Allergic to your cat?
Sneezing? Stuffed up? Watery, itchy eyes? There are all common signs of allergies. We can be allergic to many different things in our environment such as pollen, grass, dust, and unfortunately our pets. Allergies can develop at any time in our lives, and with the increasingly poor air quality of our environment, more and more people are experiencing allergies for the first time.
It is important to see your doctor if you are concerned about allergies. It is not necessarily your cat that is causing the problem, and allergy testing is the most accurate way to pinpoint the culprit. Once you have been tested, and the result shows that you are indeed allergic to cats, there are many options that may help:
- Over-the-counter and prescription medications have advanced dramatically in the last few years.
- There are non-drowsy medications, nasal sprays, eye drops, homeopathic remedies, and the good old “allergy shots”.
- There is also a product that is applied to your cat which reduces the reaction you may have.
Years ago, it was normal for people who were allergic to cats to give them up. Fortunately, this is usually avoided now, because we have so many new ways to reduce your discomfort.
It is the proteins (allergens) in your cat’s saliva and dander that your body reacts to. You can control your exposure to these allergens in several ways:
- Keep your bedroom door shut. 8 hours of sleep in an allergen-free room will greatly reduce your symptoms.
- Use an air filter in the bedroom (and in other rooms if the budget allows).
- Vacuum frequently, or have someone else vacuum if this bothers you.
- Have someone brush or comb your cat frequently, then clean up well afterwards.
- Wash your hands well after playing with or petting your cat, and do not touch your eyes or face.
- Do not allow your cats to sleep in linen or clothes closets.
- If your cat will allow, rinse her with plain lukewarm water every week.
- AllerPet- C will reduce allergens when wiped on your cat weekly with a damp cloth. (We carry this product at the Cat Hospital)
- Keep your cat’s nails trimmed. Some allergic people are very sensitive when scratched.
FYI: Another recent theory about the source of allergies is your cat’s anal glands. So, removing your cat’s anal glands surgically could help with human allergies.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our office at 519-660-0300. We’ll be happy to help you because, after all, allergies are nothing to sneeze at!