Coping with Allergies and Cats
If you have an allergic reaction when you are around cats, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to give up visiting friends and loved ones that have cats in their homes. By getting a bit organized and preparing beforehand, you won’t have much problems going anywhere and you will be more likely to avoid the pitfalls that are common with being around cats: red, itchy eyes, prickly throat, sneezing, and more. All of these things tend to happen to those that have cat allergies and come into contact with cat dander. Dander includes more than simply cat hair, but the cells of the cat, as well as saliva, and proteins that make the body release histamine, which is the culprit for causing the symptoms that plague so many with cat allergies. The following are some tips to help you manage your life better when in contact with cats and their environment.
Stay Away from Soft Chairs
When in a home that cats occupy, you want to stay away from furniture that has been upholstered as it usually is teeming with dander from cats and will assuredly have your skin and more flaring up quickly thereafter. Upholstered furniture tends to trap dander and even when cleaned there are always remnants that remain. Since hard chairs made of wood or metals cannot trap cat allergens as easily, these are the best options when sitting in a room of the house.
Antihistamines are definitely your friend when encountering four-legged friends of the feline kind. A great option are the non-drowsy ones like Claritin that keep symptoms at bay and you won’t be sneezing the entire time you are at a friend’s house that has cats in it.
Keep Hands Clean
Just like you do to avoid flu and colds, wash your hands thoroughly when around cats and be careful not to make contact with your face as well. Every time you pet a cat, be sure to go to the bathroom and rinse hands for at least 15 seconds under warm water to ensure no allergens lie behind.
If you are visiting the home of a friend that has no filters but they have cats, you could choose to invest in a portable one that you can bring with you for situations especially like these. Once you make the initial purchase, it will do a world of good and it lasts quite a while. A pet hair vacuum can also work wonders!
After Your Cat Visit
Even if it is only a short stint at a home with cats, the clothes you wore there should immediately be washed in hot water to ensure that the allergens won’t be flying around your home and causing you symptoms.
For Cat Owners
If you have a cat and allergies arise, you may have to rid yourself of the cat or possibly ban your cat from certain rooms of your house to reduce your exposure to allergens.
Having air cleaners installed and AC and heating systems will reduce the amount of allergens and for the best optimization, HEPA filters should operate for a minimum of four hours a day.