When it comes to allergies, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That’s especially true if cat allergens in your home make you miserable.
Spring cleaning can help clear out some of these allergens, but if your cat sheds their winter coat this time of year, you might need to take a few extra steps.
Whether you get the occasional sniffle or you’ve got itchy eyes and skin rashes, cat allergies can be a pain. But they don’t mean you have to forgo having a feline friend; you just need to make a few arrangements in advance and keep up with some training and tasks along the way.
Here’s a list of tips to get you started on managing cat allergens around your living space.
Take Your Medicine
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Don't slack if your doc recommends that you take a prescription allergy medication of some kind. Follow the directions to a tee.
Some medicines need to build up in your system; missing doses can dampen their effectiveness.
If you suffer from allergies and haven't seen a doctor yet, now is as good a time as any. A quick doctor visit can do wonders for reducing your symptoms.
Treat Your Other Allergies First
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Do you have allergies to things like dust, mold, or hay fever? Adding a cat to the mix can obviously add to the assault on your system.
Take whatever steps you need to take to eliminate those other nuisances from the equation, and you'll definitely be happier and less sneeze-y.
This is another reason an allergy test is a great idea. Make that doctor appointment!
Embrace Bath Time
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The proteins responsible for your allergic reaction collect on your cat's skin over time. Your kitty may not love it, but if you bathe them occasionally, you can avoid heavy buildups.
Look into an allergen-reducing shampoo for a bigger impact. Talk to your vet about how often you should bathe your cat. You don't want to over-bathe and dry your kitty's skin.
For the most part, cats keep themselves clean, and many kitties absolutely hate the water. With that in mind, this may not be an option for every cat parent.
Limit Your Cat's Range
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Keep kitty out of your bedroom and other sensitive spots in your home to increase your safe zones. Your bedroom makes sense because you'll increase your chance at restful sleep, too.
For example, if you have a multistory home, try limiting your cat to the ground floor.
Do you have wood floors? Keep kitty in those areas if possible, as they're easier to keep clean.
Reduce Difficult-To-Wash Fabrics In The Home
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Rugs, drapes, and upholstery trap hair easily, so go for other, easily washable options when you can. You may want to opt for blinds instead of drapes, for example, or mats instead of full-sized rugs.
Allergy-proof bedding can be a good choice as part of a greater allergy control scheme.
Furniture covers that you can toss in the washer might also keep your sofas and chairs a bit more allergen-free.
Air Purifiers Work
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This tip comes with a word of caution: The best air purifiers are expensive. Cheaper air filters can help, but you'll probably need to drop some coin to get one that makes a strong difference.
That said, pet parents with allergies who have these air filters rarely regret the decision and often claim they wouldn't go back to pre-filter life, even after spending the cash.
Get an air purifier that uses HEPA filters, and replace them as recommended. If you let the filter go too long, your allergies are bound to return with a vengeance.
Get Out Of House Cleaning If You Can
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This is the best tip yet, right?
Seriously though, vacuuming, dusting, and cleaning stirs up dust and hair, both of which are likely to be laced with cat allergens.
If you can get someone else to tackle these jobs, you might be spared an attack. Maybe you can offer to trade some chores. Do something less allergen-risky, like taking on the cooking, doing the dishes, or doing some organization tasks.
Clean The Litter Box -- A Lot
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It's an allergy hotspot. Get litter that clumps well and doesn't powder up.
This is another great task for any nonallergic housemates you might have, as cleaning the litter box might make your allergies go bonkers. Again, maybe you can trade chores to keep things fair.
What other tips do you have for people who have mild allergies brought on by their furry family members? How do you keep your house allergen-free? Let us know in the comments below!