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Cats and allergies

(15 Posts)
Rosesarebeautiful Fri 30-Aug-13 13:13:28

My DC are all asking to get a pet just now. Preferably a cat (they've given up on a dog as their Dad plain refuses)
The reason it could be a good idea is one of my DS has severe Tourettes and anxiety/obsessional symptoms. So a cat could help him relax.

The problem is he can be very allergic to animals- his throat used to close if he went near a gerbil we used to have. My DH & DD can also be allergic.

We visited a relative with cats last week. Both DS and DD had symptoms- itchy skin etc. Both of them blamed pollen as the culprit when they were outside. They did spend a fair bit of time with the kittens.

I think it would be sensible not to get a cat. But anything that helps my son relax would be wonderful.

So has anyone experience of cats in an allergic household?

MissDD1971 Fri 30-Aug-13 13:26:31

Yes. Me. I was allergic to cats when a child/teen. When I was about 19 and still living at home our dog died and my mum replaced her with 2 kittens (I wanted them) that my brother's girlfriend's cat had given birth to. I was just told I should wash my hands etc. or I had an allergy tablet to take.

I was fine after a few months - I suppose naturally desensitized. This is from me whose eyes used to turn to jelly, water etc after touching other people's cats.

I now have 2 cats of my own and absolutely fine. No reactions.

MissDD1971 Fri 30-Aug-13 13:28:26

Oh, I think somehow it is the experience of being with another cat?? That causes reaction. when they are living with you, I'm sure it's different.

You can vacuum, brush cats etc to ensure their hair isn't around much and also wash hands after handling them.

You can also get a Sphynx see here - isn't it gorgeous?! grin

Rosesarebeautiful Fri 30-Aug-13 16:35:45

Thank you, that sounds positive
Will look up Sphynx's later - link doesn't look like it will work

MiaowTheCat Fri 06-Sep-13 17:01:49

My brother used to be fine living with our family cats. Since he's moved out and isn't having that daily exposure he's become much more allergic. I went through similar before getting my reaction back under control when I moved away to go to university for a while.

3mum Fri 06-Sep-13 19:20:58

My DS wa allergic to cats so we got a Devon Rex. They have very short hair and are a low allergy cat as a result. I dosed DS with antihistamine for the first couple of weeks then stopped it and he did not seem to need it any more. Interestingly after a few months we got a second ordinary cat and he doesn't react to that at all so it does seem to be true that you become desensitised if you live with cats.

girlieg Wed 11-Sep-13 18:59:43

Try anti allergic wipes wipes. They have worked for me and are safe for cats

MistyB Wed 11-Sep-13 20:21:51

Interesting that exposure seems to diminish reactions.

superoz Thu 12-Sep-13 16:25:33

dh has it quite bad with cats, even if the cat isn't in the house it will set his eyes streaming and gets really bad eczema. Though I once lived in a house with a persian, which was long haired and it didn't seem to affect him as much.
I know some people react to short haired cats and others to longer haired ones, so it might be useful to see if your dh and ds vary in their reaction to different types of cats.

babybarrister Mon 16-Sep-13 21:46:40

Sorry but from your description of the reactions think it is a very, very bad idea. Allergies and asthma can be very dangerous when put into the mix together. Every cat has slightly different protein in its saliva and dander - there is no such thing as an allergy free cat - you would only discover only time..

Some people may desensitise with having cats around. Some people will have very, very serious asthmatic/allergic reactions - please do not under estimate what these might be

gretagrape Tue 17-Sep-13 09:21:48

I would agree with babybarrister - you can't tell what the reaction is going to be until you get the cat, which is a bit unfair on the cat if you have to send it to a rescue centre straight away.

I got my first cat when I was 15 and for the first month or so I had bad asthma, my eyes were swollen like golf balls and had a constant cold - it got better and I've never been without a cat since, but some have affected me more than others so it's a bit of a gamble.

Could he help out at a local rescue centre to see how he reacts with regular exposure first? Then he might be able to have one of the cats he's been exposed to already!

duckylou Wed 18-Sep-13 01:03:25

its not very relaxing having an allergic reaction.

A possible way you can (sometimes) get round it, is if the cat lives predominantly outdoors. We did that w DH allergy, but the second cat we got was a kitten - very fluffy and active and it just didn't work so cat had to go back to rescue..

duckylou Wed 18-Sep-13 01:04:30

PS why not get some fish - watching an aquarium is very relaxing!

duckylou Wed 18-Sep-13 01:08:26

its not very relaxing having an allergic reaction.

A possible way you can (sometimes) get round it, is if the cat lives predominantly outdoors. We did that w DH allergy, but the second cat we got was a kitten - very fluffy and active and it just didn't work so cat had to go back to rescue..

eragon Wed 18-Sep-13 13:36:51

rabbit in garden is as far as we can go with pets.

DH and DS react if rabbit is brought indoors, but is ok outside.

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