What can I do to reduce my cat allergy problem?
There are a lot of things you can do to stop allergic reactions to cats. Some of them are more practical, some are easy. Just remember that the biggest factor in cat allergies is the concentration of allergens. If you only have mild allergies, it's not that hard to get rid of the problem if you want to have a cat. If you've got serious ones (such as hives from touching a cat), you will have much more difficulty doing it.
Here are a few things to think about doing. REMEMBER - if you have non-allergic people in your household, it is best to have them do this stuff instead of the allergic one. They can be exposed to the cat dander, and will be doing some of this.
1) Get an air purifier. If you get a good one, it will reduce the amount of airborne cat allergen floating around, which means you will breathe in less.
2) Groom the cat daily with a brush/comb. If your allergies are mild enough that you can do this, it will get rid of loose hair and keep the cat from leaving it around everywhere.
3) Have hardwood floors instead of carpet. This is a little drastic, but if you're dead set on a cat and nothing else is working this will reduce allergens as they often collect in carpet.
4) If you can't do that, vacuum the carpet frequently using a dust mask. Remember that it will kick up dust and allergens while you're doing it, which is why you have to use a mask and avoid the area for awhile after.
5) Ventilate the house. Let air get out through the windows, etc.
6) Bathe the cat in regular water at a comfortable temperature once every few weeks. Cats hate it as adults if they aren't used to it, but you can get them used to it if you do it gradually and with some coaxing/treats.
7) Go talk to your doctor. There are some shots, drugs, therapies, etc. that are designed to reduce cat allergies. They won't work with everyone though, and they can be more expensive than some of this stuff.
8) As the name of the site suggests, get rid of any flea problems you have. Fleas mean scratching, and scratching means particles of dust going into the air more often and a higher concentration of allergens.
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