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Thread: Cat Allergies

  1. #1

    Cat Allergies

    My boyfriend and I just recently adopted two kittens. My boyfriend has a slight allergy to cats, although we knew this before. We've had the cats for a week and the only real symptom he's experienced is red, itchy eyes - the day after we brought them home, when he woke up in the morning. Taking allergy medication fixed this in 10 minutes. He also has asthma, although he hasn't had any problems with that yet. His eyes can be a bit pink at times, but other than that I don't think he's had any major reactions. Nothing serious.

    Originally before getting the cats, we decided we would bathe them at least once a month to rid of any allergens as best as possible. My mom has a cat with extremely long hair, and gets a bath monthly.. So I figured this as possible. Only, now that I have the kittens, I'm afraid they'll hate me if I introduce them to water. I read that kittens have a hard time regulating their body temperatures, so I haven't bathed them yet. (They're 11 weeks old) And I'm not sure I want to... My mom's cat always forgives her for the baths, but I just don't know if I have the heart to do it to my kittens.

    At the pet store we saw some lotion that you can rub on the cats to reduce allergens. I don't recall the name of it, but I'm assuming there are a few different products that do the same thing out there. My question is, do these really work? Has anyone used them? Are they safe for the cat? Or am I better off trying to bathe them?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Rhode Island; USA
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    16,811
    Start bathing them while they are young, make it quick and follow it by a play session. They will be fine.

    When Crystal arrived here she had what we think was ringworm; the vet prescribed a shampoo and I had to bathe her 3 times a week for the first month. She is so easy to bathe now, 6 years later! Plus, the shampoo had to stay on for 3 minutes, so we'd wrap her in a towel and Dad would walk around with her, talking to her, singing to her. Now, she is definitely "his" cat, and she flirts with him shamelessly daily!

    Before I got the dogs (Dec 2006) I always bathed my cats, every other month. I'd change all the bedding that day as well. That night I slept the best I did in 60 days, but that may be due to being exhausted ha haaa.
    Thank you Karen, for fixing my siggy!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
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    Waltham, MA, USA
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    36,365
    The best thing to do is keep them off the bed, but if you want to allow them on the bed during the day, he should take his pillow and put it in a closet or somewhere else while he's not using it, and make sure to wash the pillowcases at least once a week. That will keep the pillow from accumulating a lot of cat dander, so his eyes don't bother him when he gets up in the morning, and he won;t be breathing in cat dander when he's asleep. . Another thing he can do is to be consistent about washing his hands after any play time, so he doesn't get cat dander near his face. There measures, and getting kittens used to baths, should do the trick, but make sure he monitors the situation carefully. If that doesn't do it, you may end up needing to ban them from the bedroom, but that depends on what your living situation is like how feasible that is.
    I've Been Frosted

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    495
    First of all, they wont hate you, that is false unless you have the tazmanian devil for a cat. Cat's dont like baths, but they can tolerate them..I wouldnt recommend bathing them, without blow drying them afterwards. It's the best way to deal with the dander which is giving your friend problems with his eyes..down the road if his asthma does become a problem, without bathing you will be glad you did.

    Mark my words..one day, sooner or later, you likely will have to bathe them in some way, due to back end accidents, or whatever the case..if you have them used to bathing this will go
    an extremely long way when it's necessary.

    I have had persians for many years..7 cats over the years, in total and as long as they are accustomed to it, there was never a problem..even better if you have someone to help you..but if not, trust me, it can
    be done..I do it myself all the time..my cats presently in the past, and present have huge coats..which require a lot of care..short haired cats should be a breeze.

    Start now, while they are young, and will learn to tolerate it. Pay attention to them while bathing, talk to them, praise them..it helps.

    Bottom line, start young, you have good reason to, allergies.

    Choose an appropriate shampoo..geared to cats. Conditioner doesnt hurt either..and rinse, rinse and rinse again.

    Oh and be sure to clip front and back claws prior.


  5. #5
    Thanks everyone. I think I will give this a try this weekend.

    Currently we have the bedroom off limits to the cats, as well as the computer room. The computer room is a place my boyfriend spends his time in the most, however, we also don't feel it's "Kitten proof" yet. The computer room will eventually be open to the cats, most likely, but the bedroom I think we will keep closed. My boyfriend keeps saying we should just let them in there (He may be allergic but he loves those little babies!) but I'm putting my foot down that we'll leave it closed for now.

    It's good to know my cats will forgive me. They're so happy and cuddly and love us so much right now.

    Shady, you mentioned blow drying. Won't this just add to the traumatic event? Or would it be helpful to get them use to that as well? One of the kittens loves to sit on the vent when the heat is on, so I'm thinking she would love the blow dryer once she gets passed the noise. But I also don't want to overdo it on the scariness for them? Anyone know of a relatively quiet blow dryer?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Washington, DC USA
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    1,782
    You can use a diffuser on the end of the hair dryer. That way the air isn't blowing directly on them.

    BTW a few cat treats is always a good bribe

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
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    20,833
    A friend of mine had her grown daughter staying with her for a while. The daughter had two cats and my friend was particularly allergic to the one cat. The daughter tried the cat wipes that are for people allergies and my friend couldn't believe it! She had no allergic problems at all. That might be the simplest thing to start with.

    If you do start getting them used to bathing while young, I have heard that Dawn dish detergent matches the pH of their skin. There are also shampoos at pet stores - including a dry one that you just brush out.

    Hope all goes well and we at PT really like pictures...hint, hint...
    "Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere." -- Erma Bombeck

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    495
    Quote Originally Posted by CrazyCat View Post
    Thanks everyone. I think I will give this a try this weekend.

    Currently we have the bedroom off limits to the cats, as well as the computer room. The computer room is a place my boyfriend spends his time in the most, however, we also don't feel it's "Kitten proof" yet. The computer room will eventually be open to the cats, most likely, but the bedroom I think we will keep closed. My boyfriend keeps saying we should just let them in there (He may be allergic but he loves those little babies!) but I'm putting my foot down that we'll leave it closed for now.

    It's good to know my cats will forgive me. They're so happy and cuddly and love us so much right now.

    Shady, you mentioned blow drying. Won't this just add to the traumatic event? Or would it be helpful to get them use to that as well? One of the kittens loves to sit on the vent when the heat is on, so I'm thinking she would love the blow dryer once she gets passed the noise. But I also don't want to overdo it on the scariness for them? Anyone know of a relatively quiet blow dryer?
    Actually, mine relax when it comes to blow drying, often, they just lay down and let that happen..just dont overdo the heat. Warm only, never high, and I use a low speed, it makes much less noise. One thing you can do is put the dryer on around them.. casually point it at them, with words of praise and encouragement...sort of introduce it before the 'big day' a few times, and remember when using the dryer, keep it moving, never on one spot too long. If they are short haired..a quick combing or brushing will speed up the process..it shouldnt take long, whereas with mine the blowdrying is what takes the
    majority of the time, as they have long thick coats.

    You will be fine, be gentle, pay lot's of attention to them in the form of praise, and encouragement..sounds weird, but keep talking, it helps soothe them, and keep yourself calm.

    It's an experience, and you'll get used to it..finding what works best for you.

    You might find, until you get the hang of it, that another pair of hands (person) can be very helpful. I dont have that option (another person) but I manage just fine. You do have to multitask.
    Dont forget to clip claws til you know how they will react.

    As for shampoo's and conditioners, I use Mane and Tail. That's what the lady that bred them uses exclusively. I got it at Walmart, big bottle, reasonably priced.



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