Can you have a cat despite a cat allergy?

Most cat allergy sufferers are content to admire cats from a distance. Others buy a cat despite allergies and live with constantly itchy eyes. If you are allergic, it can be good to know that there are individuals that are less allergenic, medications and vaccines.

Women holding cat in summer garden.

Allergy-friendly cats

Breeds such as Siberian cat, ragdoll and rex are usually said to be less allergenic than other cat breeds. But no breed is completely allergy-free, and it is not possible to recommend a specific breed to people who have allergies. Allergen levels can vary greatly even within the same breed, which means that different individuals within the same breed can be more or less allergenic.

If you are allergic but dream of having a cat, it is therefore best to try your hand at different individuals. Some purebred cat associations happily put you in touch with so-called “test homes” where you can meet different cats to see if you get any allergic reactions before you get your own cat.

Medication that relieves temporarily

Even if you are allergic, there is no reason to let your everyday life be ruined by your eyes itching and swelling as soon as you come across a cat. Nowadays, there are many allergy medicines that can temporarily relieve cat allergies. Over-the-counter antihistamine tablets usually work well if you, as a cat allergy sufferer, are temporarily spending time with a cat in your company. If the over-the-counter allergy medication does not work, there are prescription medications.

Vaccine against cat allergy

Nowadays, you can get vaccinated against cat allergy, but it takes years to get rid of the allergy. It is called, immunotherapy and means that over a longer period you regularly receive injections with a little of the allergenic substance. In this way, the body’s tolerance towards cats is trained. The first dose is low and then the dose is gradually increased until the highest level is reached.

The shots must initially be taken weekly. Then every two months for at least three years. Getting vaccinated against cat allergy is unfortunately usually only possible if you have severe problems – not because you yourself dream of having a cat as a pet.