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Old May 19th, 2008, 01:14 PM
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lm9012 lm9012 is offline
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Red face Can you be allergic to cats and still have one?

Hi all!
I had a cat when I was younger, no issues. Now that I'm older..I discovered I had allergies when my younger sister 'adopted' a ferral kitten. I can't go near him. A friend of mine recently got a cat and I have no issues with her. Granted I'm not snuggling her to my face, but I can be in her house and not start sneezing. with my sister's cat..if he was just on the couch and i come sit down I start sneezing. I can't touch him either. My friend's cat I can touch and I'm fine.
Anyway, I work with an amazing rescue group and have fostered many dogs for them. I always loved cats and have been thinking about getting one..I found out that the darker the cat, the less likely your allergic...which explains my situation (sister's cat is white, friend's cat is black)
so I brought home the most amazing little gray tabby this weekend. I'm fostering her for now..since I have a dog and with my allergies we want to make sure I'm ok with it. Well, She is an absolute lovebug, and my dog is fine with her, and I'm fine with her. Last night she was licking my face and fell asleep on my chest. my eyes and cheeks swelled up a bit. I took some benadryl and I'm fine now.
So....question is...I just adore her, would love to keep her. I'm doing some research and i find the allergy is in the 'saliva'? so maybe not letting her lick me or as soon as she does washing my face/hands? are there shots or meds I can take daily or monthly to help? Benadryl makes me super sleepy but i know there's other stuff out there that you can take and be functional.
Is it possible to add this lovely furbaby to my little family? She came from a high kill shelter and her number was up...thankfully my group came to the rescue..Also, on a positive note..she is young (6 mos.) and very lovable..i'm sure she'd find a good home anyway. So I don't want to be selfish.

My allergic reactions to her don't seem to be severe...I don't have asthma..

Will just taking the right precautions, and right meds be enough???
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Old May 19th, 2008, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by lm9012 View Post
are there shots or meds I can take daily or monthly to help?
I always heard you could get shots , like once per 6 months , but it never was confirmed to me.

3 years after I got my first cats , I started to have issues with my nose , it's always block , some sneezing , always have to have kleenex near ... that's 365 days a year so I'm pretty sure it's the cats and maybe dogs too. But it never got worse than that. So I can live with it.
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Old May 19th, 2008, 01:47 PM
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I am allergic to cats as well and when I had them, I built an immunity to them. I could never pet them then touch my face or I would react but if I just washed my hands, I was fine. I also went for allergy shots for my environmental/dust/mold allergies and since then, I have been that much better. I have never heard of being less allergic to darker cats, I did have a black one and a grey one though.
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Old May 19th, 2008, 01:47 PM
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I am mildly allergic and don't bother taking anything.....just live with it. There are other members here that have severe allergies and still have cats. They will give you lots of advice when they log on.
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Old May 19th, 2008, 01:54 PM
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Here are a coiple of threads that discuss cats and allergies....

http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread....=cat+allergies

http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread....=cat+allergies
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Old May 19th, 2008, 03:33 PM
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I'm very allergic to my cats. I had two cats in high school and had no issues, yet when I got into my 20's (just a couple of years ago) I became very allergic to both cats and dogs. My face would swell, I'd sneeze and breathing would become an issue.

Last year I decided I wanted to deal with my allergies and started taking medication. First Zyrtec with Nasonex then the Zyrtec was switched to Singulair. I did very well with the Singulair and Nasonex. I first had just two, both black and from my experience, I was just as allergic to my black ones as I am to any other cat. I developed I believe a bit of an imminuty, but then got two more kittens, an orange tabby and his little sister a tabby/tortie what have you. I spent several more months where I was sneezing and having a bit of an issue and developed asthma.

Now though, I can finally be with all of them and I only use Nasonex. I use that in the morning and the evening. They sleep with me and I have no issues. Now and then they will rub against me and I'll be itchy, but those days are rare. Also, if they scratch me by accident, I get a little welt and it's itchy, but I get some Aveeno and it helps. Or I just live with it for an hour or so and it's fine.

I also give my gang a monthly bath. That helps keep the dander down a little as well. All in all, it is very possible to have a cat or two or three and have no issues. And as some said, it is also possible to build up immunity to your own pet. I'm sure if you stick it out for a little bit you'll be fine.
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Old May 19th, 2008, 03:51 PM
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One? Heck why not six??

I find the key is a good medication and a vigilant cleaning schedule. Any cat will bother you at first, but over time you will build up a natural immunity to your cat's dander. I have become accustomed to my 6, and their unique danders, but when visiting others with cats I can still have allergy problems.

I take Singulair, Nasacort AQ & puffers for my asthma... and ya I sneeze and blow my nose a lot, but then I also snuggle my kitties to my face as often as possible! If your allergies are severe, things that can help other than medications are an air cleaner and not letting the cat into the bedroom.

Best of luck on your decision!
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Old May 19th, 2008, 07:10 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions! I will look into these ant-dander wipes. In the meantime, I picked up some Claritin. And I'll just try to be more mindful of not touching my eyes/face after I pet her. It will be hard. She is so lovable and just kisses you constantly!

