This is the most complete list of cat allergy remedies on the Web. Period.
In fact, you’ll find 30 actionable tips and tricks on this page.
So, if you’re looking to get rid of your cat allergies, you’ll really enjoy this list.
And here are the strategies you’ll learn about in this post:
- 1. Keep OUT of the Bedroom
- 2. Clean the Air
- 3. Vacuum Often
- 4. Time for a Bath
- 5. NO Hugging and Kissing
- 6. Wash those Hands
- 7. Clean Rigorously and Often
- 8. Smooth Floors and Walls
- 9. Change Your Clothes
- 10. Keep up with the Laundry
- 11. Cover Vents
- 12. Brush
- 13. Keep Outside
- 14. Allergy shots
- 15. Offer a Balanced Diet
- 16. Choose the Right Furniture
- 17. Allergy-Free Cats?
- 18. Medication
- 19. Numbers DO Matter
- 20. Get Some Help
- 21. Pick Allergy-Proof Bedding
- 22. Make Some Rooms off Limits
- 23. Go for a Clutter Free Home
- 24. Sleeping Spots
- 25. Use Wipes
- 26. Spray Allergens Away
- 27. Vapor Steam
- 28. Mind the Litter
- 29. Spay or Neuter?
- 30. Get Tested
Before we dive into the list.
What is a cat allergy?
Here’s the deal:
The job of our immune system is to find foreign substances…
(such as viruses and bacteria)
…and get rid of them.
People with cat allergies have an over-sensitive immune system.
It reacts to harmless proteins that are present in a cat’s saliva, urine, and dander (dried flakes of skin).
A word of caution:
Cat allergy symptoms range from mild to severe.
Seek medical help immediately in case of a severe reaction!
What’s the cure?
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), the best treatment is to avoid contact with cats or the areas where they live.
Removing kitty from your home is often the best treatment.
Let me guess…
No contact or removing is not an option!
So here are some strategies on to how to deal with cat allergies and…
…keep your feline friend.
1. Keep OUT of the Bedroom
OK, I know what you’re thinking. There’s no harm in snuggling with your furry friend.
But consider this:
You spend at least one-third of your time in the bedroom.
That’s a minimum of eight hours every day that you expose yourself to potential allergens!
Here’s the deal:
You need to make your bedroom a cat-free space.
Start by washing bedding, pillows, and drapes in hot water…
…and from then on keep the bedroom door closed.
Also, keep cleaning as it may take weeks before you notice results.
The bottom line is this:
Keep kitty out of the bedroom.
2. Clean the Air
Allergist Dr. Dana Wallace states that:
Of all the pollen, and mold, and animal dander, dust mites that we have studied, the cat dander is absolutely the smallest dander.
What that means is that allergen remains airborne for at least 30 minutes after you disturb it.
And you know what?
That just allows an allergic patient to have constant exposure.
Now, wouldn’t it be great if you could somehow remove allergens from the air?
That’s where an air purifier fits in.
These mechanical filters draw in dirty air…
(trap particles in the filter)
…and release clean air.
It sounds simple. And it is.
But remember this:
You need to get an air purifier with a HEPA filter. These are filters that are capable of removing particles the size of animal allergens.
All you have to do is place the purifier in the room where you or your cat spend most of your time…
…and run the cleaner continuously.
This can reduce the concentration of allergens up to five to seven-fold.
3. Vacuum Often
You want to keep the allergen level in your house as low as possible.
So, you vacuum and sweep regularly.
The only problem?
At this point, you are not removing the allergens…
…but stirring them so they become airborne.
Making allergies worse!
What’s the answer?
You want to get a high-efficiency vacuum cleaner.
These are specially designed to prevent outflow of the contents (including pet allergens) that have been swept up.
Vacuum often and make sure you use a vacuum cleaner that traps allergens.
4. Time for a Bath
Cats have a complex relationship with water.
According to Dr. Katy Nelson, they are averse to getting wet.
