Having Cats When You Have Allergies

Ever since I was a kid I've loved animals, especially cats and dogs.  Sadly, I found out early on that I'm allergic to cats, but it didn't stopped me from having them!  

When I was growing up in New York, my 3 Uncle's had a deli in the city.  They often had kittens in the back of the store.  Spaying and neutering wasn't a big thing back then and the Uncles didn't mind taking in stray cats.  My Uncles would give the cats scraps of deli meat, a saucer of milk, and one of their many food delivery boxes with a blanket to sleep in.  

Needless to say, this made for excellent lodgings for a kitty that found herself Pregnant In The City!  I'm pretty sure there was a secret network for wayward cats who were in the family way that led them straight to my Uncle's store!

If you're Allergic to Cats, here are some ways to reduce allergic symptoms
Pregnant Cats In The City somehow managed to make their way to the NY City deli owned by my Uncles!


CAT ALLERGIES BE DARNED


When we visited my grandmother's house, I couldn't wait to stop by the deli, which was around the corner.  Not because I wanted the candy or chips they sold there, or because I wanted a bologna sandwich, but because I was always hopeful there would be kittens in the back! 

After hugging the Uncles the first words out of my mouth were always "Are there any kittens today?"  Many times I was not disappointed.  I would run to the back of the store to find the latest litter of kitties and plop myself down to play with them.  They were largely stray kittens but I was always able pick them up and play with them.  Invariably, I'd leave the deli with bright red, watery itchy eyes.  I didn't care, I was going to play with the kittens anyway and there was nothing anyone could do to stop me!

Back home on Long Island, stray cats often made their way into our yard.  When they did, we set out the welcome mat.  They had food, water, and blankets in a cardboard box to sleep in.  My cat allergies were always present, but again I didn't care.  I wanted to handle the cats and play with them.  I loved them all!


How to reduce Cat allergies.   Pet allergies.
Adorable stray kitten from a litter of cats that ended up at my sister's house.

When I was finally old enough to get a place of my own, one of the first things I did was look for a kitten to adopt!  I unexpectedly ended up with two cats in a one bedroom apartment, wreaking havoc on my allergies.  You can read about my Accidental Pet Adoption here.  It got so bad that I had trouble breathing and ended up with asthma.

I finally had to see a doctor, and in questioning me he realized the cause of my asthma was living in a small apartment with 2 cats.  He strongly urged me to give my cats away.  No Way!!  I told him I already loved both cats to pieces and there was no way in hell I was giving up my feline furbabies.  He shook his head and told me I could end up with asthma for the rest of my life.  "So be it!" I said.  I just had to keep my cats,  Mousey and Maggie, so I  began to research ways to help diminish my pet allergy symptoms.  


HOW I REDUCED MY CAT ALLERGY SYMPTOMS 


Here are the things I did to reduce my allergic symptoms:

🐈 The cats could no longer sleep in my bedroom, it was my "cat free zone"

🐈  I wiped the cats down with wet paper towels daily; sometimes twice a day

🐈  I vacuumed every single day and followed up with a wet mop to keep the dander down. Thankfully I had hardwood floors and not carpeting which helps a lot.

🐈  I dusted every few days using wet cleaning cloths instead of a dry cloth to keep dander and fur down.

🐈 I washed my cats' bedding frequently and kept the litter box super clean.

Following the above steps helped a lot but it wasn't quite enough.  I still suffered with frequent asthmatic symptoms due to pet allergies for several years, but I didn't care, as long as I had my cats.  When Maggie was the only cat left in the considerably larger house I lived in by then, my symptoms lessened a lot.  It was still difficult but quite manageable.  


MORE WAYS TO REDUCE PET ALLERGY SYMPTOMS: 


If I had known about it, there were other things I could have done to help reduce my allergy symptoms to cats as well:

🐈  I should have gotten a clean air machine with a HEPA filter! They weren't as common back then and I didn't know much about them.

🐈  I could have gotten a removable couch cover which can be removed and washed.  If I had drapes I would have washed them regularly. 

🐈  A few companies make pet allergy sprays that act as allergen blockers, although I'm not sure how well they work.  Have you used pet allergen blockers?  If so, did it help?

🐈  Allergy shots and prescription oral allergy medications.  I didn't want to consider allergy shots, I hate needles! But that probably could have helped a lot as well.



What to do if you're allergic to cats but you want one!  Pet allergies, Cat allergies
I was allergic to my cats Maggie and Mousey, but I didn't care!

After all that, was having cats worth going through asthma symptoms and constant daily cleaning?  YOU BET IT WAS!!  The love of a cat is not to be underestimated and I would do it all over again.  I have two dogs now but I look forward to getting another cat in the near future.  Thankfully, I'm not allergic to dogs, just cats!

