Help - I'm allergic to cats! Suggestions?

My SO and I have recently moved in together. She has one cat - long haired. Her friend is moving and asked her to take an additional cat for about a month - this cat is also long haired. Her cat is all of 2-3 pounds. The other cat is about 18 pounds!

I’m dyin’ over here. I don’t think the small cat would bother me that much but the two together are killer.

I get congested and wheeze. I’m being put on Advair for the wheezing and am taking Allegra for the congestion. We vacuum daily and the cats are not allowed in our bedroom, near clothes, blankets, etc.

(Now, I don’t know if it is just me associating my reaction so strongly with the cats that I can’t see past them…but sheesh, what’s so great about cats?? I don’t think I’ll try that line of reasoning with my SO.)

Anyway - anyone else have some suggestions? Is this going to boil down to me getting allergy shots? Anything else I can do that will help?

Also - My SO says I’m allergic to the dander - I say it is the saliva. I thought it was dog dander that was a problem for folks and cat saliva…am I wrong?


Cat allergies are caused by either/or the dander/saliva so you and your friend are both correct.

Unfortunately avoiding the allergens is near impossible…especially with cats in the house. You are already doing some things right such as restricting the cats from the bedroom. Beyond that a well ventilated house and certain air filtering systems can be helpful (use vacuums with a HEPA filter or you’ll just blow cat stuff around when cleaning). Also be sure to wash your hands after coming into contact with the cats.

I am allergic to cats as well and have two of them. Over time (maybe a few months) my allergic reaction gradually disappeared. However, that may not be the case for you. Different cats can be more allergenic than others and different people are more sensitive than others. YMMV

BTW…don’t feel too bad about this. Cats are among the most allergy causing animals out there so you’ve got a lot of company to share your misery.

Most cats. It’s awful. My wife had a cat when we got married, but hers was a Persian, and never triggered my alergies. Regular cats, however, nail me really badly. I’ve heard that kittens and Persians don’t cause as much of an allergic reaction as full grown regular cats. Perhaps the one cat really doesn’t affect you as much as the other. If the new one affects you worse, find somewhere else for it. Remeber, even after the cat is gone, the cat fur will remain.

Antihistamines help, but put me to sleep. I found If I cut one in half, it helps without putting me to sleep.


Find yourself a good allergist pronto! Although it won’t completely cure you, allergy shots will over time greatly reduce your allergic reactions. It’s worked for me to the point where I can go over and spend a few hours at a freind’s cat-filled house without having more than a very minor reaction.

Cleanliness around your house helps - I have the worst reactions to cats when the house holding them hasn’t been cleaned in years and everything is infused with dander. You migth also want to get some portable hepa air filters and leave them running.

I’ll chime in on the “boo-hiss” side.

I am EXTREMELY allergic to cats. I have yet to be around a cat that I don’t react to in about an hour or so. Mostly my symptoms are asthmatic (meaning eyes don’t itch so much, and I don’t sneeze all THAT much, but my chest gets tight, and I wheeze).

I was on allergy shots for a couple of years. I found they did not help me at all. My reactions to both dogs and cats were no less severe than before I was receiving injections.

My mom has a cat, and I hate going over to see her. Within an hour, I start to get wheezy, and if I even attempt to stay over night, my breathing is so labored I get exhausted from how tough it is to breathe. I lived with her after college for about a year, and found that I did acclimate a little bit to the cat, but I was ALWAYS using my inhaler, and always had general stuffiness.

I have resigned myself to never living with cats again, despite the fact that I’m definitely a cat person. It’s just not worth the agony.

However, YMMV, so it may be possible for you to acclimate, and you may have better results with medications/injections. I hope so.