Home Remedies For Cat Allergies
Though there are a number of over the counter medications for allergies, not all people like to take medications. For those who prefer to avoid man-made chemicals, there are a few home remedies or behaviours that can be used to combat allergic reactions to cats.
Local health food and organic stores often carry a variety of different herbal supplements. To treat unning nose, watery eyes, sneezing and coughing that can accompany an allergic reaction, consider taking any of the following herbs: licorice root, alfalfa, cayenne, apple cider vinegar or dried mullein leaf. For times where hives and itching may be present, consider also taking an aloe vera supplement, fish oil, or witch hazel. Taking the pill form of these supplements every 3-4 hours during an allergic reaction can help to fight off the discomfort associated with the allergic symptoms.
In order to minimize the risk of contamination, it is important to take some preventative measures to lessen the chance of suffering an allergic reaction. Washing your hands often and using anti-bacterial soap may be the best way to prevent exposure to the offending allergen. Frequent home cleaning, including dusting and vacuuming both carpets and furniture with a HEPA filtered vacuum cleaner can significantly reduce the presence of the allergen as well. When purchasing furniture, consider avoiding upholstered furniture and opt, instead, for wood based or leather covered furniture that can be easily cleaned.
It is not just regular house cleaning that can have an effect on the allergens in your home. Consider purchasing a self-cleaning, covered kitty litter box. This decreases the toxins in the air while also making it less likely that there will be contamination with cat urine. Those who are allergic should avoid allowing direct licking from the feline; consider using reinforcing techniques to reward cats when they do not lick, and to deter when they do. As much of the allergen can be carried in the cat dander, experiment with foods and try to purchase only those that seem to decrease the amount of shedding. Introducing fish oil supplements into the catís food can also improve skin conditioning, which limits shedding.
Depending on the area where you live, if it is possible to have the cat outdoors some times during the day, it may limit your exposure risks. In larger homes, if the cat can be quarantined from common areas, it may provide enough of a buffer to limit allergic possibilities. Should you find that your allergies become severe, it may be important that you keep your distance from the cat and allow another family member to take over the caretaking responsibilities. Also, though cats may not appreciate them, kitty baths can be one way to decrease the amount of dander on their fur; if touching them is too risky, this is a perfect example of a responsibility to delegate to another household member.
Though these methods can help reduce the risk of allergic reactions to cats, they may not be enough to treat or prevent them completely. Consider using preventative measures in conjunction with herbal remedies and, if a reaction begins, use over the counter medications for quick relief.