3 Ways to Scratch Cat Allergies

You love your cat with all your heart, but if you suffer from pet allergies, the object of your affection could cause episodes of sneezing, coughing, itching, and wheezing. If the misery is more than you can bear, know that you can take action.

Best Approaches to Treat Cat Allergies

If you won't consider parting with your pet but don't want to suffer indefinitely, that's okay. There are different strategies you can try to help you and your cat co-exist comfortably. While some options are available now, others will be on the market in the future and should make living with cat allergies easier than ever.

  1. Allergy-Proof Your Home. Limit exposure to your cat's dander as much as you possibly can. Avoid hugging and kissing your pet, since her allergens are on her fur and in her saliva. Banish her from your bedroom and other common areas where you spend most of your time. Run a HEPA air filter, vacuum your carpets, clean your walls, and bathe your cat regularly to remove as much danger and saliva as you can.
  2. Take Allergy Medications. If your cat allergies persist despite your cleaning regime, you'll probably need to turn to medications to help minimize your suffering. Over-the-counter antihistamines, nasal sprays, and eye drops may be enough for mild reactions, while more severe or ongoing allergies can benefit from stronger prescription treatments. Your doctor can recommend the best treatment for your situation. Keep in mind that most existing allergy medications will address an allergic reaction to cats once it begins, but a new form of treatment currently in the works by scientists from Nottingham University hopes to target the protein that triggers a cat allergy before it kicks in. While this pill isn't expected to be available for several more years, it offers real hope for the future.
  3. Consider Immunotherapy. Many studies have found immunotherapy to be a very effective way to treat cat allergies. This works by exposing you to small amounts of allergens to help build up your immune system's tolerance over an extended period of time. While the process can take several years, the results can be well worth the time and effort.

A new and improved approach to cat allergy immunotherapy is on the horizon. An article in the Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology in January 2011 revealed that a researcher from the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine in Canada has developed a new and improved low-dose cat allergy vaccine, called "peptide immunotherapy," that's faster and easier to get and has fewer side effects than traditional treatments. This vaccine is still in the clinical trial stage but when it becomes widely available, it should make it easier for you to undergo treatment so you can banish your suffering and enjoy your furry friend.




"Pet Allergy Treatment and Management." American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. AAAAI, n.d. Web. 7 Aug. 2011.

"Treatment for Pet Allergies." American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. ACAAI, n.d. Web. 3 Aug. 2011.

"Vaccine for Those Allergic to Cats." United Press International. UPI, 5 April 2011. Web. 3 Aug. 2011.

Worm, Margitta et. al. "Development and Preliminary Clinical Evaluation of a Peptide Immunotherapy Vaccine for Cat Allergy." Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 127 (1) (Jan. 2011): 89-97.