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Im Allergic To My Cat!


Having a cat allergy came as something of a surprise to me. Growing up, I had many pets - cats, dogs and birds. My family were animal lovers and pets abounded, so being in contact with animals was a daily occurance. No one ever seemed to suffer from a cat allergy or any kind of animal allergy for that matter.

After my teens and my last pet had died, I wasn't in a position to take on another pet for many years. Then, eleven years ago, a friend of a cousin was looking for a home for their last remaining kitten. And so it was that Kira came into my life. This was a cat with attitude (and still is!) and we bonded pretty much immediately. While she was still a kitten, I'd put her in the kitchen overnight with a little cat bed to sleep in and the litter box close by.

As she grew older, I started letting her sleep in the bedroom. It's surprising how relaxing a cat's purring can be in wee small hours.

A little over a year later, when down with the vet getting some supplies, I heard that there was a kitten that needed a home or it would have to be put to sleep. And so, Fritz came home with me that day.

Unfortuately, Kira was less than impressed with this interloper and I had to keep the two separated for several days before an uneasy truce ensued.

They're an odd pair - Kira has attitude, Fritz is much more companionable; what you'd call a "gentle soul". She's still the Queen around the house and occasionally puts Fritz in his place with a right-hook to the face when she feels the need to assert her authority.

As Fritz matured, he also was allowed into the bedroom. Both he and Kira would sleep there during the day and night, as was their want.

We all know that cats are the greatest creature-comfort-seeking animals on the planet and a comfy place to catnap is one of their major concerns. But the place your cat chooses to snooze may not be your first choice. While I didn't mind the cats sleeping on the bed, I did take exception to Fritz's tendency to charge in from the garden and sleep in a basket of warm, freshly dried laundry straight from the dryer.

The Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine recently conducted a poll of pet-owners on the sleeping habits of their pets and found that 60% of them sleep in bed with one of the family. Where cats are concerned, there are two potential problems here: one is that, somehow, they manage to take up 90% of the bed and the other has to do with allergies.

I found I had a mild cat allergy when I started producing weird wheezing noises any time I was doing something strenuous. Coughing eased it for a few minutes but it would always return. I figured I'd developed a mild form of asthma, probably due to bad air quality and pollution, so I went to the doctor to have it checked out. After listening to my lungs he asked me one question: "Do you have a cat?"

Well, yes, I did. Two in fact.

"You're allergic to your cats", he intoned.

Then he asked if the cats slept in the bedroom. Of course they did.

"There's your real problem", he said. "What you're allergic to is the dander produced by your cats. When a cat sleeps on your bed, the dander ends up in the sheets and the duvet and you breathe it in deeply at night when you're asleep. Not good. That's what causes your wheeziness. Stop the cats sleeping in your bedroom for two or three weeks and see if that eases your symptoms. If not, you'll probably need to use an inhaler for the rest of your life."

Ok, that last sentence kinda hit me between the eyes. Much as I love my two furballs, I didn't want to suffer a long-lasting health problem that could possibly be avoided.

So why is dander such a problem? It's the layer of dead skin that's rich in animal protein, which is continuously shed by animals. Sebaceous (oil producing) glands in the skin also produce these protein allergens. Male cats have, on average, greater amounts of sebaceous secretions and therefore are more allergenic than female or neutered male cats. This is a result of testosterone hormone effects on sebaceous glands.

So, with that information and the prospect of an enduring health problem, I banned my cats from the bedroom, threw out the duvet (on the advice of the doctor), bought a new one and changed everything on the bed (including getting new pillows). I didn't get too much sleep the first few nights with the cats meowing and scratching on the door to get in but they got used to the idea, finally. After three weeks in a cat free bedroom, my wheeziness had all but disappeared. The cats haven't been allowed back in since.

Should you find yourself with a similar cat allergy problem, banning the cat from your bedroom is one possible course of action. Alternatively, you can get your cat his own cat bed and put that somewhere out of harm's way (yours and the cat's).

Since finding out I was mildly allergic to my cats, I've spoken to other cat owners about it and quite a number also suffer some mild form of allergic reaction - sneezing, wheezing, watering eyes, blocked sinuses and so on. Owners appear to become at least somewhat immune to their own cats insofar as the symptoms are not as pronounced as they become when they're around other people's cats.

