I know your struggles, I have severe animal allergies. When I was a kid we could never have cats, we only had dogs. I had bronchitis at least 5 times a year and I was always sick. When I moved out on my own, I was never sick. I had my allergies retested last year and found out that I am now allergic to dogs. My parents have a dog and a cat and when I go there it takes 10 minutes for my allergies and asthma to kick in. I can’t visit for long periods of time. They also smoke and live in a very old house with very old carpet.
We adopted Tasha in October 2004. My husband is a huge cat lover, so I decided to give it a shot. Then we got Angel in November. The first couple weeks were awful. My husband gave Tasha a bath and we bought Allergy Wipes from the Pet Store for the cat to clean her down. I was better after that. Then when we brought Angel home, I got sick again. We haven’t given her a bath but she gets wipe downs too. Both cats do every 2 weeks or so. I also brush them at least once a month.
What I have determined works for me is:
A very clean house. We don’t have any carpet, my parents do, and I think that makes things easier.
Keeping my cats indoors. I have many allergies, indoor/outdoor animals tend to make me sicker.
Since I let the cats in the bedroom, I have to change the sheets every week. If I don’t, like this past weekend, I start waking up sick, bad asthma and sneezing. I may consider keeping them out of the bedroom, since they hardly ever go in there anymore.
I have 2 comforters, I rotate changing them every month.
I refuse to take needles so I only use my inhaler and antihistamines when I get really bad. I am trying to get my system used to it without resorting to meds.
I have an air purifier right beside my side of the bed.
I keep a blanket on each couch at night, where the cats sleep, so I can wash them frequently and there is less cat hair and dandruff on the furniture.
My allergies let me know when the cats need wiping down and when the house needs dusting.
When we adopted Angel, her hair was really coarse. I feed my cats the best dry food I can find and whatever meat we eat for supper. If it is chicken I add flax oil or olive oil. Fish has its own good natural oil. I think a good diet makes a big difference. Angel’s hair is getting better all the time.
We are bringing home another cat on Saturday, when I went to the foster home I almost died of an asthma attack! None of the cats there had nice fur, including the one I am adopting. I guarantee I will be sick when we bring him home until he can get a good bath and good food.
It will never be easy for you husband, it isn’t for me, but because my husband is so willing to be supportive and help keep the home and cats clean, I am willing to keep trying. I know other people who have cat allergies and after awhile, like me, you get used to your own cats.