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BEACON Senior News - Western Colorado

7 ways to lose cat allergies and keep your pet

Apr 28, 2024 10:23AM ● By Sara Ferguson

Allergy season is here, and it can be challenging when you or someone you live with suddenly develop an allergy to your beloved cat. The good news is that there are several options for managing cat allergies, which might allow you to avoid rehoming your furry companion. 

Research suggests that many people with cat allergies frequently react to other allergens like pollen and dust, and may also have food sensitivities. By identifying and steering clear of these triggers, you could potentially improve your allergic reaction to cats. Here are other practical steps you can take within your home to further reduce the impact of cat allergies:

1. Follow commonsense advice. Limit cat allergens by keeping them out of the bedroom, brushing them regularly and making sure to vacuum and dust frequently. The allergic individual should also avoid touching his or her eyes or nose when around them. An air purifier can do wonders during allergy season and may not even be needed the rest of the year.

2. Inspect your home for possible triggers. It may be your cat’s litter that’s the culprit. If you’re using scented litter, switching to unscented might help, as fragrance chemicals are often unregulated and can aggravate allergies. Non-clay litters are also worth considering.

3. Evaluate your cleaning products. Household cleaners often contain air contaminants, such as those found in scented laundry detergents that can linger on clothing. Many of these chemicals are allergenic and carcinogenic. If allergies worsen during or after cleaning, opt for natural and unscented alternatives.

4. Skip the scents entirely. Plug-in air “fresheners,” sprays and candles have not been proven safe for pets or humans. Even natural incense can trigger allergies. 

5. Limit smoking. Of course, smoking is a known allergen and can negatively impact the health of everyone in the household, including cats. 

6. Explore allergy treatments. Traditional allergy medications often have side effects, and allergy testing can be both costly and time-consuming. However, other options exist. Sublingual immunotherapy, more commonly known as allergy drops, can help reduce sensitivity to allergens. Many individuals who undergo this treatment for several years find they can eventually discontinue it and remain allergy-free for decades.

7. Consider dietary changes. Both you (or the person with allergies) and your cat may benefit from modifying your diets. Common triggers in human food include dairy, wheat, corn, eggs, soy and citrus. A simple elimination diet can help identify which foods are causing the reactions. The allergic person may only need to make these dietary adjustments during high-pollen seasons. 

For cats, there’s allergen-reducing cat food. LiveClear by Purina has been on the market for about three years now, and the online reviews are positive. 

Let’s hope a simple diet change for your cats, combined with reducing allergy triggers and possibly low-impact immunotherapy will allow you to keep your family together!