How to Prevent Cat Allergies

How to Prevent Cat Allergies

Reactions to cat allergies can range from mild symptoms, such as sneezing and coughing, to more severe allergic reactions, such as asthma attacks. The allergy is due to your immune system overreacting to the pet dander, which the body sees as foreign.[1] X Research source It produces a substance called histamine, which causes allergic reactions. While it is possible to minimize allergic reactions using medication, this doesn't work for everyone. Instead, you try multiple ways to lessen your allergic reactions to cats.

Method 1 of 4:
Taking Medication

Image titled Prevent Cat Allergies Step 1
1
Consult your doctor. When you suffer from cat allergies, talk to your doctor about the severity of your symptoms. If the allergy is severe, your doctor may recommend moving your pet to a new home. If the symptoms are mild, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes or medications. The type of drug and the dosage for you by your doctor will vary depending on your particular case, so always follow your doctor’s and the manufacturer’s instructions for each medication.
Image titled Prevent Cat Allergies Step 2
2
Take antihistamines. Your allergic reaction causes your body to create excess histamine. An antihistamine works by blocking the receptors that the excess histamine would normally bind to, thereby negating the cellular effect of higher histamine in your blood. This means is will help alleviate your allergy symptoms, such as sneezing, itchy eyes, and runny nose. Generally, first-generation antihistamines, like Benadryl, cause more drowsiness, so you may choose to avoid those. Other side effects of these medications include dizziness, dry mouth, headache, and GI upset. You may need to experiment with different ones to find the one that works best for you. Some common brands of antihistamines include Allegra, Astelin, Benadryl, and Claritin.[2] X Trustworthy Source Mayo Clinic Educational website from one of the world's leading hospitals Go to source Long term use of antihistamines generally is safe. However, it can cause side effects and liver issues, especially for people who are at risk of these.
Image titled Prevent Cat Allergies Step 3
3
Use decongestants. Decongestants can be used to treat the symptoms of congestion caused by allergies. This includes nasal and throat congestion. It also helps with other common allergy symptoms, so it may be a better option if you suffer from other cat allergy symptoms along with your congestion. The most popular brand of decongestant is Sudafed. However, decongestants are sometimes combined with antihistamine, which can be found in Allegra-D and Dimetapp Decongestant.[3] X Research source
Image titled Prevent Cat Allergies Step 4
4
Ask your doctor about steroids. Steroids work by suppressing your immune system, thereby reducing inflammation. These medications work best when used on a regular basis instead of an as-needed basis and are only available by prescription. They can take longer to start working, so give at least two weeks before deciding if it works for you. [4] X Research source Steroids for allergies usually include nasal sprays such as Flonase and Nasonex. Although long term oral steroid usage is not recommended, intranasal steroids do not show the same long-term side effects. Because of this, long-term usage is generally acceptable of intranasal steroids as long as you use a low dose and use it only during allergy season.[5] X Research source
Image titled Prevent Cat Allergies Step 5
5
Discuss allergy-reducing injections. If your symptoms are hard to control, having a series of anti-allergy injections, also known as immunotherapy, can help reduce your allergic reactions to cats. These shots introduce a small amount of the cat allergen into your system. Every one to two weeks, you will get another shot that increases the dose of the cat allergen, which goes on typically for three to six months. It works to help train your immune system to tolerate the cat allergen. These injections can take years to achieve their full effect. Maintenance shots are needed every four weeks for five years. This option may be desirable if you really want to have or love cats but can't fight your allergy any other way. It doesn't always work. It also should not be undertaken if the patient is elderly, under five years old, or is immunocompromised.[6] X Trustworthy Source Mayo Clinic Educational website from one of the world's leading hospitals Go to source Be aware that allergy shots can be very expensive and may not be covered by insurance.
Advertisement

