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new kittens- allergic husband

sira
August 13th, 2007, 06:49 PM
It's been 2 years since my 19 year old cat died. I thought I would never be able to have another cat. As time passed I felt I was depriving my kids of something that I valued so much...the company of a cat. Last weekend I took them to the shelter and they each choose a kitten. Two female tabby sisters, now Jade and Odette. A few days later, my husband started suffering from bad allergies, he can no longer be inside the house (except for the bedroom) without going into a full blown sneezing, coughing, watery eyes fit. We've had the kittens for one week, I've had them vaccinated, dewormed, de-mitted (ear mites), and tested for feline leukemia. They are adjusting beutifully. If we are to keep them, I don't know if we could keep my husband, and if we are to give them up, it should be now since they are young and healthy so they would have a better chance of re-adoption. I don't know what to do, I'm heart broken at the idea of giving them up. I have not even told my kids of the possibility we might not be able to keep them. My husband is getting upset at the fact I seem to be choosing the cats over his well being. Any help would be appreciated.

Dracko
August 13th, 2007, 06:59 PM
I think the solution is pretty obvious. Turn your garage in to a bedroom so hubby will have somewhere to sleep and watch tv. :laughing:

Just kidding.

When I adopted my last 2 cats I had horrible, horrible reaction to them. I bathed them a few times and took some homeopathics to help with the pet allergies. It was amazing how quickly it cleared up. Does your husband have a prior history of allergies to cats? If not I would suggest doing something like that.

I can PM you name of the supplements I took if wish.

sugarcatmom
August 13th, 2007, 07:36 PM
I'm allergic to cats as well, but that hasn't stopped me from always having them in my life! I can't imagine an existence without them. I've found that over time, my allergies to my own cats have lessened dramatically. The only time I'm bothered is if I touch my eyes after petting them, but there are drops for that, so it's no big deal. I know of other people that also seem to adapt to their own cats so that they only have allergy symptoms when they're around other people's cats. Perhaps your husband can find a good antihistamine to take in the meantime, until his own immune system gives up the fight.

The idea of consulting a homeopath is also a good one. My friend's mom is allergic to guinnea pigs so she took a sample of fur from her daughter's guinea pig to a homeopath, who developed a personalized remedy for her that apparently worked very well. Not sure if your husband would be open to that kind of thing but it might be worth a shot.

Dracko
August 13th, 2007, 07:40 PM
^^ I agree about sort of getting used to the cats and possibly the symptoms going away. While I love cats and wouldn't consider myself "allergic" I react to new cats almost all the time. When I adopted Ginkgo it was so bad I seriously didn't know how I would cope. I adored her but the itching eyes, sneezing, stuffy nose, etc was so severe. As I said, after a couple baths and taking the supplements everything cleared up.

I would think if you husband doesn't have a prior history of reacting to animals he'll probably be able to overcome this. Not for sure, but definetly seen it happen. Maybe you could also keep your bedroom door closed at all times so it's a "fur free" zone for him in the meantime?

krdahmer
August 13th, 2007, 07:45 PM
Time and singulair.... thats the key. Oh and lots o kleenex! Tell hubby that the longer they stay the more he will become de-sensitized to their dander. Has he always been allergic? If not then it may just be a temporary reaction. There are many many good sites about dealing with pet allergies just google it. Then choose the solution that will work for you.

Dracko
August 13th, 2007, 07:47 PM
I agree with the post above and am assuming your husband hasn't always shown allergic reactions to cats or you wouldn't have even gotten them in the first place.

I think bathing, perhaps some supplements, an antihistamine and time will fix this. :fingerscr

heyjude11
August 14th, 2007, 02:10 AM
I'd get rid of the husband, but that's just me.
I too am allergic to cats. I not only have cats in my home but I volunteer as a kitten feeder and look after all my friends' cats when they are away.
I was stunned when I learned I was allergic even though I was exhibiting all the symptoms - runny eyes, stuffy nose, etc. I had not thought about being allergic because years ago whenever I would visit friends with cats my eyes would swell something awful and itch like crazy. to me, that's what being allergic to cats meant.
My allergist of course told me to get rid of the cats. NOT an option so I now get allergy shots and have done so for several years and I take Aerius daily. I know that's not an viable option for everyone but it's worked for me. My cats sleep on my bed and are allowed on the furniture. Actually it seems more like they allow me to sleep in my bed and let me sit on the furniture but I love them dearly and could not imagine my life without cats in it.

clm
August 14th, 2007, 07:29 AM
My hubby and I are both allergic to cats and have 4 of them :laughing:

It was horrible when we got our first cat together over 20 years ago. Both of us were miserable for a few weeks and we finally managed to level off to being comfortable again. Still have to keep our hands away from our eyes after petting them or it'll set off a good allergy attack, but for the most part we're fine with cats now.

