Allergy to cats... any effective short term solution ?

I might be visiting a friend soon and staying over at her place… BUT… she loves her cats and I’m allergic to house bound cats (farm cats or other free roaming cats don’t seem to affect me as much).

Are there anti-allergic shots that would keep me well for say 2-3 days… even if exposed to allergy inducing cats ? What would be the side effects ?

I’m also allergic to cats but fortunately I’ve adapted to my cat and no longer need to take allergy meds everyday.

I don’t know of any short-term allergy shots. With allergy shots, I understand that it can take several months for your body to adjust to the allergen and no longer experience allergy symptoms.

When you go visit your friend (and her cats) for a few days, the only short-term solution I can think of is to take antihistamines such as Tylenol Allergy Sinus or Claritin. The Tylenol stuff works for me and it doesn’t have the side effects of Benadryl (fatigue, dizziness, etc.). If you have time to see a doctor, there are some good prescription nasal sprays and eye drops that begin working in as little as 2 days. In some countries (don’t know about Brazil), they may be available without prescription. I’d go to your nearest pharmacy and ask for recommendations.

My sister has cats and myself and my brother are both allergic to them. When we visit her on the holidays we have learned to

  1. Don’t touch or pet the cat.
  2. Don’t touch your face, eyes, mouth with your hands.
  3. Wash your hands and rinse off your face and eyes often.

While some of the “dander” is airborne, most is transferred through touching surfaces then touching your face. We try to control this part as much as possible.

So far these are all good suggestions – not touching your face is critical. I’d also try and avoid sitting near the cat and keeping the cat out of the room in which you’re sleeping. It’s also a good idea to let your host know that this is a problem. My experience with cat people, even those who are otherwise very considerate people, is that they simply don’t understand that allergy to cats is a big deal. (Cats are also the worst trigger for my asthma, so in my case it could literally be a matter of life and death.) Mkae sure your host understands that it’s nothing personal, but if the cat tries to sit on your lap he’s going to get knocked off.


My allergy must be particularly severe. It can be weeks since the cat has been in the house and I still get asthma. When I move into a new place I always have to ask if the previous renters had a cat.

I would also recommend sticking to Benadryl, etc. I’m pretty severely allergic to cats but I’ve stayed over my friend’s for as much as a week at a time with her mangy furball (apologies to Charlie: he’s not really mangy) and I’ve been OK.

The only thing I would recommend, and your OP doesn’t state if you have this problem: Wash any cuts. My skin even reacts to cat scratches, it swells up and itches for a long time.

In the US Stores (Petco for example) they have some wipes that help reduce how much dander is being released, you could have the owner give a good wiping to the cats with this before you arrive.

Most of your problems are likely caused by buildup of hair and dander material throughout the house (you indicate that house cats affect you more than “outdoor/roaming” cats). A “critical mass” is reached, and that sets off your allergies. The owner could do a REAL good house clean, and along with the wipes and some OTC allergy medicine, I’d bet you’d be fine. (IANAD)

We’ve found the above to work fairly well for a friend of mine that is allergic to cats when he comes for an extended visit. Though he could just be not telling us his suffering to be polite.

I’m allergic to cats, and I own two. Claritin is a miracle drug, in my opinion. No drowsiness and I stay symptom-free for 24 hours.

I get drowsy from every drug in the world, it seems. Says non-drowsy? It’s just a little less effect.

However, Claritin is excellent. Long-term lack of symptoms.

Try Alavert. And ask your friend to vacuum very, very well (including furniture) before you go. Most hosts will not mind.

I’m very, very allergic to animals. Dave had a dog and two cats when I moved here. Even months after they had relocated (thanks to Venoma and bonus Mom), I would get allergy attacks while sweeping.

Ugh, what a pain. For me, it’s just a wee tinge of drowsy. Nothing compared to Benedryl, which would knock me, as my husband says, “school the f**k out.”

Since I will be sleeping over 2 nights… I think the don’t touch face won’t be enough. I’ll be all over the place too. Cats basically get the whole “territory” covered with furs… so there won’t be much escape. So unfortunately I will have to resort to “drugs”.

I’m more worried about taking something and feeling drowsy or sick… I’ll probably try something before. Side effects are what I want to know more about now. Happy to know its possible to survive a 2-3 day contact with felines.

I suppose it’s because mostly I avoid drugs like the plaque. I’m not kidding, Sudafed non-drowsy can knock me out.

But around cats I’d rather be dopey than histamine-crazy.

If drugs fail, wear a surgical mask. It’s a little uncomfortable, and you’ll have to take it off to eat and drink, and no one can see your face so that conversation becomes a lot like posting on a message board (no non-verbal cues) . . . but I do it when I’m around cats and it does work.