Method 2 of 4:
Minimizing Contact with Cats

Image titled Prevent Cat Allergies Step 6
1
Avoid visiting households that own cats. If your allergy is severe, ask the people in advance if they own cats. If you find they do, let them know that you won't be able to come because you are allergic. To still spend time with these friends, ask to meet them at a different place or invite them over instead. If they are really good friends or you can’t avoid going to visit, ask if they have a cat-free zone. If not, see if they can create one for you by keeping the cat in another room, vacuuming, and changing linens to reduce the cat dander.[7] X Trustworthy Source The Humane Society of the United States National organization devoted to the promotion of animal welfare Go to source
Image titled Prevent Cat Allergies Step 7
2
Take care being around people who own cats. Once you visit a place that has a cat, the cat dander left on your clothing can cause a continued allergic reaction. When you return home, wash your clothes on in hot water in order to remove the dander from your clothes. [8] X Research source This is true of people who own cats. Their clothes likely have dander on then, especially if you can see visible cat hair. Without making a big deal out of it, simply let such people know that you have a bad allergy to cats and that you will have to keep your distance. In the workplace, this may mean sitting away from cat owners. However, don't be rude about it. You may have an allergy but the cat owner also has feelings. Explain things kindly, in the spirit of compromise.
Image titled Prevent Cat Allergies Step 8
3
Avoid holding cats. This may seem like common sense, but even if you love cats, avoid direct contact with any cat. This will minimize the chances of setting off your allergy because your allergies can be triggered by the allergens left on your hands. There is a protein in the saliva of cats (Fel D1) that seems to trigger allergic reactions. [9] X Research source By not stroking the cat, you avoid picking up this allergen. If you must pet the cat, wash your hands immediately with soap and warm water.[10] X Research source You should also avoid bringing a cat close to your face or kissing a cat.
Advertisement

Method 3 of 4:
Dealing with Your Own Cat

Image titled Prevent Cat Allergies Step 9
1
Keep the cat out of the house. If you can’t bring yourself to get rid of your cat, try making him an outside cat. This will limit your exposure to him. You can keep your cat in a cattery or cat house, located in the garden. This allows him the freedom to roam outdoors during the day.
Image titled Prevent Cat Allergies Step 10
2
Designate cat-free zones. A reduction in the cat dander in the areas of the house where you spend most of your time will aid your allergies. Don't allow the cat to enter your bedroom at any time. Since you sleep here, you will breathe in cat dander all night if he/she is hanging around in there. Keep the doors shut to any rooms you don't want cats to enter. You have to keep this up at all times. Any cat dander can aggravate your allergies. Plus, the more everyone does it, the more it'll become an ingrained habit.[11] X Trustworthy Source The Humane Society of the United States National organization devoted to the promotion of animal welfare Go to source
Image titled Prevent Cat Allergies Step 11
3
Try a separation period. To test if your cat is really causing your allergies, send him away to stay with someone else for a month or two. Clean your house very well when he leaves to get rid of all the dander and clean it at least once a week in case any dander remains. Track your allergy symptoms over this time period, noting how they change. If he is really the problem, you should see a change in your allergies pretty quickly.[12] X Research source
Image titled Prevent Cat Allergies Step 12
4
Have the cat bathed weekly. Although your cat will likely not enjoy it, you should have him bathed once a week. This can be done by a household member who isn't allergic. If you live by yourself, look into paying for a cat groomer to do it. Try to wash your cat a maximum of twice a week as washing them creates tangles in their fur and dries out their skin. Also consider using allergen reducing shampoos. These help cut down on how much dander your cat will shed on a daily basis.[13] X Research source [14] X Research source
Image titled Prevent Cat Allergies Step 13
5
Groom the cat daily. To cut down on shedding, brush or comb your cat's fur thoroughly each day for 10 to 15 minutes. Make sure you discard the fur after each grooming. To avoid spreading allergens inside your home, do this outside. If possible, have a non-allergic member of your household do this for you. Grooming will improve the texture of the cat's coat, which will help remove all sources of allergens from the cat’s spittle, any outdoor pollen and dirt, and anything else the cat has brushed up against. Although this doesn’t reduce the allergens, it may reduce the spread of them by reducing the amount your cat sheds.[15] X Research source
Advertisement

