Life is better with a cat, we all know this. But what do you do when you start getting the itchy-scratchies in your throat, or when a sneeze attack hits you when you least expect it? For many people, the struggle with cat allergies is really real, and we feel you.
According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, allergies to dogs or cats occur in approximately 15% of the population. Fortunately, there are many ways to reduce indoor allergens and allergy symptoms so you and your kitties can live happily ever after.
Groom Your Cat Often
People are often allergic to the dander (dead skin cells) of the cat. While bathing is an option, anyone who has ever actually bathed a cat knows it is not exactly one you will like. Cats are self-cleaning, and bathing most cats too often could upset the delicate ecosystem they so fastidiously create. However grooming kitty often is necessary (and even sometimes enjoyable) and will help cut down allergy symptoms. Whether your cat is shorthaired or longhaired, brushing her often will help keep her skin healthy. For fluffy cats, a proper deshedding tool is also important for your arsenal against allergies. If your cat is producing excessive amounts of dander or has flaky skin, a trip to the vet is in order.
Install a HEPA Air Cleaner
HEPA air cleaners help remove various allergens and particulates from the environment, including pet dander. Use these in areas that your cat tends to occupy more often, as it will improve the air quality and keep the atmosphere in your home clean. Remember always to follow directions about cleaning or replacing filters in your air cleaner for the most effective use.
Validate Your Allergies with your Doctor
Getting the proper skin and/or blood tests completed by your doctor can allow you to see what substance or allergen may be triggering the allergic response. While you may be sensitive to your cat, something else in your household could be the leading culprit.
Try Allergy Treatments
There are typically two types of allergy treatments – medication and immunotherapy. Medicines such as decongestants and antihistamines are most commonly used, helping to reduce a stuffy nose, sneezing, and other related symptoms.
Immunotherapy is done by applying gradual increases of the allergen into the skin. This causes the immune system to become less sensitive to the substance over time. It might not sound fun, but snuggling without sneezing will be worth it.
Create Cat-Free Zones
You might want to reconsider the next time you let your cat onto the couch or into the bedroom. Good luck keeping your cat off the furniture if that’s where she wants to be! But it might be helpful to designate a specific room, like the bedroom, as a cat-free zone for easier sleeping.
Vacuum and Dust Regularly
Vacuum the carpet and rugs at least twice a week, and dust areas around the house such as curtains, blinds, and furniture. When vacuuming, make sure that it has a fresh bag or has been emptied recently to allow the most suction as possible. There are specific vacuums on the market designed for households with pets that can be particularly helpful as well.
A house is not truly a home without our cats. Finding ways to alleviate pet allergy symptoms is a must to maintaining a breathable and healthy living space for everyone. These tips are sure to help you win the fight and breathe easier.