Living With Cat Dander Allergies
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 several months.
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.
Wishing you the best of health