Method 4 of 4:
Keeping the Air Clean

Image titled Prevent Cat Allergies Step 14
1
Clean your home frequently. When you have a cat, try to clean often. Dust, wash linens, and brush off sofa surfaces at least once a week. Use brushes that attract pet hair, duct tape around your hand, or a lint roller to collect hairs from areas where your cat hangs out. Discard all hair immediately. You can also: Use damp dusting to help keep down the number of allergens blown into the air. On a daily basis, sweep the floors where pets frequents. Allergens on the floor will blow into the air if walked or sat on. If you can, replace your carpeting with tile or wood flooring. If you do have carpet, always use HEPA filters in your vacuum. Wash all cat toys, bedding, and your own bedding often in hot water. This will also reduce the allergens floating around your home.
Image titled Prevent Cat Allergies Step 15
2
Wear an air filter mask when cleaning. If you own a cat, always wear a mask when you clean, especially in areas where the cat spends most of his time. The mask will keep out any allergens from your breathing canals, which will reduce any allergic reactions you may have. If you have a significant other or roommate, ask him or her to clean the areas frequented by the cat. If not, think about hiring help to clean for you.
Image titled Prevent Cat Allergies Step 16
3
Use a HEPA filter. In order to remove some of the allergens from the air in your home, use a HEPA filter in your heating and cooling system. You should also use one in your vacuum as well. This kind of filter is finer quality, so it collects airborne allergens to help prevent your cat allergies. You can also add a HEPA air purifier to the room where the cat spends most of his time. To help this, you should vacuum daily or at least once a week. If you can find one, buy a vacuum cleaner that is guaranteed to collect pet hair and dander.
Advertisement

Method 1 of 4:
Taking Medication

Image titled Prevent Cat Allergies Step 1
1
Consult your doctor. When you suffer from cat allergies, talk to your doctor about the severity of your symptoms. If the allergy is severe, your doctor may recommend moving your pet to a new home. If the symptoms are mild, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes or medications. The type of drug and the dosage for you by your doctor will vary depending on your particular case, so always follow your doctor’s and the manufacturer’s instructions for each medication.
Image titled Prevent Cat Allergies Step 2
2
Take antihistamines. Your allergic reaction causes your body to create excess histamine. An antihistamine works by blocking the receptors that the excess histamine would normally bind to, thereby negating the cellular effect of higher histamine in your blood. This means is will help alleviate your allergy symptoms, such as sneezing, itchy eyes, and runny nose. Generally, first-generation antihistamines, like Benadryl, cause more drowsiness, so you may choose to avoid those. Other side effects of these medications include dizziness, dry mouth, headache, and GI upset. You may need to experiment with different ones to find the one that works best for you. Some common brands of antihistamines include Allegra, Astelin, Benadryl, and Claritin.[2] X Trustworthy Source Mayo Clinic Educational website from one of the world's leading hospitals Go to source Long term use of antihistamines generally is safe. However, it can cause side effects and liver issues, especially for people who are at risk of these.
Image titled Prevent Cat Allergies Step 3
3
Use decongestants. Decongestants can be used to treat the symptoms of congestion caused by allergies. This includes nasal and throat congestion. It also helps with other common allergy symptoms, so it may be a better option if you suffer from other cat allergy symptoms along with your congestion. The most popular brand of decongestant is Sudafed. However, decongestants are sometimes combined with antihistamine, which can be found in Allegra-D and Dimetapp Decongestant.[3] X Research source
Image titled Prevent Cat Allergies Step 4
4
Ask your doctor about steroids. Steroids work by suppressing your immune system, thereby reducing inflammation. These medications work best when used on a regular basis instead of an as-needed basis and are only available by prescription. They can take longer to start working, so give at least two weeks before deciding if it works for you. [4] X Research source Steroids for allergies usually include nasal sprays such as Flonase and Nasonex. Although long term oral steroid usage is not recommended, intranasal steroids do not show the same long-term side effects. Because of this, long-term usage is generally acceptable of intranasal steroids as long as you use a low dose and use it only during allergy season.[5] X Research source
Image titled Prevent Cat Allergies Step 5
5
Discuss allergy-reducing injections. If your symptoms are hard to control, having a series of anti-allergy injections, also known as immunotherapy, can help reduce your allergic reactions to cats. These shots introduce a small amount of the cat allergen into your system. Every one to two weeks, you will get another shot that increases the dose of the cat allergen, which goes on typically for three to six months. It works to help train your immune system to tolerate the cat allergen. These injections can take years to achieve their full effect. Maintenance shots are needed every four weeks for five years. This option may be desirable if you really want to have or love cats but can't fight your allergy any other way. It doesn't always work. It also should not be undertaken if the patient is elderly, under five years old, or is immunocompromised.[6] X Trustworthy Source Mayo Clinic Educational website from one of the world's leading hospitals Go to source Be aware that allergy shots can be very expensive and may not be covered by insurance.
Advertisement

