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Old 10-12-2012, 11:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Can you become allergic to cats?

Just this week I out of the blue got what I thought was a sudden onset allergy attack, the issue is...it didn't go away. I have had a runny, stuffy and itchy nose coupled with sneezing for about 5 days now. I am terrified I am somehow allergic to cats now, since I own 3. I was wondering if this was even possible? I was allergy tested extensively as a teenager and was found to be allergic to a myriad of things but no allergies at all to any animals. I have never had a reaction to cats or any pets before, I am mainly a pollen and dust allergy girl. I have been running my HEPA filter 24/7 and no relief at all. Could it just be a cold and I am psyching myself out? I mean, I don't have the typical itchy watery eyes or any other allergy symptoms, just sneezing and runny nose coupled with feeling pretty icky all over. I need some reassurance that I didn't just randomly become allergic to my kitty family!
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I would say 5 days is too short a time period to panic over. That said, in my case, my allergies popped up one day when I was vacuuming. My skin became insanely itchy. That was about 6 years ago, and it never stopped. I went through a number of antihistamines until I found one that thankfully worked and I still take it every day. No doctor has been able to figure out the cause and I had no allergy symptoms before that day.
But I don't think my case is very normal. If I were you I'd give it a bit longer before assuming it's the cats, unless the symptoms go away when you're away from the cats and return when you are with them again.
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yes, you can become allergic to something even with showing no symptoms prior.

I am going to say that you are probably having an allergic reaction to something else or you're sick though. This time of the year is terrible for allergy sufferers.

I have to run a HEPA filter 24/7 and take Singulair once a day.
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Old 10-13-2012, 09:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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oh dear, hope I won't develop allergy to cat's dander over time. I am asthmatic, but only to certain food, have yet to check if I am allergic to cat's dander. I have been using air purifier in ET's room and living room and I do not allow him into our bedroom which a few of my friends have told me not to. Till now, touch wood, I am ok except for the few occasions when we did a nose butting that makes me sneeze and get a few mins of runny nose.
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Old 10-14-2012, 01:17 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I developed severe asthma when my wife and I had a total of 24 cats. I have always had a low level allergy to cats, but having so many pushed the allergy into high gear and I had to create a catroom to enable us to keep them all. I was on medication for my asthma for about 12 years and once the cat population fell to 10 cats, my asthma and allergies almost disappeared and I was able to stop taking medication daily. I now need only an emergency inhaler.

One thing that really, really helps is to NOT leave the cat in your bedroom, as your friends suggested. That way you have one room where you are not exposed to their dander and you can allow your lungs and nasal passages to recover from the exposure to the cat allergins. Really good HEPA air cleaners are also a great help; as is a very good HEPA vacuum cleaner. Way back in the 1980s when I had my worse allergy problems, these types of air cleaners and vacuums were not easy to find and were extremely expensive, but the money I invested in them was literally lifesaving.

Another thing I have found, is that I get less allergic to a cat the more time I spend with them; I get used to their individual allergens. At first I thought i was crazy, but my pulmonologist confirmed this. I really have to get my cats in my face and inhale their allergens before I have a reaction; but strange cats will give me an instant reaction if they get too close to my face or scratch me.

If you are developing a cat allergy, I hope you are able to manage it. There are hundreds of things you can do to keep the allergens at bay. Good luck, kiddo, and i hope it is only a cold.
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Old 10-14-2012, 01:43 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I have one of these:
Amazon.com: Honeywell HHT-011 Compact Air Purifier with Permanent HEPA Filter: Home & Kitchen Amazon.com: Honeywell HHT-011 Compact Air Purifier with Permanent HEPA Filter: Home & Kitchen

It works fairly well for me. It is for a small room though. It filters particles 2 microns and larger. Pet dander is 5 microns. A smoke particle is 1 micron.

If you're willing to spend more, this is even better:
Amazon.com: Honeywell 50250-S 99.97% Pure HEPA Round Air Purifier: Home & Kitchen Amazon.com: Honeywell 50250-S 99.97% Pure HEPA Round Air Purifier: Home & Kitchen

It filters particles 0.3 microns and larger.