I REALLY hope that I get 'used' to her dander and we can all live happily! All I need is for my dog to love her..he's warming up to her...slooowly. He's such a brat!

One good thing out of all this..i'll be cleaning more..which makes my bf very happy. I don't like cleaning and can be messy. I'm so worried she'll get into something or fall or get hurt somehow that I'm cleaning and dusting constantly. So he's happy that the cat will make me cleaner!

Luckily i don't have carpet, but i do vacuum my couch weekly (my dog sheds like crazy) and I have to swiffer all the time b/c of his shedding anyway. So now I just need to be more adamant about it. Here's some pics of my new baby girl!!
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Old May 19th, 2008, 07:27 PM
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ahhh she's winking

she's saying : I've got foster mom wrapped around my little paws
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Old May 19th, 2008, 07:32 PM
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aaaw pretty kitty, i too am deathly allergic to cats. so is my sis, she now has two and they don't really bother her alot. oh Febreeze has a new spray with allergen reducers in it that helps too. i'm also allergic to my dogs so i tried it out and it works pretty good.
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Old May 19th, 2008, 07:50 PM
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Aww, kitty paws!!! She's a cutie that's for sure!

I use wipes on my gang too weekly and that helps as well. There are a lot of little things you an do to make things better and reduce allergens. I hope things work out and you can keep her. Keep us posted!
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Old May 19th, 2008, 08:25 PM
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Awww.....she is adorable. I really hope you can manage to keep her.
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Old May 19th, 2008, 09:50 PM
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I'm allergic to cats but for some reason I don't react very much to Shadow who is black. My eyes tear and my nose runs but I guess I've just learned to live with it.

I do hope you can find a way to keep yours! Good luck.
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Old May 20th, 2008, 12:05 AM
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I'm allergic to cats, dogs, feathers, dust. I have 2 dogs, 4 cats and a cockatiel and lots of dust.

Keeping the animals well groomed helps. Never touch your eyes after petting the cat either.
Keeping cats off your bed is almost impossible, so buy lots of pillow cases and put a new one on your pillow every night. That way if she's slept on your pillow and you don't know, it won't matter.
I've learned to live with being stuffed up a lot. Spring and fall are even worse with all the pollen in the air to add to it all.

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Old May 21st, 2008, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frenchy View Post
she's saying : I've got foster mom wrapped around my little paws
Aha, step 1 into the failed foster mom club!

My hubby is allergic to cats, he finds it takes about 6 months to get used to each of ours. Clean, clean, clean and keeping the house aired really helps him.
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Old May 26th, 2008, 06:58 PM
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I have 7 cats and I am extremely allergic. my doctor thinks I am nuts. But I take Allegra every night and make sure I do not touch my eyes after petting them. I also vacuum 3-4 times a week. As long as I do that I don't have a problem. I have also noticed that when they are kittens it seems to bother me more. Is your sisters cat a kitten? I think it is the fine baby fur.
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Old May 27th, 2008, 07:59 PM
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I'm also allergic to cats. I only have one but my neighbors' cat (my cat's birth mom) often comes over. I get allergy shots once every three weeks and take Aerius (when I remember). I think the Aerius works better than the shots!
Oh, I also volunteer as a kitten feeder at a local shelter and am amazed at the number of volunteers who also have cat allergies.
I say go for it!
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Old May 29th, 2008, 02:19 AM
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My bf was like also allergic to cats. He would sneeze and runny eyes everything but he got use to them. He takes Nasonex every morning now and when he pets them he washes his hands right after. He does get red welts a bit if they scratch him but it goes away after a couple hours. I keep up with most of the cleaning which helps so i agree with everyone else go for it i think it will work out fine and she is so cute i just want to cuddle her!
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Old July 29th, 2008, 04:15 PM
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Update--sorry so late!!

I took everyone's advice here...anti allergen bath, daily antihistamine for me, washing my hands, keeping her away from my eyes, vacumming, swiffering, allergen reducer Febreeze...etc.

After about two weeks, I skipped the anithistamine, little by little took away a step and low and behold...the best thing!! I must have adjusted to her dander.

I officially adopted her the first week of June. Her name is Khloe and she has been a wonderful addition to my family.

She is growing, getting into everything, and just as lovable as ever.

I don't need allergy meds, she can crawl all over me, all over my couches, bed, and I'm fine. So it is very true that you can just 'adjust' to your pet. I am extremely grateful this happened and we're able to be together! She is so sweet and just wants love and attention constantly and I'd just hate to have given her up! SHe's all mine!! Now I just need to work on Albert falling in love with her too! maybe in time...hopefully!!

I'm still deathly allergic to my sister's cat. which is fine for now since he's terrified of Khloe anyway and won't come near us when we come over!! He's like double her size!

