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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I must be the worst cat owner and feel very depressed and devasted for what I needed to do to my kitty, Tora, today. This might become long, so I appreciate if you can be patient with me in reading this.

I have had Ally (13 or 14 yrs old female) and Spock (12 yrs old male) since 1999. They have been good friends and I LOVE them from my heart. I have two kids now; my daughter was born in 2001 and my son was born in 2004 and now she is 9 years old and he is 6 yrs old. When My son was 3 yrs old, we found that he has peanut allergy and the bloodwork showed that he is allergic to peanut, pstachio, some tree pollen and nothing else. He was having asthma symptoms but now it is getting much better without any daily medication. We really did not want him on medication unless it is necessary. He has been having runny nose in the morning which stops after blowing nose. Except for occasional cold, he was doing great until this March.

In Febuary, we found a stray cat in our yard. He was very friendly and cute. My kids fell in love with him and so was I. They started feeding him although I said no.... Of course, he would not leave our yard. I posted email asking for his owner in our community, but no one showed up, so we decided to keep him. I felt really bad such a good kitty staying outside in severe weather. Gradually, I introduced him to other kitties and let him go inside of our house taking very long, especially since he had roundworm and loose stoool issue. We named him Tora. Tora was nice to us (human) but getting aggressive to Spock. I was very concerned about Spock because Spock has hyperthyroid and maybe have heart murmur as well. Lately Tora started attacking on Ally as well. Kids still LOVE Tora because young Tora (2-3 yrs old) is very playful with them.

I am not sure if this is coincidence, but ever since we let Tora inside of our house, my son keeps getting sick. In March, one sinus infection. In April, another sinus infection. For both times, he took antibiotic medicine to recover to stop coughing. At the end of April, he had pnuemonia and had antibiotic shots and finished oral antibiotic medicine on May 8. The doctor re-checked on him on May 10 and confirmed that his lung was clear. Now he is coughing again with lots of runny nose. After the second sinus infection in April, I let him tested for allergy and found out that now he is allergic to more things including CATS. I wish I knew this BEFORE adopting Tora.....I didn't imagine that my son is allergic to cats because he was with Ally and Spock ever since he was born and the allergy test showed negative when he was three yrs old...Fortunately, the worst one is dust mites (Ige for dust 55 and 27 and IgE for cats is 3.74). Since the allergy to cats is low, we decided to maintain the same things with cats. We bought two new big HEPA filter and covered his pillows and mattress with hypoallergic case. Except for removing the carpet (which we will soon maybe), I did everything I could do to clean his room. I have been cleaning everywhere crazy lately. Now he is coughing again. Although he is on Zyrtec, his runny nose comes back and causes cough. I scheduled appointment to see allergist but it will be in early June.

This morning, enough was enough about my son getting situation. We decided to keep Tora in garage. Since my son was okay with Ally and Spock around, taking Tora out from our house and occasionally letting him in to play with kids or letting kids visit Tora in garage might help my son, we thought..... Especially this moring Tora was attacking both Ally and Spck real bad. Well, at first Tora was enjoying new place, garage, but not anymore. I keep checking on Tora in garage and he is just sleeping. Sometimes he does not even look at me. I felt so bad and sick in my stomach and could not eat anything in morning. I needed to take care of my sick son and Spock who is losing appetite and I was very panicky. I feel very very guilty for doing this to Tora. We adopted him, took him to the vet, fixed poop problem, updated shots and neutered him as well. Now I am abandoning him, I feel. Maybe I should find good home for him? I do not know. We still love him very much. My husband says our kids love him so much that it is not good to let him go totally and they can still play with Tora when they want to... but I feel so bad about Tora staying in garage. I am really the worst cat owner. If my son does not improve still, I might need to keep Ally and Spock in my room all the time so that they do not go other places anymore to improve my son's condition . I feel real bad about this too.

I am sorry for writing this long for such a personal matter involving my kids. I know that I should post this in allergy forum or something but I was wondering if anyone of you have someone in your household having allergy. I appreciate if you can share how you handle with. I am very very depressed for doing this to Tora. He must be hating me and my husband for doing this to him.
 

