Have you developed cat allergy symptoms? Cat dander (tiny particles of dry skin), rather than cat fur, is the culprit behind people's allergies to cats. It can cause common allergy symptoms such as itchy eyes, sneezing, a runny or stuffy nose, coughing, wheezing, and hives or a rash.
Many people feel forced to give up their pet when they develop allergies. But before you take such a drastic step, you might want to try the following tips to help reduce cat allergy symptoms.
Tips to reduce cat allergy symptoms
Even if your cat is the cause of your allergy, that doesn't have to mean the end of your loving bond. If you can invest time and effort to find ways to manage your allergy, your pet can stay at home with you. Try the following:
- Have an allergy test done to see if you are actually allergic to the animal. Though your pet might seem to be the likely cause of your distress, a medical specialist can pinpoint the source more accurately.
- Keep the animal out of your bedroom, especially at night.
- Try allergy relief products available at pet supply stores and online. For example, you can buy pre-moistened cloths that quickly wipe away the pet dander and loose hair that can cause human allergic reactions around pets.
- Use an air filtration system or air purifier.
- Vacuum the house and furniture completely and often. Try using a special vacuum filter that removes dander and other allergens.
- If you have wall-to-wall carpeting in your home, consider replacing it with another type of flooring that won't trap as much dander, and use washable throw rugs as needed.
- Have someone groom your pet on a regular basis.
- Wash your hands immediately after petting the cat.
- Wash bedspreads, sheets, throw rugs, and slip covers frequently.
- Add a coat conditioner to your pet’s food to prevent skin dryness, which can increase shedding.
- If your cat tolerates bathing (some do!), give the cat a bath every four to six weeks using a cat shampoo.
- Consult your doctor about allergy shots or medication to control the allergy symptoms.
If you have tried all the possible solutions to no avail and you decide that you need to find a new home for your cat, our guide on rehoming a pet will provide helpful advice on ensuring that your cat ends up in a good new home.