What’s the Best Way to Treat Cat Allergies?

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 drbrent@care2.com.


Edith B.
Edith B6 years ago

My two year old granddaughter has just been diagnosed with cat allergies. I have four indoor cats. I am going to suggest the cow's milk theory to my son and his wife and see if that works. They also have a16 year old cat, and this has created real problems in their home.

Tanja D.
Tanja D6 years ago

Think about the cat: do you really need one if you can't cuddle it often and long? Is it necessary to treat it with weakly bathings? Really, that's cruel for a cat! Think about it.

Dana Mae
Dana Mae8 years ago

Cats are wonderful creatures! Yes!
We have 3 of them, and i do react allergic on my skin, so i try to get as less contact as i can to them- this helps!
I will try now a few tips from that article above also...it only can get better :-)

Angie Connolly
Angie Connolly8 years ago

As odd as this sounds, I use to be alergic to well- cats.. etc etc. Butt.... over time it seems I've become immune to them, -like I no longer have the alergies to them- and I"m 110% sure it was towards them and not something else.... and I find I have no longer any alergies as a result. I"m very happy with this mind you- because now i can have one of my own and the one I do have; has come into my life at a very perfect time. I"ve always wanted one- not sure when i was gonna go get one-(ie:spca)....but this one couldn't have arrive in my life at a better time. -she's amazing. she's a blessing she's a marical.

Bee Hive Lady
Fiona O8 years ago

Why is it taking so long for comments to show up on Care 2 today?

Bee Hive Lady
Fiona O8 years ago

Thank you, Dr. Brent, for the very clear advice. My daughter in law cannot visit with me because of her cat allergy. I am going to implement all of your thorough and thoughtful advice. I feel sure the problem can be conquered with you help. I appreciate that you are here to answer questions for Care 2 readers.

Trish L K.
Trish Kerbel8 years ago

Janine, you are so right - cows milk is only for calves not humans. So pleased your daughter is allergy free now.

Pamela C.
Pamela C8 years ago

I am allergic to cats, yet have no problem with mine. Why? I get weekly desensitization shots.
If you have an allergy, go to an allergist, don't get rid of your pet. You can't live in a bubble. I am a real baby about pain, yet haven't had any problems with either the testing or the shots. They are covered by almost any legitimate insurance. I used to be incredibly allergic, now I'm more sensitive to my own hair than the cats.
The "get rid of the cat" line is one of the reasons that there are so many adult cats abandoned to be euthanized at shelters. If you have a problem, be responsible and take care of it. Don't blame the cat.

Vural K.
Past Member 8 years ago


Janine R.
.8 years ago

My daughter was allergic to cats and then dogs. I finally figured out what the culprit was. She became allergic to cats, about three months after we started her on cow's milkk. I didn't think anything of it I just thought, she will be one that has allergies. We have stopped giving her cow's milk and guess what, she is no longer allergic to cats. I couldn't believe it!!! She is very happy, for now we can own a cat. I told her I would like to give it a year, which she agreed with. When I tell people about this they flat out refuse to think it was the milk. It amazes me how attached we are to cow's milk. When you think of it we are the only animal that drinks another animal's milk, for life.