It has been estimated that over seventy percent of homes have at
least one pet, and also that one in ten adults suffers from dog or cat dander
allergies. A great many of allergic people still do have pets in their home. We
are often very reluctant to give up a pet that has become part of the family.
Therefore, it's important for allergic people to find ways to reduce their
symptoms and live more comfortably with their pet.
The general thought is that it's the fur of the cat that causes
allergies. This is not so, it's actually the cat's dander. This is the word for the
flakes of skin that animals shed naturally. It clings to your pet's fur and
deposits itself onto most surfaces of the home. One might also be allergic to
the saliva or urine of a pet, but this is far less common. Also, it's much more
common for someone to be allergic to cats than dogs.
The symptoms of a
cat allergy will be noticeably worse when you
are near the cat. You will sneeze a lot, and may start to wheeze. Your eyes may
water and get itchy and swollen, and you could have a runny or stuffy nose. The
symptoms are worse in rooms where the pet often stays and will ease up when
you're away from home.
In a home where a cat lives, it is difficult to escape dander.
It's on the animal, but it also floats through the air and rests on most
surfaces. While it can be wiped away from hard surfaces, it's hard to remove
from soft, porous surfaces like carpeting and furniture.
If you suspect an allergy to your pets, you can confirm it with
some visits to an allergist. If this isn't possible, you could try staying away
from home for a week or two and see if the symptoms improve while you're gone.
Since pet allergens coat almost all surfaces of a home, it isn't very helpful to
send the pet away. The allergens will remain even after the pet has gone for
Once you have a confirmation of your allergies, there are some
things you can try to help reduce your allergy symptoms. One is to make sure
your pet is bathed as often as possible.
Allersearch Pet+ Shampoo is a very good pet shampoo that is very
effective. Since it may be hard to bathe the cat I suggest you use
Allerpet C Solution. Allerpet neutralizes the
dander and conditions the pets coat. Use it in between shampoos. Brushing with a
damp pet brush is also a great way to keep down allergens, but it's best if
someone other than the allergic person does these chores. Vacuum the home
frequently using a vacuum with HEPA filter, and make sure to dust as often as is
practical. Another thing we have found to be helpful is to run a Swifter up and
down the walls every so often.
The person who suffers from allergies should avoid close contact
with the pet as much as possible. Hugging, kissing and petting of the animal
should be kept to a minimum. After handling the pet, the person should wash
their hands and change their clothing. Pets should also be restricted to certain
areas of the home and should not be allowed in the bedrooms at all.
If the allergy symptoms are making your life miserable you may
have to consider giving your pet away. This is a sad situation that many animal
lovers have had to face. However, before it comes to this, try some self help
measures. These have helped many people enough so that they are able to live in
harmony with their treasured pets.