I do not use the ionizer feature. I have read that it is harmful to infants and small animals such as cats. It also gives me headaches.
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Old 10-14-2012, 06:35 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurulFeatherCat View Post
One thing that really, really helps is to NOT leave the cat in your bedroom, as your friends suggested. That way you have one room where you are not exposed to their dander and you can allow your lungs and nasal passages to recover from the exposure to the cat allergins. Really good HEPA air cleaners are also a great help; as is a very good HEPA vacuum cleaner. Way back in the 1980s when I had my worse allergy problems, these types of air cleaners and vacuums were not easy to find and were extremely expensive, but the money I invested in them was literally lifesaving.

Another thing I have found, is that I get less allergic to a cat the more time I spend with them; I get used to their individual allergens. At first I thought i was crazy, but my pulmonologist confirmed this. I really have to get my cats in my face and inhale their allergens before I have a reaction; but strange cats will give me an instant reaction if they get too close to my face or scratch me.

If you are developing a cat allergy, I hope you are able to manage it. There are hundreds of things you can do to keep the allergens at bay. Good luck, kiddo, and i hope it is only a cold.
I have been using Dyson for many years for allergy to dust mites way before getting ET in. But I only use it like twice a week, though I clean the whole house, ET's room and beddings, scratch post on a daily basis with a sticky roller. I know dander is airborne, don't know if daily clearing up of the fur helps.

I never hold ET close to me except for the occasional nose butting that ET initiated and I didn't want to disappoint him. I was just sneezing away and got a runny nose for just a couple of mins, no wheezing, hope its just my sinus problem acting up, cos I have sinus too that usually act up only in the morning. So, I'm not too sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scottd View Post
I have one of these: Amazon.com: Honeywell HHT-011 Compact Air Purifier with Permanent HEPA Filter: Home & Kitchen

It works fairly well for me. It is for a small room though. It filters particles 2 microns and larger. Pet dander is 5 microns. A smoke particle is 1 micron.

If you're willing to spend more, this is even better: Amazon.com: Honeywell 50250-S 99.97% Pure HEPA Round Air Purifier: Home & Kitchen

It filters particles 0.3 microns and larger.

I do not use the ionizer feature. I have read that it is harmful to infants and small animals such as cats. It also gives me headaches.
That's great, thanks for your recommendation. I am bookmarking the link for my next purchase when mine breakdown. Now, I will really need to check if mine has ionizer feature, if it is harmful to cats but I remembered when I got it, it says it can take care of cats' dander, that's why I got it.

Last edited by snowy; 10-14-2012 at 06:37 AM.
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Old 10-14-2012, 03:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowy View Post
That's great, thanks for your recommendation. I am bookmarking the link for my next purchase when mine breakdown. Now, I will really need to check if mine has ionizer feature, if it is harmful to cats but I remembered when I got it, it says it can take care of cats' dander, that's why I got it.
Ionizers are supposed to make particles drop the floor and walls but in reality, it doesn't work. In order for it to work, it has be at such a level that's unhealthy for infants and small animals. It causes respiratory problems. It doesn't bother adults because we have higher capacity lungs. That's what I've read anyways.

The HEPA filter is what is trapping pet dander.
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Old 10-14-2012, 10:45 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Iíve never had allergies, but once in a while in the last couple of years Iíve had the sneezes. They only last a few hours and sometimes for days, but always go away on their own. I sometimes wonder if itís just in peopleís heads.
There is a guy at work that swears that he is allergic to cats and there have been many times when my cats slept on my sweater or sweat shirt before going to work. Most of the time Iím in a hurry and just throw them on without brushing off the hair then I worked all day with the guy driving around in the same truck without him even sneezing once. Yet if he just sees a cat walking by the office he will start sneezing and carrying on. Truthfully I think itís all in his head..
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Old 10-15-2012, 08:52 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I am also allergic to pollen and dust. When we got our first cat(we also now have 3) we lived in an apartment by train tracks. As soon as we brought her home the same week we started sneezing/itchy eyes etc, neither of us had ever been allergic to cats. We finally narrowed it down to the dust from outside from the train. We closed the windows and got an air purifier (it helped lots). We were fine after then and adopted 2 more cats at different times, we now own a house in a different city and haven't had any issues.

It could be environmental. Have you have your windows open? Has it been windy, etc? I highly recommend an air purifier. It worked wonders but we are selling ours now as we no longer need it.
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