Having an allergy to a cat can be a very annoying problem. Having a runny nose all of the time, itchy eyes, and a scratchy throat can make you want to toss your own cat out the window! However, there are certain things you should know and take into consideration before you disown a feline member of your own family! The very first thing you must realize is that you are not actually allergic to your cat, but rather to its dander. Cats produce allergens, which trigger allergy problems. The allergens do not originate in the cat's hair, but instead in its saliva. When a cat grooms itself by licking its coat, the saliva gets on the hair.
This dries to a dust-like particle, and becomes dander. It is released when a cat scratches, or when it is brushed. They are very small particles that can remain airborne for long periods of time. Oddly enough, they are found in homes that have cats and also homes that do not have cats.
To determine if it is a cat allergy, you should get a skin test from your doctor. If it confirms your worse fears, then the ideal scenario would be to move the cat out. Unfortunately, bonds have probably been formed, and a true cat lover will put up with the symptoms, as opposed to getting rid of the pet. There are some measures you can take to make your life less miserable. Cats secrete a substance called felis domesticus or Fel d 1, through their sebaceous glands and saliva.
Dander gets caught up in soft furnishings and carpeting. You should install vinyl and wood floors, and get rid of that carpet. Remove all curtains or drapes, and replace them with blinds. Also keep the number of soft furnishings to a minimum. Keep the cat off the furniture and have it upholstered if possible. Wipe down the walls on a regular basis.
Vacuum twice a week with a vacuum that has a high efficiency particle air filter. Use airtight covers on pillows. The next step is to limit the rooms the cat has access to, and restrict him from the bedroom and living room. Also, ventilate the home, and use a high efficiency particle air purifier to cut down on the allergens. Bathing the cat weekly has also been known to help. The allergic person should stay away from the litter box, and wear a mask and gloves when brushing the cat's coat.
You should refrain from picking the cat up. Keep the cat outdoors, if not all the time, at least some of the time. You can also take allergy medicines containing antihistamines. A cat allergy doesn't necessarily mean adios to your beloved family pet.
About one third of cat owners today have this allergy. It is possible, in time, that the owner will become immune to the allergic symptoms caused by their cat. By taking some steps to reduce the allergens present in your house, you and your feline can live together sneeze free.
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