But, having said that, none of us would ever part with our feline companions and would exhort others to adopt a cat as a pet, as the benefits far outweigh any minor inconveniences.

Animal dander allergy can significantly contribute to respiratory problems involving the sinuses, nasal passages, and eyes, as well as causing upper respiratory tract problems that can result in asthma (as in my case). These problems can significantly diminish your quality of life despite various medical treatments. For some people, it can be even more serious, leading to recurrent acute asthmatic attacks that can be life threatening, requiring emergency room visits and hospitalizations. The good news is that most people who are allergic to their pets can keep their symptoms under control if they know the facts.

Gary Nugent has been a life-long animal lover, especially of cats and is the webmaster of http://www.just-pet-cats.com - Make the best choices to keep your cat healthy, happy and long-lived. Information about cats in general, health issues that can affect them, some of their weird and wonderful behavior patterns, their history, and how to choose various products, supplies and toys for your feline furball. And, not to forget about you...there are a few things on the site to keep cat owners amused as well.


TODAYS NEWS BY OFFICEJAX FREE ADVERTISING AND AD EXCHANGE SOLUTIONSMORE PETS INFORMATION RESOURCES updated Sun. July / 05 / 2020

Pet Scene: Summit County's adoptable pets for the week of July 5, 2020 - Summit Daily News
Pet Scene: Summit County's adoptable pets for the week of July 5, 2020  Summit Daily News

Pet safety during 4th of July: How to keep your furry friends from running off at the sound of fireworks - 13newsnow.com WVEC
Pet safety during 4th of July: How to keep your furry friends from running off at the sound of fireworks  13newsnow.com WVEC

Veterinary project on a mission to help pets in need - Stockton Record
Veterinary project on a mission to help pets in need  Stockton Record

Keeping pets safe during Fourth of July fireworks - - CBS19 News
Keeping pets safe during Fourth of July fireworks -  CBS19 News

PET TALK: Having a safe, paw-triotic Fourth of July weekend - Paris News
PET TALK: Having a safe, paw-triotic Fourth of July weekend  Paris News

Pets of the week: A couple of quiet guys looking for a home - Duluth News Tribune
Pets of the week: A couple of quiet guys looking for a home  Duluth News Tribune

Keeping your pets safe on Fourth of July with help from Wag N Wash - FOX21News.com
Keeping your pets safe on Fourth of July with help from Wag N Wash  FOX21News.com

Aggieland Humane Society Pets of the Week: Bella and Midnight - KBTX
Aggieland Humane Society Pets of the Week: Bella and Midnight  KBTX

Toasty summer days and more pets - Wilmington News Journal, OH
Toasty summer days and more pets  Wilmington News Journal, OH

Pet Pals TV: Heat strokes in pets - WISHTV.com
Pet Pals TV: Heat strokes in pets  WISHTV.com

Veterinarians offer advice to keep your pets calm during Fourth of July fireworks - KBJR 6
Veterinarians offer advice to keep your pets calm during Fourth of July fireworks  KBJR 6

Hot cars: What you need to know to keep children and pets safe this summer - KTIV
Hot cars: What you need to know to keep children and pets safe this summer  KTIV

Celebrate Independence Day With These Pets Up For Adoption on Long Island - Long Island Press
Celebrate Independence Day With These Pets Up For Adoption on Long Island  Long Island Press

Chicago text line can help reunite you with lost pet Fourth of July weekend - WGN TV Chicago
Chicago text line can help reunite you with lost pet Fourth of July weekend  WGN TV Chicago

Pets of the Month: Snoopy and Woodstock from Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue - WFMZ Allentown
Pets of the Month: Snoopy and Woodstock from Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue  WFMZ Allentown

Young-Williams Animal Center shares tips for keeping pets safe during Fourth of July - WATE 6 On Your Side
Young-Williams Animal Center shares tips for keeping pets safe during Fourth of July  WATE 6 On Your Side

Maggie and more pets up for adoption in Phoenix-area shelters this week - AZCentral
Maggie and more pets up for adoption in Phoenix-area shelters this week  AZCentral