Cats do a nice job of bathing themselves—they don’t need you to come along and supplement that for them.
But bear with me.
Giving your kitty a bath once a week can help you in getting rid of your allergies.
There are tests that indicate that a bath can decrease the concentration of allergen by up to 84 percent.
Sounds good, right?
Just make sure you use a shampoo formulated for cats…
…and stop if your feline friend gets traumatized by the experience.
Want to know more about how to bathe your cat?
Check out this veterinarian-approved advice.
5. NO Hugging and Kissing
Hang onto your seat because:
You’re probably not going to like this one…
The best treatment for pet allergies is to avoid contact.
And guess what?
The highest concentration of allergens on a cat’s body is found on the face and neck.
What this means:
You should try not to hug and kiss your feline friend.
In addition to that, have someone who isn’t allergic take care of the washing and brushing.
This might be a difficult one to stick to…
The choice is yours.
6. Wash those Hands
This is one of the simplest tricks on the list.
The first thing you do after you touch or handle kitty:
You wash your hands.
Soap and water will do just fine to remove those allergens.
It’s a no-brainer.
7. Clean Rigorously and Often
Animal allergens are really difficult to get rid of.
Think I’m exaggerating?
Allergist Dr. Warner Carr states that:
Even if you remove a cat from a home, you clean all the walls down, do the laundry, do the draperies, it still takes six months for the level of cat protein to get down to normal.
This means you need to mop the floors, vacuum the rugs, and clean furniture frequently.
Don’t forget to also wash walls and tiles as allergens also stick to these surfaces.
The moral of this story?
Lather, rinse, repeat.
8. Smooth Floors and Walls
Want to know a dirty little secret?
Carpets are the primary reservoir of allergens in a home!
To put it another way:
They can contain 13 times more cat allergens than smooth floors.
But if you’re serious about reducing cat allergies:
Replace carpet for wood, tile or linoleum flooring. Especially try to get rid of wall-to-wall carpets as it’s almost impossible to clean them.
If you must have carpets…
…what can you do about it?
Pick out a type with a low pile.
Beyond that make sure you steam clean them regularly.
Or even better, use washable area rugs and clean them in hot water.
All in all:
Get rid of your carpets!
9. Change Your Clothes
Odds are that this advice has never crossed your mind.
After prolonged exposure to your cat…
…change your clothes.
Pet allergens are really “sticky”.
So they will be all over your clothes.
How do you remove them?
All you have to do is give them a wash.
In addition to that:
You could wear some old shirt or sweater and then change clothes when done playing with your pet.
You get the idea.
10. Keep up with the Laundry
Check this out:
Your clothes or bedding might not look dirty…
…you still need to wash them frequently.
As allergens are microscopic in size, you are not able to see them.
A thorough wash will get rid of them.
The following study investigated the effectiveness of laundry to remove cat allergens.
Make sure you use detergent solutions. As they remove more allergens than soap or water alone.
Also, the water temperature needs to be 130 degrees Fahrenheit (or above) for maximum results.
It really is that simple.
11. Cover Vents
Do you have a forced-air system at home that pushes air through ducts?
Then this is important:
You see, these systems can spread allergens throughout the entire house.
So what can you do about it?
You start by making sure that bedroom vents are covered with dense filtering material like cheesecloth.
Similarly cover vents in other rooms.
Beyond that, you could consider installing a whole-house air cleaner. This involves placing an air cleaning device in the ductwork of your home.
Avoid those allergens from being blow around the house.
Is cat hair an allergen?
However, it can collect dander, urine, and saliva.
On top of that, it can also carry other allergens like dust and pollen.
Do you see where I’m going with this?
Basically, have someone without a pet allergy regularly brush your furry friend.
Make sure to do this outside!
Avoid grooming your pet if you have animal allergies. And if you must groom them…
…be sure to wear a disposable dust mask.
13. Keep Outside
I can’t stress this enough:
The best way to deal with cat allergies is avoidance.
So, a possible solution might be to keep kitty outside.
