young woman smiling and nuzzling her face in fluffy orange cat's forehead

6 Purr-fectly Natural Remedies for Cat Allergies

Is every cuddle with your kitty followed by hours of sneeze-and-wheeze? Hard to believe that something so cute can produce such unpleasant symptoms!

Fear not, fellow fluff lovers. If you are among the 33 percent of Americans with a cat allergy, there is good news. You do not need to rehome your favorite feline friend. Safe, effective, and all natural cat allergy relief is possible!

What causes cat allergies?

There is a common misconception that it is a cat’s fur that causes allergies. Not true. So if your grand plan for eliminating allergy symptoms has been to shave your cat bald, you should drop the clippers and back away slowly. While your cat’s fur is instrumental in transmitting allergens, it is not the cause.

What causes your nose to run and your eyes to itch and water is a protein found in your cat’s saliva, dander, and urine. This Fel d1 protein is excreted in every bodily function your cat has because it is found at the cellular level. Like dog allergens, cat allergens are “sticky,” and easily attach themselves to carpeting, clothing, and other upholstered furniture. Because they are so small, cat allergens are perfect airborne allergens. We breathe them in and absorb them through our pores.

How common are cat allergies?

Very common. More U.S. households are home to cats than dogs; and cats definitely win when it comes to which indoor animal causes the most allergic reactions. Cat owners are twice as likely as dog owners to develop allergies to their pet.

If your kitty is an indoor-outdoor cat, you increase the likelihood of tracking in other allergens on their fur.  Any breed of cat has the potential to trigger a cat allergy. There also is no such thing as a hypoallergenic cat, so do not be tricked into thinking a certain type of cat is better for your allergies than another.

One piece of good news: research supports the notion that keeping a pet early in life can reduce the risk of developing allergies later in life.

How do you know if you have a cat allergy?

As with other allergies, your body provides signs you are allergic to your cat. The most common symptoms include:

  • Congestion
  • Coughing
  • Itchy, watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing

Some of the less-common symptoms include exhaustion, joint pain, headache, shortness of breath, skin itching and rashes.

Can you eliminate Fel d1?

Unfortunately, no. Fel d1 protein allergens are lightweight and small, making them ideal airborne pollutants. They can travel easily and find their way into your home, even if you do not own a cat. Their sticky nature allows cat allergens to cling to any fabric surface – upholstery, clothing, bed linens. That means if Fluffy sleeps in bed with you, your linens are covered in Fel d1. You may not be able to see it with your naked eye, but it is there, triggering your allergies.

Some people try to scrub away cat allergens with harsh chemical cleaners and solutions. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says this is not the best idea. Most cleaning products contain what are known as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which are a form of indoor air pollution. These products are harmful and, with repeated use, can cause asthma and other health conditions.

Although you cannot eliminate the protein that causes cat allergies, you are not defenseless against it. Reducing the amount of Fel d1 proteins in your indoor environment is an effective way to reduce your allergy symptoms.

Natural cat allergy relief that works

Taking a preventative approach to natural cat allergy relief is an alternative to loading your body up with antihistamines and other medications for combatting allergies. Reducing the level of Fel d1 in your home is your best bet for natural relief. Here are six simple ways to do it.

  1. Change the litter box frequently
    Since the Fel d1 protein is secreted in all bodily fluids, a cat’s feces and urine are prime spreaders of the allergen. Changing their litter box every other day can help in the battle against your cat allergy. Never do the cleaning inside. Take the litter box outside or to a well-ventilated area to reduce the opportunity for the protein to become airborne.
  2. Leverage the power of HEPA
    High-Efficiency Particle Air (HEPA) vacuums and air purifiers are a must-have when you have allergies of any kind. They are 97 percent effective at removing airborne pollutants. Vacuum at least once weekly and run an air purifier daily for the best results.
  3. Use Easy Air Organic Allergy Relief Combo Pack
    There are no harsh chemicals or pesticides in this all-natural product. It is a complete (totally organic) system designed for managing your allergy symptoms. Lightly mist your upholstery, mattresses, pillows, and any carpeting with the Easy Air Organic Allergy Relief Spray for immediate relief from cat allergens. Add a capful of the Easy Air Organic Laundry Rinse to the rinse cycle of your next load of laundry to help prevent the Fel d1 proteins from sticking to your clothing, bedding, and other linens.
  4. Give your cat a bath
    Cats love baths about as much as you love finding ants in your picnic basket. Despite their general dislike of bathing, shampooing your cat with a hypoallergenic product at least once a week can help reduce the amount of Fel d1 present in your home. If you fear even the idea of this, consider paying a neighborhood pet groomer to do it for you. 
  5. Groom your cat daily
    Daily brushing is an effective way to reduce the Fel d1 proteins floating around in your home. Lightly moistening their fur before you brush it each day will help tamp down the number of allergens released into the air. As a rule, most cats are not fond of getting wet. You can use a cleansing wipe designed specifically for cats to achieve the same thing. Fan say your cat may love it. Wearing a dust-filtering face mask is a good idea when grooming your pet if you already have a cat allergy.
  6. Neuter (or spay) your cat
    Intact males produce higher levels of the Fel d1 protein than their neutered counterparts. Male cats produce more protein than female cats, but that does not mean you should not have your female cats spayed. Research shows neutering and spaying are effective at reducing the protein in both genders. Getting your kitty spayed or neutered is one of the smartest things you can do to help control your allergies.

Here kitty, kitty…

There is no reason to part ways with your cat just because you have cat allergies. They are a part of your family. Just follow these six preventative steps and cuddle away!

 

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