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Oh, Spockally... Don't punish yourself. You've done everything you can to be the best mom to all of your kids...human and feline. Even if Tora needs to stay in the garage for awhile (to give both your son AND you -- and Spock and Ally -- a much-needed break), he's better off by FAR than he was when you found him and took him in. Give him extra attention when you take him his food and check on him, and I bet he'll stop pouting.

June is not too far, and maybe the allergist will have some good options for treating your son long-term that will let things go back to normal.

First the poop, now this. I bet you would be happy never to clean anything again!

I still have to keep Little Bee confined to our laundry room at night, and I feel bad about it, too. But she and Sabine have started fighting (they were doing so well!), and I don't want them exploding at each other, under our bed, in the wee hours (we get little enough sleep as it is!). And, we were given a couple of cage birds that b occasionally tries very hard to eat. I can't put the cage where she can't reach it (it's huge), so I've got to put her up if I can't keep an eye on her. I put toys in "her" room, a very soft bed and always feed her wet food when I shut her up for the night. So she goes willingly. I think now it's just part of her routine (and I think she may even enjoy the break from Sabine). She, too, is FAR better off than she was.

So, you're not the only one with a captive kitty. ;) Tora will forgive you, and he'll be fine. And it'll give you a little break from worry and cleaning. You need it.

I hope your son's feeling better, and that the allergist appointment will get here quick!
 

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Well, there are a few things I don't understand. I realize that allergies can cause runny nose and itchy eyes and even a cough (from post nasal dripping). How does it lead to sinus infections and pneumonia? Those would be caused by bacteria and viruses...not allergies.

How old is your son now? Is he old enough to take allergy medicine? I'm very allergic to cats and if I don't take an allergy pill daily I am absolutely miserable with red swollen itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing and coughing. When MowMow drools when I'm petting him I have to be careful not to let it get on me or sit for any length of time because I'll break out in a rash in that spot. It requires a LOT of extra work as well. All of the blankets MowMow sleeps on have to be washed at least once a week and the apartment HAS to be vacuumed at least twice a week. All surfaces have to be dusted weekly.
 

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Don't beat yourself up. You've done the best you could, but your family and Tora are no longer compatible. It makes sense to me that your son may be allergic to Tora, but not Spock and Ally. I'm allergic to most of your average cat but not to my Bengals. It could be that Spock and Ally don't produce enough of the allergen to trigger your son's allergies, but Tora does.

I do agree with littlebee that living in the garage is better than being left to roam free but I think you might want to seriously consider rehoming Tora. He is still fairly young and, from your accounts, friendly and charming enough to weasel his way into the home and hearts of an unwitting family. There is nothing wrong with rehoming a pet when the situation isn't working out. You would only be doing what is best for Tora and your family.
 

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Don't beat yourself up. You've done the best you could, but your family and Tora are no longer compatible. It makes sense to me that your son may be allergic to Tora, but not Spock and Ally. I'm allergic to most of your average cat but not to my Bengals. It could be that Spock and Ally don't produce enough of the allergen to trigger your son's allergies, but Tora does.

I do agree with littlebee that living in the garage is better than being left to roam free but I think you might want to seriously consider rehoming Tora. He is still fairly young and, from your accounts, friendly and charming enough to weasel his way into the home and hearts of an unwitting family. There is nothing wrong with rehoming a pet when the situation isn't working out. You would only be doing what is best for Tora and your family.
Very true. I was thinking of the garage-only set-up as temporary, until the allergist can give some treatment options. But, especially since Tora's not mixing well with Spock and Ally, rehoming is certainly something to consider. I've done it with a much-loved dog and horse (both incompatible, after much effort, with kids), and I'll always feel good about the decision.
There are lots of good people out there. Obviously! ;)
 

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Well, there are a few things I don't understand. I realize that allergies can cause runny nose and itchy eyes and even a cough (from post nasal dripping). How does it lead to sinus infections and pneumonia? Those would be caused by bacteria and viruses...not allergies.

