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It turns out I'm allergic to the cat, what pet can we get instead?

(14 Posts)
Linnet Mon 07-Sep-09 12:51:29

My dd's wanted a pet and after lots of thought and discussion we got a 10 month old kitten from the cats protection league.

We've had him for 3 weeks now and i'm allergic to him. We did know that there might be a problem and had back up plans but it turns out that none of them are working and I can't live with the wheezing, itchy eyes and sneezing any longer.
I'm devasted, he is a lovely kitten and we all love him but he's going to have to go back to the CPL. The girls understand that if he's making me so ill he will have to go.

So, the girls would like to get another pet, any suggestions?
Not a dog as we don't have the time to walk one.

weegiemum Mon 07-Sep-09 12:54:09

Is it just cats you are allergic to? I know a few people for whom it is just cats (due to cat saliva) who have hamsters/guinea pigs/rabbits.

Would one of them suit?

(My vote is for Guinea Pigs - cos ours are great)

BroodyChook Mon 07-Sep-09 12:54:39

Do you have a garden? If so, consider chickens. My DH is allergic to cats, and my DS is allergic to dogs, so we had to think slightly outside the box wink Chickens are fab pets, hugely entertaining, easy to tame and care for, and they lay food. My children adore ours.

hayes Mon 07-Sep-09 13:02:11

agree that guinea pigs are great pets, get two of them at the same time.

Linnet Mon 07-Sep-09 13:12:29

I think chickens would be a no as we have a shared back garden with the flat upstairs and I don't see he lady up there agreeing to having chickens in the back garden. Plus I'm sure it says in our deeds that we're not allowed to keep poultry.

I don't know anything about guinea pigs. Do they smell? do they have to live outside? can they live inside? Are they expensive to keep?

I had hamsters as a child and was fine with them but they are such nippy little bitey creatures that's putting me off slightly, although the girls did suggest a hamster.

My cousin has rabbits and keeps offering us one but I'm not sure I want a rabbit.

thanks for the suggestions keep them coming.

Katisha Mon 07-Sep-09 13:20:19

If you are allergic to the cat you may well be allergic to other furry creatures. I can't be near cats, rabbits or dogs sadly.

123andaway Mon 07-Sep-09 13:49:55

Guinea pigs are great, we have 4. They are really friendly little things and a great size for kids to hold. It's very rare for a guinea pig to bite, they have a lovely nature and are very sociable.

Ours live inside. We have a 3 story indoor cage for them. You need to clean them out about twice a week or they start to niff abit! GP's are also happy in the garden in a hutch. It's just down to personal preference where you want to keep them really. You should buy them in pairs, as they are so sociable.

Could you get your doctor to do some allergy tests before you get another pet? That way you should know what you are and aren't alergic to.

thesunshinesbrightly Tue 08-Sep-09 11:09:49

i'm allergic to cats (always have been) but i have 2, with me i get used to the hair after bloodshot eyes etc... maybe in time you will get used to the hair, i do. alot of people who have a allergic reaction do to.

OrmIrian Tue 08-Sep-09 11:12:34

You can get used to it. When I was a child I was dangerously allergic to them - but we always had one, just not in my room. And the allergy reduced over time. I find that I am not at all allergic to mine, other cats can affect me a little.

However if you are sure I would go for guinea pigs or a house rabbit. I have rats and they are wonderful but you may also be allergic to them - I am a little.

AvengingGerbil Tue 08-Sep-09 11:13:55


MoominMymbleandMy Tue 08-Sep-09 11:19:47

As others have said, it is possible to acclimatise to your own cat if you're prepared to wait a few weeks.

I sneezed, wheezed and had itchy eyes when we got our kittens and their predecessors.

When it was bad I'd take an antihistamine but the symptoms did get less and then disappeared.

Vaccuuming a lot and scrupulous hand washing helps alleviate it.

I've no ideas on other pets because I've always had cats. Reptiles, perhaps?

bodiddly Tue 08-Sep-09 11:29:50

I am allergic to mine, and I have 3 to contend with! I took anti-histamine for the first couple of weeks and gradually got used to them. That said, I still get itchy eyes and sneezy if any of them sit on me for more than 10 minutes! I wouldn't swap them for the world though - they are great pets! Perhaps dose yourself up for a few days and see if it gets any easier.

steamedtreaclesponge Tue 08-Sep-09 11:41:22

I think guinea pigs would be worth a try - a lot of people are allergic to cats' saliva, which you obviously come into contact with since they wash themselves with their tongues, so this wouldn't be a problem with guinea pigs. Rabbits might also be worth a try but they need more space than guinea pigs - you'd have to get a run in the garden for them. They are also quite highly-strung and you really need to know how to look after them. If you do get guinea pigs or rabbits, you'll need to get two as they are highly sociable animals and it is cruel to keep them on their own.

Rats also make amazing pets and are a lot of fun, but they don't live very long - two or three years at most.

If it's the fur that's the problem, how about a hairless cat? I know most people hate them but they are actually very sweet, in a boggle-eyed kind of way. They're lovely to stroke, as well - like warm, wrinkly velvet. Much less hoovering to to, as well...

Linnet Wed 09-Sep-09 18:31:23

Thanks for all your suggestions. I have been taking antihistamine but it doesn't seem to be making much difference. It's the wheezing that bothers me most and the cough that I've developed.

We will discuss guinea pigs, not sure if we've got enough room in the house for them, and the back garden is shared, so we'll have to see.

Thanks again.

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