How Do I Stop Being Allergic To Cats?

Are you dreaming of snuggling up with a furry feline, but your allergies are holding you back? Don’t give up hope just yet. Allergies to cats don’t have to be a deal breaker. You can take steps to alleviate your symptoms and even reduce your allergic reaction over time. Did you know that nearly one-third of Americans who suffer from allergies also have pets? So, you’re not alone in this struggle.

It’s important to understand that it’s not the cat’s fur or dander that triggers an allergic reaction, but rather a protein found in their saliva. While antihistamines and decongestants may provide temporary relief, addressing the root cause of the allergy is crucial for long-term management. By eliminating or reducing exposure to allergens, you can enjoy more quality time with your feline friend.

So, what can you do? From keeping your home clean and grooming your cat regularly to considering hypoallergenic breeds, there are a variety of strategies that can help reduce or eliminate your symptoms altogether. But which methods actually work? Keep reading to discover some of the best ways to manage your allergic reactions and make room for a loving kitty in your life.

What Are Cat Allergens?

Millions of people worldwide suffer from cat allergies, and understanding what cat allergens are can help you manage your symptoms.

Cat allergens are tiny proteins found in a cat’s skin, saliva, and urine. The most common allergen is Fel d 1, which is produced in the cat’s sebaceous glands and is present in its saliva. When a cat grooms itself, it spreads saliva all over its fur, which then dries and becomes airborne. This is why cat allergens can be found on surfaces throughout a home, even if there are no cats currently present in the environment.

Cat allergies can cause a range of symptoms, including sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, congestion, wheezing, and skin rashes or hives. Some people may develop an allergy over time with repeated exposure, even if they have not experienced symptoms when first exposed to a cat.

While some breeds of cats may produce less Fel d 1 protein than others, no cat breed is completely hypoallergenic. However, there are several ways to reduce exposure to cat allergens and make living with cats more comfortable. One way is to designate “cat-free” zones in your home and use HEPA filters to improve air quality.

Keeping your cat clean and well-groomed can also help reduce allergen levels. Regular brushing and bathing with hypoallergenic shampoos and wipes can remove excess dander and reduce the amount of allergens in your home.

Over-the-counter and prescription medications such as antihistamines, decongestants, nasal corticosteroids, and immunotherapy (allergy shots) can also help relieve allergy symptoms.

Designating “Cat-Free” Zones in Your Home

It’s essential to create designated “cat-free” zones in your home. These areas provide a safe haven where you can breathe and relax without the fear of an allergic reaction.

Firstly, choose a specific area in your home that will be off-limits to your cat. Whether it’s a bedroom, study room, or any other area where you spend most of your time, ensure that the space is big enough to accommodate all your needs and has proper ventilation.

The next step is to keep your furry friend out of this area. Installing a baby gate or keeping the door closed at all times works well. If you have a sliding door, a draft stopper can keep allergens from entering the space.

Keeping the area clean and free of cat hair and dander is crucial. Regular vacuuming and dusting can help keep the area free of allergens. Consider using air purifiers or HEPA filters to remove any particles present in the air.

If visitors who are allergic to cats come over, it’s important to inform them about the “cat-free” zone in your home. Put up a sign or let them know verbally so that they are aware of the area where they can find relief from their allergies.

Keeping Your Cat Clean and Well-Groomed

Allergies to cats are quite common, impacting up to 30% of people with allergies. However, there are vital steps you can take to minimize allergens in your home and keep your cat clean and well-groomed.

Regular grooming is essential to reduce the amount of dander, saliva, and urine on your cat’s fur. These allergens can become airborne and cause reactions when inhaled or come into contact with your skin. To keep your cat clean, give them a bath once a month with a mild, hypoallergenic shampoo. Avoid using human shampoos as they can be too harsh for your cat’s skin. For a healthy coat, brush your cat regularly to remove loose hair and dander while distributing natural oils throughout their coat.

Cleaning your cat’s litter box daily is another crucial step in reducing allergens in your home. Cat urine and feces contain allergens that can become airborne and cause reactions. Unscented litter is preferable over scented ones because deodorizers may contain strong fragrances that can irritate allergies.

Maintaining your cat’s dental health is equally important. Dental problems can lead to bad breath, gum disease, and infections that can worsen allergies. Therefore, brush your cat’s teeth regularly with a pet-specific toothbrush and toothpaste. In addition to brushing, providing them with dental chews or toys can help keep their teeth clean.