NOTE:  I'm not a doctor or Veterinarian, I'm just sharing how I handled my allergy to cats. If you're allergic to cats but you really want a cat, you may want to check with your doctor first.

YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY this post: Stray Cats In The Hood?  TNR 'em!

Do you have pet allergies? If so, how have you handled them?  Please leave a comment and tell us about it.  We love when you howl back at us!!





Dog Friendly Events That Help Rescue Dogs

I'm always searching for great Dog Events in my area.  A dog friendly event that benefits shelter or rescue animals? Even better!  I was so excited when Carol, from Fidose of Reality, told me about a Dog Friendly Breakfast event near me that would benefit Long Island Bulldog Rescue!  Needless to say, I wanted IN!

PIN THIS!

Dog Events That Help Rescue Dogs.  Pet Events. Helping Shelter Dogs.
My dog Phoebe as the "cream" in a Cocker Spaniel Sandwich with Coco and Dexter at a Pet Event to help Bulldogs in need!

DOGS LEND A PAW TO HELP PETS IN NEED


Even though Icy is a Siberian Husky and Phoebe is a Havanese, Maltese mix (we think!), my dogs are always happy to lend a paw to help any animal shelters and rescue pets in need.  I rescued Phoebe from the county animal shelter, where I volunteered when we lived in Phoenix.  Phoebe knows what it's like to be a frightened shelter dog (read her story here!)

There aren't that many Dog Friendly Restaurants on Long Island, so a pet event at a restaurant with a dog friendly patio is a welcome find!  The Refuge, in Melville New York, teamed up with Tito's Vodka to co-sponsor a fabulous dog friendly brunch to help a local Bulldog rescue.

A TRULY WELCOMING PET FRIENDLY RESTAURANT



I love a pet friendly restaurant that is truly dog welcoming!  Dog events, Pet events, Dog friendly,
Phoebe relaxing in Carol's arms at the table.  Coco sittin' pretty in her mom Christine's lap  
A truly welcoming pet friendly restaurant goes out of it's way to show dogs how happy they are to see them!

Dog Friendly Restaurant The Refuge, Melville New York, offered a special dog menu at this wonderful Dog Event to benefit a local dog rescue.
Dog friendly restaurant The Refuge really knows how to welcome the pups! This little guy sure was enjoying his special doggie meal.

Talk about a dog friendly restaurant that really gets it, The Refuge even offered a special doggie menu!  On the menu were steak and brown rice or chicken and brown rice dishes made especially for dogs!  I ordered the chicken and rice for Phoebe.  Coco had the chicken and rice too, and Dexter had the steak and rice.  Our dogs thoroughly enjoyed their dog friendly meals!


Beautiful outdoor patio at The Refuge in Melville, Long Island New York. They co-sponsored a fabulous dog friendly event with Tito's Vodka
The outdoor patio at The Refuge is so nice.  It has a beautiful bar and lots of seating.

MAKING FRIENDS WITH DOGS AND THEIR PEOPLE


Phoebe is a bit of a social butterfly, so she enjoyed making friends with many of the other dogs in attendance.  She met Bulldogs, Pomeranians, Schnauzers, and even a white Husky (jealous much, Icy??)!  How cute are these little sweeties!?


Dog Events that help pets in need can be Fun and Rewarding!  Dog friendly Pet events, Dog friendly restaurants in New York, Dogs, Dog Rescue Events
My dog Phoebe made lots of friends at the dog rescue brunch!

Along with a delicious brunch, there were free flowing dog treats and raffle baskets.  One of the baskets was a Tito's Vodka gift basket!  I had visions of hosting a girl's night with fun drinks made with Tito's Vodka, which I love.  I bought $20 worth of raffle tickets and put nearly ALL of them into the Tito's gift basket.  Sadly, I did not win.  My girl's night Tito's Vodka party was not to be.  *SIGH*


Great dog event at The Refuge restaurant on Long Island NY to benefit Bulldog Rescue.  Co-sponsored by Tito's Vodka. Pet friendly events, Dog friendly restaurants
What a great dog friendly event!  Thanks to The Refuge and Tito's Vodka for sponsoring this brunch to benefit Long Island Bulldog Rescue.

Literally, BEST. OMELETTE. EVER. I can't wait to go back to The Refuge for brunch!  

Great dog friendly restaurant in Melville NY, hosted a brunch to benefit a local dog rescue.  Pet friendly events
Delicious omelette at The Refuge brunch to benefit dog rescue

Have you been to, or plan to attend, any Pet Friendly Events this season?  Tell us about it in the comments.  We love hearing about adventures with your pets too!