Q: What’s the best way to treat cat allergies?
A: The best way to manage any allergy is to avoid the substance that is causing the reaction. If you are allergic to cats but still want to have one in your environment, there are some things that you can do to reduce your symptoms.
1. Choose a short-haired variety.
2. Keep the cat out of the bedroom and any room that you spend a lot of time in.
3. Bathe the cat weekly to help control the amount of dander (dead skin cells) that are shed around the house.
4. Choose hard-surface floors that are easy to clean or make the commitment to shampoo your carpets on a regular basis to keep dander from building up.
5. Consider getting an air-purifier to help reduce the amount of allergens floating around your home.
Dr. Brent Ridge is the health expert for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. You can call and ask him a question live every Tuesday at 2 p.m. Eastern on Sirius Satellite Radio, Channel 112 (1.866.675.6675). You can also follow along as he learns to grow his own food and raise goats on his farm in upstate New York by visiting www.beekman1802.com.
Got a health question for Dr. Brent? E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.