Method 2 of 4:
Minimizing Contact with Cats

Image titled Prevent Cat Allergies Step 6
1
Avoid visiting households that own cats. If your allergy is severe, ask the people in advance if they own cats. If you find they do, let them know that you won't be able to come because you are allergic. To still spend time with these friends, ask to meet them at a different place or invite them over instead. If they are really good friends or you can’t avoid going to visit, ask if they have a cat-free zone. If not, see if they can create one for you by keeping the cat in another room, vacuuming, and changing linens to reduce the cat dander.[7] X Trustworthy Source The Humane Society of the United States National organization devoted to the promotion of animal welfare Go to source
Image titled Prevent Cat Allergies Step 7
2
Take care being around people who own cats. Once you visit a place that has a cat, the cat dander left on your clothing can cause a continued allergic reaction. When you return home, wash your clothes on in hot water in order to remove the dander from your clothes. [8] X Research source This is true of people who own cats. Their clothes likely have dander on then, especially if you can see visible cat hair. Without making a big deal out of it, simply let such people know that you have a bad allergy to cats and that you will have to keep your distance. In the workplace, this may mean sitting away from cat owners. However, don't be rude about it. You may have an allergy but the cat owner also has feelings. Explain things kindly, in the spirit of compromise.
Image titled Prevent Cat Allergies Step 8
3
Avoid holding cats. This may seem like common sense, but even if you love cats, avoid direct contact with any cat. This will minimize the chances of setting off your allergy because your allergies can be triggered by the allergens left on your hands. There is a protein in the saliva of cats (Fel D1) that seems to trigger allergic reactions. [9] X Research source By not stroking the cat, you avoid picking up this allergen. If you must pet the cat, wash your hands immediately with soap and warm water.[10] X Research source You should also avoid bringing a cat close to your face or kissing a cat.
Advertisement

Method 3 of 4:
Dealing with Your Own Cat

Image titled Prevent Cat Allergies Step 9
1
Keep the cat out of the house. If you can’t bring yourself to get rid of your cat, try making him an outside cat. This will limit your exposure to him. You can keep your cat in a cattery or cat house, located in the garden. This allows him the freedom to roam outdoors during the day.
Image titled Prevent Cat Allergies Step 10
2
Designate cat-free zones. A reduction in the cat dander in the areas of the house where you spend most of your time will aid your allergies. Don't allow the cat to enter your bedroom at any time. Since you sleep here, you will breathe in cat dander all night if he/she is hanging around in there. Keep the doors shut to any rooms you don't want cats to enter. You have to keep this up at all times. Any cat dander can aggravate your allergies. Plus, the more everyone does it, the more it'll become an ingrained habit.[11] X Trustworthy Source The Humane Society of the United States National organization devoted to the promotion of animal welfare Go to source
Image titled Prevent Cat Allergies Step 11
3
Try a separation period. To test if your cat is really causing your allergies, send him away to stay with someone else for a month or two. Clean your house very well when he leaves to get rid of all the dander and clean it at least once a week in case any dander remains. Track your allergy symptoms over this time period, noting how they change. If he is really the problem, you should see a change in your allergies pretty quickly.[12] X Research source
Image titled Prevent Cat Allergies Step 12
4
Have the cat bathed weekly. Although your cat will likely not enjoy it, you should have him bathed once a week. This can be done by a household member who isn't allergic. If you live by yourself, look into paying for a cat groomer to do it. Try to wash your cat a maximum of twice a week as washing them creates tangles in their fur and dries out their skin. Also consider using allergen reducing shampoos. These help cut down on how much dander your cat will shed on a daily basis.[13] X Research source [14] X Research source
Image titled Prevent Cat Allergies Step 13
5
Groom the cat daily. To cut down on shedding, brush or comb your cat's fur thoroughly each day for 10 to 15 minutes. Make sure you discard the fur after each grooming. To avoid spreading allergens inside your home, do this outside. If possible, have a non-allergic member of your household do this for you. Grooming will improve the texture of the cat's coat, which will help remove all sources of allergens from the cat’s spittle, any outdoor pollen and dirt, and anything else the cat has brushed up against. Although this doesn’t reduce the allergens, it may reduce the spread of them by reducing the amount your cat sheds.[15] X Research source
Advertisement

