Life Without a Cat... How Miserable...

Updated on May 06, 2011
N.G. asks from Arlington, TX
20 answers

Hi Moms!

I have always been a fantatical cat lover! They are just wonderful creatures! When I moved out of my parents' house, I immediately adopted three cats. They were my entire life (well, other than my husband, lol). When I became pregnant with our first daughter, I somehow developed a severe allergy to them. I was having severa asthma attacks and respiratory problems. I was on steroids, daily zyrtec, nasal sprays, and asthma preventives. Eventually, my doctor told me that I had to get rid of the cats or else be miserable! Sadly and reluctantly, so as not to expose my baby to far too many medications, I gave my cats to my parents. One of them is still living.

I have had very minimal exposure to cats since then. Once, a friend stayed with me for a short time and she brought her cat with her. I told her I might be severely allergic so she should keep him locked in her bedroom. Even with the cat locked in the bedroom, I developed severe asthma attacks, enough to warrant an ER visit!

Even my husband misses having cats. Am I crazy to have an incomplete feeling that I can not share my life with a cat? Do any of you have this problem and take medications so that you can have one? Are there any kinds of cats that have low allergies (there are some breeds of hypoallergenic dogs). I don't think about this daily, so I'm not some sort of freak (LOL), but when I do see a kitty walking around a neighborhood or think about the cats I used to have, I get kind of sad. I don't like dogs very much (we have two), they're not the same. I know it sounds ridiculous... I'm aware of that. haha! But I'm just wondering if there are other Moms out there who can validate my completely crazy-sounding feelings!!!

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

I'm so happy to see I'm not the only one who feels this is a 'need' that is not being met! haha!

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answers from Roanoke on

Some cats are more sanitary than others. If you have the money, get a Siamese. My granddaughter has had one since she was 13 (now 17) and ever her friends who are allergic to cats can pet him because he keeps himself so well groomed and is so short haired. Very loveable too!
My granddaughters boyfriend got it for her for christmas 4 years ago, and I know she'd die without her little buddy, he follows her around and meows and she'll talk to him while shes doing laundry/dishs/homework.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

My Mom was severly allergic to cats but could be around my sisters siamese cat who decided she should sleep with my Mom when she visited... May work? So sorry, I know I would go nuts if I couldn't have a dog around! Take care, T.

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answers from Washington DC on

I'm not a cat person...but I do know they are breeding certain cats who do not produce the dander that most people are allergic to. I think they run in the thousands of dollars though. There are some medical treaments like IGE inhibitors that can help a lot...but they are very new and carry risks (I looked into them because I have severe allergies but always wanted to be a Vet). Good luck!
Oh...also check out a product "Allerpet" that can help.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Biloxi on

Oh N., my life would be bereft without my kitties. :P

I have lived with cats my entire life - My teen son and I live with 4 small dogs and 4 cats now.

He had allergy testing done last month and aside from being allergic to every green thing God created he is highly allergic to cats. He looked at the allergist and said, "Well how do we treat me 'cause we are not getting rid of the cats".

Have you thought about going to an allergist and doing allergy shots? Ours advised that his normal course of treatment is 3 years, but that 80% of patients wind up with no allergies after that. Pretty good odds.

Cats are just furry, and warm, and squishy and lovely. I am the weird cat lady to my friends. LOL

God Bless

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Joplin on

I totally sympathize...I have three cats, they are my fur babies...indoor only cats. When I had to move I was not about to consider any place that would not allow them. I cannot imagine life without a cat to share my lap = ) I am allergic to some cats but not others, I do take allergy medication. I vacuum are not crazy, if you are...that would mean I was too = )

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answers from Kansas City on

I felt that same way. I grew up with cats and loved them and my husband hates cats. I finally talked him into getting a cat and to my surprise I HATED having that cat around.

