Coping Tips for Owners Allergic to Cats

Approximately 10% of pet owners are allergic to cats. The allergies are triggered mainly by cat dander and saliva, and not by hair as some might believe. As with all allergies, cat allergy cannot be treated, but the symptoms can be minimized.

Symptoms of Cat Allergies

Sensitive people react negatively to cat allergen exposure. The proteins present in the cat dander cause allergic reactions including:

  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Wheezing
  • Watery eyes
  • Coughing
  • Redness or itchy skin
  • Cat Allergy Shots

Cat allergy shots are efficient in controlling the symptoms associated with cat allergies. This hyposensitization process will provide immunization to allergies. The shot contains allergens and is administrated on a regular basis (once a month). The amount of allergens administrated through subcutaneous injections will be increased gradually.

The shots have minor side effects. It takes up to 2 to 3 months for them to be effective, and the treatment is permanent. In some cases, people develop immunity to cat dander and hair after a lengthy treatment.


Allergic reactions cause an excessive production of histamines. Antihistamines are good in controlling this reaction. Antihistamine medications should be taken for periods of up to 3 months, and alternated with other types of antihistamines, to prevent the body from developing immunity to them. Antihistamines should be prescribed by a doctor, but you may find over-the-counter medication as well.

Beware that antihistamines have side effects such as queasiness, headaches or dizziness.

Bathing the Cat

Bathing the cat can reduce your allergies by as much as 90%. Use an antibacterial soap and lukewarm water. Your cat might not be cooperative during the bath.

Alternatively, you may use a moist cloth to clean the cat's skin and coat, and you could perform this several times per week.

Wash Your Hands

Wash your hands after you play with your cat. Avoid touching your eyes or mouth with your hands before washing them.

Wet Food Diet

The cat's diet is important in controlling your allergies. Wet food has proven to be a better choice in a house with an allergic owner.

Cleaning the House

Cat hair and dander may be found everywhere in your home. These are small particles that easily stick to furniture, pillows, drapes, carpets or clothes. Vacuum your house on a regular basis to get rid of the cat dander and fur. Clean the carpets thoroughly.

Air Purifiers

Get some air purifiers to clean the air and get rid of cat hair and dander. Opt for special air purifiers that are created for allergic people. You can find these in pet stores.

Allergen Free Zone

Restrict your cat's access to your bedroom. This will minimize the amount of dander and hair in a room where you spend at least 8 hours per day, and you will experience fewer allergy symptoms.

Some cat breeds cause fewer allergic reactions, but all cats produce allergies in sensitive people. Some companies are trying to breed hypoallergenic cats, but there are no confirmed breeds developed yet.