Who doesn’t love cats? Their sweet demeanors, soft purrs and adorable meows make them appealing for fans of all things cute. Their propensity for cuddling and spending time in their owners’ laps makes them great for people looking for a little companion. However, they also have unique proteins in their saliva and urine that can cause allergic reaction in some people.
If you want a cat, or have a cat, but suffer from cat allergies, you’re probably wondering how best to handle the situation. On the one hand, you want a sweet little kitty to keep you company. On the other hand, you don’t want to be sneezing and scratching your eyes in your own home. So, how do you manage your cat allergies?
The Good News
Here’s the good news: most people with cat allergies find themselves experiencing less and less symptoms as they are exposed to cats for longer. Most people will lose the worst of their symptoms after they own a cat for a few months. While this isn’t true for everyone, it means that most people can look forward to eventually being able to hug their kitty without sneezing and having their eyes water.
One of the first things you’ll need to get in the habit of when you get a cat is cleaning regularly. Their saliva and their urine are the causes of your allergies, and their saliva is present in the dander they leave behind, since they lick themselves to bathe.
As such, dusting, sweeping and vacuuming need to become common parts of your routine. Letting their dander pool up in corners, under furniture and around the house is going to make you a very sad camper very fast, as your allergies pile up and your motivation to clean vanishes.
Likewise, you’re going to need to keep that litter box cleaned out. Even if you only have one cat, it’s a good idea to clean their box out once a day. This keeps the smells from accumulating, keeps bugs from infesting the room you keep the box in, and it also helps you to not have as strong of an allergic reaction. On this note, you’ll also want to fully rotate all of the litter from the box about once a week, replacing it with all-new litter.
Washing the Cat
We know that washing your kitty is likely about as easy as chasing a car on foot down the highway, but this can help a lot with your allergies. If you can manage to give your cat a proper bath about once every four to six week, you’ll likely see a marked improvement in your allergy symptoms. Just make sure you’re careful and gentle with your kitty: she probably hates the bath tub.
For a few pieces of advice on how to pull this off without getting scratched all to pieces, ask your vet if they know a way to carefully give your kitty a bath. Some things you could try would include bribing the kitty with their favorite wet food, or even sneaking them some (vet approved) sedatives that will make them kind of drowsy while you sponge them off. Remember: don’t give your kitty any medicine that a vet did not write a prescription for!
Air purifiers can help to contain any lingering cat dander in the air. This is a good way to help your cleaning efforts if you feel like sweeping and vacuuming alone aren’t covering all of the dander in your home. Not to mention, air purifiers can also help to make the smells of the litter box much harder to notice, if at all!