We all have them—friends and family who are allergic to our cats. What to do? How do we make them comfortable in our home? Here are a few suggestions:
1: Remind the guest to take their allergy medicine before arriving. I have a supply of over-the-counter allergy remedies on hand for those who forget.
2: Clean house before they arrive. Vacuum, dust, and wipe down all of the overstuffed furniture with a damp cloth. If they’re going to stay for any length of time, you might also clean carpeting, area rugs and wash all of their bedding.
3: Air out the house, weather permitting. Invest in an air filter.
4: Clean litter boxes—I mean remove the litter and scrub the pans before adding fresh litter.
5: Bathe your cats or at least wipe them down with cat-friendly cleansing wipes.
6: For a brief or unexpected visit, sit with your guest in a room without carpet and overstuffed furniture. I entertain my allergic guests either on our outside deck or in the kitchen.
7: Keep the guest area cat-free.
8: If you live with someone with cat allergies, and you really must have a cat, consider adopting one of the allergen-free (or almost allergen-free) breeds.
As you may know, the allergen that cause sneezing and stuffiness in some people is not the cat’s fur, but a protein in the saliva, urine, and dander. There are a few cats with less of this protein. They’re known as non-allergenic cats or hypoallergenic cats. According to the experts, there are no completely non-allergenic cats, but there are some with less of the allergens. They include the Siberian, Bengal, Cornish Rex, Russian Blue, Siamese, and Sphinx. I know people whose allergies act up in some homes with cats and not in others. My allergic granddaughter says that she is not allergic to her friend’s Maine coon. I’ve seen friends and family with cat allergies able to tolerate Smokey, my mother’s part ragdoll cat and not other cats. Is that because of the cats or are the houses where these cats lived kept cleaner than most–more open-air homes?
Do you have an allergen-free cat? Do you or your guests experience a difference with allergies?