Cindy

chico2
August 14th, 2007, 08:43 AM
I think the garage-thing for hubby is a great idea:laughing:
You don't say if hubby is taking allergy meds,as you have seen in the above posts,you can be allergic and still live with cats.
I hope he is willing to try everything before he breaks your kids heart by giving the cats up,maybe he is not only allergic,but also dislikes cats:confused:

Love4himies
August 14th, 2007, 09:05 AM
I think the solution is pretty obvious. Turn your garage in to a bedroom so hubby will have somewhere to sleep and watch tv. :laughing:

Just kidding.




That would be my husbands dream come true, except he would add a beer fridge and a small toaster oven so he can make his wings.:laughing: .

He is quite allergic to cats and has to go through a "getting used to the cats dander period" with each cat. During that time he takes allergy pills, but can eventually wean off them, then doesn't really have a problem unless he get fur in his eyes. He will react when he goes into other people's homes who have cats so I wonder if each cat's dander is slightly different??

I do vacuum regularily to keep the fur to a minimum. You can try a hepa filter in the main living area and bedroom to assist your hubby while his immune system gets used to the kitties.

As for the "you love the kittens more than me", maybe you can suggest gently that the furballs are to assist in the upbringing of your children (respect, responsibilty, etc.) and not any reflection on your love for him.

ancientgirl
August 14th, 2007, 09:14 AM
I had cats in high school and never had a problem, yet in the years after them I've developed a horrible allergy to both cats and dogs.

I take singulair, and nasonex. For about the first 2 weeks I took both daily. Now, about 5 months later, if I go a day without taking the singulair I'm okay, and I only use the nasonex occasionally.

I first tried Zyrtec, but that didn't work for me very well. The combination of Singulair and Nasonex is working best for me, so much so my cats sleep in my bed and I've never had another problem with allergies.

krdahmer
August 14th, 2007, 10:11 AM
He is quite allergic to cats and has to go through a "getting used to the cats dander period" with each cat. During that time he takes allergy pills, but can eventually wean off them, then doesn't really have a problem unless he get fur in his eyes. He will react when he goes into other people's homes who have cats so I wonder if each cat's dander is slightly different??

I do vacuum regularily to keep the fur to a minimum. You can try a hepa filter in the main living area and bedroom to assist your hubby while his immune system gets used to the kitties.

As for the "you love the kittens more than me", maybe you can suggest gently that the furballs are to assist in the upbringing of your children (respect, responsibilty, etc.) and not any reflection on your love for him.


Each cats dander is definitely unique, I am fine in my house with 6 cats but get puffy eyed and runny nosed at other people's houses. Even my parents, whose first cat Cordelia I lived with for her first 4 years, and did not have issues with and now am allergic to. It's definitely about building up an immunity to a specific cat (or cats), as I do believe their environment and diet also affects their dander.

I also use an air filter and want to get another one, they are great! I have it in the litter room as litter dust is what bothers me most (not using clay litter and using something less dusty and more natural like wheat will also help him by cutting down on dust!).... I'd like to have one in the bedroom as I am so NOT kicking the cats out of there!

Oh and hubby is just jelous cause he knows they are cuter than him... after he gets outta the allergy stage he'll be just as in love with them as you are. My hubby resists every time I add another, but then I catch him snugglin and lovin them up!:rolleyes:

sira
August 14th, 2007, 11:07 AM
Unfortunatelly, he is not the one who is the animal lover. I have always liked-loved animals. When we met I had my cat and a bird. He already had sinus problems so we never thought it was due to the cat. Then we moved to California and his sinuses cleared up ( I still had my cat), that is why I never even thought that his allegies would flare up like that with these new kittens. We are having lots of issues with this, I really think he is taking this as a preference call. He was somewhat better (allergies)yesterday. I went looking for a HEPA vacuum yesterday, and I've looked on-line for any products that may help, as well a a HEPA filter. There is NO option of HIM taking medication, ofcourse if it were me, I would be like you guys; doing whatever it took to be able to co-exist with the cats, but especially now with all of our discussions it is becoming a sore issue. I am willing to try options (some a bit expensive) so if any of you can recommend one over (vaccum over filter) the other I would really appreciate it. I'm still really frustrated though!

ancientgirl
August 14th, 2007, 11:13 AM
I'm sorry you are having such a tough time. It's hard when one person isn't an animal lover. Hopefully, once he realizes his kids are in love with the kitties, he'll at least try to make a bigger effort.

