Gesundheit!

Environmental and medical management may allow some allergic people to still have cats.

By Marty Becker, DVM, and Janice Willard, DVM | Posted: Thu Jun 3 00:00:00 PDT 2004

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If you or a family member's reaction to cats is severe or life threatening, you may have no choice but to find a new home for your cat. This can be an agonizing decision, but one should never put their life or welfare at risk.  And if you know of someone who has had to make this decision, be sure to offer them your compassion and understanding.

Hope for the Future
There is a lot more that we don't know about allergies. This is one area in medicine where there are few absolutes and no easy answers. A person's reaction to the cat allergen is highly variable - even the same person over a lifetime may show different reactions.

Environmental and medical management can allow some allergic people to still have cats in their lives. But it is important to recognize that for some people this would not be enough.

The good news is that science is making progress all the time, and one day cat allergies may be a thing of the past.

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Reader Comments

Sarah    Hanover, NH

10/16/2013 2:06:01 PM

Great article! Thanks! I needed some more suggestions on how to keep my allergies under control.

Susan    High Point, NC

5/31/2007 5:11:56 AM

Another very informative article.
I have a step-daughter whom claims to be allergic to my cats but not to the cats of her mother-in-law. I find that hard to believe. On a DNA level is this possible? If anyone knows the answer e-mail me at bookworm72nc@lycos.com please.

Elizabeth    Marshall, MN

3/16/2007 2:32:31 PM

I hope I never have to give up my cats do to allergies. Fortunately, I have never experienced problems myself, and I work hard to keep my cats and home clean, vacuuming frquently, etc. My mother has had allergies and asthma since childhood, but she's not bothered by the cat's presence, either. My boyfriend needs to wash his hands after handling animals, and that prevents most problems for him. My heart goes out to anyone who ever has to give up their pet because the allergy could not be controlled any other way. Fish just aren't as cuddly. Birds are for some people, iguanas or chameleons for others, maybe hermit crabs... yet nothing could replace my cat.

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