Over-the-Counter and Prescription Medications for Relief

If so, you’ll be happy to know that there are a variety of over-the-counter and prescription medications that can provide relief from those bothersome symptoms.

Antihistamines are the most commonly used medication for treating allergies, and for good reason. They work by blocking histamines in the body that cause symptoms such as itching, sneezing, and a runny nose. Popular over-the-counter antihistamines such as Claritin, Zyrtec, and Allegra can be effective in reducing the severity of cat allergy symptoms.

Another medication option for relieving nasal congestion caused by cat allergies is decongestants. These medications work by narrowing the blood vessels in the nasal passages, which reduces swelling and congestion. However, it’s important to note that decongestants should not be used for extended periods of time as they can cause rebound congestion.

For those seeking more powerful relief, prescription nasal corticosteroids such as Flonase and Nasonex can be extremely effective in reducing inflammation in the nasal passages. This reduction in inflammation can result in alleviating congestion and other allergy symptoms.

In severe cases of cat allergies, allergy shots may be recommended. These shots gradually expose the body to small amounts of cat allergens, which can help desensitize the immune system and reduce allergic reactions over time.

It’s important to remember that before starting any new medication for cat allergies, it’s always best to consult with a doctor or allergist. They can provide guidance on which medications may be most effective for individual needs and any potential side effects or interactions with other medications.

Immunotherapy (Allergy Shots) as an Option

While medications can provide some relief, immunotherapy (allergy shots) may be a more long-term solution worth considering.

Immunotherapy gradually exposes individuals to small amounts of cat allergen extract over time, allowing the body to build up immunity and reduce allergic reactions. Before starting treatment, it is crucial to undergo allergy testing to confirm a cat allergy.

Although immunotherapy requires a long-term commitment, studies have proven its effectiveness in reducing allergic reactions to cats and improving overall quality of life. However, it is imperative to discuss the potential risks and side effects with a healthcare provider before beginning treatment. Some possible side effects include itching, swelling, redness at the injection site, and even more severe reactions such as anaphylaxis.

Other Tips for Reducing Symptoms of Cat Allergies

Well, you don’t have to give up your feline friends just yet. While avoiding cats altogether is the best way to prevent allergic reactions, there are additional tips and tricks that can help reduce cat allergy symptoms. Here are five more tips to keep in mind:

Use HEPA filters

These filters are designed to trap small particles like pet dander. By using a HEPA filter in your home, you can reduce the amount of cat allergens in the air and alleviate allergy symptoms.

Keep your home clean

Regular cleaning of your home can help reduce the number of cat allergens present. Vacuuming with a HEPA filter-equipped vacuum cleaner, dusting, and washing bedding can all help keep allergen levels low.

Limit exposure

If possible, limit your exposure to cats. This may mean keeping them out of certain rooms in the house or avoiding visiting friends or family who have cats.

Wash your hands

After petting a cat or touching anything that may have come into contact with cat allergens, wash your hands thoroughly. This can help reduce exposure to allergens.

Consider immunotherapy

Immunotherapy involves gradually exposing the body to small amounts of allergens over time. This can help desensitize the body to cat allergens and reduce allergy symptoms.

It’s important to note that these tips may not work for everyone and should be used in conjunction with any prescribed medications or treatments recommended by a doctor. However, by following these additional tips, individuals with cat allergies can take further steps to reduce their symptoms and enjoy spending time with their furry friends.


In conclusion, don’t let cat allergies be the reason you can’t enjoy the company of these cute and cuddly creatures. Understanding that it’s a protein found in their saliva that triggers allergic reactions is the first step towards finding a solution. By taking measures to reduce exposure to allergens, you can manage your symptoms and have quality time with your feline friend.

Creating “cat-free” zones in your home, keeping your cat clean and well-groomed, and using over-the-counter or prescription medications like antihistamines, decongestants, nasal corticosteroids, or immunotherapy (allergy shots) are all effective ways to alleviate symptoms. Additionally, using HEPA filters and keeping your home clean will help reduce allergen levels.

It’s also essential to wash your hands regularly after petting a cat or touching anything that may have come into contact with cat allergens. And if you’re considering immunotherapy or any new medication for cat allergies, always consult with a doctor or allergist who can guide you on individual needs and potential side effects.

With these strategies in mind, individuals with cat allergies can take control of their symptoms and enjoy the love and companionship of their furry friends.