TIPS FOR LIVING WITH CAT ALLERGIES
Living with cat allergies can be tough, especially when your partner owns a cat that he or she adores. Pet allergy symptoms occur when sufferers are exposed to pet dander (flecks of dead skin and saliva).1 To avoid losing your cool when it comes to your allergy symptoms, here are some tips to help you cope with your partner’s fluffy friend.
SYMPTOMS OF CAT ALLERGIES
Symptoms of cat allergies can include:
• Coughing and wheezing
• Hives or a rash on the chest and face
• Red, itchy eyes
• Redness of the skin where a cat has scratched, bitten, or licked you
• Runny, itchy, or stuffy nose
AVOID CARPET AND UPHOLSTERED FURNITURE
Cat dander has a tendency to get everywhere–so limiting the potential surface area where cat hair can easily latch on to is key for minimizing cat allergy symptoms. When possible, sit on wooden furniture, which doesn’t trap as much cat dander on its surface.2
CREATE CAT-FREE ZONES
Certain areas in the house should be designated as cat-free zones, including the bedroom. There’s nothing worse than trying to go to sleep only to be attacked by a sneezing fit due to cat dander in the air. Limit the areas your partner’s cat can roam to give yourself some sneeze-free spaces.
MINIMIZE SHEDDING AND CAT DANDER
To have the least possible exposure to cat allergens, you should also aim to minimize the cat’s shedding and dry skin. Some methods to lessen this shedding include feeding the cat a healthy diet of balanced nutrients, as well as frequent grooming.3
USE AN AIR-FILTERING SYSTEM
HEPA air purifiers help clean the air from indoor allergens, including pet dander, dust, and mold.4 If your partner does not own an air purifier, it might be beneficial to look into one for the bedroom so that you can reduce cat allergens while sleeping.
USE FLONASE NASAL SPRAY
FLONASE nasal sprays can help relieve allergy symptoms. They block 6 different allergic substances instead of 1.* If you can’t fully avoid your partner’s cat, at least you can relieve the symptoms you experience as a result of that exposure.
*Mechanism vs. most over-the-counter (OTC) allergy pills. FLONASE acts on multiple inflammatory substances (histamine, prostaglandins, cytokines, tryptases, chemokines, and leukotrienes). The exact number and precise mechanism are unknown.
1. AAAAI. Pet Allergy. http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/allergies/pet-allergy. Accessed August 1, 2018.
2. American Lung Association. Pet Dander. https://www.lung.org/healthy-air/home/resources/pet-dander-1.html. Accessed August 1, 2018.
3. ASPCA. Shedding. https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/cat-care/shedding. Accessed August 1, 2018.
4. AAFA. Indoor Air Quality and Allergies. https://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=9&sub=24&cont=344. Accessed August 1, 2018.