Tips for living with a cat when you have allergies

kissing_a_cat

When I moved into my hunny's place, I was thrilled to also have a new feline roommate named Bluto. Little did I know that I would develop an allergy to him as well as a zillion other things. This photo was taken before I got hit with the metaphorical allergy-sledgehammer:

Not only does being around Bluto stuff me up a bit, if I touch him my skin turns bright red and if the exposure doesn't stop, it turns into allergic contact dermatitis (eczema). So, this means I REALLY have to stay away from him. Obviously, I'm not thrilled about any of this because hugging Bluto was becoming one of my favorite past times :-( I couldn't even pet him when he meowed for it! Incredibly sad.

...And then one day it hit me - back scratchers are cat scratchers!! 

back_scratcher

You can go to their website to find more bamboo products too.

And Bluto loooooves it. So does Bentley, our dog! They're big fans. Not that this would be shocking to anyone.

We also got these  fantastic astronaut blanketsfurniture covers to keep him off of the couch and ottomans:

keep_pets_off_couch

And yes, folks, Bluto despiiiiises these things. The mere sound of them send him running. They're crinkly... a very loud crinkly metallic crunching sound. Every now and then he'll get brave and sniff them, but that's the extent of it. Some people complained in the product reviews that "my cat still jumps up on these". Even if that happens, as long as your cat stays on top of them, the covers are still keeping cat hair off your couch.

Here are some more tips to help out anyone living with a cat who has allergies:

  • Don't touch the cat and if you do, wash your hands right afterward
  • Take an antihistamine (I take Zyrtec)
  • Rinse your sinuses regularly
  • Put an air purifier in every room
  • Change the filter on your air system regularly
  • Wash your cat weekly with Allerpet C
  • Brush your cat weekly and do it outside if you can (better yet, have someone else do it for you)
  • Wash your curtains every few months and vacuum them or shake them outside regularly
  • Make your bedroom an "off limits" zone for the cat
  • Get rid of your carpet... or vacuum it a lot and steam it every six - eight weeks
  • Open your windows to let your air circulate
  • Dust regularly
  • Buy a vacuum marketed around pets and allergens (they even make HEPA filters for vacuums)
  • Clean the litter box every day

If you follow all of those points, your allergies should ease up quite a bit. Mine sure have. There are always people who have such severe cat allergies that they just can't have a cat at all, though.

Well, I think those are all of my tips... Do you have any to share?