It's a catch-22: you love cats but you can't seem to have one because of your allergies. While it may take a little extra work on your part, there are ways to put a cap on your allergy symptoms. Talk with your veterinarian to see what you can do to reduce your symptoms and read on for tips to make your home and pet less allergenic.
Start off with the Right Breed
You've probably thought that the only breed you could get that wouldn't upset your allergies was the Sphynx, because they're hairless. However, cats with undercoats aren't necessarily the problem when it comes to allergies. Many allergies are caused by a protein (called "Fel-d1") found in cat saliva and oil glands. And since cats use their tongue and saliva to clean themselves, they get this allergen in their fur and on their skin So, you need to find a breed that sheds less dander, or skin flakes—not necessarily a breed with less fur. While there is no truly hypoallergenic breed since every cat produces som Fel-d1, there are breeds that produce less of it.
Use the Right Litter Box
Not only are cat allergens released in saliva, but they can be found in urine. Make sure you have another family member clean the litter box for you to avoid a reaction. If you are in charge of the litter box, make sure you buy a brand that has larger particles over finer litter particles (less dusty) or opt for alternative methods like pine or newspaper so that the allergens stay contained rather than releasing in the air.
Bathe Them Often
Talk with your vet about the proper grooming and bathing schedule for your breed. Your vet can also tell you what shampoos are safe for adult cats or kittens—do not use your shampoo to watch your cat. Speaking of allergies, human shampoo is much too harsh for cat's skin and will not only cause itching, it will flake off more dander!
Get Allergy Shots and Take the Right Medicine
Not only does your cat need to stay up-to-date on their shots, but you should be taking either antihistamine pills or allergy shots.
Invest In a Filter and Clean House
Invest in a high-efficiency particulate arresting filter (HEPA). These filters are strong enough to be used in medical facilities, so they should work wonders for your home. They will help you contain the spread of dander. However, you may have to up your cleaning schedule and restrict your cat to certain areas of your home to avoid the spread of allergens.
Contact a clinic such as Apple Valley Animal Hospital for more information.