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Old 20.08.2010, 17:36
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Advice appreciated- Im allergic to my kittens

Hubby and I got the most adorable little kittens 2 days ago (Marley and Monty).
Unfortunately I have been experiencing a quite serious allergic reaction…. I can’t breath! My lungs feel extremely heavy; it feels as if someone is sitting on my chest. Other symptoms are very mild - the odd sneeze when a hair finds its way right up my nose, or a bit of itchy skin and a headache.

I’ve grown up with cats and never had issues, over the years my general allergies have gotten quite bad though.

My hubby is being strict and saying that in the end I come first.
But I really don’t want to give these two little babes up – they are such little characters.


I’ve been scouring the internet on how to reduce allergens (despite popular belief cat allergies are not caused by hair but by a protein in their saliva / sweat) – as they lick their hair a lot it gets into the air quickly. They are apartment cats.

I have a plan –

1.keep them out of our bedroom
2.I bought a HEPA air filter
3.they will get a bath each week – to wash saliva off hair

If all this doesn’t help I guess I will stock up on antihistamines, though because this is to do with my chest I’m not sure suppressing symptoms is a good thing.
The internet is a bit of a downer as it states that cat allergies are the most difficult to get rid of. I read about desensitization – that takes up 3 years!

I also read about a spray (with natural ingredients) on lined called Allerpet, which is sprayed onto the cat. Unfortunately this does not seem to be available in Switzerland?

Im really hoping that I will get used to them…. In the meantime can anyone else give any tips?

Many thanks Skwiwi, Monty and Marley.
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Old 20.08.2010, 17:45
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Re: Advice appreciated- Im allergic to my kittens

Lovely kittens, no other ideas come to mind other than spending a lot of time vacuuming (the floor, not the cats). Hope it all turns out well for all of you.
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Old 20.08.2010, 17:48
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Re: Advice appreciated- Im allergic to my kittens

I don't know anything about allergies but bathing cats are not a good idea. I haven't bathed my 9 year old for years.

Hope someone can point you in the right directions about allergies. Good luck.
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Old 20.08.2010, 17:53
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Re: Advice appreciated- Im allergic to my kittens

My wife initially had a similar allergic reaction when we got our kitten so she went off to see an allergy doctor. He did the skin grid allergen test and our worst fears were confirmed i.e. she had a cat hair allergy. However she was determined that we'd keep our little monster, and so we made sure we constantly brushed his coat (on the balcony to avoid flying hairs), vacuumed as much as possible and kept him out of the bedroom (despite his incessant scratching and wailing). Over time this seems to have worked, and her allergy is all but gone.

<Touch wood>
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Old 20.08.2010, 17:56
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Re: Advice appreciated- Im allergic to my kittens

That's really sad! I've been with cats my whole life, and then had a break for 2 years. Now I seem to have a mild allergic reaction to my Poussin, but it's nowhere as serious as yours sounds. I just get itchy. I clean like crazy, basically. Have you tried asking your Vet? I have a wonderful one in Lausanne, Dr Pfister (021 312 56 08), and there's also another excellent Vet with a specialty shop, Dr Anne-Marie Villars (021 616 10 66). The assistant for Dr Villars is wonderful and she could surely help you on the phone with products if she speaks English. Dr Pfister definitely speaks English. If you need help speaking French, let me know, and good luck!
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Old 20.08.2010, 17:58
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Re: Advice appreciated- Im allergic to my kittens

It is the saliva and not the hair itself.

Vacuum and get a swiffer. Also, give it time. My GF was the same when I got my cats, she nearly had to go to the hospital her breathing was so bad.

She normalised. You should normalise. If it's really bad, take an antihistamine.

Don't wash them, they wash them.

You can go for allergy shots that will force your system to normalize, but exposure to the cats should get this done well enough.
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Old 20.08.2010, 18:10
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Re: Advice appreciated- Im allergic to my kittens

In the meantime, until you build up an immunity you can take one anti allery tablet, Zyrtec, before you go to sleep each night.
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Old 20.08.2010, 18:26
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Re: Advice appreciated- Im allergic to my kittens

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1.keep them out of our bedroom
My friend has 2 cats and only after they got them, they found out her husband had cat allergy. They are absolutely not allowed in their bedroom which gives him a break when needed and sound sleep.

Meanwhile, she keeps the house spotlessly clean of cat fur, and little by little her husband's allergy subsided.... Hope it'll work out for you too!

