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Peyton Manning & His Wife Ashley Say:

"Adopt Your Pets From Animal Shelters & Be Sure To Have Them Spayed & Neutered!"

Photograph © Copyright 2002, Eric Smith.  All rights reserved.  Photo and quote are not to be construed as an endorsement of DooDoo Voodoo in any way by the Mannings; they simply support our animal charity work.  We & they believe in saving animals' lives.

 

How To Successfully Deal With Cat Allergies
by Eric Smith

There are many people who love cats, but develop allergy or asthma symptoms when they're around cats.  This is something that I, unfortunately, have a bit of history with.  Let me explain.

When I was a kid, I was diagnosed as having a rare kind of asthma called "allergic asthma."  This type is more dangerous than normal asthma because an allergic asthmatic's lungs AND nasal passages close up at the same time, thus making breathing extremely difficult.

I took up to five allergy shots a week for about a decade and a half, and often ended up in the emergency room.  I played competitive sports and led an active life, but allergic asthma was something that was constantly on my radar.

It was especially prominent when I was around cats.  I remember loving to go to my aunt and uncle's house to see my cousins, but they had a long-haired orange cat and every time I'd go to their house, I'd have a severe attack and we'd have to leave.  I'd be popping pills, sucking on my inhaler and absolutely miserable.

Well, in the early 1980s, I got so fed up with allergies and asthma that I gave myself a good talking-to.  I told myself that asthma and allergies were getting in my way, served no purpose in my life and needed to GO!  By then, we were already getting serious about animal rescue and had a number of cats, so the time was right for me to clean up my act and move on.  You know what?  It worked.  I stopped having allergies and asthma!  Now, to this day I will sometimes have a bit of hay fever in the Spring and Fall, but these are minor and rare; I just pop a Zyrtec and move on.  But gone are the severe troubles I once had.

If you're stymied by allergies and asthma, and my story resonates with you, check out the book The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind by Dr. Joseph Murphy, a psychologist and minister (deceased).

Even without allergy shots and putting the power of your mind behind your allergy or asthma issue, there is more you can do.  Lots more.

Things that have been helpful to us and others we know include:

Homeopathics:  These are weak versions of the things that bother you.  They stimulate your body gently so you can better handle what you've been reacting to.  You can buy homeopathics online, at places like Whole Foods or at natural-centric local stores.

Low-Dose Allergy Shots:  These are similar to homeopathics in that they desensitize your body without overly taxing it.  I took these toward the end of my allergy-shot period and did find them helpful.

Acupuncture:  I can't say enough good things about acupuncture, as I have found it to be helpful for every issue for which I've been treated.  Not all acupuncturists are equal in skill and comfort, so you might have to try a few to find one you really resonate with, but the search will be well worth it.  Oh...some acupuncture needles feel FAR better than others.  Cheap needles can hurt a bit, while expensive needles are virtually painless, so ask around and see who uses the good needles.

Chinese Herbs (TCM):  I also can't say enough good things about Chinese herbs, which my wife and I take regularly for a variety of purposes.  Herbal Times is a good brand; we feel good about its purity and efficacy.

Air Purifiers:  There are a number of types, of which we feel best about HEPA filters.  (You can learn more on the Freshen Your Air page.)  Most importantly, there is a new technology we are LOVING called AirRestore.  We own and swear by a number of the AirRestore Naturalizer units, which you can learn more about on our Naturalizer page.  We use them in our home and in our rescue facility.  I even take one with me on business trips.

Chiropractic:  I've read that chiropractic can help with allergies as well.

Vacuums:  None of us vacuums as often as we should, so when we do, doesn't it make sense that we're not shooting back into the air some of the dirt we're trying to vacuum up?  Well, unless you use a sealed HEPA vacuum, that's exactly what you're doing!  Not all HEPA vacuums are of the sealed type, but some Riccar and Miele units are, as well as some less expensive units by Hoover and others.  We own Riccars, a Miele, a Hoover and numerous Euroclean GD930U models, and appreciate how they don't re-pollute the air when we're vacuuming.

Diet:  I can't tell you how strongly I believe in the benefits of an organic, vegetarian, gluten-free diet.  It's not as hard to stick to as you might think...and BOY do all sorts of symptoms go away when I stick to the diet!  Drink plenty of purified water, perhaps with organic lemon juice in it for detoxing, and you'll be amazed at how much better you feel.  As I said at a Thanksgiving dinner a couple decades ago, "If you profess to love animals, don't eat 'em!"

Nutritional Supplements:  We are big on nutritional supplements and feel that anything you can do to calm systemic inflammation and keep your body healthy will help with allergies, which are, after all, nothing but an inflammatory response.  Our favorite supplement vendors are Swanson Vitamins, Vitacost, Botanic Choice, etc.

Common Sense:  Keep washing your hands (the proper way, not the ineffective way most people do it).  Keep your fingers out of your eyes, nose, mouth and ears.

Here is part of an article from www.mercola.com and written by Dr. Karen Becker, a veterinarian who's holistic:

An estimated 10 percent of Americans are allergic to household pets, and cat allergies are twice as common as dog allergies. Most people with cat allergies react to Fel d 1, a protein found on cat skin (although there are other cat allergens as well found on the fur and in saliva).1

The Fel d 1 protein is quite small, so when it’s attached to a piece of airborne cat hair or skin, it can linger in the air for hours – much longer than a dog allergen would typically stay airborne.

Meanwhile, the Fel d 1 protein is quite sticky, so it readily attaches to your clothing and skin, and can even be transferred quite easily to public locations that have no cats present, like a school classroom.

Male cats tend to produce more of this allergenic protein than female cats – especially if they’re not neutered. However, all cats produce the Fel d 1 protein, and it’s not related to the amount of dander or shedding.

This means there are no truly hypoallergenic cat breeds.2

If your allergy symptoms are more of a nuisance than a serious health threat, here are some options to help minimize your cat allergies at home:

  • Consider making your bedroom (or the bedroom of your allergic family member) a cat-free zone. This will help keep allergens out.
  • Purchase a high-quality air purifier to help rid the air of allergens and other pollutants.
  • To prevent a buildup of allergens inside your home, replace carpeting with hard flooring, replace drapes and curtains with non-fabric window coverings, and if possible, avoid upholstered furniture.
  • Clean your home often and thoroughly, including any surfaces that trap pet hair and dander (couch covers, pillows, bedding, and pet beds, etc.).
  • Wash bedding at least weekly in hot water.
  • Wash your hands after handling your cat, and if the two of you have been snuggling on the couch, consider a shower and shampoo before retiring to avoid bringing kitty allergens to bed with you.
  • Feed your cat an anti-inflammatory (grain free), balanced, and species-appropriate diet. Reducing or eliminating the allergenic and genetically modified foods your kitty eats reduces the allergenic quality of her saliva.
  • Make sure your cat is getting optimal levels of essential fatty acids in her diet to reduce shedding and dander.
  • Bathe your cat regularly, taking care to use only a safe, non-drying herbal animal shampoo.

The bottom line is that there is plenty you can do to lessen your pet allergies!  Clean up your diet, clean up your house and use common sense.  You'll be amazed at how much better you feel!