Why won't he take medication?

krdahmer
August 14th, 2007, 11:37 AM
Well the air filter I have is a simple mid-low costing Honeywell and I think it does the job, when looking make sure you take the cost of replacement filters into account, the ones where you clean them yourself are ideal as they cost less in the long run.

As for a vacuum, I am still waiting for my dyson or the like.... I like the bagless best as they seem to be less dusty and you can empty them outdoors right into the trash. I have one of each and use the bagless a lot more often. Also I don't have one yet, but one of those steam mop/vacs would be great too if you have tile/ hardwood... the ones that use hot water and NOT a swiffer as that solution is dangerous for kids and pets.

And it is my least favorite chore, but dusting open surfaces is very important, as well as moving furniture to vacuum under at least once a month is key, as those are where the 'tumblefurs' like to collect.

You can also use kitty wipes on the cats to help control the dander, they sell those at most pet stores.

It's terrible to suggest I know, but those kids are a great weapon against a cranky hubby.... :evil: :rolleyes:

sira
August 14th, 2007, 11:43 AM
He feels that if this was a disease, then one could learn to cope with it, but it being voluntarily, he just doesn't understand why. I think for me I have a lot of baggage with this too. I was devastated when my previous cat died. I had had him the full 19 years. I basically grew up with him and he was with me at every turning point in my life. Jr. High, High School, College, Moving to the east coast, having two kids....It took me a long time to even consider getting another cat, and as I said, these two kittens were not even for me. I thought about it for a long time before even suggesting it to the family, because I take my pets very seriously. Even though he was resistant at first, he finally agreed that the kids would benefit. I think if it weren't for the allergies this would not have turned out so bad. I do feel like he is becoming resentful to me, since I am basically choosing the cats over his health.

ancientgirl
August 14th, 2007, 11:55 AM
Well the thing is, if it were a disease, he could possibly do very little. Some diseases have no cure, and you suffer even from the medications. At least with this, even though its voluntary, you take a pill, and no suffering. The medications really help, its like taking a vitamin in the morning.

I'm sorry, but if it were something that there was no medicine for, then I'd say okay he has a point. But there's no reason he can't take medication. Especially if he may be allergic to other things.

Bathing the kitties regularly, once or twice a month helps. Also as suggested, the kitty wipes help too. Vacuuming regularly as well. And he will gain some form of immunity to them. Even though I take pills, I start to run out near the end of the month, so I have to limit my pills, and I'm still okay.

It's times like this when I'm glad I'm not married. I have only myself to consider and if I'm willing to take medication, I'd tell anyone who walked into my life they would have to deal with it.

I hope everything works out well and you don't have to give them up.

Love4himies
August 14th, 2007, 12:18 PM
There is NO option of HIM taking medication, ofcourse if it were me, I would be like you guys; doing whatever it took to be able to co-exist with the cats, but especially now with all of our discussions it is becoming a sore issue.


I don't understand why he won't take medication for this at first and wean himself off over time? At least try the medication to see if it works along with the air filters/regular cleaning.

I know this is not nice to say but he seems to be a little selfish because he is not trying and it really is important to have pets in responsible families. They are children's best friend alot of times. There is medication that may help his symptoms and he may build up a tolerance to the dander, he should at least give it a chance.

Maybe I am just such a cat lover that I would do anything to have them. My husband would prefer to have none but puts up with them because he wants me to be happy:lovestruck: .

sira
August 14th, 2007, 12:40 PM
Yes, I agree with both of you, and thank you for your replies. I know I would AND have done adjustments for him when he's had hobbies/interests (not animal related). I don't mean to make him sound bad, he is a really good person, but it is hard to get over this. As I mentioned, if it were not for the allergies and he was acting this way, I would say "tough! this is what I really want", but I also realize he is pretty miserable when he is inside the house. I'm hoping that once the kitties get a bit older, they can spend some time outside (closed in back yard) and the house will not be so full of dander. I have been vacuming, but I do not have the HEPA type and I think I am actually making it worse. The dander is getting more dispersed. I did wipe the kitties down yesterday with the wipes and I was going to order that spray for the carpet to degrate the dander. I went to PetSmart and Target to look for it, I think it's called ALLERPET but they did not have it. The bedroom is already off limits to the kitties and my husband does much better there. If I could get the house to be somewhat like the bedroom, I think it would help out a lot!
Thanks again for the replies, I know sometime it's frustrating to hear other peoples problems because they seem so simple to fix (i.e- taking medication) but it's hard because relationships are so complex plus you add kids to the equation and everything becomes even harder.

ancientgirl
August 14th, 2007, 12:51 PM
Thanks again for the replies, I know sometime it's frustrating to hear other peoples problems because they seem so simple to fix (i.e- taking medication) but it's hard because relationships are so complex plus you add kids to the equation and everything becomes even harder.