My (ex)husband had bad cat allergy, and whenever we visited friends with cats, he popped a tablet of the above said Zyrtec (available over the counter), they did wonders!
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Old 20.08.2010, 18:31
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Re: Advice appreciated- Im allergic to my kittens

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That's really sad! I've been with cats my whole life, and then had a break for 2 years. Now I seem to have a mild allergic reaction to my Poussin, but it's nowhere as serious as yours sounds. I just get itchy. I clean like crazy, basically. Have you tried asking your Vet? I have a wonderful one in Lausanne, Dr Pfister (021 312 56 08), and there's also another excellent Vet with a specialty shop, Dr Anne-Marie Villars (021 616 10 66). The assistant for Dr Villars is wonderful and she could surely help you on the phone with products if she speaks English. Dr Pfister definitely speaks English. If you need help speaking French, let me know, and good luck!
love dr. pfister! my son is allergic but loves cats so much and has always had one- he just washes his hands and face often and we vacuum alot and brush the kitty regularly... also, try keeping the windows open while it's still nice out and that may help...

i remember hearing about giving cats a raw diet- that it may help allergy sufferers, but i don't know much about it so it may be worth looking into.

good luck- they are so cute!
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Old 20.08.2010, 18:34
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Re: Advice appreciated- Im allergic to my kittens

I too had kittens that I was allergic to. Like many who have already posted I did eventually get over this. It seems I gradually got used to them and had no problems after a couple of months. I did have the help of antihistamines and an asthma inhaler but after perseverance I was fine.

Strangely enough I am still allergic to other peoples cats though.

So be strong, take the pills, wheeze a bit but it will be worth in the end when you still have your cute little fur ball
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Old 20.08.2010, 18:40
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Re: Advice appreciated- Im allergic to my kittens

I third the endorsement of Dr Pfister and his staff. They do a wonderful job and are fantastic with the animals.

Like you, I was allergic to my cat at first, but after a couple months of Claritine (also OTC) when I needed it: hey presto! No more allergy.

We've been going strong for more than 10 years now. Good luck with your kitty-cats. They are adorable.
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Old 20.08.2010, 19:35
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Re: Advice appreciated- Im allergic to my kittens

Thanks everybody for your advice and kind words!

They truly are adorable and even though we've had them such a short time they are part of the family.

I will post here again if and once I get over it Also any tips I may pic up on the way

Thanks again guys!

skwiwi, Monty and Marley
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Old 26.08.2010, 08:41
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Re: Advice appreciated- Im allergic to my kittens

Be sure your vacuum cleaner has a built in HEPA filter or the process of vacuuming may spew allergens all over the house. Some Miele vacuums have these filters, and I'm sure other brands too.

Oh, and I'm pretty sure that it is cat dander (little flakes of dried skin) that is what people are allergic to.

Good luck.
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Old 26.08.2010, 08:48
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Re: Advice appreciated- Im allergic to my kittens

Your plan sounds reasonable except for point 3, I am also allergic to cats but I have two I love them!
I do not let themm sleep in our room and I do not leave clothes around they can sleep on (or pee on let's face it), I have an air filter but also my husband combs them almost daily (daily is more desirable), I talked to my vet and he told me the allergy is (like you say) to the saliva and not the hair and he also told us that bathing them would not do any good, the combing is for them not to shed so much...

Good luck!

A

EDIT: Good point about the vaccuum cleaner, we got one specially for dog and cat hair as it absorbs everything and does not let it out again , it is a Phillips antiallergic one but it did not cost a fortune
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Old 26.08.2010, 20:01
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Re: Advice appreciated- Im allergic to my kittens

Thanks for your advice guys! Actually I started feeling better after the 4th day, we hoover 2 a day.

I'm not worried about myself anymore, both Monty and Marley are fighting feline panleukopenia which is very serious for kittens. Please cross fingers for them!!!

Skiwi
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Old 26.08.2010, 20:05
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Re: Advice appreciated- Im allergic to my kittens

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I'm not worried about myself anymore, both Monty and Marley are fighting feline panleukopenia which is very serious for kittens. Please cross fingers for them!!!

Skiwi
I'm sorry to hear that - I'll keep my fingers (and the meloncollies their paws) crossed for your little guys.
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Old 26.08.2010, 20:07
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Re: Advice appreciated- Im allergic to my kittens

I need my fingers to type so i will cross my toes. Hope they get better soon!
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Old 26.08.2010, 20:13
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Re: Advice appreciated- Im allergic to my kittens

crossing my fingers and my cats too. I hope they'll get well soon.
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Old 26.08.2010, 20:22
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Re: Advice appreciated- Im allergic to my kittens

Poor kitties... we're crossing our fingers and paws in Lausanne.
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Old 26.08.2010, 20:31
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Re: Advice appreciated- Im allergic to my kittens

Oh no get better soon Monty and Marley.
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