What’s Good for Cat Allergies? How to Prevent and Treat

If you haven’t felt it before, chances are someone you know has. The sneezing, sniffling, boggy feeling of allergies is pretty brutal.

Of the Americans that have allergies, nearly one third are allergic to dogs or cats. Our animal’s cuteness just makes it that much worse. We want to hold, snuggle and kiss our furry babies, but they are making us feel miserable! 

As a veterinarian technician, I encounter many owners who are suffering from cat-related allergies. They often ask me, ‘What’s good for cat allergies?’ Most of them just struggle through it, as their love for their pet outweighs the flu-like symptoms.

But some of them have figured out ways to combat the worst of it. 

As an allergy sufferer myself, I know for a fact that we can mitigate it by implementing a few key strategies.

From making sure your cat is neutered/spayed, to using an air purifier, we’ve outlined all the steps you need to take to ensure you can breathe around your feline friend. 


In case you don’t know what cat allergies feel like (lucky, you!), read below for a list of the symptoms commonly experienced. 

  • Eye inflammation
  • Itchy eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Post nasal drip
  • Fatigue 
  • Stuffy nose
  • Rashes

If you have a fever, are vomiting or nauseous, then you should assume you don’t have allergies and have an illness instead.


Sleeping without Your Cat

As heartbreaking as it might be, if you have allergies, you should consider sleeping in a different room than your cat.

Most of the time, cats are awake for part of the night anyways, so they may find it more entertaining to sleep in the living room.

In addition to preventing allergies, sleeping separately will also allow you to reach a deeper sleep, as they aren’t waking you up.

If you find that they meow outside your door, you can put them in a different room rather than letting them roam freely. 


Research has shown that spaying or neutering your cat can reduce the amount of allergy-producing oils they create. So if your cat isn’t spayed or neutered, it’s a good idea to do that, as its benefits extend far beyond just preventing allergies. 

Own Less Cats

Having multiple cats contributes to severe allergies. If you do have allergies, you should limit the amount of cats you have to one or two. 

Bathe Cat Weekly

Many people think it’s the fur that causes the allergies, but it’s actually the cat’s oils and dandruff that we’re allergic to.

Giving them a bath every week can help remove the allergens. Though cats tend to protest baths, you can check out our article about how to bathe a cat to make the process easier. 

Wash Hands

We put our hands to our face multiple times a day. After petting our cats, our hands are coated with allergens. It’s best to wash your hands after handling your pet. 

Replace carpet w/ hard floor

Carpet attracts allergens and keeps them embedded in the fibers. This is true not only for cat allergens, but also dust and pollen.

So remove your carpet, if you can, and put in hard floors. You can have area rugs with a low pile so they’re easy to vacuum.

Use a HEPA filter

Air purifiers are one of the best tools we have as allergy sufferers. Many of them have a HEPA filter inside, which is crucial for removing dust, pollen, and other allergens from the air.

If you don’t have the funds to get an air purifier, you can fasten a HEPA filter to a box fan and achieve a similar result. 

Vacuum Weekly

Get a strong vacuum that you can use every week to vacuum up fur and allergens. Even better if you can vacuum more frequently than that. 


Take allergy medication

There are dozens of allergy medications one can take to alleviate symptoms. They include Zyrtec, Benadryl and Claritin. There are also ones that you spray up your nose, like Flonase.

Each medication has different ways of working, so if one isn’t successful at controlling it, don’t be afraid to try another. 

Allergy Shots

When all else fails, you can go to your doctor and get allergy shots. These injections contain a small portion of the allergen. It seems crazy to inject yourself with what’s making you sick, right?

But it actually helps. Allergy shots gradually expose you to more of the allergen, proving to your body that it is harmless and not a threat.

It’s called ‘immunotherapy,’ and you might be a candidate for it if you have had allergy symptoms for 3 months a year or more, which haven’t responded to medicine. 

Home Remedies

Many people find immense relief from utilizing homeopathic remedies for allergies. One of the most effective ways of reducing nasal stuffiness or runniness is to use a Neti pot.

They’re sold at drug stores and if you do it according to the instructions, you shouldn’t experience any discomfort. You can also use a humidifier, which will help loosen things up in your sinuses. 

There are many ways to alleviate allergies. It’s unfortunate when we’re allergic to our furry friends, but it doesn’t mean you will feel like this forever.

By following our steps and ensuring your environment is as clean as possible, you’ll have great luck in keeping it at bay. 

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Lisa is a vet tech at a busy veterinarian's office in New York City. She finds her career incredibly fulfilling, and loves sharing her pet knowledge with the world. As the owner of FOUR beautiful cats, Sunny, Honey, Cali and Bear, she is a feline expert!