Finally, after about 6 months, we gave him away. I do not regret it one bit. I have to say, I was quite surprised that I felt this way, I guess I just got so used to not having one around, I didn't realize how much I actually enjoyed not having one.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

Isn't there a hairless cat? A bit ugly by some standards but I think I saw it on a Friends episode once. It must be their personality you miss bc otherwise dogs should take care of your craving for furry cuddling so maybe a atypical appearance-wise cat would still take care of it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

I love having a cat in my home too! I just had allergy testing done a few months ago because my seasonal allergies have gotten as bad as they were during childhood over the last few years and Claritin-D stopped working. In addition to the different pollens I'm allergic to, I did test for dogs and cats and showed an allergy to both. I told the doc that normally I don't have any allergy conditions, yet I have both dogs and cats in my home. He said it just wasn't a severe allergy. Anyway -you've probably researched this already -but have you tried shots? I used to teach with a woman who was pretty allergic to her cats, but she controlled it with once a week shots. I would do it if I had that problem and it worked!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

YEP! There are a couple different kinds:

From genetically altered that has actually been tested on people who are severely allergic/ asthma triggering and has no effect on them (super pricey at apx 6k per cat) aka actually NON-allergenic

to one of the 7 breeds that their DNA altered at random sometime in the past to produce fewer of the proteins/ dander to be HYPO-allergenic. Of ALL of the ones below, most of the allergic-to-all-cats-but-this-one people I know have the Siberian (at the bottom of the list). You would want to spend some time with any of these breeds to see how sensitive your allergy is:

(cut and paste)
Balinese: Often referred to as the "long-haired Siamese," the Balinese looks like an unlikely candidate for a hypoallergenic cat. But it is one of the few breeds that produces less of the Fel D1 protein than other cats, thus causing fewer allergic reactions in allergy sufferers.

Oriental Shorthair: They're hypoallergenic, but it's still a good practice to groom your cat frequently (brushing as well as wiping her down) to keep dander to a minimum.

Javanese: Like the Balinese, the Javanese sports a medium-long single coat that doesn't mat. Because of the lack of undercoat, they have less fur which translates into fewer allergens.

Two "Rex" cats are on the list: the Devon and Cornish Rex. Both shed very little fur, which is good news for allergy sufferers:

Devon Rex: Of the two, the Devon has both shorter fur and less fur. Your Devon Rex will need to have her paw pads and ears cleaned of oil build-up frequently, but doesn't need frequent full baths like the Sphynx or Cornish Rex.

Cornish Rex: The Cornish Rex requires more upkeep than the Devon because they require frequent baths to mitigate the oil buildup on their skin.

The last two cats on the list offer you a choice of hairless or hairy:

Sphynx: The hairless Sphynx is the cat most often associated with being hypoallergenic. Being hairless does not mean they're maintenance-free, however. Your Sphynx will need frequent baths to remove the gummy buildup of oils on her skin, and her large ears will also require frequent cleanings.

Siberian: Like the Balinese, the Siberian sports a moderately long coat, but still is hypoallergenic due to the lower-than-average enzyme levels in their saliva. Some claim that 75 percent of cat allergy sufferers have no reaction to the Siberian.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I know how you feel. Cats and dogs are 2 of my worst allergy & asthma provokers. I take antihistamine every day & inhalers at night to breathe. I vaccuum & dust like crazy. & I sleep with my 4 cats on the bed. I lOVE them. I grew up with cats, but was always restricted about my contact with them. A few years ago, I had 4 cats, 3 rabbits, a degu, a gerbil & birds. My mom just about had a fit! Ah well, I love them & cant live without them. Im less allergic to some cats, than others. My allergist told me to bathe the cat 1x/ week to "make them hypoallergenic" it certainly helps. Dogs arent the same! I love dogs but am content to love other peoples. Cats- I have to have a couple at least, its like a need, cant live without them or Im kind of empty. Purrrr :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

If you get one that's 6 weeks old, I've been told that you can wash them in mineral oil to remove the dander. You might look that info up.

