How to Reduce Your Allergic Reaction to Cats

The perfect way to celebrate is by enjoying the company of a local feline. Sadly, cat allergies prevent some cat admirers from enjoying their adorable smooshy faces. But even if you’re terribly allergic, there are steps you can take to help alleviate symptoms and enjoy every day with these volatile furballs.

There are a lot of misconceptions about what part of the cat is actually causing all the itchiness and sneezing. Surprisingly, it’s not the hair they leave everywhere. It’s not even their dander, but a protein in the dander, according to Web MD. That protein is also found in their saliva and urine. While any furry animal produces these protein-soaked materials, cats both lick themselves and pee in a box in your house, so you can imagine how it gets into the air. Most people with allergies just try to avoid cats entirely, but below are some options for allergy sufferers who refuse to live a life without joy.

Take Meds

Some find that the side effects of antihistamines are mild compared to the side effects of kittens, according to There are plenty of once-a-day medications that will help with mild allergies that are also non-drowsy—I take Zyrtec for my pollen allergies and the only change I’ve noticed is that I’ve stopped sneezing. Everyone has different reactions, however, and it’s best to consult your doctor if you want some direction. It also might take a couple experiments to find the medication that works best for you. Unless you want to be drowsy, so you can sleep next to your kitty on the couch all day.

Keep Them Out Of The Bedroom

It’s helpful to limit where your cats are allowed. The best place to ban them is the bedroom, because it’s where you lay still with your mouth open eight hours a night. Your bedroom is also likely full of lots of dander-catching blankets and pillows. If you do let them snuggle with you when you’re most vulnerable, try to wash all your blankets twice a month, rather than never, which is what I do. Also change your sheets and pillow cases regularly, and store them somewhere they won’t accumulate dust and dander, like a plastic container.

General Cleanliness focuses on all the ways that keeping a clean house will make it possible to cohabitate with a little dander machine. They recommenddaily vacuuming, and on top of that, they suggest you use a steam cleaner. Steam cleaners are chemical free and especially effective on upholstery and carpets, which are basically just magnets for spores, dust mites, bacteria, and everything else making you sneeze. Heck, it might not even be the cat! Though, remember that thing about the protein being in their urine? If you’re coughing more than usual, clean the kitty litter. Yes, it is in the air.

Get An Air Filter

The most commonly recommended filter for cat allergies is a high-efficiency particulate air filter, or HEPA. If you have an air purifier already, you may be able to find a HEPA filter that fits it, but there are also lots of popular modelson Amazon. There are also HEPA vacuums, if you want to HEPA your life. But allergist Asriani Chiu, MD, warned on Web MD to be careful not to buy air systems that incorporate chemicals.