How old is your son now? Is he old enough to take allergy medicine? I'm very allergic to cats and if I don't take an allergy pill daily I am absolutely miserable with red swollen itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing and coughing. When MowMow drools when I'm petting him I have to be careful not to let it get on me or sit for any length of time because I'll break out in a rash in that spot. It requires a LOT of extra work as well. All of the blankets MowMow sleeps on have to be washed at least once a week and the apartment HAS to be vacuumed at least twice a week. All surfaces have to be dusted weekly.
The inflamation caused by the allergies can surpress a person's immune system and make them more prone to infections, ESPECIALLY if they are already immuno-compromised and especially in the parts of the body effected by the allergy. When I lived in the basement of a house that had a normal kitty who lived upstairs and didn't come into my area at all I got a sinus infection every month or two. When I moved, I stopped getting them. Note: I had at least one Bengal before, during and after this time. There wasn't even direct contact between me and this cat and I still had major problems.

As far as the allergy meds go, they DO NOT work for everyone. They either don't completely eliminate the allergic reaction or (as in my case) the person's body doesn't tolerate them well and taking the allergy meds is worse than the allergy itself. I can't take non-drowsy allergy meds because they make me crazy (literally crazy) and I can't take the regular allergy meds because they turn me into a dazed zombie who can't get out of bed. I've tried them all and none of them work either due to crazy side effects or they were just ineffective (with side-effects)
 

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Well, there are a few things I don't understand. I realize that allergies can cause runny nose and itchy eyes and even a cough (from post nasal dripping). How does it lead to sinus infections and pneumonia? Those would be caused by bacteria and viruses...not allergies.
In some cases, the irritation of tissues caused by the allergic reaction makes them more susceptible to infection (just as colds sometimes turn into secondary bacterial sinus infections). I have a friend whose daughter gets raging eye and sinus infections every time her pollen allergies flare up. Not fun.
 

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Ok, thank you guys :)

Yeah, that does make sense about the immune suppression and secondary infections. Whenever I get a sinus infection I always wind up with eye infections at the same time...

Anyway, to the OP.... I agree, you've done everything you can and don't beat yourself up. You could always make the garage an epic cat pad :) for Tora and the other kids can spend lots of time out there playing with him. He may just be sulking right now because he's not getting run of the house as he used too :)
 

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You definitely have to do what you need to in order to figure out what's going on with your son. Some time in the garage while you eliminate possible causes won't harm Tora, however I do think that permanently keeping him there wouldn't be fair. It is definitely possible to be more allergic to a specific cat than others. I've had several experiences where a particular cat or dog caused me all kinds of issues, including breaking out in hives.

Reading the info posted, though, I'm not convinced your son's problem is cats. I've never been allergy tested but I'm 99% sure I have dust mite and mold allergies. The single most effective thing I did was to get rid of the carpet in my bedroom and living room. My worst time of the day would be morning...in my research I ran across an article that talked about the cilia in the nose. It said that cilia goes to sleep when we do. So during the night all the allergens collect in the nose and when you wake up the cilia also wakes and starts working to flush the allergens out. And that's when you start having reactions. I thought that regular sheet changing, blanket washing and hypoallergenic covers on the pillows and mattress would be most effective and it did help. But I didn't see major improvement until I got rid of the carpet.
 

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I would strongly suggest putting an air purifier in your son's bedroom and one in the main living area. Mine has made a huge difference in my allergy symptoms. It's nice not to wake up and sneeze for the first few hours of the day.

I live in southern Minnesota and we are having one of the worst allergy seasons on record. Even people who don't normally have allergies are having issues this year.
 

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So during the night all the allergens collect in the nose and when you wake up the cilia also wakes and starts working to flush the allergens out.
And I was just wondering how come my nose is not runny at night, and the moment I open my eyes, there it goes!

*Hugs* to spockally, I know how hard it is to deal with allergies and love cats! Definitely get rid of the carpet, and curtains too! Air purifier in your son's room is also a good idea, I think they make them with HEPA filters. As for vacuums, not all HEPA filters are equal, some will filter much finer and smaller allergens, so make sure you have the right vacuum cleaner and/or bag. Needless to say, no cats should be allowed in the boy's room (something I don't adhere to and hence I have health problems constantly).

