Wish: to have a cat

Tell us your wish, tell us your obstacle, and we'll try to come up with some useful suggestions to help you get into action toward your dream.

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LilyQwerty
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Wish: to have a cat

Post by LilyQwerty »

Hi everyone,

I would like to have a cat.

The obstacles are:
1) I’m allergic
2) I don’t want to take antihistamines every day.
3) I don’t want to spend thousands or even hundreds on an anti allergenic cat.

Any ideas?

Thanks!

Lili

SquarePeg
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Re: Wish: to have a cat

Post by SquarePeg »

I tested positive for a cat allergy many years ago.

Since then, I learned about a special anti-inflammatory diet, so I tried it. I felt so much better that I thought that my wife and I could adopt a cat. So we got an American Shorthair (plain old cat) from a cat shelter. He liked me from Day 1 and often slept in my lap and even on top of my bed at night. The only time I had a flare up of allergy symptoms was in late summer and fall when the mold season was active and when I went way off my diet

So I began to wonder, am I really allergic to cats? Or am I allergic to mold (yes) and families of common foods?

You don't want to take antihistamines every day. Would you be willing to take supplements? Would you be willing to team up with a good alternative healthcare practitioner and get blood work a couple of times each year? If so, that might be one way to get your wish.

Also, what does it mean for you to have a cat? Would it have access to your entire living space? Or would you be satisfied with somehow keeping it in a "playroom" of sorts? Even before the diet, my wife and I had another cat that stayed in the lower level, and I did okay.

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Elaine Glimme
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Re: Wish: to have a cat

Post by Elaine Glimme »

How bad is your allergy? My daughter got a cat for her kids. She was allergic to it, but, after a while, her allergies died down so that the cat wasn't a problem. I, on the other hand, am really allergic, and that wouldn't work for me. Do you have a friend with a cat? You could visit your friend and the cat and see how much of a problem the allergy is before committing to caring for a cat of your own. Or go down to your local animal shelter and see if you can tolerate petting a cat.

When I was in college, I took allergy shots to get over being allergic to my dog, and they worked well. I took a series of shots for about a month starting with three times a week. As a bonus, I got used to getting shots, so now they don't bother me. As an adult, I tried to get a doctor to give me similar shots to get over my cat allergies. The doctors wouldn't do it. They said it didn't work for cat allergies. If somewhere, somehow this option exists, please let me know, as I, too, would be interesting in decreasing my sensitivity to cats.

Good luck.
Elaine Glimme - author - "Temporary Address" and "The Molly Chronicles"

LilyQwerty
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Re: Wish: to have a cat

Post by LilyQwerty »

Thanks for your replies.
Sorry for my late reply, I had a crazy week.
My allergy is bad enough for me not be able to have a cat in my studio, but not bad enough to have an outdoor cats that comes and visits me occasionally but doeasn't sleep in my room. I lived with roommates who had a cat with access to the garden, and it was great.
Visiting shelters is a good idea.

I'm willing to take shots, but I understand it's a long process and I have a nomadic lifestyle.

I'm interested in the anti-allergenic and supplements diet. Could you tell me more?

SquarePeg
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Re: Wish: to have a cat

Post by SquarePeg »

The "Blood Type diet" (BTD) was recommended to me by a Naturopathic Doctor. I found that wheat, corn and dairy, which are excluded on the diet, caused most of my problems. (But also mushrooms bothered me, and they were not excluded from the diet.) As I eliminated the most offensive foods, I was better able to discern other foods that offended my system in a more subtle way.

I don't recall all of the supplements -- there were a lot of them.

My diet today is similar because I still avoid a lot of processed foods. But I'm following the guidelines of Paul Pitchford rather than BTD. And I'm not really excluding any one food except for pig meat, fat and skin.

SquarePeg
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Re: Wish: to have a cat

Post by SquarePeg »

I would caution about using a pet store or cat shelter as a test of your allergies. You can try to visit a pet store. If you quickly get a serious reaction, you'll have an answer right away. But if you don't get a reaction, it might not mean that your allergy is gone.

I tried it once. I found a cat in a pet store. I played with it a bit in the store and didn't have a problem. But then after I got it home, my breathing became more difficult, as if I had a heavy weight on my chest. I kept it out of the bedroom, but it was still a problem. I didn't have the runny nose and watery eyes that I usually get; instead I had asthma. (And my diet was very crappy, so I understand it now in hindsight.) So I gave it up after one month.

My alternate suggestion is to repeatedly visit someone who has a cat, perhaps after you've established a special diet. Then, if that's not a problem, pet sit for someone. Set up the arrangement so that the cat can stay in a part of your home for one or two weeks. Fostering a cat might be another option, but cat shelters might be reluctant to let a newbie foster a cat. Also, a foster situation can be an open-ended affair -- you keep it until someone adopts it, if ever.
But sometimes there are cats who need special short-term housing (for example, if they've had an operation and need a quiet place to recover for two weeks or so) and the shelter might be willing and/or desperate to give you a try. Giving up a cat that you've bonded to can be heart-breaking, so be prepared for that, too.

ITC
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Re: Wish: to have a cat

Post by ITC »

Try a no hair cat which is a Sphinx cat. Maybe call around or check different shelter websites to see if they have one for adoption? ASPCA or Humane Society in your area?

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