At least for the most part of the day.
This will cut down on allergen exposure in your home.
Make sure your cat is safe outside.
14. Allergy Shots
What if I told you that one way to treat your allergies…
…is to expose yourself to cat allergens.
Sounds crazy right!
(and contrary to everything I said so far)
But just keep reading and I’ll explain.
Allergy immunotherapy works by exposing the body to minute amounts of an allergen.
It helps the body build up an immunity or tolerance to the allergen.
There are two common types of immunotherapy:
- Allergy shots
- Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT)
Allergy shots involve giving injections of allergens in an increasing dose over time. In the case of SLIT, patients are given small doses of an allergen under the tongue.
The goal is that you progressively become less sensitive to the allergen.
Allergy shots have a proven track record as an effective form of long-term treatment.
Some people will develop complete immunity to cat allergies. However, others may find no relief at all.
Will they work for you?
Talk to your allergist about your options for immunotherapy.
15. Offer a Balanced Diet
Believe it or not, but what your cat eats is also important.
Why is that?
Animals that eat a balanced diet…
…will have healthier skin.
And the best part?
This can prevent dry skin and excess shedding, resulting in fewer allergens.
Go ahead and speak with your veterinarian about feeding your feline friend the right food.
16. Choose the Right Furniture
You are possibly sitting on a hotbed of allergens while reading this post!
Let me explain:
Fabric sofas or armchairs trap a lot of allergens.
To top it off they are difficult to thoroughly clean.
So what can you do about it?
Well, keep kitty off the furniture…
Sounds easy enough, right?
But if that doesn’t work:
Cover upholstered chairs with towels and sheets so you can wash them on a regular basis.
Or even better, go for leather and vinyl as upholstery choice.
17. Allergy-free Cats?
A truly “hypoallergenic” cat does not exist!
According to The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine:
All cats produce allergens.
That being said:
The types and amount of allergen produced can vary significantly between individual cats.
Also, people may react more severely to one particular cat over another.
But here’s the interesting thing:
Differences in allergen production are not related to the length of hair or breed of cat.
Put another way:
All cats produce allergens, but some cats may produce less or more than others.
Can medication help?
Well, there are some options that allow you to control cat allergy symptoms.
You basically have three types of medication:
- Natural remedies
- Over the counter medication
- Prescription based medication
To be clear: medication can work for some and do nothing for others.
According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI):
Over-the-counter allergy medications may help relieve symptoms, but they are not ideal as a long-term treatment.
A quick word of warning:
You should always check with your doctor or allergist before embarking on a new medical treatment.
19. Numbers DO Matter
Owning a high number of cats doesn’t really make your allergies worse right?
The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) states that:
Homes with more than one cat have higher levels of cat allergens.
It’s pretty obvious once you think about it.
In a nutshell:
Stick to one furry friend…
20. Get Some Help
Let’s face it:
Solving a problem is always easier if you get some help.
So what am I talking about?
Have someone who doesn’t have allergies brush or wash your cat.
Similarly, chores like cleaning the litter box or cage are best done by someone without a pet allergy.
This way you don’t inhale the allergens.
It’s easier than you think.
Just ask for help!
21. Pick Allergy-Proof Bedding
Here’s the deal:
You spend about one-third of your day in bed.
So, I can’t stress this enough:
Your bedroom needs to be a cat-free space.
But what if that’s not an option for you?
Well, there’s a way to make it harder for allergens to get into the various parts that make up your bed.
You could get hypoallergenic (allergy-proof) bedding and covers that are made from materials that act as a barrier against allergens.
In addition to that:
Change and wash your sheets at least once a week to prevent allergens from accumulating.
22. Make Some Rooms off Limits
Airborne cat allergen levels have been found to be much higher in rooms where cats are physically present.
Do you see where we’re going with this?
Designate “cat-free” spaces in your home.
In other words: keep your furry friend out of the bedroom or other areas where you spend a lot of time.
