How to Get Rid of Cat Allergies?

Cats can make amazing pets, but being allergic to them can be incredibly challenging. While avoiding contact with cats would work, that’s not an option for many people for one reason or another. Maybe your roommate needs an emotional support animal. Maybe you have a cat, and you’ve just developed allergies. Whatever the case, there are certain steps that you can take to reduce the impact of cat allergies on your daily life.

What Causes Cat Allergies?

It’s a common misconception that cat allergies are caused by cat fur, which leads people to believe that hairless cats are the solution to cat allergies, but the true cause of cat allergies is a protein called Fel D1, which is found in cat saliva. After cats clean themselves, the saliva dries, and Fel D1 becomes airborne, causing allergic reactions in some people.

At the most basic level, allergies occur when the body’s immune system believes that something is harmful (e.g., cats, peanuts, etc.) when it isn’t. When the body senses something dangerous, the immune system begins a full scale attack to neutralize the perceived threat, which is what creates the allergy symptoms.

Certain cats are also better for allergies. Male cats, especially intact males, tend to produce more allergens. Additionally, some breeds are known for being more hypoallergenic such as Devon Rex and Sphynx, although it’s important to note that no cat is completely hypoallergenic.

How to Get Rid of Cat Allergies Naturally?

Bedroom

Restrict Cats in the Bedroom

One of the easiest ways to improve your cat allergies is to keep your bedroom a cat-free zone. While there can still be cat allergens present even if the cat isn’t physically present, keeping cat-free zones will still significantly reduce the amount of airborne allergens as compared to the other rooms in the house.

Person wahsing hands

Wash Your Hands Frequently

Cats are adorable! Even if you’re allergic, it’s hard to stay away and refrain from petting the cat. However, after doing this, it’s important to wash your hands before you touch your face. Otherwise it’s easy to get stuck in a loop of watery eyes causing you to rub your eyes, making your eyes even more watery and itchy.

Person brushing cat in a box

Groom Your Cat Regularly

Washing your cat more frequently is a solution that can be significantly more daunting for cat owners, as compared to dog owners. Some cats can be belligerent when it comes to bath time, which makes weekly bathing a tall task. However, regular washing can reduce the amount of allergens spreading from the cat.

Brushing your cat is an even more effective way to reduce the amount of loose dander on your cat. It’s best to do this outside or in a cat-designated area since brushing can also release more allergens into the air.

Vacuuming floor

Clean Your House Regularly

While it’s probably one of the more obvious solutions, cleaning your house can be a very effective way to reduce allergens in your home. Allergens will accumulate on every surface, so wiping and dusting regularly can improve your allergy symptoms. If possible, it’s best for a person who isn’t allergic to do the cleaning. However, that may not always be possible, and a dust mask can help if you’re allergic and doing the cleaning.

Hardwoof floor in empty kitchen

Change Your Flooring

While it’s not the easiest fix, switching out carpeting and rugs for smooth flooring can be great for allergies. Carpeted areas can hold about 13x more allergens than smooth flooring, and carpet is also known for storing dust and pollen. Therefore, smooth flooring such as wood or tile can be a better choice for those with cat allergies.

What Products Can Help with Cat Allergies?

Air Purifiers

Air purifiers can be a very effective option to remove airborne allergens from your home. Air purifiers with a HEPA filter can remove up to 99.7% of particles, which can significantly improve your allergies. Some companies even make filters specifically designed for pet allergies. The downside of air purifiers is that it can become expensive to put one in each room and replace the filters as frequently as recommended.

Air purifiers can also be integrated into your HVAC system by professionals. The benefit is that the purified air spreads throughout the house. The cost ranges from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. HEPA filters can also be equipped on vacuum cleaners to prevent the release of allergens back into the air.

Antihistamines

Antihistamines are the go-to medicine to take for general allergies. When your body has an allergic reaction, your immune system will generate histamines to fight the allergens. Histamines generate many of the symptoms of cat allergies and can be tempered with antihistamines such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl), loratadine (Claritin) or cetirizine (Zyrtec).

Antihistamines can be useful in certain situations. For example, if you’re going to be around cats for a temporary period of time, antihistamines are likely the most appropriate solution. Antihistamines are less suitable for longer periods of time since you will likely build a tolerance. Additionally, most drugs in the antihistamine class create significant drowsiness.

Make sure you discuss options with your doctor because there can also be negative drug interactions with antihistamines, and your doctor can also prescribe stronger prescription treatments like allergy shots.

Cat Allergy Wipes

One relatively inexpensive solution is allergy wipes. Going along with the grooming solutions, cat allergy wipes are specially designed to reduce the dander on your cat while cleaning their fur.

Cat Allergy Sprays

Cat allergy sprays claim to neutralize allergens when sprayed on any kind of surface, so they can be a helpful addition to your cleaning routine. It’s also important to make sure that all ingredients in the spray are safe for cats. Generally, however, most brands make sprays that the cats themselves don’t like or are dangerous to both the cats and owners. Pacagen’s Cat Allergen Neutralizing Spray is a targeted solution designed to safely and effectively neutralize the Fel D1 in the air or on surfaces.

Conclusions

If you’re interested in having a feline friend, but you’re also allergic to cats, there are many ways to reduce the severity of your allergies. From cleaning your house and your cat to buying products that reduce allergens, there are a lot of solutions that you can try. One of the most reliable solutions is Pacagen’s Cat Allergen Neutralizing Spray, designed to safely and quickly neutralize cat allergens.