Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Dear Snicker-Feb 14th


So I got this letter a while back and thought I would also do some research for all the people
that love cats. I mean who would not love me..errr cats? *Grins*

I desperately want to adopt a cat, particularly a black one since they are usually last to be adopted, and maybe even one that might have special needs! I've heard that cats can be very good for your health and I suffer from anxiety and depression and I thought a kitty companion might be just the thing to maybe help turn my frown upside-down.

But there is only one problem; I'm allergic to kitties! Not just fur but dander and saliva too! Do you know anything that might help me out? Perhaps suggest a breed or some ideas on how I can lessen my chances of having an allergic reaction?
Many thanks,
An allergic kitty-lover



First I thought I would tell you a little bit about cat allergies. Sadly many of my friends end up in the animal control because people get a kitten and then discover that someone in the home is allergic to it. Many times they just dump us off at the animal control because they do not know they have other choices.

Cat allergies are twice as common as dog allergies. Many people think they are allergic to our fur, but that is not true. What they are allergic to are the proteins in the cat's saliva, urine, and dander(dry flakes of skin)
So if you have allergies, you have an oversensitive immune system. You mistake our harmless cat dander as something dangerous and start attacking them like you would if you had a virus. The systems you have are the side effects of your body attacking the dander. 

Also, you do not have to be allergic to me to have an allergic reaction. If you let your cat outside and they get things on their fur that you are allergic to such as pollen, mold or other things and bring them inside this can also cause you to have an allergic reaction.


Symptoms 
  • Coughing and Wheezing
  • Hives or a rash on the chest and face
  • Red, itchy eyes
  • Redness of the skin where a cat has scratched, bitten or licked you
  • Runny, itchy, stuffy nose
  • Sneezing
These allergies can develop in a few minutes or may take hours to appear. People that have allergic asthma also may have severe flair ups after coming into contact with a cat.
Also its not always the cat that causes the allergies so you will need to go to a Dr to have allergy tests run and then it may take a while to figure out what you are allergic too.

Allergy Treatments
  • Antihistamines available over the counter
  • Decongestants
  • Nasal Steroid Sprays
  • Allergy Shots are another option, they do not always work and can take years. 

Other things you can do 
  • Keep the cat out of your bedroom 
  • Don't pet hug or kiss the cat and if you do wash your hands right away. It would be kinda hard not have have a cat and not pet it. I mean look at me, you would want to pet me. *Grins* 
  • Make sure to clean your house often, vacuum, mop and clean the furniture. The less
  • rugs you have the better as its easier to clean hardwood or linoleum or tile surfaces 
  • HEPA cleaner in your home air conditioner systems or heating systems
  • HEPA vacuum cleaner used regularly 
  • Giving your cat a bath every 6 weeks can also help reduce airborne cal allergen.
There are also products you can buy that you can use to wipe down your cat instead of giving
them a bath which I myself might like better then a bath. Speaking for most cats I can tell you we do not like baths.
Quick Bath
*They have not tried any of these products on me here at BCR or the other kitties so you can try them at your own discretion* 

Cat allergies in infants 
There is ongoing debate among scientists whether infants who are exposed to animals at a very young age are destined to develop allergies, or if the opposite is true. Recent studies have come to conflicting conclusions. A 2015 study found that exposing infants to cats at home is associated with a higher risk of developing allergies during the first four years of a child’s life.

On the other hand, a 2011 study found that babies who live with cats, especially during the first year of life, develop antibodies to the pet and are less likely to acquire an allergy later.

Your doctor will be able to answer questions you may have about your baby and your cat. For children who are allergic, removing fabric toys and stuffed animals and replacing them with plastic or washable ones may help relieve symptoms.
Healthline
Circassia is a biopharmaceutical Company working on cures for many allergies , one of them for cats.

Cats that are better for people with allergies


Balinese: Often called a long haired Siamese. They produce less of the Fel D1 protein than other cats which is can cause fewer allergies.

Siberian: Has a nice pretty long coat but also has lower then average enzymes levels in their saliva.


Bengal: A cross between a domestic cat and an Asian Leopard cat, the Bengal is a stunning breed with hypoallergenic properties. Be prepared to pay handsomely for this kitty though, they usually start around $2,000.


Burmese: This American breed is soft and plush. They are a people-oriented and tolerant, making them great for families.


Colorpoint Shorthair: A cousin to the Siamese and subsequently crossed with them frequently, the Colorpoint is distinguished by its over 16 different “point” colors, while the Siamese only has four.


Cornish Rex: Known for their curly coats, the Cornish Rex has an energetic personality. Their coat may have something to do with their hypoallergenic status.

Devon Rex: Another rex breed with a curry coat, the Devons are considered the “pixies” of the cat world. They are great with children and other pets.

Javanese: While not recognized by every cat association, the Javanese is basically a long-haired version of the Colorpointed Shorthair mentioned above. They are considered a highly intelligent cat, that seems to understand what you are saying.


Ococat: Although the name sounds like they are from a wildcat cross-breeding (and they certainly look it!) The Ocicat is actually the result of an Abyssinian and a Siamese breeding. They are  known for being devoted to their family and love to play.


Oriental Shorthair: This exotic looking breed actually originated in England, not the orient. They have the typical Siamese personality and make great pets.


Russian Blue: An elegant cat with a neat Russian history, the Blue is an engaging cat. They will even learn to play fetch!


Siameses: The cat itself, the Siamese. A lot of the breeds on this list come from the Siamese, a cat that is easily recognizable to even those outside of the cat fancy world.

Sphynx: Not into hair? The Sphynx is your cat. Many may think this cat should be non-allergenic, but remember it’s not the hair, but the dander and saliva that cause allergic reactions. However, this cat is low on the allergy scale and has quite the personality, make him a good choice.

We actually have what looks like a Russian Blue here at BCR named Poppy and also a Siameses named Sandy here at BCR. 

So as a cat that came from a shelter and was going to be euthanized because I was blind, please if you find out you are allergic to one of  my fellow felines, do not just dump it off at a kill shelter. Try some of the alternatives there are out there now to help you keep your kitty. Do research online to see if there are other treatments that what I have mentioned above. My kitty paws can only do so much computer typing *Smiles* Make an appointment with your doctor and your vet as well to see what you can do. If you still can not deal with the allergies please find someone to take your kitty that will give them a forever home. There are so many of us in kill shelters now already that no one will adopt. 

Also something else you can do is visit a friend that has cats. Spend time at their house petting their cats and see if you have any reactions to them before you adopt a kitty. Go over a few times just to make sure. If you find or think that you are allergic to their cat, see if you can visit a breeder of one of the breeds I have talked about above. See if you are allergic to any of those.

All purebred cats also have rescues so you could contact them and tell them you would like to give one a forever home. So you can still adopt a kitty that needs a home. Just make sure you will keep them and give them a forever home. There are way too many of my feline friends already needing homes so please do not get a kitty if you are not willing to do what it takes to keep it. 


References:


I also want to wish all my human friends and feline friends a Happy Valentine's Day! *Purrr*
Love Snicker