Most of us love cats and they love us right back. Nearly 50 million Americans are cat owners and yet, it is also true that nearly 5-10% of Americans are allergic to pets. More and more parents are also discovering cat allergy symptoms in children. Cat hair or pet dander gets inside curtains, sofas, beds, mattresses and rugs leading to asthma symptoms and allergic rhinitis in adults and children. Cat allergens are extremely small and remain air borne for a long time. Even if you do not keep cats, you may suffer from cat allergies if your neighbor has one. In many cases, cat allergies may never go away completely. However, they but can be easily managed with the following home remedies for cat allergies:
1. Identify the source of allergen
Cat allergies tend to produce same or similar symptoms as other allergic reactions. The first thing to do is to answer the question: “Am I allergic to my cat?” A simple cat allergy blood test can help confirm this. Often times, pet owners are actually allergic to dust, pollen, mold etc and may istakenly believe that their cat is responsible for the allergies.
2. Eliminate or minimize allergens
You can easily eliminate allergens in the air by investing in a good HEPA vacuum cleaner and filter. Additionally, you must wipe down all surfaces with a wet cloth to reduce dander. Try to also empty the cat litter boxes frequently. Wash all bedding an linen once a week in hot water (at least 140 F) to reduce allergen exposure. Clean floors with electrostatic cloth which attracts and holds the allergens preventing it from getting back into your environment.
3. Do not allow cats to sleep on your bed
Yes, you love your cat but the more it sleeps in your bed, the worse your allergy symptoms will get. You might want to let the symptoms reduce a bit before allowing your little pet back in your bed. Until then, keep your bedroom door closed and run a HEPA filter all night. You can also put filters on bedroom ventilation grids.
4. Wash your hands thoroughly several time a day
Avoid touching your nose and eyes when you have a cat around you. Wash your hands frequently throughout the day to minimize cat allergy symptoms like runny nose, watery eyes etc.
5. Take nutritional supplements and follow a healthy diet
Nutritional supplements containing Vitamin C can boost immunity and prevent cat allergies. Eat fruits and vegetables in abundance. Berries, pomegranates, seeds and nuts can provide you with self healing and self fuelling properties to ward off cat allergies. A diet to prevent all kinds of allergies includes: fatty fish, dark leafy green vegetables, mushrooms, grains like buckwheat, quinoa, barley and millet, different colored fruits like strawberries, melons, blueberries and other minimally processed foods. Drink plenty of water which helps throw out toxins to prevent allergy symptoms.
6. Avoid certain foods
If you are prone to cat allergies, you must reduce consumption of processed grains, excess alcohol, caffeine and cured meats. These weaken the immune system making it susceptible to chronic allergies.
7. Eat local honey
This is a wonderful remedy which can help prevent allergies of all kinds and not just cat allergies. Buy certified organic honey made within 100 miles of your home and eat it daily to boost immunity and heal the body.
8. Bathe your cat
Bathe your cat regularly. Talk to your vet about using cat allergen products on the cat’s coat which can minimize the spread of dander in the air. You can also use fragrance free wipes or allergy wipes to reduce dander and remove cat litter from the pet’s fur.
9. Confine the cat to one area of your house
This may not be the easiest way to get rid of cat allergies but it may become absolutely necessary at times. Confining the cat to one area of the home can minimize pet hair from getting on your sofa, beds and sleeping areas.
10. Neuter the cat
Neutering helps reduce the cats’ allergen production, so this is one of the best alternatives to getting cat allergy shots every now and then.
11. Replace cat litter with hypoallergenic varieties
Many varieties of cat litter produce harmful allergens so you might want to consider recycled cat litter or litter made with fine pinewood or whole kernel corn. Clean litter boxes frequently and also place them in a well ventilated area. Avoid placing litter boxes near ducts which can spread the dander around.
12. Leave windows open if possible
Allow fresh air to circulate so that the cat allergens are reduced. If it is winter, try to leave the windows open for at least half an hour each day.
13. Give it some time
If you have recently got a cat home, you need to allow your body to acclimate with the pet. Many pet owners become resistant to cat dander after a couple of weeks. So, you need not give up your cat.
14. Cat allergy medication
As a last resort, or if the cat allergy symptoms worsen, talk to your GP about cat allergy medicines such as steroids, NSAIDs, or other over the counter drugs, bronchodilators or combinations thereof. Do read our article on how to reduce allergy symptoms with herbal remedies here.
We hope these 14 remedies help reduce cat allergies and give you much needed relief.