Method 4 of 4:
Keeping the Air Clean

Image titled Prevent Cat Allergies Step 14
1
Clean your home frequently. When you have a cat, try to clean often. Dust, wash linens, and brush off sofa surfaces at least once a week. Use brushes that attract pet hair, duct tape around your hand, or a lint roller to collect hairs from areas where your cat hangs out. Discard all hair immediately. You can also: Use damp dusting to help keep down the number of allergens blown into the air. On a daily basis, sweep the floors where pets frequents. Allergens on the floor will blow into the air if walked or sat on. If you can, replace your carpeting with tile or wood flooring. If you do have carpet, always use HEPA filters in your vacuum. Wash all cat toys, bedding, and your own bedding often in hot water. This will also reduce the allergens floating around your home.
Image titled Prevent Cat Allergies Step 15
2
Wear an air filter mask when cleaning. If you own a cat, always wear a mask when you clean, especially in areas where the cat spends most of his time. The mask will keep out any allergens from your breathing canals, which will reduce any allergic reactions you may have. If you have a significant other or roommate, ask him or her to clean the areas frequented by the cat. If not, think about hiring help to clean for you.
Image titled Prevent Cat Allergies Step 16
3
Use a HEPA filter. In order to remove some of the allergens from the air in your home, use a HEPA filter in your heating and cooling system. You should also use one in your vacuum as well. This kind of filter is finer quality, so it collects airborne allergens to help prevent your cat allergies. You can also add a HEPA air purifier to the room where the cat spends most of his time. To help this, you should vacuum daily or at least once a week. If you can find one, buy a vacuum cleaner that is guaranteed to collect pet hair and dander.
Advertisement
Popular tags: Amphibian | Animal Crochet Projects | Animal Felt Projects | Animal Knitting Projects | Animal Paper Art and Craft | Animal Scrapbook Albums | Balloon Animals | Beaded Animal Projects | Bird Art and Craft | Cat Art and Craft | Clay Animal Projects | Dinosaur Art and Craft | Dog Art and Craft | Elephant Art and Craft | Horse Art and Craft | Insect Art and Craft | Marine Life Art and Craft | Multimedia Projects for Animals | Painting Animals | Rabbit Art and Craft | Reindeer Art and Craft | Sewing Toy Animals | Teddy Bear Crafts | Animal Behavior | Animal Care and Wildlife Occupations | Animal Photography | Animal Rescue | Animal Welfare Activism | Birds | Bugs | Cats | Cleaning Up After Pets | Crustaceans | Dogs | Fantasy Animals | Farm Animals and Livestock | Ferrets | Fish | General Pet Accessories | General Pet Food | General Pet Health | Hedgehogs | Horses | New Pets | Gifts for Animal Lovers | Pet Hazards | Hiring a Pet Sitter | Pet Friendly Vacations | Rabbits | Renting and Pets |