Allergies to Cats: Can We Live With Them?

cat sleepThis topic brings to mind a tee shirt I once saw someone wearing. It read: “Cat Allergic: Husband and Kids Must Go.” While this play on a real life situation is meant to be in good fun, cat allergies are a very serious subject. My sister is so allergic to my cats that when she comes to visit, she must either stand in the doorway or sit outside where the cats never go. It is estimated that approximately 2 percent of the US population is allergic to cats. One third of these (myself included) ignore medical advice and keep at least one cat in the home.

Although research to date is inconclusive, it is thought in some circles that female, shorthaired and light colored cats produce less dander and therefore less allergens, the main sources which are in the skin and saliva of the animal. While this is still not a scientific fact, there exists at least one breed of felines that is considered hypoallergenic. It is the Siberian cat, which for some unknown reason lacks the protein FELD in its saliva, which creates dander.

What can you do if you are allergic and cannot part with your beloved pet?

Depending on the degree of the allergy, there is one helpful tip which my doctor told me about, which in turn, I will pass on to you. Vacuum more frequently than normal. Allergens live in your carpets and they don’t pay rent, so attack and destroy! If you usually vacuum once a week, do it two or three times. (If you live in my house, you know that God would strike me dead if I ever claimed that I did this, so I won’t). I do try my best however and once a week I do a thorough vacuuming.

Are YOU living with animals you are allergic to? Please share.

Related Articles:

Is Your Cat Allergic? Wow, That’s a Switch!”

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About Marjorie Dorfman

Marjorie Dorfman is a freelance writer and former teacher originally from Brooklyn, New York. A graduate of New York University School of Education, she now lives in Doylestown, PA, with quite a few cats that keep her on her toes at all times. Originally a writer of ghostly and horror fiction, she has branched out into the world of humorous non-fiction writing in the last decade. Many of her stories have been published in various small presses throughout the country during the last twenty years. Her book of stories, "Tales For A Dark And Rainy Night", reflects her love and respect for the horror and ghost genre.