Having a cat when you are allergic : our tips

- Categories : Tips and tricks
Runny nose, tearing eyes, sneezing or itching : If these symptoms occur every time you are in the presence of a cat (or an environment where one of them lives) you have known for a long time that you are allergic to cats. Ideally, the adoption of this animal is therefore rather discouraged. Yes but ... maybe your other half, your kids or even you've been dreaming for a long time to adopt a cat. To help you make the best choice, here is a summary of the key things to know.

Determining the Causes of Cat Allergy

Unfortunately for our cat friends , they are responsible for the majority of allergies to animals. If cat hair is usually called into question, it is not really directly responsible for allergic reactions. The wrongdoer is most often a protein: the Fel d 1, present in particular in the saliva of cats, which is found deposited on their fur when they clean-up.

If you are considering taking a cat and think you are allergic, be sure to first take a test with an allergist to verify that you are actually sensitive to this protein. This is not always the case. If Fel d 1 is responsible for more than 80% of allergy to felines, other proteins secreted by cats are also potentially allergenic. Finally, it is sometimes pollen or mites transported in their coats that can cause problems.
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Be careful before adopting a cat

After getting a diagnosis to understand the nature and degree of your allergy to cats, you may be able to consider the next step: choose a cat to adopt. As you know, certain cat breeds, such as Siberian, Sphynx, Korat, Devon Rex or Balinese, are said to be "hypoallergenic". These are actually cats that lose little hair and / or naturally produce less Fel d 1 protein than other breeds of cats. Another thing to know : the allergenic protein is less produced in female cats or castrated cats.

Opting for a cat breed known as less "allergenic" may be a good option, but that's not enough. Indeed, the allergic potential can vary greatly, even within the same race, from one individual to another. The most prudent is to ask to spend time with the cat you are considering adopting to determine if you can be "compatible". And if you do not react too violently, you may eventually consider adoption …
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Living with a cat when you are allergic

Living with a cat on a daily basis often allows the body to gradually get used to and desensitise. Nevertheless, this is not systematic and does not eliminate allergy to other cats. In any case, if you adopt a cat a minimum of reflexes are necessary in order to minimise the presence of allergens in your environment.

You will first have to hunt for cat hair: by regularly vacuuming (with a special filter if possible) and by brushing your cat regularly (ideally, ask someone who is not allergic to do it for you outside the house). Since cat litter is also a carrier of allergenic substances, it is better to opt for a closed model and ask another person to change it regularly. Finally, it will be necessary to prohibit your cat access to your room and to ventilate your accommodation at least 10 minutes every day.
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In short, you will have understood: to adopt a cat when one is allergic is possible, but is not a decision that can be taken lightly. Our last advice : make sure, before the adoption of a cat, that there will be another living solution for the pet (for example, with your family or friends) in case your cohabitation proves impossible.

Although everything can go very well, you must consider being able to separate yourself from your cat if the allergy degrades your quality of life too much. This is the worst scenario but don’t panic : many people who are allergic are very comfortable to live with one (or even several!) cats.

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