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..to want to get a cat when three of my close friends are allergic?

(55 Posts)
DangerGrouse Sat 25-Jul-15 14:33:45

I live alone with my toddler and I really want to get a cat. I grew up with them, I find them great company and love having a furry friend to snuggle on a lonely night. They make me feel calm and happy and I like coming home to them blah blah I just like cats you get the picture.
The problem is that I have a group of four very close friends who I see weekly and three of them are allergic to cats.
This is a real dilemma for me as I really value having visitors and need my friends to come and see me - also for company! I don't want them to feel uncomfortable in my house or not want to come round because they are allergic to the cat.
What should I do? Any solutions oh wise women?

araiba Sat 25-Jul-15 14:42:46

if you want your friends to visit again, don't get a cat.

Fatmomma99 Sat 25-Jul-15 14:45:16

My DH is allergic to cats and when we see friends who have them he always takes a piriton or similar * and it's fine.

But we had this before we got our dog. A close friend of my DD was terrified of dogs (plus has both asthma and eczema), her mother doesn't like them either and the friend had 2 younger sisters who were v small. The family had had a couple of negative experiences with dogs jumping up and barking in parks, and they were all v nervous.

I actually put off getting the dog for a few months because I was so worried about their reaction (at the time they came to our house at least once a week).

But eventually we DID get the dog, and they all love her (how could they not, so she is so beautiful and loveable) and having a dog in our lives has MADE my DDs childhood and I love having to walk her regularly (I lost a stone that year).

So def get your cat and enjoy it, and your DC will too. It's good for children to learn how to treat animals and to respect their needs, etc IMO.

* actually, what happens is when we pull up outside the houses he'll turn to me and say "have you got any piriton?" and I'll say "why are you asking me, I'm not the one with the allergies" and then give him a pill. I keep pills in my car (he doesn't drive, so it's def my car!) and my purse because of his bloody allergies, and he NEVER thinks to carry them himself. Grrrr. This might possibly be something I should be posting on my own thread rather than hijacking yours. Sorry DangerGrouse!

contractor6 Sat 25-Jul-15 14:47:47

I am allergic to cats and dogs and still visit, I think that visiting in small doses over long period has helped and lessened issues. If it help, people are allergic to cat saliva not the fur (common misconception) let them know and advise antihistamines when visiting.

alrayyan Sat 25-Jul-15 14:48:33

of course you should. Your friends can take antihistamines and as about 75% of people who are "allergic" are just saying that because they don't like them, only one is likely to be affected.

smile I have a seriously lovely tabby and white kit I have hand reared from one day old so she is exceptionally loving. She will be ready to fly in November smile

EllenJanethickerknickers Sat 25-Jul-15 14:49:05

Get the cat! I want to get a cat, but I'm allergic. I'm still tempted...

Your friends can cope for an hour or two, just don't expect thm to babysit or stay over. smile

ElviraCondomine Sat 25-Jul-15 14:49:59

Piriton isn't enough for me. Even with Piriton, Beconase and extra Ventolin I'd be wheezing and needing high doses of my inhalers for several days. The effects would continue until I had put all my clothes through a hot wash, washed my hair, and continued to take antihistamines for about 72 hours. Sadly it's the reason I don't visit one of my elderly relatives any more - her four cats make it hellish for me.

HippyDippyRidingPretty Sat 25-Jul-15 14:49:59

I'm allergic to animal hair yet still visit friends with animals. Get a cat if you want a cat.

if you have the time, money and adaquete insurance

EllenJanethickerknickers Sat 25-Jul-15 14:50:44

Contractor, I'm allergic to cat and dog dander, it gives me asthma, not saliva.

TrueFact Sat 25-Jul-15 14:54:50

Lots of people outgrow allergies, are they definitely still allergic? I'm a LP and got ds a cat last year. I work with animals and had cats for 20 years previously, however I developed an allergy to our little rescue cat and after 8 months of suffering was ready to rehome her when my symptoms suddenly disappeared.
Either way as pp said they could take antihistamines before visiting, symptoms should be minimal if they're not handling the cat.

howabout Sat 25-Jul-15 14:58:15

Piriton doesn't really work for my DD. Suspect it is partly in her head as giving her pre-emptive treatment sometimes makes her react even before she sees the cat. She sees a lot less of a couple of her friends' houses and relatives than she otherwise would. I asked an adult friend and he said the cure to his problem was getting rid of the cat. However another allergic friend reckons you can control it by only having hard flooring and no soft furnishings and being scrupulous about cleaning. If you can restrict cat to certain rooms this would also help.

Also not sure your friends could mix alcohol with antihistamines.

If you value regular visits from your allergic friends I would think very carefully before acquiring a cat. I don't think they will "get used to it". After a visit to DD's friend I considered going home via A&E as her reaction was so severe.