According to Allergist Dr. Dana Wallace:
The ideal situation is one where the cat has its private room where it lives most of the time. This really significantly reduces the exposure of dander to the rest of the house.
To top it off:
Restricting kitty to a certain room or area will also make it easier to keep up with cleaning efforts.
In one word: great!
23. Go for a Clutter-Free Home
One way to manage the allergen levels in your home…
…is to clean often.
Now wouldn’t it be great if this was easy?
Go for a clutter-free home.
Make sure you keep ornaments and knickknacks to a minimum.
If you have kids: store toys, games and stuffed animals in plastic bins.
Finally, restrict smaller objects to an organized junk drawer.
Now you’ll be able to clean in record time.
24. Sleeping Spots
Check this out:
Cats usually sleep for about 16 hours a day, on and off.
But that’s not all: they often prefer to rotate their chosen sleeping area.
These means a lot of dander will accumulate in those sleeping spots.
Now here’s the big idea:
You want to get washable pet bedding…
…so you can easily clean away those allergens!
If your feline friend likes to snooze on your furniture, get some washable slipcovers.
Or simply place some towels in the favorite sleeping spots, and wash them once a week.
It couldn’t be easier.
25. Use Wipes
It’s a familiar story and it usually goes like this:
Your cat becomes highly agitated or even aggressive when bathed.
This means a bath is not an option to remove those sticky allergens.
Luckily there’s another way for you to clean your furry friend’s coat:
Hypo-allergenic pet wipes.
You simply brush these wipes over your cat’s fur in order to reduce allergens.
The good news is you can use them daily or as often as you wish.
To top it off they are less stressful for felines who prefer not to be rubbed in the tub.
26. Spray Allergens Away
Imagine for a moment that there was a convenient way to deactivate cat allergens…
…just by using a spray.
Can this really be true?
The fact of the matter is that there are anti-allergen sprays available.
Some of them you apply to your kitty’s coat.
Others you use on carpeting, upholstered furniture, and your mattress to render allergens harmless.
These sprays contain ingredients that break down the structure of allergen proteins.
Sounds impressive, right?
Give them a try.
27. Vapor Steam
Carpets and upholstered furniture are the main reservoirs of allergens in your home.
If you can: replace or remove them.
But if this is not an option…
What do you do?
In short, you need to clean them regularly.
You can vacuum the surface…
…but for a vigorous clean you can use a vapor steam cleaner.
These cleaning appliances use steam to clean and are extremely helpful in killing off cat proteins/dander, which is embedded in your carpets and upholstery.
To top it off steam cleaners provide a chemical-free way of cleaning.
You can get your own device or contact certified professional cleaning services.
The choice is yours.
28. Mind the Litter
Cat allergen is found in urine.
At this point, you probably realize that the litter box is a prime source of allergens.
So here’s the deal:
Keep the box in a separate room and clean it regularly.
Wear gloves and a dust mask when cleaning, and handle the task outside whenever possible.
Or even better ask someone who is not allergic to change the litter.
And that was just the beginning…
…but that’s for another post.
29. Spay or Neuter?
Spaying or neutering your cat will improve their health.
But it doesn’t stop there.
The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine advises to spay or neuter your cat, as this decreases allergen production.
On the other hand, following study states that data about the effect of neutering a cat is inconsistent.
Check with your veterinarian what is best for your feline friend.
30. Get Tested
This is important:
When dealing with allergies always try to look at the bigger picture.
It could be that you are having an allergic reaction to dust or pollen in your cat’s coat. In those cases, the allergy is not to the cat.
You might be able to tolerate contact with kitty in winter. But when spring arrives, all the allergies combined may prove unbearable.
My point is this:
Don’t give up to soon. Keep searching until you find what works for both you and your feline friend.
A good way to start is to get tested.
Here are some links that can help you find an allergist:
Anything I Missed?
Now I’d like to hear from you.
Did I miss one of your favorite ways to deal with cat allergies?
Or maybe you have a question about something.
Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.
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