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Readers Respond: Are You Able to Live With Cats Despite Your Allergies?

Responses: 44


From the article: Allergic to Cats?
While some people successfully co-exist with their cats despite being allergic to them, others are unable to tolerate cat allergens. If you are one of the fortunate few, share your success stories with other allergic cat lovers. Do you take any special precautions? Are your cats forbidden to enter certain areas of your home? Your success stories may help other readers.

You can have pets while having allergies

I have allergies to cats and dogs. I've been taking allergy shots for over 30 years. I wouldn't be without an animal. Right now I only have a female tuxedo cat, Oreo, who is 5 years old. She crawls up on the bed and sleeps in my arms under the covers. I brush her every day and occassionally wipe her down with a wet paper towel and then dry her. She wakes me in the morning by nuzzling me or licking my face. We rub each other's foreheads to leave scents on the other. My allergist used to say "if something happens to this animal, then don't get anymore". I told him that wasn't an option. He has since changed his mind, saying "we're allowing people to have pets now." I just keep getting my shots and each year my serum gets stronger. I'm an animal person. I was able to get away with having poodles but I couldn't tolerate any other kind of dog. If it were up to me they would not have to have animal shelters. I'd have them all.

Soldiering On

I have always been allergic to pet hairs, and I certainly never even considered having a cat. 14 years ago my husband came home with a very tiny feral kitten. The mother had been run over in the steel yard where he worked, so he brought her home with the idea of taking her to the RSPCA. Even though I was sneezing and coughing all the time, I could not bear to part with Smokie, our little girl. She's now 14 years old, and I have adopted 3 other cats. I still get the odd bout of sneezing, but somehow, after the first really bad month of symptoms it gradually eased. I have never taken any medication to help, maybe it was just sheer determination that I would not part with Smokie, no matter what. I guess I was very lucky, it was certainly one of the best decisions I ever made to soldier on and 'saggurate' myself with catfur. I would have missed out on so much if I hadn't.
—Guest Lizzie G.

I can get over it

I am allergic to cats and dogs yet I live with 2 cats and 5 dogs I am hoping my body will get used to them I am gonna try not taking my allergy pills and give my body a chance to get used to them I am hoping that works because I can't live without them
—Guest aubrey

Love cats but...

I really want a cat but my grandma, who I live with, is allergic! I've recently found a free kitten name Finn. He's all black. My grandma won't let me! She isn't deathly allergic though. She just gets watery eyes and starts sneezing. How can I convince her? {We also have a dog. She claims we already have them even though she's "allergic" but that's unfair! I didn't even want the dog! Cats are my muse.}
—Guest Advid Meower

Well this probably isn't the best idea..

Me and my mom are both allergic to cats and no one in my family even thought about the realistic possibility of getting a cat. Until a few months ago that is. So this stray female cat just wandered into our yard one evening while my cousin was over, so my dad and my uncle fed the cat and gave it some water but we kept it outside. The next day it was still there and my dad and one of my younger sisters continued feeding it until we decided she could stay after I gave her a name, Guen. She is an outside cat but when it's cold we bring her inside and keep her in the laundry room. But not too long after she adopted us (like maybe a month), we found out she got pregnant and we now have a litter of 5 kittens (one died leaving us with 4) and they are all very happy outside, they play in our bushes and our huge garden and hide underneath our shed. Both me and mom are able to snuggle with the kittens for a little while every day without too many bad reactions and we're both very attached.
—Guest People Personson

You can overcome it

I am severely allergic to cats. I had a rescue cat for 6 years and only got allergic to him about a year before he had to be put down. But, once a cat owner always a cat owner. We got 2 kittens from a friend and as they couldn't go out and were young with dander flying all over the place I got severe symptoms and often couldn't breathe, got rashes round my neck and watery eyes, sneezing, nasal voice...I went to the doctor and now I have 180g of Fexofenadine per day on prescription and an inhaler and steroid cream for whenever I can't breathe or have a rash from them. They sleep on my bed and I bury my face in their fur because I love them. It got easier once they were spayed and can go outside and they are now 2 years old (we got them at 8 weeks old). I'm so glad we didn't have to give them away to someone else as now they are part of our family. Just wash everything and clean as often as possible. I found that having floorboards instead of carpet has also helped.
—Guest Lucy

The love for animals goes very far

I recently got two little guinea pigs :) and although the doctor hasn't specifically told me ,I know I am allergic to them as well as cats and dogs. I play with them every day and they love me too ,every time the scratch me I get bumps and stuff but it's Okay ,I hope they last a very long time with me
—Guest Kim

No problems..

