You love cats. It doesn’t matter what size, you find them all fascinating, gorgeous creatures. And you want one!
How disheartening it can be, then, when you get your precious bundle of fur home only to find out you or someone in your household is allergic to cats.
What should you do? Do you have to give the cat up?
Good news - you might be able to keep your kitty despite having allergies. How is this possible?
Tips for Allergy Sufferers from Your Local Vet
Over the years, we’ve had a lot of people come into our Atlanta vet office who have fur babies despite being allergic.
Some people have spent time with an allergy specialist, going through a series of allergy shots so they build up an immunity to certain allergens. Even if they aren’t able to completely rid themselves of an allergic response, it’s been reduced so much they don’t notice it.
Other allergy sufferers have visited their doctor repeatedly to find the perfect antihistamine. Allergy pills have come a long way and even the most sensitive people are able to enjoy time with their pets.
In addition to these medical approaches, many allergy sufferers have embraced the following anti-allergy tips on a daily basis. Doing so has reduced their sensitivity and allowed them to increase snuggle time with their beloved cats.
1. Reduce In-Home Allergens
When your body is dealing with an attack from one allergen, it becomes extra-sensitive to others. Therefore, the first tip is: Reduce in-home allergens.
If you’re sensitive to chemicals in cleaning solutions, the smoke from burning candles, or even dust – do your best to reduce those allergens in your home.
2. Make Sure You’re Eating Super Healthy Foods
Like in-home allergens, food sensitivities/allergies can make you more sensitive to other allergens, like pets.
If you know you have food allergies, cut those foods out of your diet. This doesn’t have to be a forever kind of thing, but if you don’t want to have adverse reactions to your pet – be really strict about eating foods you’re sensitive to.
It’s also important to note you might be sensitive to certain foods but unaware of it. In other words, they may cause an inflammatory response within your body but it’s not severe enough to really notice.
You can test yourself for food sensitivities by doing an elimination diet. This is where you eliminate foods which are common allergens, like nuts, corn, gluten, and citrus fruits. Then, add these foods back into your diet one at a time. Take note of how you feel right after you eat them, 30 minutes later, and two hours later. If anything makes you feel sluggish or bloated, you might have a sensitivity.
In addition to eliminating certain foods, you’ll want to add some superfoods into your diet. These are foods which will boost your immune health and reduce allergic reactions. These foods include:
- Coconut oil
- Fermented foods
- A supplement with bromelain, quercetin, and papain, enzymes which suppress inflammatory responses.
3. Wash Your Hands After Handling Your Pet
A lot of people experience itchy, watery eyes after handling a pet. You can reduce your risk of dealing with this allergic response by washing your hands after playing or petting your cat. It may seem annoying at first, but you’ll quickly get used to it. And it’s definitely not as annoying as painful, itchy, watery eyes.
4. Bathe Your Kitty Regularly
Cats are very clean creatures. Every time you turn around, they’re cleaning themselves. But this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re doing a good enough job for allergy sufferers.
This is why it’s necessary to clean your cat. Bathe them often and brush them every day. If possible, get someone who isn’t allergic to take on these tasks.
What If These Tips Don’t Help? Don’t Give Up
Sometimes, people have a cat allergy which is so severe even the above tips don’t help. If you’re one of those people, does this mean you’re doomed to a pet-less life?
Not necessarily. You may have to stay away from cats, love them from afar, or play with a friend’s cat while on allergy medication.
If you want your own pet, though, you might need to try a different species. Dogs, birds, fish, lizards, and other animals can make great pets which will give you the same or more affection and company as a cat.
And you never know. Down the road, after changing up your diet and finding the right allergy medication, you may find you’re less sensitive and can finally take a cat home to stay.
Have any more questions about pet allergies? Call us, we are here to help!