The number of cat lovers who experience allergic reactions that range from mild discomfort to full-blown asthma attacks is sad indeed. Some choose to suffer in silence because they can’t resist having their favorite companions around. Did you know that there are things that you can do to alleviate the symptoms and still be a proud pet parent to these amazing creatures? The information that we’re about to share with you could change your life for the better and help you to experience good times with your pet without intense suffering from cat allergies. Here are some tips that just may help.
Understand the causes of cat allergies
It’s important to cat owners with allergies to understand the real causes of their itching and sneezing. While it is commonly believed that cat hair is the problem, the hair is only a carrier for something a bit more dastardly at the root. It’s not the saliva per se either. The root of the problem is in a protein that is found in the dander of cats. The protein that is the culprit for most allergic reactions in humans exists within their urine and saliva. As they bathe themselves, the hair becomes coated in the protein and when it becomes airborne, you breathe it in and it causes the uncomfortable physical symptoms. While the hair itself isn’t the problem, it carries microscopic elements of saliva and dander that contribute you your symptoms.
How to reduce cat related allergens
The first step in reducing the amount of these troublesome proteins that are invading your breathing space is to keep your house cleaned thoroughly. Vacuuming with a machine that employs a HEPA filter will suction up much of the dried particles before they can be moved around and circulate through the air. This also helps in ridding the home of bacteria, spores and dust mites, which are fond of mattresses, couches and upholstered chair padding. You may discover that it’s a combination of these things that are making you sneeze and not just the cat’s fault.
Keep the litter box clean
Since the allergy-causing proteins are also found in cat urine, it’s vital to keep the litter box changed. If it makes you wheeze to clean the box, use a respirator mask to help filter out the particles when you do this task. Another way to minimize allergies from this source is to place the litter box in a small area that is partitioned off, granting access for the cat, but preventing a flow of air from the litter box area to the rest of the home. This may help to keep the airborne particles contained more to one specific area in between litter changing.
Restrict your cat’s access
Don’t allow your cat to enter your bedroom. While it may be comforting to have kitty curled up at your feet on a cold winter’s night, allowing a cat on your bed can cause allergic reactions from the hair, dander and tiny particles that he or she leaves behind. If this is something that you can’t bring yourself to do, then at least wash the bedding and pillowcases regularly. Anything you can do to cut down on the number of allergens in your living environment will make a huge difference.
Filter the air
There are some amazing HEPA air filters on the market today. A high-efficiency particulate type will purify the air you breathe and remove many of the offending particles before they reach you. Just be certain to avoid the types that use chemicals because these can actually make allergies worse.
Keep your cat clean
An occasional bath can help to remove many allergens found on your cat, but make sure that the cleaner is moisturizing so it doesn’t dry kitty’s skin out. It’s not recommended that you bathe your cat too often, but you can do a simple wipe down with a microfiber cloth now and them. This will help to keep the dander down and remove saliva that contains the proteins. It’s recommended that you wash after doing this though. In fact, you should wash your hands after petting or cuddling with a kitty to prevent spreading the protein-laden dander and saliva to your eyes and face.
If you’re still having troublesome allergy symptoms, you can take medications that are designed for the treatment of mild allergies. If you take them during the daytime, there are several non-drowsy formulations available. This can help control your symptoms and make the time that you spend with your kitty far more enjoyable.