How to Reduce Cat Allergies

by Erin Schreiner

Many families delight in having a cat as a pet, but for some kids, this family addition presents a medical challenge. As "Parents Magazine" reports, 10 percent of all individuals suffer from some form of pet allergies. If you discover, perhaps too late, that your child is one of this unlucky group, you don't have to dump kitty -- or your kid -- at grandma's house. While some opt to get rid of the medically irritating cat, you can opt to keep the family pet with options that can help reduce Fluffy's allergy impact.

Step 1

Have family members wash their hands after handling the family cat. Even if the allergy sufferer is not touching the pet directly, he will still come into contact with the feline's dander if other family members fail to wash their hands. Make it a rule that all family members, along with visitors, wash their hands after petting the cat or coming into contact with its belongings, such as its toys and bed.

Step 2

Groom your cat regularly. While you can't eliminate shedding entirely, you can greatly reduce the degree to which your cat sheds by grooming it. Brush the cat at least every other day and give it a bath regularly. If your cat has long hair, you may want to have it professionally groomed.

Step 3

Install HEPA filters in your home. The Humane Society recommends that those seeking to reduce the amount of pet-related allergens found in their home install a HEPA filter in their heating and cooling system. Filters of this type are available at home improvement stores and range in price greatly. By adding one of these air cleaners to your house, you can ensure that your cat's dander does not move through your house's vents and ducts and create a negative impact on your allergic family member.

Step 4

Keep kitty out of the allergic individual's bedroom. As PetEducation reports, people spend between one third and one half of their time in their bedrooms. By not allowing the cat into the bedroom of the individual who suffers from an allergy, you can decrease the pet's impact on your environment.

Step 5

Stop the cat from napping on the furniture. While it is certainly difficult to control the actions of a headstrong feline, at least attempting to do so could be highly beneficial. When cats nap on furniture, they leave behind dander that the allergy sufferer will then pick up when he takes a seat. By not allowing these sofa naps, you can prevent a large part of this dander transfer.

Step 6

Speak to your doctor about potential medications. Individuals who suffer from allergies, yet don't want to rid themselves of their family pets do have options, reports the Humane Society. Speak to your doctor about immunotherapy treatment, as well as antihistamines, as these can prove a useful way to reduce the effects of allergies.

About the Author

Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, Trails.com and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.

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