Most people allergic to cats don't keep a cat in their home. The best treatment for any allergy is avoidance, but many cat lovers do what they can to keep the cat in the house. It is always best to remove a cat from an allergic individual's home. Having said that, most patients I counsel want to reserve cat relocation as the last option. I'm okay with that, as long as the cat is not sending you to the emergency room with brittle asthma.
Assuming Fluffy will not be evicted, here's what may help:
- Keep the cat out of your bedroom at all times, even when you're not home.
- Remove carpeting from your bedroom floor. Removing carpet from your home completely is even better.
- Put a HEPA filter in your bedroom and run it 24/7. I usually don't recommend fancy filters because most allergens are heavier than air. Cat allergen is tiny and remains airborne. Thus, it can be captured by a good filter.
- Mild or moderate cat allergy responds very well to allergy shots. When administered correctly, allergy shots actually induce tolerance in the allergic patients so that future encounters with cats produce milder symptoms.
- After playtime with your cat, wash your hands well and change shirts afterwards. Be careful not to touch your eyes.
Often, we are able to bridge the gap between a cat lover and their cat allergy. When all else fails, removing a cherished member of the family, your cat, from your home can be difficult.
One company I no longer recommend is Allerca Lifestyle Pets which claims to have bred non-allergic cats. The internet is full of stories from people who paid up to $10,000 and never received their cat or a refund. In 2006, Time Magazine
called the new cats one of the best inventions of the year, but it was too good to be true. The U.S. Better Business Bureau has 14 documented complaints and gives Allerca an "F" rating, the worst grade allowable. Google the words "allerca" and "scam" and you'll find some interesting reading.
Note: Information contained in this article should not be considered a substitute for consultation with a board-certified allergist to address individual medical needs.