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How to Handle Cat Allergies at Home

HOW TO HANDLE CAT ALLERGIES AT HOME

Sadly, allergies — including pet allergies — can develop at any time. Whether you’ve been allergic to cats for years or have just started developing symptoms, these six steps can help make your home a more comfortable space for you to share with your feline friend.

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1. KEEP YOUR CAT OUT OF YOUR BEDROOM

You might be accustomed to snuggling with your kitty in bed, but sleeping with your cat when you’re allergic will definitely cause problems. Keeping your cat out of your bedroom won’t eliminate allergens from the room, but it will cut down on them drastically and should allow you to breathe (and, ideally, sleep) comfortably.

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2. FILTER THE AIR IN YOUR HOME

Using an air filter has been known to reduce allergens, and it makes sense! Find a filter or filters that are appropriate for the size of your home, and make sure to follow the instructions for setting them up and changing the filters. Also make sure to change the filter on your furnace regularly.

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3. VACUUM AND DUST REGULARLY

Vacuuming and dusting will help keep cat dander in your living space to a minimum — and they don’t have to be time-consuming chores! Try dusting methods that trap particles (like dusting cloths or damp-dusting where appropriate) and use a HEPA filter on your vacuum cleaner and replace it appropriately. Otherwise, cleaning can kick up cat dander into the air and make your allergies worse.

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4. GET RID OF RUGS AND CARPETS

Even with regular vacuuming, rugs and carpets can harbor cat dander and contribute to allergy attacks. Rolling up rugs can be an immediate solution, and replacing carpets with options like hardwood, laminate or tile will cut down on the amount of dander in your home more permanently. If you’re attached to soft flooring, try sticking to area rugs and having them cleaned on a regular basis. That way cat dander won’t have an opportunity to build up too much in the carpet fibers.

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5. GROOM YOUR CAT

It’s true that cats enjoy grooming themselves, but having some help from their humans can make a big difference for allergy control. If possible, ask a member of your household who doesn’t have cat allergies to do the hands-on grooming duties. Wipe your cat down with a damp sponge daily and brush them with a fine-tooth comb to help eliminate some dander and the dried saliva left on your cat’s fur from self-grooming.

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6. CONSIDER MEDICATIONS FOR YOU

Talk to your doctor or allergist about medications to help relieve your allergy symptoms. Make sure to confirm with your doctor the nature of your allergy — if you react to saliva more than dander, for example, this knowledge can help you mitigate the problem! If you’ve only recently developed symptoms, it may be worth making an appointment just to confirm you’re reacting to your cat and not to something else entirely.

Having or developing allergies can be challenging and uncomfortable, especially when it’s your cat causing the reaction. Trying these tactics will help you figure out how to care for you, your cat and your home so you can have many happy (and less sneezy or itchy) years together.


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