Child allergic to our four cats!

(54 Posts)
pigglepot Mon 21-Jun-21 19:19:46

I strongly suspect my 16 month old is very allergic to our fo cats. She didn't used to be when she was tiny but I think she has become allergic and now has an awful red itchy rash in various places all over her body. We went on holiday last week where there were no pets and it almost completely cleared up and since we have been back it has got worse again. I don't want to put her on a daily medication for this obviously. Has anyone had any experience of allergies getting better or solutions to solve it? I would like to try things before considering getting rid of the cats who I do love and have had for a lot of years.

OP’s posts: |
pigglepot Mon 21-Jun-21 19:20:05

*four

OP’s posts: |
Screwcorona Tue 22-Jun-21 06:46:01

I'd get allergy tests to confirm for sure if its the cats. Just in case it's something else
Personally if it is I'd rehome. Its not fair to your child to have allergic reactions every day and cats can live a long time.

AnnaMagnani Tue 22-Jun-21 09:06:05

I'll be honest, if it is the cats they have to go.

Cat allergy is one of the worst and you don't want to end up with a child who is allergic to her own home.

It's a rash now but asthma would be even worse.

TableNiner Tue 22-Jun-21 09:09:57

Allergies normally relate to cat saliva. Not all cats are the same so it could be one or two cats which are the issue. This would be my worst nightmare btw, cats are part of the family too.

pigglepot Tue 22-Jun-21 09:51:13

This actually makes me feel so upset. I'm particularly fond of one of my cats and love the other three too- all of them are rescues but we've had two of them since they were tiny kittens. My daughter is going to the dermatologist today so I'm hoping they might be able to give a bit more clarity. She had a bout of impetigo a few months ago that I think may have triggered her sensitivity (if that's possible). I can't actually imagine having no cats in the house let alone our cats! How do you go about rehoming cats if we have to do that? Is it through a rescue charity or something? I can't beat the idea of them being in a little cage in a rescue centre for weeks or months.

OP’s posts: |
pigglepot Tue 22-Jun-21 09:51:49

TableNiner

Allergies normally relate to cat saliva. Not all cats are the same so it could be one or two cats which are the issue. This would be my worst nightmare btw, cats are part of the family too.


How do I go about working out which ones are the problem? I also read it's to do with cat dander...?

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TheBalletCats Tue 22-Jun-21 10:29:11

I’m allergic to my cats, but I made a choice as an adult to balance Another (Easily Mitigable*) Allergy against having cats of my own. To whom I’m definitely less allergic... Your DD is a bit too wee for that sort of decision; however, as PP have counselled, while you need to be prepared for it, leaping right into rehoming the cats isn’t the way to go either.

• You need to be certain the cats are, indeed, the culprits. With the rash being back, I’d take her to your local pharmacy to get their advice.
• You didn’t mention any respiratory symptoms (eg sneezing, runny nose, sinus issues, coughing &/or wheezing) or eye irritation which - hopefully happily - make me think it’s more likely to be a reaction to something else. Or possibly eczema that’s being irritated by something in the home. AFAIK (other than in anaphylactic & anaphylactoid reactions, which are obviously more widespread) the rash part of pet allergy reactions tends to be localised to around where there was direct contact with the allergen.
• The pharmacist will be able to advise on whether you need to book a GP appointment. If it is an allergic!rash, obviously allergy testing would be the ideal, but an NHS referral in these circs would be vanishingly unlikely. If you can afford private, look for someone who also works in the NHS & will run bloods & arrange further care as/if necessary.
• Were you staying somewhere they provided your bedding & towels last week? It’s possible her skin’s unhappy with your washing powder - or indeed other cleaning stuff you might pick up traces of.
• Were you eating differently at all while you were away? TBH, whether or not you think you were, it’s worth keeping a food diary, especially if you’re going to end up at a GP. If the change is fairly recent, it doesn’t by any chance coincide with a grown-up getting to see your DD face to face for the first time in ages & perhaps giving her treats of some kind?
• If it IS the cats, dealing with any fur that’s not attached to them is important. So brushing them regularly; vacuuming daily; & lint-rolling so you’ll literally not have a hair out of place. That’ll also help if it’s dust[-mites] causing the issue. Not letting the cats sleep where she does until things are figured out, too - sorry if I’m stating the obvious, am just thinking if between us all we’ve given you a list of LITERALLY all the things then you’ll know you’ve really tried it all.
• Again, sorry for the obvious, but making sure your DD’s toiletries aren’t the issue. Were you using all the same ones while you were away? Superdrug’s baby toiletries include an oaty lotion/moisturiser: oats are brilliant for soothing grumpy skin. Aveeno do a whole oat range (but they’re not cruelty free if that matters to you). Child’s Farm baby range includes oaty bubble bath & their moisturisers are basically the stuff of legend. Soothing irritated skin while you uncover the cause of it is always good - & no need to start coating the wee dote in an emollient or anything.

