WHAT YOU CAN DO IF YOU ARE (OR BECOME) ALLERGIC TO YOUR CAT

Allergies — including allergies to animals — can develop at any time during your life. Cats are well known for causing allergic reactions in humans. If you should suddenly develop an allergy to your cat, take these five steps to help you minimize your discomfort and live in harmony with your feline friend.

cat sleeping in lap

1. Keep Your Cat out of Your Bedroom

You might be accustomed to snuggling up with a warm kitty on cool evenings, but sleeping with your cat when you’re allergic will definitely cause problems. Keeping your cat out of your bedroom won’t entirely eliminate allergens from the room, but it will cut down on them drastically and allow you to breathe and sleep at the same time.

2. Vacuum and Dust Regularly

Vacuuming and dusting aren’t time-consuming tasks, and they will help keep cat dander in your living space to a minimum. Make sure to use a HEPA filter on your vacuum cleaner; otherwise you run the risk of sending cat dander airborne and exacerbating the problem. Also, make sure to change the filter on your furnace regularly.

3. Get Rid of Carpets

Even with regular vacuuming, carpets harbor cat dander and can be one of the main contributing factors to allergy attacks. Installing other types of flooring in your home, like hardwood, laminate or tile, will cut down on the amount of dander in the air of your home. If you’re attached to carpeting, you can always use area rugs and have them cleaned on a regular basis so they don’t build up too much cat dander.

cat sleeping on arm chair

4. Groom Your Cat

If possible, ask another family member without cat allergies to groom your cat for you. Wipe the cat down with a damp sponge daily, and brush with a fine-tooth comb. This will help eliminate some dander and the dried saliva left on your cat’s fur from self-grooming.

5. Consider Medications

If all else fails, talk to your doctor or allergist about medications that will help relieve your allergy symptoms. Those, in combination with the tactics above, might help do the trick — and save you the sadness of having to part with a beloved family member.

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