Post # 1
Fiance and I would really like to adopt a cat, because we love them, but we’re both somewhat to really allergic, depending on the cat. Is considering adopting one too selfish? I know we could go play with some before taking one home, to see how allergic we are, but still, it would be awful to the cat to adopt one and then have to bring it back.
I’ve heard that sometimes people have less allergies to Siamese cats, but I doubt the ones at the pound are pure Siamese. Anyone out there have cats and allergies? How do you deal? Getting shots for myself wouldn’t be an option…
Post # 3
oh, no help for you. 🙁 But maybe you could consider fostering kittens. Some shelters allow you to foster a kitten until they get adopted so you really hang out with the kitten for a couple of weeks. Maybe that will work?
Post # 4
There are some breeds of cats that you might be able to tolerate better than others – Sphynx cats (hairless), Rex breeds (there are a couple different Rex’s) and Siberian cats are all supposed to be hypo allergenic. Sometimes there are breed specific rescues so you could always check that out and try to adopt that way.
Post # 5
Oh! Miss Yap – what a great idea! I am ashamed that I didn’t think of that myself since I foster kittens for the Anti-Cruelty Society here in Chicago. Usually I take a kitten for about 3-4 weeks at a time but there are also foster opportunities for older cats sometimes too. You usually need to interview and have a reference in order to become a foster parent.
Post # 6
I have two rescued cats and they are lovely.^^
I agree with Miss Yap – fostering might be a good way to try out a cat and see how you react to it before adopting it. I guess it depends on how bad your allergies are…
Also, although there might not be Siamese or Russian Blues at the pound (I heard they were better for allergy sufferers, but I’m not entirely sure), there are always people who have to give up their cats because they are moving/landlord disputes/illness etc. Perhaps you could adopt this way?
And, depending on how large your home is, you could limit the area your cat can go in. I never let my cats in my bedroom. When a friend with allergies came to stay for 3 weeks, I let her sleep in my room, and she didn’t have too many problems.
I hope you can find an allergy-compatible cat!
Post # 7
My ex’s parents had cats, and we found that, although I have crazy allergies, daily vaccuuming (they had a cleaning lady) and a really good air filtration system in their home helped keep my symptoms to a minimum.
I also found Loratadine, a 24 hour antihistamine has minimal side effects and really helps my allergies when I stay with someone with cats. Not sure you want to medicate daily with an OTC, but your doctor might be able to give you something that you can take regularly.
Post # 8
My guy is allergic to “regular” cats so we adopted a Sphynx cat and apart from the no-hair balls plus, he is a super sweet, lovey-dovey kittie. Sphynx cats are almost more like dogs as they have very out-going, affectionate personalities.
I highly recommend adopting a Sphynx…if you can find one….the Devon Rex are not hairless but are less allergy-causing than regular cats and have more of a Sphynx cat personality too.
Please feel free to PM me if you have any questions.
Post # 9
I was always mildly allergic to cats (I’d feel it mostly in the ears and sinuses). My BF (now Fiance) and I took the leap and adopted some (to get rid of a mouse problem–oddly the last post I replied to! :-D) and I think within maybe two months the symptoms went away. I’ve heard that’s fairly common–that people with mild allergies just get used to their own cats. Anyway, not to provide the overly optimistic view, it worked for me and my cats are the next most important things to me now (after the fiance, haha)…yeah probably not a coincidence that I reply to anything cat-related 🙂 So the foster idea is a great one too because it will get you a trial period. Good luck and I hope it works out!!! 🙂
Post # 10
There’s also a lot of talk for people who are allergic but once they start having regular contact with the animal, whether it be dog or cat or horse or whatever, that the allergies diminish.
I know that Mr Moo isn’t great with dogs but after having spent 2 weeks staying with my grandmother and my cousin’s Jack Russell that he wasn’t nearly as bad as he has been with other dogs.
Post # 11
Thanks everyone!! This is SO helpful. I’m going to look into the foster situation, and also those breeds (but I doubt we could afford it, sigh) everyone recommended. I’m worried what the foster people would say though, if we had to tell them we have allergies. I’ll find out, though.
@MissNoche – that was me with the mouse problem! It has only made me want a kitty more. 🙂
Post # 12
I’m not allergic to cats but I am to dogs so my pups hypo-allergenic breeds. I have no problems with them, but both my brothers dogs, who shed, bother my allergies like crazy.
I would some research and find the breeds that are less likely to bother your allergies. I know a purebred can be expensive but maybe a mixed breed with one by hypoallergenic is all you need? It’s worth a shot if you really want a kitten. I would also spend some time with it to see if you are bothered (although it will be different once they are in your house all the time) by them and not just get the first cute kitty you can find! Good luck. I hope it works out for you
Post # 13
I have pet allergies and have cats!
It was all part of my cunning plan. I want a dog, so thought I’d covinve then boyfriend, now FI, that if we could look after a cat, we could look after a dog too!
I also had some crazy logic that I don’t want crazy allergic to everything kids like I was, so if I build up an immunity to pet hairs now, then all will be fine in the future. I found it hard with the cats (sneezey, wheezey and itchy) but they no longer bother me as much.
We didn’t get fancy breeds of cats. We went to the rescue centre and adopted abandoned kittens. We love our munchkin brood (and have somehow ended up with three of them!
Post # 14
I did a lot of research about cat allergies when I was getting one because my boyfriend was somewhat allergic, and I found that male neutered cats are the least allergenic of cats. it goes like this: male un-neutered > female un-spayed > female spayed > male neutered. Also, make sure that when you get a cat is is from a rescue group because if for any reason you can’t keep the cat, they will absolutely take the cat back. Plus rescue cats are just a great deal because they’re cheap, come fixed and vetted, and are often babies and purebred.
Post # 15
Cats are the only thing I’m NOT allergic to (I get weekly shots for my allergies, boo!) but I can tell you this – I am allergic to dog dander and lived with dogs my whole life. You will EVENTUALLY build an immunity to what you’re allergic to when it’s repeated exposure – unless of course your allergies are really severe. Have you had a skin test to see how allergic you are? Also, vaccuuming regularly with a HEPA filter will really help.
We have two rescue kitties and really love them 🙂 Good luck!
Post # 16
My blakc cat is only part siamese, and I have no problems with him. But my eyes do get a little itchy when I play with our other one.