Many people are allergic to cats. Among them are diehard cat-lovers who still want to have a feline companion. One might think they’re crazy to invite the very thing that can make them ill into their home, but there are ways to reduce the risk and intensity of allergic reactions.
1. Keep cats off your bed
For as long as you are experiencing symptoms of your allergy, your cat must not be allowed onto your bed. If your symptoms are under control, you can try allowing them on your bed. But it might not be a good idea because if your symptoms reappear, kitty won’t understand why he’s being given the boot again!
2. Don’t let your cat into your bedroom
Allergy sufferers should not allow their cats into the bedroom at all so that there is one room in the house devoid of allergens.
3. Keep your bedding clean
Despite your best intentions, your cat will find his way into your room. That’s why you should wash your bedding in hot water at least twice a month. It removes the cat allergens and mites.
4. HEPA filters
High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) purifiers will keep cat allergens out of the air in your home. Fit them in rooms that your cat frequents. Maintain the units by replacing the filters regularly.
5. A good quality vacuum cleaner
You need a powerful vacuum cleaner to keep cat hair and allergens to a minimum in your home. Vacuum everything from the ceiling to the floor and everything in between. Pay attention to hard-to-reach areas such as room corners and between sofa cushions.
6. Steam clean
Steam cleaning is a chemical-free process that rids the house of mites and allergens. Regular steam cleaning of your curtains, furniture and rugs will keep cat allergens to a minimum. If buying a steam cleaner is not within your budget, you can hire one for the day every few months.
7. Keep your hands clean
Wash your hands as soon as you finish handling your cat. Whatever you do, do not rub your eyes, as this is a definite precursor to an allergic attack. Keep wet wipes handy to clean your hands regularly.
8. Keep kitty clean
This doesn’t mean you need to bathe your cat. Let’s face it: Cats really don’t like water, and you’ll come off second-best in a contest with a cat that doesn’t want a bath. You can, however, wipe your cat down with a damp micro-fiber cloth. Consult your veterinarian for sprays that you apply to a cat’s fur to reduce the allergens.
9. Have a ‘cat space’
If your allergy is severe, you might have to consider keeping your cats confined to one room or area of the house. This is not ideal. Cats need attention, and despite their contrary behavior, they love human company.
Have a supply of prescribed antihistamines in the house to take in the event of an allergic attack.