You brought home an adorable kitten, just to find out one of your family is allergic to cats. After confirming the allergy with an allergist, what next? Before you rush to get rid of your furry family member, consider these tips.
- Make an allergy free zone-. Cats love soft surfaces to sleep on, especially the beds and pillows of their owners. Make the bedroom of the allergy suffer a cat free zone so that they have a place to get away from the trigger.
- Use air purifiers. Put a good quality HEPA air filter in the bedroom. If possible, also place HEPA air filters in the rooms the cat spends a lot of time in.
- Ditch the carpeting. Carpets hold a lot of dust and allergens, and vacuuming tosses a lot of those particles into the air. Replacing carpets with hardwood flooring can go a long way in decreasing allergens of all types.
- Wash hands often. Make sure that the family member with the allergy washes their hands and face anytime they are in contact with or pet the cat.
- Wash cat beds and clean furniture. Wash all linens the cat sleeps on, including cat beds, covers on sofa cushions or throw blankets. Washing with hot water will help to decrease the amount of allergens carried through the home.
- Open windows. Unless there are seasonal allergies to be taken into consideration, airing out the house can help keep allergic reactions at a minimum.
- Bathe or brush. If your cat will tolerate bathing, do so once a week. If not, keep the cat brushed and use nontoxic pet cleaning wipes to help keep shedding at a minimum.
Ramie Tritt, M.D., President, Atlanta ENT