Quick recap in case you don't follow me on Instagram: My cat, Miyah, who previously lived with my mom due to my allergies, has come to live with me full time again. What was originally going to be a brief "2 day rescue mission" from a broken AC in the middle of summer, resulted in a permanent change of residency for Miyah.
It's taken her a little while to adjust to her new surroundings, but watching her slowly explore, learn to live with a dog for the first time (a ongoing work in progress) and seeing parts of her sassy personality coming out as she gets more comfortable has been immensely rewarding.
I won't go into too much icky detail, but I suffer from pretty severe allergies to cats. I also get the common itchy/red eyes, constant urge to sneeze, a stuffy nose, itchy mouth (idk if anyone else gets this last, and very specific, allergic response but it is SO weird and very annoying lol)
From the beginning, I was determined to keep things so clean that allergies would be forced to stay out of the equation. I went as far as clearing out our "Harry Potter" closet under the stairs so I could designate it to be her "room" and main hangout space. I also made the decision to restrict her to the downstairs area only, and I was spending hours upon hours vacuuming.
For the first few weeks I was fully convinced that my diligence was why I hadn't gotten the usual allergic reaction that I would get from simply looking at her before.
Then, in the midst of my celebratory dance, the allergies hit. And they were relentless. Despite me increasing the cleaning, incorporating allergy medication into the regimen, refraining from holding Miyah entirely :,( , once they began, nothing was able to provide even the tiniest bit of relief.
So, I began my search for other remedies.
I tried an allergen spray
, claiming to use minerals to "attach to, encapsulate, and dehydrate allergens" where its sprayed, with cat dander being a primary target.
Pros: It's easy to use. You just dump the provided packet of dry minerals into the provided bottle, add water, shake and begin to mist the environment. No harsh chemicals, no fragrance. It can be sprayed in the air and on most surfaces.
Cons: A bit tedious to maintain. It is recommended to use as needed, and for pet allergens the specific recommendation is to use daily. This can make floors a bit damp, so using before you exit a room for an extended period of time is recommended.
Final: I didn't feel that it significantly improved my allergies or was effective for my needs. I'm unsure if I will be repurchasing.
Pros: Cost. Quiet, minimal noise. Blue light around on button can be kept on, dimmed, or off while device is running. Doesn't take up much room. Simple to use.
Cons: Recommended for small spaces.
Final: It didn't have a noticeable impact on my allergies on its own. Note that it is on the smaller side of air purifiers, so larger, more complex purifiers are likely to be more effective. I do still keep it actively running near Miyah's space.
Despite using the air purifier and allergen spray day in and day out, on top of the previous cleaning, I didn't have any success in relieving the allergies.
Then whilst obsessing over Juni B, an adorable ragdoll kitty on Tik Tok (@lyssielooloo) I was introduced to a product called Allerpet.
Juni's mom, Lyss, shared that she also suffers from cat allergies. She mentioned that when she uses Allerpet on Juni, she is able to sleep next to her and be completely fine the next morning.
Say no more, I was SOLD. (It also has great reviews on Amazon.)
Amazon Link (~$26, includes a mitt for application)
Chewy Link (~$10, lowest price I've seen, mitt not included)
(Note: there are multiple options that look very similar in packaging, especially at a glance. I use the one specifically for cats so I can't speak on the effectiveness of any of the others)
“The scientifically-proven formula works by removing the dander before it becomes airborne, while cleansing and conditioning the skin and fur. It can be easily applied by dampening a towel with Allerpet and thoroughly wiping the animal. Scientifically proven to reduce dander loads by 50% with a weekly application, or every three to four days for best results.”
Pros: Cost, ease of use - no rinsing.
Cons: Likely not compatible for cats with skin issues.
Final: I have been applying Allerpet to Miyah anytime I start to feel the first signs of my allergies, which ends up being about every ~3 weeks now. I make sure to brush her beforehand, especially if she is noticeably shedding. I apply a good amount to the mitt (some listings provide a spray nozzle but Miyah despises these) and wipe it all over her, making sure to get fur pretty damp.I focus on the areas that she can sometimes get dry/flakey skin (by the base of her tail), and around her rear end and legs where urine could have dried on her fur. And that's it! No rinsing required.
Since using it I haven't had my usual allergic response to her. I've tested it's limits by holding her close to my face and I had no reaction.
Honorable mention/cool find:
Proplan LiveClear Allergen Reducer cat food
"Discovered through over a decade of research, Pro Plan LIVECLEAR cat food significantly reduces the major allergen in cat hair and dander by an average of 47 percent starting in the third week of daily feeding. It is the first and currently the only kitty food with the power to reduce cat allergens at the source, simply and safely, with a key protein sourced from eggs to neutralize Fel D 1, the major allergen in cat saliva."
I have recently (within the past week of writing this) began to slowly incorporate this into Miyah's food. It's too early to judge efficacy as the company states that changes are typically noticed around 3 weeks of them eating the food, and it's still being mixed with half of her original food. Honestly, I'm not sure if I will be keeping her on this food long term.
I am satisfied with the job that Allerpet is doing on it's own prior to starting this food, and I don't know that this can or would offer much more help. However, it could be the better option for others. (for ex., if you can't, or prefer not to, apply Allerpet to your cat or if you haven't found success with other methods tried)
If you made it this far, thanks for reading! I hope some of the info provided was able to help you out or introduce you to a new product. I know how miserable allergies can be and if my experience is able to help anyone else get some relief themselves, then I'm extremely happy.
If you have any questions don't hesitate to reach out! I'm available on Instagram, via email or through the chat on my website (bottom right corner). I'll be happy to help if I can. :) Cat photos will be required :P
Other Tips and Ways to Minimize Cat Allergies
-Change your cats bedding weekly/bi weekly.
This helps to prevents dander and allergens from building up.
-Vacuum their main hangout spots every few days.
It doesn't need to be an in-depth cleaning every time, but enough to prevent buildup.
- If possible, don't allow your cat into your bedroom.
I know I know! This one can be hard to implement and for some, is an absolute "no". If either of those are you, just apply the tip before this to your own bedding.
-Brush your cat regularly.
For long haired cats this tip is self explanatory, but brushing can help remove excess dander from the fur of cats of all fur lengths. If your cat allows you to bathe it, that's also a good option. Just be careful not to wash too frequently, which can result in dry skin.
-Change your HVAC air filters regularly.
This is not only important for your system to run properly, but if clogged filters can't properly filter airborne allergens.
-Use lint rollers.
Optional, but helpful. It can provide extra relief from dander thats hanging out on your clothes, especially right after holding your cat. Lint rolling is helpful in removing excess dander from common places that might not be able to be washed regularly, like couches and chairs.
TLDR: Allerpet, a topical no-rinse solution for cats, geared toward removing cat dander, has helped minimize my allergies to my cat significantly. Click here to view it on Amazon.
There is a relatively new cat food on the market that claims to target cat allergens from the inside out, called Proplan LiveClear Allergen Reducer cat food.
<3 - Cassidy & Miyah aka the Intern
Disclaimers: As with anything I share, these are my personal experiences and may not work for everybody. I recommend doing your own research before following any of the recommendations mentioned. I suggest consulting with your veterinarian before changing your cats diet and if your cat has skin issues or sensitivities, consult with them before trying topical products. If you notice any change in behavior, hair loss, skin irritation etc from using Allerpet, discontinue use and inform your vet immediately .
This post is not sponsored in any way, but links to Amazon can earn me a small commission if a purchase is made, at no extra cost to you.