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answers from Dallas on

I would talk to your allergist and your vet to see what you can find re. a low allergic reaction solution. I think it's sweet :)

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answers from Chicago on

It is the saliva and dander on hair that causes allergy sensitivity that you are experiencing. From friends I know with allergies it appears that not all cats will cause them to react. Perhaps you can try fostering and see if you may not react.

I agree cats are great!


answers from Washington DC on

i am so sorry! i really love kitties. my dh is mildly allergic and we agreed that when we killed off the ones we each brought into the marriage, we'd be done. and yet here we are with 2 more, and they adore him.
i like the dog okay, but horses and cats are pretty essential.
i hope you are able to figure out a way to enjoy having cats again. i guess the shots aren't an option?


answers from Sacramento on

Oh, that would make me so sad! I love our two kitties!

I have heard that it is not cat hair that causes the allergy, but the dander/cat spit combination (from when they groom themselves), and that actually long-haired cats tend to provoke less of a reaction than the short-haired breeds. I wonder if allergy shots plus frequent grooming of the cat (by a professional) would allow you to own a cat again?

I'm sorry... :(



answers from Washington DC on

This is so sad. We have three meow meows, as we call them.
Last week I had the great fortune of finding a white ceramic Persian. She is beautiful and we named her Guinevere. Of course, I still have the ones with fur.
My son and husband are allergic. THey do OK though.
I have also dedicated my laundry/kitty litter room into a cat shrine. I have all my pictures, wall hangings, ceramics (not Gunievere, she sits in the dining room), cat knick-knacks. I have kitty curtains and I painted kitty foot prints on the wall.
I am so sorry. This would be a hard life for me too.


answers from Tampa on

I also moved out of parents home and immediately took in a stray. I was in the Vet tech program at that time and I realized within a year of owning a cat that I was allergic. By then I had gotten 2 more additional cats.

I now have 13 cats, a husband, almost 6 y/o daughter and baby #2 on the way. I take zyrtec, claritin and benedryl on a alternating schedule and nasal steroids when I remember. I do not feel that is too many medications for myself nor fetus - I'm a Nurse.

I love animals so much, cats especially, that I could never have a household without them. My allergies have gotten worse with animals that if I touch a foreign or visiting animal (dog, cat, rabbit, anything with fur) I will start itching the hand that touched them and immediately stuff up (nose) and get watery eyed. I STILL pet every animal I see.

I'm also very allergic to dust mites, pollens of many trees and lucky me I live in FL where nothing every dies because we never have a true winter.



answers from Minneapolis on

I feel for you N.. I love cats! I lost a couple of nights sleep while pregnant worrying (don't we all find something to worry about) that I'd have a child that was allergic to cats and I'd have to get rid of them! Lucky so far and still have a cat. He's sleeping on the couch next to me right now.



answers from Dallas on

Well... I really dislike cats and I am allergic. BUT my son is in love with cats so we researched and bought him a Devon Rex about a year ago. This cat has very short hair and doesn't shed as much as a typical cat. I am still allergic to the cat, but not nearly as bad as others. As long as I keep him off of me and off of my bed I am ok with him being in the house... But I still can't stand him! I would happily find him a new home if my son wasn't so attached! (I'm a dog person :)


answers from Kansas City on

You don't sound rediculous at all. Have you consulted an allergy specialist to see what it would cost to do shots over time to get you used to them again?

Do some research. There are some wipes that you can use on them that keep the protiens from their saliva from getting all over your house. Those are supposed to help. One of my mothers is allergic to many things and she takes a lot of allergy meds and has recently picked up 2 cats even though she shouldn't have them. She seems to be doing okay. My adult daughter did the same thing. She takes meds and is always changing what she takes.

Myself, I'd want to die if I didn't have my cats. I don't feel like a freak. My oldest is 16 and we've had him since a baby. I've hardly ever not had a cat for more than a few weeks in my life. I thank God for them every chance I get.

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