Roxbury Resident Pursues Pet Pink Parakeet - TAPinto.net
Roxbury Resident Pursues Pet Pink Parakeet  TAPinto.net

NJ 'Moose's Law' prohibits animal abusers from owning pets - My Central Jersey
NJ 'Moose's Law' prohibits animal abusers from owning pets  My Central Jersey

Fireworks this weekend could be very stressful for your pets - WOAI
Fireworks this weekend could be very stressful for your pets  WOAI

The sounds of fireworks can be scary for many pets - WIBW
The sounds of fireworks can be scary for many pets  WIBW

Tips to protect kids, pets from heat - nbc25news.com
Tips to protect kids, pets from heat  nbc25news.com

Meet One of Our Adorable, Adoptable Pets - Ursula - Patch.com
Meet One of Our Adorable, Adoptable Pets - Ursula  Patch.com

Tips to Keep Pets Calm During July 4 Fireworks - NBC San Diego
Tips to Keep Pets Calm During July 4 Fireworks  NBC San Diego

TIPS: Keeping pets safe this Fourth of July - CBS19.tv KYTX
TIPS: Keeping pets safe this Fourth of July  CBS19.tv KYTX

Featured pets — July 4 | Pets And Animals - Frederick News Post
Featured pets — July 4 | Pets And Animals  Frederick News Post

Dangers of foxtail barley to pets - KFYR
Dangers of foxtail barley to pets  KFYR

Keeping pets calm during fireworks - fox2now.com
Keeping pets calm during fireworks  fox2now.com

Galveston County Animal Resource Center's pets of the week - Galveston County Daily News
Galveston County Animal Resource Center's pets of the week  Galveston County Daily News

Summer sun poses threats to pets and humans - CIProud.com
Summer sun poses threats to pets and humans  CIProud.com

Galveston Island Humane Society pets of the week - Galveston County Daily News
Galveston Island Humane Society pets of the week  Galveston County Daily News

Keep your pets safe this weekend with these fireworks safety tips - Clarksville Now
Keep your pets safe this weekend with these fireworks safety tips  Clarksville Now

How to keep your pets calm this Fourth of July - KHQ Right Now
How to keep your pets calm this Fourth of July  KHQ Right Now

Dog bites are up; parents advised to supervise children, gives pets a little 'me time' - Omaha World-Herald
Dog bites are up; parents advised to supervise children, gives pets a little 'me time'  Omaha World-Herald

Boom in fireworks triggering veterans, terrorizing pets - News from southeastern Connecticut - theday.com
Boom in fireworks triggering veterans, terrorizing pets - News from southeastern Connecticut  theday.com

Fourth of July Pet Safety - WCJB
Fourth of July Pet Safety  WCJB

Veterinarians Talk Pet Safety During 4th of July Weekend - FOX 21 Online
Veterinarians Talk Pet Safety During 4th of July Weekend  FOX 21 Online

Livingston Shares July 4th Safety Tips for Fireworks, Food, Health and Pets - TAPinto.net
Livingston Shares July 4th Safety Tips for Fireworks, Food, Health and Pets  TAPinto.net

Tips for keeping pets safe and calm during fireworks - WDAM
Tips for keeping pets safe and calm during fireworks  WDAM

Animal Shelter Society shares pet of the week - WHIZ
Animal Shelter Society shares pet of the week  WHIZ

Frightened pets, fires come with illegal fireworks use - News3LV
Frightened pets, fires come with illegal fireworks use  News3LV

Great Lakes Mall hosting Shop With Your Pet - News-Herald.com
Great Lakes Mall hosting Shop With Your Pet  News-Herald.com

Colonial Capital pets of the week - New Bern Sun Journal
Colonial Capital pets of the week  New Bern Sun Journal

Veterinarians want you to pay close attention to your pets with "unpredictable" fireworks - 10TV
Veterinarians want you to pay close attention to your pets with "unpredictable" fireworks  10TV

Business Intel: Pet grooming business opens in Roanoke - Roanoke Times
Business Intel: Pet grooming business opens in Roanoke  Roanoke Times

Pets, vets, vaccines and the pandemic: Animal and human health entwined more than ever in COVID times - capitalcurrent.ca
Pets, vets, vaccines and the pandemic: Animal and human health entwined more than ever in COVID times  capitalcurrent.ca