Am sure I’ve forgotten something - had to keep stopping & coming back to this over actual hours, so just hope it makes some kind of sense at this point tbh!

*in my case - compared to anaphylaxis or just one of my “Can’t Believe It’s Not A Second Degree Burn” skin-nonsenses, cat!reaction every time please...

pigglepot Tue 22-Jun-21 11:36:39

TheBalletCats

I’m allergic to my cats, but I made a choice as an adult to balance Another (Easily Mitigable*) Allergy against having cats of my own. To whom I’m definitely less allergic... Your DD is a bit too wee for that sort of decision; however, as PP have counselled, while you need to be prepared for it, leaping right into rehoming the cats isn’t the way to go either.

• You need to be certain the cats are, indeed, the culprits. With the rash being back, I’d take her to your local pharmacy to get their advice.
• You didn’t mention any respiratory symptoms (eg sneezing, runny nose, sinus issues, coughing &/or wheezing) or eye irritation which - hopefully happily - make me think it’s more likely to be a reaction to something else. Or possibly eczema that’s being irritated by something in the home. AFAIK (other than in anaphylactic & anaphylactoid reactions, which are obviously more widespread) the rash part of pet allergy reactions tends to be localised to around where there was direct contact with the allergen.
• The pharmacist will be able to advise on whether you need to book a GP appointment. If it is an allergic!rash, obviously allergy testing would be the ideal, but an NHS referral in these circs would be vanishingly unlikely. If you can afford private, look for someone who also works in the NHS & will run bloods & arrange further care as/if necessary.
• Were you staying somewhere they provided your bedding & towels last week? It’s possible her skin’s unhappy with your washing powder - or indeed other cleaning stuff you might pick up traces of.
• Were you eating differently at all while you were away? TBH, whether or not you think you were, it’s worth keeping a food diary, especially if you’re going to end up at a GP. If the change is fairly recent, it doesn’t by any chance coincide with a grown-up getting to see your DD face to face for the first time in ages & perhaps giving her treats of some kind?
• If it IS the cats, dealing with any fur that’s not attached to them is important. So brushing them regularly; vacuuming daily; & lint-rolling so you’ll literally not have a hair out of place. That’ll also help if it’s dust[-mites] causing the issue. Not letting the cats sleep where she does until things are figured out, too - sorry if I’m stating the obvious, am just thinking if between us all we’ve given you a list of LITERALLY all the things then you’ll know you’ve really tried it all.
• Again, sorry for the obvious, but making sure your DD’s toiletries aren’t the issue. Were you using all the same ones while you were away? Superdrug’s baby toiletries include an oaty lotion/moisturiser: oats are brilliant for soothing grumpy skin. Aveeno do a whole oat range (but they’re not cruelty free if that matters to you). Child’s Farm baby range includes oaty bubble bath & their moisturisers are basically the stuff of legend. Soothing irritated skin while you uncover the cause of it is always good - & no need to start coating the wee dote in an emollient or anything.

Am sure I’ve forgotten something - had to keep stopping & coming back to this over actual hours, so just hope it makes some kind of sense at this point tbh!

*in my case - compared to anaphylaxis or just one of my “Can’t Believe It’s Not A Second Degree Burn” skin-nonsenses, cat!reaction every time please...


Thanks for this very thorough advice I really appreciate it! We took all her own bedding and clothes with us when we were away and didn't wash anything whilst we were there so I don't think it's that. Ditto her bath products and the aveeno cream I've been using on her. She didn't have a different diet (other than perhaps eating a LOT more chips 😂 than she usually does). The cats don't sleep in her room but they do sleep in ours during the day and in the living room when they are allowed so those rooms are definitely areas of concern. I can Hoover more but two of the cats are very long haired so it's an ongoing battle to try to keep on top of it. I also had read that hoovering can disturb the dander and other particles that can cause an allergy so if it is the cats we would need to consider getting a Hoover with a special filter. In terms of the GP and the pharmacist we've got the dermatologist referral today because the GP and pharmacy have been at a loss of what to do with her skin. She had impetigo and since then her skin has been bad to various degrees since and the GP has tried a lot of different things with no lasting success. I think we will have to see what they say today- hopefully it's not the cats but I have to be honest with myself that it had cleared almost completely whilst we were away and has certainly come back again since we've been back. She does have a runny nose and cough a lot but she's in nursery so I've always connected it to that rather than an allergen. Her eyes always seem to be ok.

