(Closed) I have a cat, and my mother is allergic. Suggestions?

posted 6 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 31
Member
7625 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

I didn’t really read through the responses but severe allergies suck. I’m severely allergic to different breeds of cats and dogs. Unfortunately both of my in-laws have dogs that I’m allergic to so we never spend the night there.  When we do visit for a few hours they thoroughly clean and usually put the dogs outside but I still am gasping for air by the end of the visit.  One time the dog had actually been at “training camp” for a few weeks and I still had issues. I do have an inhaler to use, however, I have yet to find one that doesn’t leave me lightheaded and nauseous so I try to avoid using it. My point is that cleaning and having the animal out of the house doesn’t always help for severe allergies. 

All that being said, it’s your house and I do find it ridiculous that your mom acted like that. Threatening to never come over is ridiculous! Perhaps instead of paying for cleaning and boarding you can offer to put her up on a hotel? 

ETA: saw the talk about carpets and wood floors and I definitely believe it. One of our friend’s has hardwood floors and cats and I still feel like crap when we leave but I can at least still breathe properly.

  • This reply was modified 6 years, 5 months ago by  .
Post # 33
Member
1496 posts
Bumble bee

My DH is allergic to cats and we have two! His allergies were not overly severe, but he was concerned about his asthma in the beginning. He eventually got use to the cats and doesn’t even take allergy medicine anymore. BIL is also pretty allergic, more so than DH. When he comes over, we give him an allergy med right away and he’s usually fine. He spent the night the night of the wedding and was fine as well. He slept in a cat free room.

What I would suggest is keeping the guest room cat free all the time. Keep the door shut and the cat out of there, even when your mother isn’t visiting. Have her take an allergy medicine as soon as she comes, and have her take it regularly. If she has asthma medicine, she can take that as well.

If you clean up the cat hair, vacuum – if you hire the cleaning service, I’m sure she’ll be fine when she visits.

Post # 34
Member
13653 posts
Honey Beekeeper

I used to have cats,  but unfortunately, developed  severe allergies. I  wish it wasn’t this way, believe me.  My throat closes up within five seconds of going into a house where there is a cat. That includes in homes where I have no idea about their presence.  I have tried to visit people who  keep their pet  in another room and  I’ve totally resisted the idea that I can’t be in a home that has cats, even for a few hours.  The dander remains in the carpet and the furniture and can be a very potent thing, even with allergy medication and careful cleaning.  

I suppose you can do a test run of your thorough cleaning, filter and boarding ideas, if your mother is willing, but you have to be willing to accept the possibility that it may not be enough. 

Post # 35
Member
8021 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

Your mother has issues that extend beyond any allergies she may have.

Post # 36
Member
1030 posts
Bumble bee

How often does your mother actually visit? I understand that people have allergies to cats, heck one of my girlfriends has horrible (asthma like) allergies yet she has three cats and takes the shots and has the air filter and manages ok. 

I don’t think you should lie to her, but I also don’t think you should get rid of something you want becaue of her. It is your life and YOUR home. The fact that you are willing to go through such extremes to accomodate her should say something. I say  put the kitten in boarding or have somebody watch it for a couple days and go through your cleaning process and ask your mother to try and meet you in the middle. If she says No that is her perogative and know that you did what you could to meet her more then halfway.

Post # 37
Member
2240 posts
Buzzing bee

I forgot to add something that I think is rather important.

You said “…I feel like she’s not willing to be understanding on her end”. Here’s the problem with that: this is a health issue for her. It doesn’t matter if she’s “understanding”; the fact is that she’s allergic enough to cats that she can’t be in a home that has them. She shouldn’t have to meet you half way when it comes to matters of health. 

She shouldn’t put your desire to have a cat and family visits in your home over her health. That’s just not reasonable. 

For you this is emotional, because you love your cat, and that’s perfectly fine. But for her this is about the proper functioning of her body and not being sick. She doesn’t and shouldn’t have to take shots and take even more pills just because you feel that she should be able to stand being in your house with your cat, and that the measures you feel comfortable taking should be enough. 

If you keep your cat, you’ll probably just have to accept the fact that she won’t be going to your house at all, or staying very long if she does visit. That’s the consequence of your choice. To be clear, I’m not saying you should give up your cat, I’m simply saying that this is one of the consequences. 

