping area. It may also be best to avoid letting your cats sleep in your room.
Preventative measures for your home
9. Avoid “dry” cleaning: in other words, avoid using brooms and feather dusters, as these will simply spread the allergens around your house. Instead, use statically charged cleaning products, wet rags or mops that can trap and kill allergens.
10. Use HEPA filters: as well as using a HEPA filter for your heating and cooling systems, we’d also recommend using an air purifier with a HEPA filter, especially in the rooms where your pets spend a lot of time. This can reduce the allergen concentration by up to 7 times.
We’d also advise vacuuming with a HEPA filter on a daily basis. Without this filter, your vacuum will simply spread the allergens around the house. Be sure to vacuum the floors, carpets, curtains and blinds.
11. Make sure your cat has its own bed or blanket in every room. This will help to trap the fur, limiting it to one place and making it easier to clean up later.
12. Designate cat-free areas in your home. One of these places should be the bedroom. Keeping allergens out of your sleeping space as far as possible can go a long way to reducing symptoms.
If you’re allergic to cats, keep these simple tips in mind, and you’ll be able to live comfortably with your pets.