OP’s posts: |
TaraR2020 Tue 22-Jun-21 11:45:18

Well there are other things around your home she could be allergic to...Fingers crossed you get to the bottom of it and it isn't your cats.

hanahsaunt Tue 22-Jun-21 11:51:23

My parents chose the cat over my severe allergy to it. In fact, when he died they replaced him with two (!!!) cats. My mother is adamant that moving out at 18 and the allergy clearing up was due to me 'growing out' of it and it coming back with a vengeance when I visit my brother and his cats is because I am no longer desensitised like I was as a child ... Allergies are utterly miserable.

MrsRussell Tue 22-Jun-21 12:07:06

Pigglepot, is there a pattern to where the rash is?

I'm just wondering whether there's any clue there - I light up like a candle with bites if I've been out in the garden and I'm going to put it out there, one flea, singular, can bite an awful lot on someone who's low down to the ground like a toddler?

MrsPelligrinoPetrichor Tue 22-Jun-21 12:13:09

No chance it could be a reaction to laundry detergent / fabric softener?

pigglepot Tue 22-Jun-21 12:17:45

MrsPelligrinoPetrichor

No chance it could be a reaction to laundry detergent / fabric softener?


I suppose there is a chance but when we went away we took all her own bedding and clothes so she was using the same detergent there so I had sort of ruled that out

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pigglepot Tue 22-Jun-21 12:19:03

MrsRussell

Pigglepot, is there a pattern to where the rash is?

I'm just wondering whether there's any clue there - I light up like a candle with bites if I've been out in the garden and I'm going to put it out there, one flea, singular, can bite an awful lot on someone who's low down to the ground like a toddler?


She has a lot on her forearms but she also has some on her side and the top of her legs too so it isn't localised to where her skin is exposed for example

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MrsRussell Tue 22-Jun-21 12:28:10

How does she sleep? Position, I mean?

Is t worth a precautionary de-bug of her mattress or duvet - like I say, one single sneaky one of the little sods in your bed somewhere can make life pretty miserable?

pigglepot Tue 22-Jun-21 12:35:02

MrsRussell

How does she sleep? Position, I mean?

Is t worth a precautionary de-bug of her mattress or duvet - like I say, one single sneaky one of the little sods in your bed somewhere can make life pretty miserable?


On her front mainly but she rolls a bit. That's actually a great idea maybe I should change her mattress and mattress cover and see if that makes a difference

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MrsPelligrinoPetrichor Tue 22-Jun-21 13:07:16

Do you treat the house with spray? Get some Indorex and do every room ( not bedding) it's amazing stuff. Better to rule everything out.

lakesummer Tue 22-Jun-21 14:47:52

Another possibility before you hit the permanent rehome button is to put the cats in a cattery for two weeks.

Hoover and steam clean your house thoroughly from top to bottom and see if your dd gets better over the two weeks.

If she does improve that would suggest the cats, if she doesn't that would suggest something else in the home.

bloodywhitecat Tue 22-Jun-21 14:59:16

I was in this position and the cats had to go, with my DD it was triggering some really nasty asthma attacks. DD was allergy tested and we did try everything but in the end we had to ask The Cats Protection League for help in rehoming our three cats. Even then it took almost a year for the dander to leave the house and for DD's asthma to really improve.

pigglepot Tue 22-Jun-21 17:11:37

Update- we've been to the dermatologist today and she seemed pretty certain it was eczema. Apparently it can present in lots of weird and wonderful ways not just the typical dry skin most people are familiar with. I asked about the cats and she said that although it was possible the cats might be making it worse that it was very unlikely. She didn't seem that concerned by the fact it had got better whilst we were away. She said that if it was an allergic reaction my DD would most likely also have runny nose/sneezing/itchy eyes etc in conjunction with the skin issues. So for now at least it seems that the cats are safe with us and hopefully my DD will get better with the creams and things she has been subscribed.

Next issue I have with my darling cats is the fact they keep toileting in the house since we've moved 🤦‍♀️. Another thread perhaps?!

OP’s posts: |
MrsPelligrinoPetrichor Tue 22-Jun-21 18:35:34

Hooray,phew!

Post in The Litter Tray,loads of peeps there who know there stuff and hopefully can help.

Sparrowsong Tue 22-Jun-21 18:37:41

Screwcorona

I'd get allergy tests to confirm for sure if its the cats. Just in case it's something else
Personally if it is I'd rehome. Its not fair to your child to have allergic reactions every day and cats can live a long time.

Yes, definitely rehome the child.

TroysMammy Tue 22-Jun-21 20:00:57

@Sparrowsong my thoughts exactly if the cats were there first wink grin

AnnaMagnani Tue 22-Jun-21 20:22:37

What a relief!

And Litter Tray thread for the cats. I suggest Feliway diffusers, at least one more litter tray than number of cats, cleaning up mess with enzyme cleaner to destroy smell.

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