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Allergies and intolerances

Remedies for cat allergy - want a cat but am allergic to them!

22 replies

boo64 · 22/05/2007 16:30

I really want to get a cat BUT am allergic.

The allergy developed after I left home to go to university about 15 years ago and was only intermittently exposed to the family cat - I'd lived in the same house as her for a few years and been ok.

Has anyone got experience of products like Petalclense or similar. Would these work to the point I'd actually be able to live comfortably with a cat? Or woul

I love cats and really want one again. Advice appreciated!

OP posts:
lorisparkle · 22/05/2007 19:33

I was mildly allergic to our cats when I lived with them, became allergic when I went to university and only saw them infrequently. We now have two cats and I don't have any major problems again! Weird hey, perhaps it might be the same for you.

raspberryberet · 22/05/2007 19:34

I knew a lady once who kept hairless cats, because she was allergic to standard cats. She had a Sphynx, which was completely hairless, and a couple of Cornish Rexes, which have very short, curly hair. She was fine with both.

That said, I understand that it's often the dead skin cells - dandruff! - on cats which causes allergies, being the cat being hairless wouldn't stop that. Depends on which bit of the cat you're allergic to, I suppose.

Hilllary · 22/05/2007 19:35

Well I have always been mildly allergic to horses took antihestamines every day but now if I go near a horse I go into anaphylactic shock so can work both ways.

PeachyChocolateEClair · 22/05/2007 19:40

Different poeple react to different cats, so apart from the Rex cats (Devon Rex are gorgeous things) and Sphynx (remember readingt hey're not so easy to keep) try being with a few. Long ahired, short ahird, make sure they are very different breeds- you might be surprised! My friend for example is extremely allergic to persian style longhairs, but not a good old domestic shortgair (aka moggy)

lorisparkle · 22/05/2007 19:45

Oh yeah forgot to say my allergy is now with the saliva/scent gland secretions of cats and dogs so I am OK as long as they don't rub their mouths on me or lick me, it used to be the hair or something related to the shedding of hair.

CarGirl · 22/05/2007 19:48

I'm allergic to cats and many other things so take antihistamines every day, I think having a cat had not made my allergies worse. Provided I don't stroke the cat and then touch my face I'm fine, I'd say I'm less allergic to them now than I was before.

NeverEndingPileOfLaundry · 22/05/2007 19:49

My Dad is allergic to cats so we never had one when I was little. One then turned up on our doorstep, and HE let it in!! We kept the stray and he was never allergic to it, but he is really bad around other cats that he doesn't live with. I think he must get used to whatever the allergen is with his own cat, though no idea how that works.

fizzbuzz · 22/05/2007 20:27

I used petalcleanse once, but it made no difference at all. Still as allergic as ever....

boo64 · 22/05/2007 21:08

Loris -that's exactly what happened to me - I was mildly allergic before university but it was tolerable, then I went away to uni and came back for the holidays and was really quite allergic.

And when I was pregnant I was even more so.

Hmmm I really need to have a good think about this as it would be really sad to get a cat and then find I wasn't desensitised and have to rehouse it.

Thanks all for your help so far - anyone else?

OP posts:
CarGirl · 22/05/2007 21:12

all my allergies went haywire, yet different with each pregnancy!

jajas · 22/05/2007 21:21

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CarGirl · 22/05/2007 21:40

Have to say we have no carpets, leather sofa etc etc to elimate house dust mites as much as cat hair, also I don't have asthma!

snowwonder · 22/05/2007 21:42

have you seen the hairless cats,
we went to a cat show and saw the strangest looking bald cats......

i feel for you i couldnt be without my cat

boo64 · 23/05/2007 13:39

I know, that's the problem - I love cats and really want one!
It's so annoying!

OP posts:
OrmIrian · 23/05/2007 13:41

It does fade with exposure. We always had cats when I was a child and it was OK - sometimes I got problems and sometimes I didn't. Kept cat out of my room though. DH abd I have had a cat for 14 years now and most of the time I'm fine - have to admit its seems to have worsened since I had the children but still not unbearable.

cheeryface · 23/05/2007 13:42

i feel your pain Boo!
we really really really want to get a dog but ds2 is allergic

Sherbert37 · 23/05/2007 13:45

Our beloved cat died in the summer and I am missing her so much - just to have some company during the day when I am working from home (other than MN of course). I am allergic and so is DS1 so we won't have another but the other day I came home to find a black and white cat on my doorstep sunning herself. I thought someone had bought me a new one!

lorisparkle · 23/05/2007 19:51

If your allergy is not serious and you are willing to take a risk why not get a cat from the RSPCA. From what I understand they always retain ownership of the cat and then if you had to give it back because the allergy was intolerable it would not be as bad. Just an idea. I never really thought about the consequences of my allergy to cats when we got ours so luckily they did not cause any problems.

Peachy · 24/05/2007 12:49

If you're going to have a rescued one, i think most charities would prefer you to spevd time with the cat at the cattery to test for allergy suitability, iyts quite traumatic for an animal to be returned.

twinsnikki · 30/05/2007 13:11

Hiya everyone!

I am what is termed in the medical field as hypersensitive.

I am allergic to everything and I swell if I am touched by cats. In the hospital the aborted an allergy test due to severe reaction...

THAT BEING SAID...I am about to live with two birman kittens!

I hunted around and worked out that I react to different types of cat fur. I found a birman breeder and was in the house for 90 minutes, with 22 cats and no reaction whatsoever!

I rubbed them on my face, cuddled them, outside in the air and the hayfever got me!!

We are due to get our two new babies next week and I am so excited. So perhaps try different types of cat...


DeJager · 30/05/2007 13:30

Personally I think people with allergies should try fostering cats first, instead of buying them.
We always need foster homes, for all kinds of cats. If it works out, great...if not, well, you return the cat to us.
Of course your heart still breaks

It's not an easy thing, but honestly, in the best interest of the cat and yourself, it's not fair to get a cat knowing you allergic, or not knowing how allergic you are.

And yes, it's cat's saliva that does the damage, even when petting them, their saliva is on their fur (cats are very clean animals and some will even clean themselves after you touch them)

I found this on the internet

"Cat Allergy: Patients allergic to cats are allergic to the cat's saliva. However, typical allergic symptoms are not as a result of coming in direct contact with the cat's saliva. Instead, when the cat grooms itself by licking its fur and skin, it deposits its saliva on the fur. The saliva dries, leaving behind the protein antigen that is the source of allergy to cats. These allergens (cat saliva antigens) are very lightweight and are easily aerosolized. Once airborne, the antigen can spread to clothes, furniture, carpeting, or any other household item. "

hope it helps.

x x x

it's up to might find a cat that does not affect you at all, but how many cats do you have to go through to find that one?

fizzbuzz · 30/05/2007 13:36

I don't think it does fade with exposure.
As I have got older, mine has got worse and worse.

I looked after a friends dog for 6 weeks a couple of years ago. I just got worse and worse everyday


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