Any animal you have at home is not just going to be a pet but your family member. Also, to remind the famous quote, “you will never experience real love unless you own a pet.” When it comes to owning a pet, 90% narrows down to dogs and cats. When you feed a dog and treat it better, the dog parent (You) is the god to them. But it is on the contrary when it comes to cats.
No matter how much attention you give, feed them on time, play with them, your cat is going to think they are the god and everything your cat sees is its territory. How adorable their behavior is – you can not say no to a cat.
There are few inevitable reasons to say no to the most adorable animal on the planet. The one factor to be considered and the excuse for ignoring the thought of buying or adopting a cat is a cat allergy. If you are prone to allergies, then this is something you should take care of before owning a cat.
And it is a fact that 50 to 60 percent of people are prone to allergies because of cat hair or saliva. Also, some might have the phobia of staying next to a cat. Be it any allergy you are prone to, slow and gradual steps should be taken to overcome this. Never lose hope. You can overcome the allergies and own a cat. Continue reading the article to know how to get rid of or control cat allergies.
Clean and a Friendly home
A clean home is good not just for the cat but also for your health. So, ask yourself why your allergic nature is connected to cleaning the place and owning a cat, isn’t a basic level of cleaning is enough? The cat’s dander is the main reason your allergic nature might get triggered. Remember, all steps you are ready to take now are to make sure your allergies are not increasing. Instead, it is under control.
It is a home, not a museum. So it is possible to see dust in every corner at home. You clean it every day, but super cleaning is mainly done once or twice a week, unless you are an OCD person (Obsessive Cleaning Disorder), looking for every new dust that lands.
Super cleaning here means changing the sheets, carpets, curtains, and mats. The cats dander most likely to get settled in the carpet or mats surface, which are not easily spotted. When this is left unnoticed, there are chances that your allergy increases. You can use a vacuum cleaner on the carpets and mats to make the cleaning process more manageable. Make sure to get rid of mites and clean the mold and dust now and then.
If you have an idea of changing the stuffed furniture, then this is the right time. Try to prefer a leather one as danders can be easily spotted on the stuffed ones. Don’t bother changing the sofas to leather ones just for the sake of a cat. A proper cleaning process will do.
You can also try changing the curtains to blinds for window coverings. If you are not interested in changing the curtains to blinds, ensure to change them every week. It is the first essential step you should get used to before adopting or buying a cat.
Consult your doctor
This step is crucial. There are many anti-allergy medications in the market that you might prefer to buy from the nearby pharmacy. This step cannot be skipped, and it is better to do it the right way. Consulting your doctor and then continuing with the medications subscribed is imperative. Risking your health is the last thing you would wish to do, so now call your doctor and book your appointment.
Visit your friend’s cat.
This step is actually like a parental course – the new parents take before welcoming their baby. Join the club in making an effort to bring a new member to the family. Visiting your friend’s cat is going to do wonders in getting rid of the allergies.
Call your friend and ask for the time when they are available so that you can visit his or her cat. Ensure you are around the cat when your friend is around. Fix a time like 15 to 20 minutes at the beginning, which can be increased gradually. You can also ask your friend if it is okay to use anti-allergy wipes or spray. The wipes and spray are optional because few cats may not be comfortable with unique products.
Don’t forget to take the anti-allergy medication at least 30 minutes before you visit the cat. It is okay if you see them roaming around the house or walking by you as you just started. You succeed in your first step when you are comfortable with their presence as you in the same room. As you visit them, everyday cats will be ready to be your friends.
Try to pat them or give your hand to hold their leg; making small gestures are the best way of getting used to them. Once the cat volunteers sitting next to you or walking behind you as you walk, you can try to carry them or make them sit on your lap. Cats are not clingy, but they would never say no to the little attention at times.
When you are allergic to cats, most owners do not realize it in the initial stages. And that becomes the problem in many cases. The following table will help you understand the symptoms and tests that will help you cope with this situation.
Tests to confirm your cat allergy
How is it performed?
|Allergy Skin Prick test
|This test is performed only under doctor supervision. Using a clean needle, the doctor will prick the skin surface and deposit a minor cat allergen. It is usually stung either on the forearm or at the back. One can diagnose various allergens in the same process. Based on the symptoms observed, the doctor will use different allergens to identify the type.