Besides, she didn’t say you’ll never get to see her again. She said she won’t be able to go into your home. You’ll be able to meet her at restaurants, hotels, malls, etc. That sounds like a great solution to me. 

Post # 38
Member
13653 posts
Honey Beekeeper

I know you like the kitten.  But didn’t you just pick it up at Petco on the spur of the moment within the last day or so?  And isn’t its permanent adoption still pending?  

The allergies and the extent of them are most likely not in your mother’s  head. You have to ask yourself if you are really OK with her never being able to visit you at home.  For me, it would come down to the fact that that would not be OK.  You may have to come to terms with the fact that this will be an issue for years to come. 

Post # 39
Member
10635 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011

I have bad allergies and my allergy to cats is pretty severe.  I think having her stay over is pushing it too much.  I’ve had allergic reactions at my in-laws months after their cat died, and they had furniture cleaned, shampooed rugs, etc. because of my allergies.

The steps you are willing to take are pretty good though, I would be comfortable testing it out.  Would your mom stay in a hotel, but visit for a few minutes?  If she’s fine, she can stay longer next time.

Post # 40
Member
10635 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011

View original reply
Rachel631:  There’s a difference when it’s a food allergy vs. inhalent allergy though.  I have had asthma attacks and allergic reactions just from being around someone who owns a cat.  It seriously sucks.

Lying is a horrible idea, as if she does react, she needs to know what it’s from.

Post # 41
Member
10635 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011

View original reply
MrsSaltWaterTaffy:  Inhalation allergies often cause asthma attacks.  I get them from inhalants quite often.

Post # 42
Member
13653 posts
Honey Beekeeper

From the WebMD site, words to the effect that despite any and all of these measures, for some people it may not be enough. 

Post # 43
Member
592 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

If you know your mother has allergies, and keeping the cat is that important why don’t you just visit her instead of her coming to your house? She shouldnt have to risk being ill because of your pet, so you go over to her house to visit. Everyone wins

Post # 44
Member
10635 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011

View original reply
weddingmaven:  Yep.  I’m surprised that so many people are ignorant at just how bad allergies can be.

Post # 45
Member
3339 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013 - Rhode Island

I am extremely allergic to cats and I’ve owned one for the past 9 years.

I’ll admit, I’m a bit crazy, but I do know a lot about how people respond to cat allergies.  Taking a Claritin starting a day or two before she comes to visit will definitely help.  I’m surprised that you’re willing to board your cat AND get a professional cleaning service.  This seems really extreme.  My father is also allergic (probably where I get it from), and he has been in my house with the cat walking around and not had an attack or died.  We cleaned the house ourselves before he came over, and obviously he didn’t pet the cat.  I offered to lock him up in another room, but I wouldn’t offer to board him just because I had a visitor.  Now overnight guests are a little different, but I still wouldn’t board my cat.  Honestly, if she’s that opposed to being in your house, then she shouldn’t stay over.  She can spend the night in a hotel.  I don’t see the problem with this.  I have definitely reacted differently to some cats than others, and there have been times where I couldn’t stay in a person’s house and had to spend the night in a motel instead.  It’s really not the end of the world.  I think what you’re offering should be enough to appease your mother.

The reason your mom is allergic to dogs and still owns one is probably very similar to my situation with my cat.  I love him, so I put up with the annoyance of being allergic to him.  Also, I build up an immunity to him the more I’m around him.  It’s a delicate balance though.  I can’t spend too much time around him or too much time apart.  Usually 4 consecutive days never leaving the house is okay, but that 5th day, nope.  I need to get out.  As for being apart, usually anything under 2 weeks is okay.  But once I hit 2 weeks, my immunity seems to disappear and I have to start from square one and it is a really painful, annoying process to get my immunity back up.  All this to say, I think your mom is being very selfish and unreasonable.  She clearly doesn’t mind putting up with her allergy on a daily basis so she can own a dog.  But you have a cat that she may have to be around what, a couple times a year?, and that’s something she’s flat out refusing to do?  She needs to grow up.  As I said before, if she wants to see you, she can come over and hang out and then spend the night somewhere else.

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