Anyone with cat allergy keep cats?

(30 Posts)
madcows Tue 06-Nov-12 09:44:18

Hi,
We're desperate to get a couple of kittens... Have wanted a cat for years. But both me and my 9 yo son are allergic. I can live with it, but am wondering whether we should because of ds. We have a house with no carpets, and would keep cats out of his bedroom... I'd love to hear how others with allergies have found a way to make it manageable?
Any advice much appreciated...
Madcows

lljkk Tue 06-Nov-12 13:53:38

Allergic friend keeps special non-allergenic cats. They lack most the fur & look very odd. Still cats. Have to stay completely indoors.

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Tue 06-Nov-12 13:56:09

My parents tried when I was small and I still can remember not being able to breathe properly, going into school constantly snotty. I was devastated when the kittens finally went and still remember the relief at being able to breathe when the cat went!!

Why are you desperate to get a couple of kittens? confused

Notquite Tue 06-Nov-12 14:01:20

Don't do it. I rehomed my cats so that my DH could breathe again (close call, but he was the father of my child) and it broke my heart.

lljkk Tue 06-Nov-12 14:15:23

Ooh, from what I'm reading the most hypo-allergenic cat breeds aren't available in Britain.

Some breeders offer breeds they say are hypo-allergenic, you would need to visit to see if you reacted (eg).

madcows Tue 06-Nov-12 14:24:31

Desperate because I love them! I grew up with cats and have always wanted them. (I had a runny nose, but tolerated it...) For various reasons (travelling for work, etc) we've never had them since I was an adult. Now my life has settled down I'd like to get them again. Also, my 9yo loves animals. Whenever we visit friends with animals he spends his whole time with them.

I was hoping I'd find people who have found it manageable... maybe I was being over-optimistic!

lljkk Tue 06-Nov-12 14:25:50

Would you consider other pets, instead? Rats maybe?

jumpingjackhash Tue 06-Nov-12 14:29:45

My DH was allergic to cats when we got one! After a couple of weeks of sneezing and the odd wheeze and popping Piriton, his allergy (or the reactions) seemed to disappear and he was fine. That was about 10 years ago and now he and the cat are firm buddies.

You can get products to rub on them, which stops them releasing the dander (that's the bit you're allergic to, not the fur itself) - we tried that a few times. Otherwise, just keeping the place vacuumed and brushing the cat so any loose hairs and dander was removed helps.

Dh is allergic and it gives me asthma but we still have the cat.

It would be a shame to re-home him as his mum turned his room into another sitting room and I dont think she would like to change it back tbh.

SilverBellsandCockleShells Tue 06-Nov-12 15:22:32

I'm allergic to cats. We have three!

I grew up with cats and only discovered I was allergic when I left home and started coming home for the weekend and would end up with permanently streaming eyes and nose. It was always bad while we didn't have cats, and when we first got a cat it took me a few weeks to get over it (we took in my in-laws old cat, so she could go back home in the worst case scenario).

I've had between one and three cats now for the last 13 years and don't react at all!

PolterGoose Tue 06-Nov-12 15:41:00

Dp is allergic but seems to acclimatise to a new cat within a few weeks, the anti allergy wipes are surprisingly effective, this time we also used an ioniser for a couple of months and he used his ventolin a bit more than usual. Now he is fine.

PolterGoose Tue 06-Nov-12 15:44:35

It helps to have a cat that goes outside a lot, please consider a rescue cat rather than add to the ever increasing cat population by getting kittens.

madcows Tue 06-Nov-12 15:58:35

Thanks for the more positive replies - and interesting that it does seem that some people do acclimatise. Also that the anti allergy wipes work.
Polter - yes, we were planning to get a rescue cat/kittens, and have been to the local rescue centres to sign up.

jumpingjackhash Tue 06-Nov-12 17:29:46

Research also shows that kids who grow up with a pet (furry - goldfish not included!) have fewer allergies and 'sick days' than those who don't. Go for it! smile

greenhill Tue 06-Nov-12 17:34:56

I'm allergic to cat hair and cat saliva, yet have always had a cat. I'm mainly allergic to other people's lovely animals, but that doesn't stop me stroking friendly cats. I just wash my hands very quickly afterwards.

zonedout Tue 06-Nov-12 21:14:35

Reading this thread with interest. I have a cat obsessed ds2 who suffers from asthma. Both my boys and myself would love a cat (we have a dog and plan to always have dogs) and I'm just looking into whether it would be worth my while to actually get ds2 allergy tested before going ahead, even though he has never shown any allergy signs when visiting friends with cats. Any thoughts on this greatly appreciated (& sorry for slight hijack blush

Minimammoth Tue 06-Nov-12 21:31:19

My D H is very allergic to cats, we have a cat, she was a stray who claimed us. She has longish thick fur and sheds her coat in summer. DH does not react to her at all. I was intrigued by this and found that a breed of cat the Norwegian Forest cat is said to be a hypo allergenic cat, as they have different genes to most moggies. Our cat looks very similar to this.

cozietoesie Tue 06-Nov-12 21:44:34

There's at least one poster on this board (bureni?) who has a NFC. Maybe they can comment on that one.

sashh Wed 07-Nov-12 05:17:10

madcows

Contact your local Cats Protection. They always want foster homes. You can either foster a cat in your home or in a pen in the garden.

It would let you see how ds reacted and keeping one in the garden shouldn't be too bad.

You can be desensitised to cat allergy but probably not on the NHS. (I've known two vets who had it done - you can't really be a vet in a pet practice and not encounter cats)

SpookTheCat Wed 07-Nov-12 15:53:13

Dh is allergic and it gives me asthma but we still have the cat

It would be a shame to re-home him as his mum turned his room into another sitting room and I dont think she would like to change it back tbh

Haha Fluffy.....I just realised that you were talking about DH and not the cat.!!!

FunnysInLaJardin Wed 07-Nov-12 15:55:45

I'm allergic to cats and have always had cats as pets. I 'get used' to my cats but am very allergic to other peoples. I take antihistamine every day and have inhalers. I don't let them upstairs but that is mostly down to fleas

VenusStarr Wed 07-Nov-12 18:03:08

I was allergic to cats when I was younger, literally would come out in lumps on my neck and face, puffy, streaming eyes etc. then when I was about 13 I started begging my mum to let me get a cat cus I love them smile She eventually relented and for the first couple of weeks I did get some allergy symptoms but not as bad as I used to. Ever since then I've been absolutely fine with my cats (my old cat passed away 3 years ago, she came with me when I moved out). Never had any problems with my two.

I do however seem to have developed an allergy to dogs now. It's very strange. None of my cats gave ever gone out for prolonged periods and are regularly flea treated. Ive never had to take antihistamines with my cats smile One of my friends is allergic and the first few times she came over she had to take piriton but now she's ok. But I get that everyone is individual so exposure to cats won't always mean that allergy symptoms will go away smile

bruffin Wed 07-Nov-12 18:10:36

Both DH and Ds are allergic to cars, but they are fine with our one.
DH takes a short while to federative against them and always make sure he washes hand and doesn't touch his face after stroking
Ds has other allergies and tested positive to cat but has not reacted to our cat

Yes but only because they don't affect my breathing. I get blocked nose and itchy eyes it always goes around a week after they arrive.

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