34 Pet Products From Amazon That Must Have Been Designed By Geniuses - BuzzFeed
34 Pet Products From Amazon That Must Have Been Designed By Geniuses  BuzzFeed

Pets of the week: Clark and JoJo need new homes - MLive.com
Pets of the week: Clark and JoJo need new homes  MLive.com

What is the average cost of pet insurance? Depends on your pet - Business Insider - Business Insider
What is the average cost of pet insurance? Depends on your pet - Business Insider  Business Insider

Spaying and neutering your pet can lead to healthier happier lives - Victoria Advocate
Spaying and neutering your pet can lead to healthier happier lives  Victoria Advocate

The Pets Left Behind by Covid-19 - The New York Times
The Pets Left Behind by Covid-19  The New York Times

A surge in animal adoptions, tips to help pets cope with separation, more. Read the full edition of Gambit here. - NOLA.com
A surge in animal adoptions, tips to help pets cope with separation, more. Read the full edition of Gambit here.  NOLA.com

Lightning strike sparks blaze that destroys N.J. home, leaves many pets dead - NJ.com
Lightning strike sparks blaze that destroys N.J. home, leaves many pets dead  NJ.com

Pets of the Week: Jasper and Herbert - Daily Bulldog
Pets of the Week: Jasper and Herbert  Daily Bulldog

These 17 pets would love to share space with you: June 27-28 - SILive.com
These 17 pets would love to share space with you: June 27-28  SILive.com

Pets perish in Otisfield fire that destroys mobile home and camper - The Bethel Citizen
Pets perish in Otisfield fire that destroys mobile home and camper  The Bethel Citizen

FDA cautions pet owners about infecting their pets in new video - CNN
FDA cautions pet owners about infecting their pets in new video  CNN

Pet of the Week: Puppy, Puppy, Puppies! - KGET 17
Pet of the Week: Puppy, Puppy, Puppies!  KGET 17

Pet caregiver provides tips to keep your animals calm - KLKN
Pet caregiver provides tips to keep your animals calm  KLKN

Pets that need homes | Local | dothaneagle.com - Dothan Eagle
Pets that need homes | Local | dothaneagle.com  Dothan Eagle

How to keep your pets calm during fireworks - WTOL
How to keep your pets calm during fireworks  WTOL

Special Report: The pros and cons of purchasing pet insurance - WSBT-TV
Special Report: The pros and cons of purchasing pet insurance  WSBT-TV

Cherche and more pets up for adoption in Phoenix-area shelters this week - AZCentral
Cherche and more pets up for adoption in Phoenix-area shelters this week  AZCentral

Pets of the Week: 100 Litter - WITN
Pets of the Week: 100 Litter  WITN

Community Rallies For Kennel Owners Who Lost Jersey Shore Home, Pets To Lightning Strike Blaze - Hackensack Daily Voice
Community Rallies For Kennel Owners Who Lost Jersey Shore Home, Pets To Lightning Strike Blaze  Hackensack Daily Voice

Introducing This Year's Top 20 Cutest Pets in Dallas - D Magazine
Introducing This Year's Top 20 Cutest Pets in Dallas  D Magazine

Paw Prints: Keep pet safe this Fourth of July - Pauls Valley Daily Democrat
Paw Prints: Keep pet safe this Fourth of July  Pauls Valley Daily Democrat

Keep your summer fun pet-safe and pet-friendly with top outdoor pet gear - CNN
Keep your summer fun pet-safe and pet-friendly with top outdoor pet gear  CNN

Iowa Supreme Court sides with pet allergies over support animal in tenant dispute - KCRG
Iowa Supreme Court sides with pet allergies over support animal in tenant dispute  KCRG

Class pets become long-term pandemic houseguests while St. Louis schools are out - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Class pets become long-term pandemic houseguests while St. Louis schools are out  St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Pet Of The Week: Zuzu - Pleasantville, NY Patch
Pet Of The Week: Zuzu  Pleasantville, NY Patch

Pet owners put furry friends on diets after they gained weight in lockdown - Fox News
Pet owners put furry friends on diets after they gained weight in lockdown  Fox News