I don't know when Tora was neutered but something to consider is that unneutered cats can produce more allergen than the neutered ones, and it can continue for a few months after neutering. So it's possible that your son and Tora will become compatible eventually.

I am allergic to dust mites (wasn't allergic to cats three years ago, might get tested again tomorrow so we'll see if that has changed) and my allergist told me that dust mites can cling on the cats' fur so even if you're not allergic to cats they exacerbate your allergies. As for me, I'd had a cat for 5 years without any problems, and when I got a litter of 6 kittens (and kept them all) I started having the worst allergy symptoms, got asthma for the first time in my life, and now I'm battling my second sinus infection this year. Nothing I do seems to help, I have bathed the cats several times but my symptoms persisted, I vacuumed daily, I changed the bedding twice a week, haven't had carpets and curtains for years... I plan on buying a quality air purifier, that's my last hope really.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you sooooooo much, everyone, for all supports, encouragement and information!!!! I am just fortunate to know you all in this forum and feel blessed that everyone here is so NICE and understanding! I was not sure if it is okay to post such a thing because this issue involves so much medical stuff going on with my son, not a kitty, but I am glad that moderator allowed me to do so and everyone of you are so helpful. Thank you.

First, my son got much better this time much quicker than usual to my surprise. This is going to be the 1st time, I hope, that he will recover in this past few months w/o antibiotic med. I think he can go back to school tomorrow! I camped in his room yesterday and did not hear any cough. It might be just coincidence but this recovery makes me wonder if it has something to do with Tora... Not having Tora helped him this time? Like someone mentioned, my son is allergic only to Tora? Or, just that his inflammation was not bad this time? I have no idea. As Doodlebug pointed out, my husband still thinks that it has nothing to do with cats due to the test result but maybe dustmites and some other environmental stuff since he has been playing outside a lot this time of year. I am just hoping that allergist can find out other significant allergen that has been causing this on-going sickness and can deal with it instead of allergy to cats. I have been contacting allergist office if there is any earlier appointment he can get, though.

As for Tora, he is always excited to see us and I still feel sorry for him. Every time I go to him, I tend to cry but I try to spend time with him as much as I can. Today, I put him in different rooms like laundry room and master bathroom where my son does not usually use so that Tora can have different view. Yes, I do agree with Doodlebug again about not being fair about keeping him forever in garage. I do not intend to do that. It will be better for him to go to good home instead of staying in our garage!!! He, and every kitty, deserves good loving environment! This is temporary and from tomorrow I am trying to let him come in again maybe when kids are at school or sleeping something like that. Once my son got completely recovered, we can let him in again and see how my son's system will react. Hope nothing shows up.... Even though my son is okay with Tora in terms of allergy, we are still concerned Tora's aggressiveness towards other two kitties. We really need to deal with it and we were trying hard to solve it so everyone will be happy. However, if nothing works out, like many of you were suggesting, finding good home might be the option.

There are still many improvements that we can do at our home, I understood. Thank you so much for all the suggestions regarding minimizing the exposure to allergen. About 2.5 yrs ago, my husband and I changed the 1st floor from carpet to hardwood. It took almost entire winter and my mom passed away during the remodeling which delayed everything, but we managed it. I think my son's nose got better slightly after that. It definitely helped his asthma symptoms. This winter, my husband changed carpet on stairs to hardwood. Next, we really need to remove the carpet in his room which means maybe entire 2nd floor! Thank you so much for reminding me how important to remove the carpet in his room. This forum is meant for cats and the owners, but many of you gave me really good information about allergy and I feel very thankful to all of your help! Thank you again for reading this. I cannot thank you enough how much all of you lifted me up :) :) :) Lots of Love!!!!!
 

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so, how can one be only allergic to some cats (assuming they all have fur)??
It is a protein in cat saliva that most people are allergic to, not the dander or fur itself. Some cats naturally have less of that protein in their saliva than other cats. Certain breeds generally register lower on the scale than your average moggy. Bengals are one of those breeds. With moggies (your average cat) it is completely random if they will have higher concentrations of the protein in their saliva or not.
 
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