In about 20-30 minutes, the skin where the doctor pricked will become red, confirming your allergy. The area becomes bumpy and itchy. After 30 minutes, the effect reduces.
|Intradermal skin testing
|This test is considered one of the most sensitive tests when it comes to detecting the allergy. The allergens are kept under the skin or forearm. As a positive reaction, you will see red and rash skin. However, there can be false positives as this is an external test, and the allergens get exposed to the environment. In most cases, tests are performed twice or thrice to give a strict confirmation.
|Suppose you think the intensity of the allergy is less, or you are doubtful about it initially. In that case, you can go with the blood test only. Also, this is recommended for children below six years and adults above 70 years. With regular blood testing, one can examine the common allergens. With the antibodies in the blood, it is tested for common allergens such as cat dander. Usually, the results take longer in this case.
Consider spending your weekend in a Cat show
Now that you have mastered the art of being non-allergic around a single and well-groomed and healthy cat in a secure place, it’s time for you to keep the bar high, “The Cat Show”- a place where many breeds of well-groomed and healthy cats. Sit around the corner and watch them. This step might tempt you to adopt or buy a cat soon. Their adorable behavior will make you love them even more.
It would help if you did well-being around them. Make sure to take the anti-allergic medication at least 30 minutes before you attend the show. Are there any signs of allergies when you are in the building? Leave the show without any second thoughts. You can visit your friend’s cat again for a week or two and then try the cat show when you feel you’re ready.
A day in the rescue center or animal shelter:
You are almost nearing your mission: “To Own a Cat”. You cannot expect a cat in the animal shelter or the rescue center to be as groomed and healthy as in the Cat shows. Now that you have taken the step to visit them, if you are non-allergic to the cats and the situation, then you are good to go in adopting or buying a cat.
As mentioned earlier, please make sure to take the proper medication before visiting the rescue center. You will not believe it, but a cat indeed finds its human before the human does. Take a cat and try to pet it for a while. Don’t just stop with the one. You can try a few more as well. Don’t stay too long on your first visit. Make frequent visits to the rescue center and decide which cat you would like to adopt.
In case the thought of adopting or you are comfortable with the cats in the rescue center, as a last resort, you can buy a cat from a pet center. Just make sure you have a word with the rescue center or pet center personnel before you make a move.
Adopt hypoallergenic cats
Yes, there are few breeds of cats that can help your situation. Hypoallergenic means they are less prone to allergy than other cats. These cats will either have less hair or no hair at all. This way, you will be less allergic to them. As we discussed earlier, cat dander or hair is the main reason you are prone to allergies.
Finding a hypoallergenic cat in a rescue center is a bit of a task, but you can easily buy one from a pet center. Apart from the aforementioned things, in the following table, you can find some practical solutions to cope with the situation.
How can you cope up?
|Cleaning a lot
|When your pet is around, you may have to put extra effort when it comes to cleaning. If you are allergic to cats, ensure that you follow a standard process to reduce the impact. For instance, there are special vacuum cleaners used for cleaning pet hairs and dust. Clean the carpets, blinds often and wherever the cat uses the space more.
|Medications that help
|Thanks to the growth in the medical industry. There are tonnes of medications available now for people are affected by cat allergy. Probably after consulting with the doctor, you may take these medications regularly. However, this is more helpful only when the impact is less or slow. Check out the Allegra Adult tablet that is effective and acts as an antibody for 24 hours.
|It is one of the practical and proven methods of having an air purifier in the room. It will help to eliminate significant dust and other allergens that are to be scrubbed. Even though they don’t help in cleaning, they will help to mitigate the dust.
|The secret of living together
|Always keep your things away from the cats. Do practice not to allow your cat inside your bedroom. Keep the cat utilities away, such as toys, boxes, beds, etc.
|Staying away from the allergens
|When you are allergic to cats, you can still be together but not probably buried under the fur. Have a fixed time and spend that qualitatively with them. Do not overburden yourself. You don’t clean their thing; you may ask anybody else from the house to help you out with this.
Those mentioned above are practical solutions one can follow to keep the pet intact even when you are prone to allergy. But if you think you have a severe impact through this, you may have to talk to immunotherapies and take a long-term treatment.
All the Best!