Unfortunately, when you start to add other people to the mix, things get complicated. Especially when one person can't understand why the other won't bend. You both have the right to be happy and hopefully there is some sort of compromise. But his is a simple solution, medication, but he feels he shouldn't have to take any.

Are your kids happy with the kitties? Are they taking care of them? Perhaps if he were to realize how good they are for them he might reconsider.

It's important when kids are young to show them that we need to care for animals, and help them. I hate to say this, but it wouldn't be a good example for him to set if he were to make you get rid of the cats, just because of his allergies, when there are clearly so many solutions.

Again, I wish you all the luck in the world with this. I hope you continue to update us on your progress, and I hope there IS progress.

sira
August 14th, 2007, 02:07 PM
Thank you! I will keep you posted. Everyday after I get home from work is something new. For the past few days it's been pretty tense because there has not been any resolution. Maybe today will be different.
Yes, my kids are being really good with the cats, they love them and are having a great time, since the kitties are at their most playful stage, with them and each other. They have been resposible for the litter box, food, and water. My older one burst into tears when she realized that we were talking about her kitty last night. Anyhow, I guess only time will tell.

Love4himies
August 14th, 2007, 02:09 PM
I agree with ancientgirl, as I stated in an earlier post, pets in responsible families are important part of educating children. I don't think he is setting a good example of:

1. Promise something, get something, take something away when a person in power does not want to cooperate. Could end up being a trust issue with the children. It would be different if all options to help the allergies were exhausted and this was explained to the children. Children do remember small things like this as they grow up.

2. Does not show how important compromise is in a healthy family relationship.

Don't mean to disrespect him, I am sure you and your children love him very much, but I do feel for your children and the kittens.

badger
August 14th, 2007, 03:27 PM
Tough situation. Too bad your husband won't just try the OTC meds. I hope that as he see the pleasure these cats give you and your children, his attitude will soften. I'm still trying to figure out the chronology: he was mildly allergic to your cat out east, no longer reactive when you moved to California, then a gap, then these kittens and he is again experiencing symptoms. Are you still in California?
Maybe young cats carry more allergens and they diminish over time? Allergies can become more serious over time, as well.
Obviously your family is the most important thing, if he is adamant. I think the explanation is one most kids could understand, even if it upset them.
If it comes down to it and you have to give the kittens up, try some guinea pigs, they are adorable and love being handled. Not as amusing as kittens, however (smaller brains :D ).

sira
August 14th, 2007, 04:43 PM
yes, I had my cat before we met and in his previous relationship there was also a cat present. He actually always thought it was the climate in Washington D.C that affected his sinuses. He used to have to take OTC meds then. When we moved out here (were are still in Ca.) he felt much better and never had to take OTC's, but we still had my cat. Now two years later with the introduction of these two, it has flared up again pretty bad. Maybe because there are two of them, I did give them a bath, since they were pretty dirty from the pound and they had ear mites etc. So my hope is that maybe we infested the house the very first day and now with some good cleaning and maybe products like aller-rx (that spray that is supposed to degrade the pet dander) we could exist together. In terms of the kittens though, I don't want them to go through another big change later. As hard as it would be, in worst case senario, giving them up would be best now for their sake.

chico2
August 14th, 2007, 05:26 PM
WOW,Sira you really have a problem,the solution seems a little onesided though,one of my sons has been on allergymeds most of his life and is no worse for it,it's a simple solution for the kids happiness.
Luckily kids forget,but otherwise they might end up resenting their dad for beeing the one who made them get rid of their kittens,I have a childhood memory like that and I never forgot:sad:
I hope you can somehow come to a compromise and keep the kittens:pray:

sira
August 16th, 2007, 11:56 AM
Well, things have calmed down a lot. My husbands allergies seem to have gone down about 50 %. I don't know if it is because he doesn't spent that much time inside or whether he has gotten some resistance. I've been trying to vacuum as much as I can with my Hepa vacuum as well as wiping the kitties down at least one a day. In any case, I think we will be able to keep the kitties! Yay!!! The kitties have adjusted very nicely. Thank you all for your suggestions and comments.:cat:

Love4himies
August 16th, 2007, 12:04 PM
Glad to hear his allergies are getting better. Bet it is a combination of the cleaning and him building up a resistance. Happens to my husband everytime he is around a new cat.

Your kids must be happy too. Having the kittens will be good for them.

sugarcatmom
August 16th, 2007, 12:24 PM
Woohoo, I love happy endings!!!! :highfive:

ancientgirl
August 16th, 2007, 12:27 PM
I'm so glad to see things are getting better.