Cat owners with allergies

My wife and daughter really want a cat, but sadly, I am allergic. I have outgrown my childhood asthmatic reactions and now I just get red, itchy eyes. I’m not willing to medicate myself or the cat for the cat’s entire life, and I’m aware that there are some (supposedly) allergy-friendly breeds, but I’m looking for some real-life experience.

Does anyone out there with cat allergies own an indoor cat (or an indoor/outdoor cat)?

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Since this is looking for personal experiences, let’s move it to IMHO.

Moving thread from General Questions to In My Humble Opinion.

I was very much allergic to cats as well as dogs and other animals as a child. My dog allergy was fairly mild, and after I graduated college I got a dog for a companion. The dog bothered my allergies a bit at first, but after a while the allergic symptoms vanished completely. I’ve owned dogs pretty much continuously ever since then and have never had allergy problems with them.

Cats still bothered me though.

Many years later, my wife got a cat for our son, without talking to me about it first. The cat bothered my allergies at first, but again, after having it around for a while the symptoms abated somewhat. They didn’t vanish completely like they did for dogs. Then we got more cats, and now we have four.

It used to be that I would have an allergic reaction just going into a house that had cats in it. Now I can go anywhere around my house and I don’t have any kind of reaction at all. If one of the cats sits in my lap and i pet it, I will have an allergic reaction (itchy eyes and a stuffed up nose). One of the cats bothers me more than the other three for some reason. One of the other cats sleeps with me often and doesn’t bother me at all.

YMMV of course, but that’s my experience.

I had itchy/watery eyes and a stuffy nose around cats as a child. I never had any kind of asthmatic response.

I suffer from cat allergies and have owned cats in the past.

My advice is simple. Don’t do it. You will make yourself miserable.

Constant allergies, some days worse than others, dosed up all the time on antihistamines, being paranoid whenever the cat wants to sit on your lap.

It just isn’t worth it.


This has been my experience. If you can weather the storm, your allergy symptoms should alleviate.

I intentionally stayed away from any antihistamines while I was weathering the storm. The logic in my mind being, my body would learn to become “immune” faster. I have no idea if that’s actually true

I developed a cat allergy while owning cats.

I found them a new home.

All parties were happier that way. If you’re allergic to cats I recommend you don’t have any in your home.

Avoid cats. And don’t let anyone try to convince you that ‘hypo-allergenic’ cats are the answer to your problems. They’re not. There’s really no such thing.

The myth of hypoallergenic dogs (and cats).

I’ve had something like 20 cats in my life, and there is a certain type of fur that if it gets in my eyes will really irritate them. Other than that, I have no symptoms of cat allergies. The type that bother me are the ones with a double coat that tend to have dandruff sometimes, and occasionally an oily coat. These cats benefit from occasional baths.

I know people who get stuffy noses from double-coated cats, but can have the Oriental breeds (Siameses, and their ilk). Long-haired cats usually don’t have double-coats, so they actually are less irritating, but I’m not recommending them to someone with a history of allergies.

Just my personal experience.

I would find someone with a Siamese or Oriental shorthair, and spend the afternoon with it. Don’t just go get a cat. That’s be a mistake.

I have almost always had a cat, but when I visit friends, their cats may still trigger my allergies - itchy eyes, stuffed nose type of symptoms. Not sure why some cats affect me and others don’t. I do think a high quality diet - expensive meat based food, not cheap corn based crap, contributes to healthy skin and coat helps my cat not set off my allergies. Or maybe it’s just that I get used to whatever cat I live with.


luckily for you there exists a category of cats you may not be allergic to. They are usually referenced as hypoallergenic cats or allergy-friendly cats. All cats produce allergen called Fel d1 … but some cats produce it less than the others. Those are labeled as hypoallergenic as according to experience of other pet owners and scientists they may not have to trigger allergy symptoms as much as other cats.

I would recommend you reading the page It guides you through the non-allergenic cats and provides all information you may need. So check it out, hopefully it will help you :slight_smile:

Kind regards,

If you regularly shave the cat and bathe it vigorously, it will be less likely to want to climb on your lap.

I’ve had cats for almost 50 years, usually two at a time. At first, with some cats, my allergies would kick in . . . itchy, watery eyes and some congestion. But in time the symptoms abated. It helped to get air purifiers in the rooms I spend the most time in. Medications aren’t much help.

Well, for one thing, spayed female cats supposedly produce less allergen then neutered male cats, and both of which produce less than intact cats.

Anyway, I grew up with cats and never really noticed anything. But after going off to college and not being around cats for years, I started reacting to them with itchy eyes and irritated sinuses if I touched my face after touching a cat. My husband also reacted the same way to cats, but a bit worse. Very stuffy nose and such. We decided to get a cat anyway. I used Allerpet C to rub down my cat once a week at the start and every time we put it on, our allergies cleared up immediately and we enjoyed another 6~7 days with no problems. Eventually we forgot to put it on in time and realized we still weren’t reacting. So once a week became every two weeks, which became once a month, and now, we don’t use the rub at all. We’re acclimated to our cat. Occasionally if we pet the cat and immediately rub our eyes we’ll have a short reaction but it’s not much. Notably, my cat does not groom himself much at all, and the major allergen in cats comes in their saliva and gets all over their fur when they groom. So it’s useful if your cat is kind of a slob.

So I can’t 100% guarantee you that this will work out, but it’s possible. It ended up working for me.

See post #7

The myth of hypoallergenic dogs (and cats).

From the Division of Allergy and Immunology, Department of Medicine, University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine, and James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital.

A friend of mine with such allergies swears by this routine. She sprays her cat lightly with water with just a bit of Dawn dish soap in it, then brushes it thoroughly, sprays lightly again, and rubs it with a towel. She does this once a week and swears it has cut her allergy issues down to almost nothing.

No word on how the cat feels about it. lol

I have cat allergies but got one anyway. I got a Devon Rex, and bathed her every week. I had her for two years, and then had to find her a new home. Within a week of her leaving, I felt so much better. I hadn’t even realized how much she had affected me.

My advice is it’s not worth it.

This is what I hope for

This is what I’m afraid of.

And there’s no way to know whether or not I will acclimate to the cat until I just try it. Is it mean to the cat to get her (it would be a spayed female as it has the lowest allergens) as a kitten and start her as an indoor cat, then sometime in the future ban her to the outside if I can’t handle it?

We have one cat.

My husband is mildly allergic, but doesn’t suffer any symptoms as long as he pops a loratadine every morning. It comes with absolutely no side effects, so this works for us.

Don’t do it. You may be lucky and not have serious allergies but you may be somebody whose reactions increase with prolonged exposure. While regular bathing may possibly help to decrease the allergen load, the truth is that all cats are allergenic to a degree.

As far as becoming “acclimated” goes, it is possible for allergies to lessen but it also may be that some people just get used to leaving with constant mild congestion and fatigue and don’t realize how bad they feel until they get rid of the cat. It might be better to find a different type of anumal you are not allergic to now rather than waiting until you and the family are attached to a cat that you then have trouble getting rid of.

I used to be allergic to cats and met a girl who had (still has) two cats. Since I really love her, I looked into ways to get rid of allergies, used a mix of NLP and hypnosis on myself (which took about 20 minutes) and have been symptom free ever since.

I’ve also heard good results from people who got rid of their allergies (or at least their symptoms) using EFT, Sedona Method or acupuncture. Good luck!