Allergies are said to be the bane of all cat-owner relationships. It is notoriously genetic and once someone in your household says they have it, it is like all chances of a pet are instantly tossed out of the window.
Still, it is not as insurmountable as it sounds. Yes, allergies are genetic but they can also range from fairly mild to severe. If you are at least the former, there is still a way to overcome them and enjoy a lifetime companionship with a feline friend. Here are six, tried-and-true steps to tackling the infamous allergy problem.
Step 1. Consult your doctor
This goes without saying. If you want an honest assessment of your allergy, go see a certified allergist. Pet allergies are actually one of the most common ones out there and the experts know a number of ways they can be suppressed, medicated and even eliminated.
Ask the good doctor about how severe an allergy really is. Some people tend to exaggerate their symptoms simply because it gives them a convenient reason to not like cats. Better to get the real facts straight before making any final decision on house pet policy.
Step 2. Allergy shots or antihistamines
A common treatment that doctors prescribe would be medication such as antihistamines or allergy shots. You might also want to consider a change in your own diet, and start eating healthier foods that boost your immune system against allergens.
Regarding allergy shots though, these are not overnight solutions. Treatment can go for as long as 3-5 years before your body has fully built resistance. But if it is your cat’s sake, why not? The earlier you start, the better!
Step 3. Isolate bedroom
You might want to keep your bedroom free from any pets to minimize the presence of hair. The bedroom is where you sleep and sleep will most likely what your body needs if it is constantly battling an allergic reaction.
The thing about allergies is that it is not merely hair you are reacting to but certain proteins that come from anywhere in your cat’s body. That includes skin flakes and even the air in its litter box could be clouded with allergens. Until your body is completely immune, its best to have one space isolated from your cat’s presence.
Step 4. Maintain a high cleaning regimen
When cat allergens can be all the way up in the air, cleanliness can really be close to godliness. Make a habit to start sweeping around kitty’s litter box with a mask and use pet hair removal tools in your vacuum cleaner.
Make sure to also frequently wash your hand and start laundering any cloth items your cat uses, such as towels and even beds. The more sources of allergens you can clean up, the less you will have stifling your nose.
Step 5. Install a HEPA filter
Another way you can further reduce the cat dander in the air is a well-functioning HEPA filter. It might be able to catch the tiniest allergen protein but it certainly works well enough with a vigilant cleaning regimen and other anti-allergy measures.
Consider putting some place close to the area where your cat isn’t allowed. That way, in the event that allergies start to trigger, you can be doubly sure the air in the filter’s space is a lot safer to go through.
Step 6. Consider more regular bathing
Lastly, it also in your best interest to bathe your cat more often. Now, we know this can be a bit of a downer since cat’s are known for being low-maintenance. But if you want less shedding and therefore, less allergens flying around, weekly bathing also reduces them.
As a side note, you might also want to consider improving your cat’s diet and give it items that give it healthier skin and hair.
With all these measures, a pet allergy isn’t as impossible a difficulty as others make it out to be. There are ways to get around it and (are certainly worth the effort when you love cats so much).