2 pets killed in Fort Wayne house fire - WANE
2 pets killed in Fort Wayne house fire  WANE

2 puppies stolen from pet store; theft caught on camera - KMBC Kansas City
2 puppies stolen from pet store; theft caught on camera  KMBC Kansas City

How to keep your pet calm when fireworks go off - WSYR
How to keep your pet calm when fireworks go off  WSYR

Get a sketch of your pet, help Blue Ridge Humane Society - WLOS
Get a sketch of your pet, help Blue Ridge Humane Society  WLOS

Colorado Springs area pet organizations | Lifestyle | gazette.com - Colorado Springs Gazette
Colorado Springs area pet organizations | Lifestyle | gazette.com  Colorado Springs Gazette

Dogs, cash stolen in burglary at Daphne pet store - AL.com
Dogs, cash stolen in burglary at Daphne pet store  AL.com

Determine if a sidewalk or street is too hot for your pet in 7 seconds - wpde.com
Determine if a sidewalk or street is too hot for your pet in 7 seconds  wpde.com

Fireworks noise could be deadly for some pets, vets warn - New York Post
Fireworks noise could be deadly for some pets, vets warn  New York Post

Ways to keep your pet safe this 4th of July - KKCO-TV
Ways to keep your pet safe this 4th of July  KKCO-TV

Pet of the Week | Cluck Noris doesn’t need a home, a home needs Cluck Noris - Santa Cruz Sentinel
Pet of the Week | Cluck Noris doesn’t need a home, a home needs Cluck Noris  Santa Cruz Sentinel

Eight tips to reduce fireworks anxiety in pets - VeterinaryPracticeNews.com
Eight tips to reduce fireworks anxiety in pets  VeterinaryPracticeNews.com

4 Reasons the Pandemic Is a Boon for the Pet Industry - Entrepreneur
4 Reasons the Pandemic Is a Boon for the Pet Industry  Entrepreneur

Change Is Coming To The Way Pet Products Are Sold - Forbes
Change Is Coming To The Way Pet Products Are Sold  Forbes

Pet store worker threatened by customer over face covering - Albuquerque Journal
Pet store worker threatened by customer over face covering  Albuquerque Journal

Pets and Fireworks - Fox Baltimore
Pets and Fireworks  Fox Baltimore

Pet of the Week: Taffy - County 17
Pet of the Week: Taffy  County 17

Working from home has improved employees' connections to their pets - Employee Benefit News
Working from home has improved employees' connections to their pets  Employee Benefit News

New York State Thruway Authority: Grand opening held for expanded pet comfort area at WNY Welcome Center - Niagara Frontier Publications
New York State Thruway Authority: Grand opening held for expanded pet comfort area at WNY Welcome Center  Niagara Frontier Publications

Pet of The Week - Cookie - Santa Monica Daily Press
Pet of The Week - Cookie  Santa Monica Daily Press

Why Has the “Pet Effect” Meme Spread So Rapidly? - Psychology Today
Why Has the “Pet Effect” Meme Spread So Rapidly?  Psychology Today

These tips will help ease your pets as you return to work - WBAL TV Baltimore
These tips will help ease your pets as you return to work  WBAL TV Baltimore

Adopt a Pet: Theia - Ellwood City Ledger
Adopt a Pet: Theia  Ellwood City Ledger

Is Raw or Homemade Food Good for Your Pet? - WebMD
Is Raw or Homemade Food Good for Your Pet?  WebMD

Pets left behind by COVID-19 part of pandemic’s toll - Akron Beacon Journal
Pets left behind by COVID-19 part of pandemic’s toll  Akron Beacon Journal

Some families lose priceless mementos, family pets in River Fire - KSBY San Luis Obispo News
Some families lose priceless mementos, family pets in River Fire  KSBY San Luis Obispo News

How to Keep Your Pets Safe During Fireworks - Fourth of July Firework Pet Safety - WomansDay.com
How to Keep Your Pets Safe During Fireworks - Fourth of July Firework Pet Safety  WomansDay.com

June 16 coronavirus news - CNN
June 16 coronavirus news  CNN

Pet of The Weekend: Portobello - FOX 7 Austin
Pet of The Weekend: Portobello  FOX 7 Austin

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