How to Live with Cat Allergies (10 Tips for Anyone Allergic to Cats)

Did you know that you can live a happy, healthy life with cats, even if you’re allergic to them?

It’s true.

And today, we’re going to show you how to do it.

In this post, you’ll discover the top tips for how to live with cat allergies so you can keep your symptoms under control.

By following this guide, you’ll have a number of methods for getting cat allergy relief without having to get rid of the furry creatures or staying out of the house.

So, keep reading to find out how easy it is to live with cats while better managing your allergic reactions to them.

10 Tips on How to Live with Cat Allergies

1) Get an Air Purifier

The top tip for keeping your cat allergies under control is to use an air purifier.

An air purifier is a machine that removes particles from the air by sucking them into a set of filters. Those filters trap the airborne pollutants and only allow clean, fresh air to return to the room.

The way an air purifier can help relieve your cat allergies it by removing the cat dander that’s floating in the air.

The cat dander will get trapped inside the air purifier and the air around you will be clean. Without dander particles floating around, the less you’ll have allergic reactions to cats.

Having an air purifier as s cat owner is also a good idea because it helps reduce feline odors and cat hair. If the machine you have includes a special type of filter you can enjoy a fresher smelling home and one that’s less covered in hair.

To find out more about how an air purifier can help with your cat allergies, take a look at our free guide on the top air purifier for pets. It covers everything you need to know, and more.

2) Create a Cat-Free Zone

Another simple way to reduce your exposure to cat allergens is by sectioning off a room of your house to be a cat-free zone.

Preventing a cat’s access to one particular room can give you the sanctuary you need to get daily relief from your allergy symptoms.

3) Say “No” to Cats in the Bedroom

Expanding on the last tip, another smart way for how to live with cat allergies is by prohibiting these pets from entering your bedroom⁠—and especially keeping them off of the bed.

If you’re like most people, then you spend about 6-8 hours asleep each night and that’s a long time to be exposed to cat allergens.

Plus, living with cats and rolling around dander particles all night will inevitably cause a number of them to linger on your skin and hair which can easily fall off and enter into your eyes and throat.

4) Bathe Cats Weekly

If you really want to lower the amount of allergen-inducing cat dander, the best thing you can do is give your cats a weekly bath.

Similar to humans where dirt and oil build up on our skin and hair each day, cats build up dander on their hair and skin. And the longer those dander particles have time to collect, the worse they get.

But, before you go out and buy just any cat shampoo (and start bathing your cat religiously), talk to a veterinarian or other animal care professional for a good product recommendation.

Depending on your cat’s coat and skin type, it may be best to use one particular brand of shampoo over another.

5) Try Dander Reducing Wipes

Can’t get your cat to take a bath?

Or just don’t have the time for it?

Another solution is to use dander reducing wipes.

Cat dander wipes not only help remove the allergen flakes, but they also moisturize the skin, and are a great alternative to traumatizing baths.

6) Switch to Washable Pet Bedding, Couch Covers, and Throws

Have you ever noticed that some cats love to make daily rounds around the house?

Cats seem to always want to inspect things and ensure that their environment hasn’t changed while they were away or asleep.

When you’re living with cats it’s best to get washable couch covers and throws to protect your furniture from cat dander. A washable cat bed is also a good idea if your pet likes to sleep in the same place each night.

Washing those items on a weekly basis can help minimize allergen buildup and stop you from having cat allergy reactions.

7) Clean (The Right Way)

Airborne dander has to fall somewhere. And it usually ends up on more than your furniture.

The last tip taught you how to keep your furniture dander-free. This tip focuses on the other common landing areas of your house—the floor and surrounding surfaces.

But, before you go on a rampage of dusting and vacuuming, you’ll want to follow these two simple pieces of advice:

  • Wipe—don’t dust—the dander away. Use a damp rag to remove microscopic cat allergens from hard surfaces (i.e. tables and counters). Dusting with a feather duster will just scatter these particles around and make things worse for your allergies.
  • Clean floors with a HEPA vacuum cleaner. A standard vacuum cleaner may blow more allergens around than it removes. So, make sure the one you use includes a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Arresting) filter. This type of filter can capture 99.97% of allergens down to 0.3 microns in size, including pet dander.

8) Keep the Litter Box Clean

Many people don’t know this but cat dander isn’t found in just cat hair. It also comes from cat urine (and flecks of skin).

That means a large amount of allergens can be building up inside the litter box if it’s not cleaned regularly, or properly. And, whenever the cat goes in and out of the litter box, it can be spreading even more dander around.

A good rule of thumb is to clean the litter box daily and replace the litter entirely every week.

9) Take Medication

If you haven’t tried so already, there are a number of over-the-counter (and prescription medications that you can take to reduce your cat allergy symptoms.

Plus, these medications come in a variety of types: antihistamines and decongestant pills, eye drops, and aerosol inhalers.

Keep in mind, however, that medications only help to reduce the symptoms and do not eliminate the allergy. If you want to do your best to eliminate cat allergies, you’ll want to follow the advice in the next tip.

10) Try Immunotherapy

If none of the tips above work for you, or your cat allergies are so severe that you can’t handle even being in a room that cat passed through, then you may want to try immunotherapy (i.e. allergy shots).

The idea behind immunotherapy treatments is to re-train your immune system to accept the allergy-inducing protein that comes from cats rather than have an allergic reaction to it.

The process for immunotherapy includes several injections into your body with small amounts of cat protein extract. Over time, the dosage slowly increases and then remains at a target level for three to five years.

The end result is to desensitize your body to cat allergens, or at the very least, greatly reduce the symptoms.

What Causes Cat Allergies?

Although you landed on this page looking for tips on how to live with a cat when you’re allergic, you may also be interested to know what causes these allergies in the first place.

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not the cat hair that you’re allergic to; it’s a specific protein that’s released by cats called “Fel d 1” and it mostly comes from saliva, flakes of skin, urine, and feces.

Added to this fact are that these proteins are microscopic, easily airborne, and all-over, which reveals why you may have an allergic reaction to cats by just simply walking into an empty room.

Therefore, it’s always a good idea to have an air purifier in your home if you’re allergic to cats. That way, you can ensure as many of those dander allergens are removed from the air you breathe.

Using an air purifier is one of the most long-term tricks from how to live with cat allergies, aside from taking medication or getting allergy shots. Take a look at our free guide on the top air purifier for pets to see exactly how much they can help you.

You’ll be surprised at how inexpensive these machines are and the numerous benefits they can provide you as a cat owner (or someone who lives with a person that enjoys cats).