I have been allergic to cats for several years now and I just found out to dogs as well. I know have an indoor cat, but I just take OTC allergy Meds along with keeping the house clean. There are also cat pet allergy wipes you can get at Petco. Really helps when you don't want to bathe your cat.
—Guest Charlotte

please help

I had cats as a child, however not as an adult. No allergies then. Now I got a lovely male cat and for the second day I am sneezing like mad. Taking anti-allergic tablets.I am not happy and my granddaughter who lives with me always wanted a cat. It is like my nose is breathing after the cat. I am going to follow the 10 steps and see what happen. Wish me like.


I've always had a fear of cats since I was 2 1/2 years old. I've never been near or held a cat since last night at my former-beau's place. I just fell in love with his kitten and even though I got a couple of hives, runny nose, stuffy nose, watery and itchy eyes I know that I will overcome this. I've never been allergic to anything in my life before! I love dogs and cats, and I would never think I would ever be a cat person, but hey somethings happen for a reason :)
—Guest JudithGomez

Cat Allergies

I had a low tolerance/ fear of cats and suffers from allergies period, until my teenager brought home a kitten. It took two weeks for me to accept the idea of a cat living inside my home. I finally allowed my daughter to bring, dustbunny in, previously she stayed with friends. In a few days I fell in adoration of this feline and gave her a more fitting name,DIVA-and she is a diva. My daughter went off to college and wanted to take her cat but for the sake of the cat and I, she left the cat with me. I absolutely LOVE Diva and could never depart with her inspite of my Allergies, that causes me to cough, sneeze, etc. I vacumn and wash my bedding often, and bathe Diva every four months/she dislikes bathing, but oh well. In addition, grooming/brushing her fur several times a week helps. She sleeps next to me which has increased my symptoms so I purchased her a bed to go in my room in a area that will be set up for her, Diva's Corner and am hoping that it helps. I LOVE CATS NIW
—Guest Ann

Allergies? What allergies?

I've been allergic to cats and dogs since I was young. And we've almost always had them. Right now, we only have one cat, but my parent's have dogs. Funny thing about allergies. The shots you get to treat them give you small amounts of the thing you are allergic to, so your body can learn to accept them. Constant exposure to a cat lowers my cat allergy reactions, and the same with dogs. But once I'm away from them for a few weeks, the symptoms come back the next time I see them. The love/joy/fun make it worth some congestion, watery eyes, occasional hives, sneezes... :-D

Make it happen

My daughter really wanted a kitten for Christmas but i am really badly allergic to them. Now, you may think she's spoilt but she's not, she already has 5 pets that she dosn't look after very well so the responsibility is on me. Don't get me wrong, i love animals but with 2 dogs a rabbit, a hamster and a pig things are getting a bit much. we got it 2 weeks ago and now i have no more itchy eyes, runny nose, Ect. i realy like the cat and glad i got it now. we have had 2 cats in the past but my problems got worse. we had to get rid of them and gave them to a freind. i guess i didn't give them a big anoth chance. we had them for 5 weeks. i'm really glad now that we have smokie our bundle of joy. tbh i thougt i would regret this but no. i take back what i said to my daughter about my allergicnes might get worse because it has only got better.
—Guest anna


I am severely allergic to dogs my eyes burn and water and itch so I got a dog 5 years ago and he is mixed with a poodle so now I don't have to suffer
—Guest alex

I was allergic to cats

When I was a teenager, I was allergic to cats. Dry eyes, runny nose, wheezing, etc., all the things you would expect. I don't know what happened, but I stopped being allergic. I can't tell you when, but I am allergy free now. I noticed that kittens took longer for me to get over, tinier hair, but now, nothing. I have 2 cats and a kitten. I always attributed it to that we didn't have cats when I grew up, only dogs. I guess I just got used to them. I don't have any other allergies, except for medicines.
—Guest Kattamenne

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