Spring means that the allergy season is here, and this can be a big problem for pet lovers.
It is also the time of year for pollen, mold and dust, so that those who suffer from allergies double the dose of suffering.
Even if you are not directly allergic to your cat these act like hair dust mops that trap and retain allergens that make you burst.
If you are concerned that your children are allergic to the cat you are considering adopting, there are some things you can do to verify your suspicions.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America , 6 out of 10 people are allergic to contact with cats and people who already have allergies are more likely to react to the skin or feathers.
Approximately 15% to 30% of people with allergies have allergic reactions to cats, almost twice as much as allergies to dogs.
That means it does not have to be spring so you can react to your cat with allergy symptoms. Symptoms include itchy eyes, cough and hives.
Any pet can cause an allergic reaction : there is no ” hypoallergenic ” pet , despite marketing claims that you may hear.
That said, there are individual pets that an allergic person can tolerate, either because they develop a resistance to that particular cat, or the animal produces less dandruff (dry saliva, urine, and skin secretions).
Visit a Pet Allergy Specialist
If your child begins to show signs of allergy to cats when visiting an animal shelter or caring for a friend or family member’s pet, it is a good idea to visit a pet allergist.
The specialist will determine if allergies are really due to cats or if there is another source of allergens to consider. After all, your child may not be allergic or your allergist may be able to give you treatments that minimize allergy symptoms if you decide to adopt a cat after all.
Understanding the Sneezing Threshold
The common instinctive reaction of health professionals is to get rid of the pet. That is NOT going to happen for most pet lovers!
The truth is that the allergens that are released from pets tend to be sticky and remain in the environment long after a pet has left the place, so giving the puppy will not offer a cure day and night.
Also, since many people allergic to pets also react to other things, it is possible to lower the allergy threshold so that they have less reaction.
Imagine an empty glass that represents NO allergens and no reaction. As you add things like pollen and dust to the container, the glass fills up. Once it reaches the “sneezing threshold”, it reacts with allergy symptoms.
However, they all have a different threshold, with some people able to tolerate an amount of exposure while others are more sensitive.
But if you can reduce the amount of allergens in your personal crystal, that can reduce the level to a tolerable level so that it reacts less (or does not) to your pet. Maybe you react to the puppy’s dandruff, grass pollen and dust mites and the three combined fill your allergy.
If you can get someone else to dust the house or use other techniques to reduce pollen, that can lower the level of allergen in your personal glass below the threshold of your individual sneeze.
Tips to reduce allergies to cats
Your own doctor can guide you better about the concerns of human health. Just be sure to convince the doctor of your commitment to keep your pet.
There are steps that pet owners can take to feel better, without having to give up their cat or special dog.
Bathe your cat can help : wash the pet weekly in pure water drastically reduces allergic reactions when rinsing dandruff, use a wet wipe and clean them, as they tend to resist submerging.
Wear an old shirt or blouse : to play and hug your pet, and then change clothes and wash your hands and face. That flushes the allergens that you otherwise carry with you.
Create a “pet free zone” : like the bedroom, and do so out of reach of the pet. That gives you eight or more hours a day of reduced exposure.
Heating : and air conditioning can spread allergens through the house. Use a filter material such as cheesecloth to cover the bedroom vents.
Brush and / or comb your cat : thoroughly! to get rid of the hair that would otherwise be spilled in the house. Have a non-allergic family member take charge of this duty. I love the Furminator grooming tool.
Extract 90 percent or more of loose skins, and with a German shepherd, I know it by dispossession! It works on the cat, too. Different sizes are available at pet stores.
Remove allergen reservoirs : such as rugs and fuzzy shots or pet beds, and point to hardwood surfaces that are easy to clean. When you can not get rid of the carpet or hate the idea of getting rid of the pet’s favorite stain, keep it clean by vacuuming frequently.
Wear a mask to avoid breathing dust or dandruff stirred by vacuum.
People may react more to dusty trash or animal litter than to cat or gerbil. This is a great excuse for one of the children to take care of cleaning the bathroom, so that allergic people avoid exposure.
HEPA air filters : added to central heating and air conditioning used at least four hours a day can help eliminate allergens from the air. Air filters with an electrostatic filter also remove particles the size of animal allergens from the air.
Salt lamps : can be useful to reduce allergy symptoms. The idea is that the bulb heats the salt so that the negative ions are released into the air. Negative ions strike particulate matter, such as dust and other substances suspended in the air, so that only clean air is at the level of the nose.
Potential benefits include a positive impact on allergy symptoms and reduction of snoring.
Vaccines : against your doctor’s allergy can also help. It is important to get a medical diagnosis and not just assume that it is the pet. Once you identify the culprits, it can be easier to manage how to handle your allergies, while maintaining the furry love of your life in your heart and in your home.