Thank you all for your super helpful tips! I hope this thread can help someone else as well!! Thanks!!
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Old July 29th, 2008, 04:22 PM
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What fantastic news! Unless you spend any real lengthy time with your sisters cat, you will probably have some allergy to her. I've grown pretty accustomed to my gang, but if I go near any other cat or dog I get a reaction. I have a new one I added a couple of months ago and having her I've had some issues since I'm still adjusting to her. But it will all even out.

I'm so happy Khloe is part of your family, and I'm very happy you didn't just give up like others may have.
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Old July 29th, 2008, 04:25 PM
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I am allergic to my cats too, but my body has become immuned to them, i sneeze all the time & mornings are worse for me when I first get up I sneeze & cough like crazy until I vaccuum then its gone, I have to keep the place tidy from cat hair or it does get worse. When i get that bad I just take some allergy meds.
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Old July 29th, 2008, 10:15 PM
jake and oliver jake and oliver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lm9012 View Post
Hi all!
I had a cat when I was younger, no issues. Now that I'm older..I discovered I had allergies when my younger sister 'adopted' a ferral kitten. I can't go near him. A friend of mine recently got a cat and I have no issues with her. Granted I'm not snuggling her to my face, but I can be in her house and not start sneezing. with my sister's cat..if he was just on the couch and i come sit down I start sneezing. I can't touch him either. My friend's cat I can touch and I'm fine.
Anyway, I work with an amazing rescue group and have fostered many dogs for them. I always loved cats and have been thinking about getting one..I found out that the darker the cat, the less likely your allergic...which explains my situation (sister's cat is white, friend's cat is black)
so I brought home the most amazing little gray tabby this weekend. I'm fostering her for now..since I have a dog and with my allergies we want to make sure I'm ok with it. Well, She is an absolute lovebug, and my dog is fine with her, and I'm fine with her. Last night she was licking my face and fell asleep on my chest. my eyes and cheeks swelled up a bit. I took some benadryl and I'm fine now.
So....question is...I just adore her, would love to keep her. I'm doing some research and i find the allergy is in the 'saliva'? so maybe not letting her lick me or as soon as she does washing my face/hands? are there shots or meds I can take daily or monthly to help? Benadryl makes me super sleepy but i know there's other stuff out there that you can take and be functional.
Is it possible to add this lovely furbaby to my little family? She came from a high kill shelter and her number was up...thankfully my group came to the rescue..Also, on a positive note..she is young (6 mos.) and very lovable..i'm sure she'd find a good home anyway. So I don't want to be selfish.

My allergic reactions to her don't seem to be severe...I don't have asthma..

Will just taking the right precautions, and right meds be enough???
I have the same problem, I didn't have a problem with cats when I was a kid but now I do, and now I also have a long hair ferral cat. All I do is make sure that I brush her often and always have reactin on hand and I really don't have any problems I just have to be sure not to let her get too close to my face.
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Old July 29th, 2008, 10:17 PM
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I'm slightly allergic to cats which means when I'm away from my house for more than a week, I tend to have reactions to them when I get home. My little female gives kisses and if she licks me, I get a welt...but I put up with that .
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Old July 30th, 2008, 08:53 AM
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Glad you got to adopt your foster kitty and everything worked out! She is such a little doll!

My BF is allergic to cats. He was really bad when he was younger, but got a little better with time. We have three and he can get really stuffed up sometimes, will sneeze occasionally if the shedding is really bad (or hair all over our bed) and he cannot have them lick him or he gets hives. So we just work on trying to keep the hair around the house under control and if they lick him he washes up right away.

Anyway! I am happy to hear that you got to keep your little fur buddy!
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Old July 30th, 2008, 09:27 AM
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I'm very allergic to cats, and only slightly less allergic to dogs, I try to keep them out of the bedroom at night...it works for Kali but the cats will scratch and meow at the door if I close it
Tika likes to sleep right by my face at night, not the best for my allergies but I deal with it, I like that she likes to snuggle up against me.

I'm pretty miserable every day but I could never get rid of them! Most allergy pills either don't work or make me feel sleepy, so I don't really bother - I hate taking drugs if I can help it...

Has anyone tried Allerpet before, I've been considering trying this on them, they have it at my local Global...also what brand name is the anti-dander wipe that people use here?
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Old July 30th, 2008, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frenchy View Post
I always heard you could get shots , like once per 6 months , but it never was confirmed to me.

3 years after I got my first cats , I started to have issues with my nose , it's always block , some sneezing , always have to have kleenex near ... that's 365 days a year so I'm pretty sure it's the cats and maybe dogs too. But it never got worse than that. So I can live with it.

Immunity shots are once a week for a while, then once every two weeks, for another while, once a month , 3 months, 6 months... ect, you get the maths

However, it cost a fortune and only in private clinics (in quebec anyway) but is covered by some/most corp*private inssurance

I had it for hay and pollen, im getting it for dog and cats soon, but it costs a lot more -_-;
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Old July 30th, 2008, 01:27 PM
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Congrats on making her a solid part of your family!
She's adorable.. or at least, she was.. I have no way of knowing if she still is, because I haven't seen any recent pictures of her........

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