AnImpalaCalledBABY Sat 25-Jul-15 15:00:03

YANBU

but if it helps there are certain breeds of cats that cause fewer allergy symptoms, my DH is allergic to cats but he has no reaction at all to our siberian cats (and they are very beautiful too)

GloGirl Sat 25-Jul-15 15:01:14

Ask your friends how they would feel about it and if buying a cat would stop them coming round. I have friends who just take anti-histamines when they visit, but it has put my mother of visiting entirely which is fucking brilliant

JasperDamerel Sat 25-Jul-15 15:01:49

It depends how allergic they are to the cat. With most people, I can spend up to 2 hours in their house without needing antihistamines. Not a problem. But then one person I know got a cat to whom I was so violently allergic that if I stood next to someone who had been to her house and not washed their clothes, I would start wheezing within a few seconds. She moved to the other end of the country I'm glad about because it was getting to be like a horrible divorce where mutual friends can't see both sets of friends without all sorts of precautions. We communicate via facebook these days.

GlitterNails Sat 25-Jul-15 15:09:17

I used to be very allergic to them. Often ill for days after seeing one.

I then got adopted by a stray, and eventually took him in (after a long time of trying to find out if he had a family or a home). At first I took antihistamine daily and eventually I just didn't need to anymore, my body just got used to it.

However, that's obviously different from someone who just visits weekly. I wouldn't have ever expected someone to not get a pet - I just took antihistamine with me.

For some, this still isn't enough though and they still struggle.

theblairbitchproject Sat 25-Jul-15 15:14:36

I know people who own cats and are allergic, and they somehow manage.

SorchaN Sat 25-Jul-15 15:24:14

There do seem to be different levels of reaction. I have a friend who developed a cat allergy in her 30s, after having had cats for years, and she isn't able to come to my house any more because of my cats, so we meet elsewhere. Her allergy is really severe though. My daughter, on the other hand, takes piriton occasionally and then she's fine. So it might depend on the severity of your friends' allergies.

bruffin Sat 25-Jul-15 15:24:56

Both DS and DH are allergic to cats, but are ok with ours. DH is definitely affected by other peoples cats, but if he is around them long enough he gets "used " to them.

MuttonCadet Sat 25-Jul-15 15:25:55

I avoid friends who have got cats, piriton makes me really sleepy and if I don't take it I swell up.

Friends know I'm allergic, if they then get a cat they can come and see me.

MyHovercraftIsFullOfEels Sat 25-Jul-15 15:27:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LooseSeal Sat 25-Jul-15 15:33:28

I'm allergic to cats but can cope with visiting houses where they live for a few hours. It might help your friends if you hovered your carpets and sofa before they came round.

I once heard that the darker the at the more likely it was to cause alergic reactions in people, but that could be complete bobbins.

sticklebrickstickle Sat 25-Jul-15 15:35:47

Of course if you want a cat get a cat!

However I think you have to accept that your friends may not visit you as often (or at all) if you have a cat. As others have said there are different levels of allergy - I have several friends allergic to cats but for most of them it just causes itchy/ watery eyes and sneezing and they are okay so long as they don't touch the cat or sit too close for it. They're happy to visit and stay with friends who have cats. I have one friend though who gets very wheezy as soon as he is in a house with a cat or sometimes even if he is next to someone who's previously been near a cat! He avoids houses with cats and people with cats have to go to him.

So it's hard to predict whether your friends will/ won't still visit you. If your cat is causing them an uncomfortable reaction then they will of course be completely reasonable to stop visiting but the reaction may not be that bad.

Piffyonarockbun Sat 25-Jul-15 15:41:52

i had this issue. i have laminate flooring and a mostly leather sofa which helps. before my friend came round i would hoover thoroughly and dehair the sofa and curtains. i would also dust thoroughly with damp cloths to get rid of the dander and air the room thoroughly. for the duration of her visit the cats were kept in another room.

we managed and she had quite a bad reaction so i was always careful and it was bearable. she still visited me grin. frankly i would rather meet in cafes or always go to hers than lose my kitties (although i am one kitty down after a nasty incident with a lurcher yesterday sad )

Spartans Sat 25-Jul-15 15:42:11

Dh can't go into house with cats at all. Piriton doesn't work and his skin and breathing is and for days.

It really depends on how allergic they are and how bothered you will be if they stop visiting

londonrach Sat 25-Jul-15 15:45:27

If you were my friend sadly i couldnt visit. I even struggle in my clinic if patients have a cat at home. No hayfever tablet works. Pity as cats are so cute. For some reason im ok if cat and i are in outside environment its enclosed spaces that are worse. Could you friends go straight into your garden so avoiding the cat.

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