For a cat lover, there is nothing better than having a furry feline as your companion in your home, but for those who have a cat allergy in the household, it may not be such a fabulous match. For them, the mere sight of a cat can be enough to make them sneeze, itch, and notice their eyes welling with tears.
So does that mean that cat allergies and having a cat can’t co-exist? The good news is that a cat allergy may not mean you can’t have one, but it will take some extra steps to make life more comfortable and enjoyable for the allergy sufferer.
Here are some tips and information that can help you make life more enjoyable for those who have a cat allergy and yet live with a cat.
Understand What the Allergy Is
The first step is to better understand cat allergies. Often people assume it is the cat hair that you are allergic to when in fact it is the dander, which is the dead skin cells. This dander attaches itself to cat hair, which is why the hair can feel like it is triggering the reaction.
At the same time, those who have a cat allergy tend to also be allergic to a particular protein that is found in the cat’s urine and saliva. Females tend to make less of this protein, so it can be a good idea to choose a female cat if someone has an allergy to them. Also, the lighter the fur colour, the less protein they are believed to produce. Plus there are some breeds that are told to be better for people with allergies in general, often dubbed as hypoallergenic cats.
Vacuum as Often as Possible
So even though it’s not the cat hair that people are allergic to, as discussed the dander does cling to the hair. What this means is that the tidier you can keep the home where cat hair is concerned, the better it will be for the allergy sufferer. Depending on how much your cat sheds, that may mean vacuuming a few times a week or even once a day.
Invest in a Good Quality Air Filter
A good quality HEPA air filter is another way to help manage the amount of allergens in the air. Just be sure you are changing out the filter on a regular basis so that it can work at its optimal level.
Keep the Cat Out of the Allergy Sufferer’s Bedroom
It’s also wise to keep your cat out of the allergy sufferer’s bedroom so that they have an allergy-free zone in the house. Trying to fall asleep while sneezing, blowing your nose, itching your eyes, and just feeling awful in general is never ideal.
Switch to Hard Floor Surfaces if Possible
The final tip is more of an investment but can really help the person who has cat allergies. Switching to a hard surface floor means the dander can’t work its way deep into the carpet. You’ll easily be able to clean it up with the vacuum.
It is Possible to Co-Exist
As long as the person only suffers from mild to moderate cat allergies, there are ways to co-exist with a cat as we have just discussed.