Our cats are treasured members of the family but arranging get-togethers or parties can be tricky for friends who have cat allergies since cat fur, and of course, your cats themselves, rule the house.
However, you no longer need to hesitate inviting that friend over who has cat allergies because there are ways to make life easier for both your cat and any visitor who comes over.
Contrary to popular belief, fur does not actually cause cat allergies – it’s cat dander, tiny flecks of shed skin that settle onto wood floors, rugs and carpeting, furniture, and clothing, that trigger symptoms. Within just seconds of exposure, expect sneezing, followed by a runny nose and sometimes itchy, watery eyes.
Thankfully, with a bit of preparation in advance, you can help your guests ward off sniffles while keeping everyone happy and comfortable.
Cat dander gets everywhere. To reduce allergen levels in the home, you’ll need to sweep and mop the floors, vacuum rugs, and clean furniture regularly. If you have friends that have allergies visiting often, investing in a vacuum with a HEPA filter is a great idea as regular filters in vacuums may not be fine enough to catch dander thoroughly.
If possible, wash cushions and other fabric around the home regularly — focus on tackling items that your cat is in frequent contact with, and that your guest is also likely to touch. For instance, if your cat tends to perch on a cushion on your couch, think about washing the cushion’s cover or temporarily removing it from the living room.
Using an air purifier at home is one of the best things you can do as a cat parent as it can pull dander, hair and odours out of the air, essentially cleaning it and making it as fresh as possible.
Portable air purifiers can be strategically placed where your allergic visitors sit. Make sure to let it run before your visitors arrive, and continue to keep it on while they are at your home as well.
If you are able to bathe your cat, be sure to do that weekly or right before an allergy afflicted guest is coming to visit. Washing your cat will loosen up and get rid of dander down the drain instead of around your house. We know that cats are not big fans of baths but you can start bathing your cat when he or she is still a kitten so they would get used to this routine and would not represent a very stressful situation for them. However, if your cat is not a fan of baths at all, combing or brushing your cat thoroughly on a weekly basis also helps to get rid of excess hair shed.
As much as we’d love to have the company of both our felines and our allergy prone friend, keep your cat in a separate room or area of your home if possible. Of course, a visit from your friend shouldn’t feel like a punishment for your cat, so make sure that wherever they’re kept, they’re comfortable and always have access to clean fresh water.
Sometimes no amount of cleaning will completely remove all of the lingering dander and allergens from your home. With that in mind, it’s best to keep some over-the-counter allergy medication ready to offer in case your guests forget to bring their own.
Just because friends and family are allergic, doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy your company at home. Whether it’s a casual gathering or you’re hosting overnight stays, there are always ways to get ahead of cat allergies, even with cats in the house.
All you need to do is keep a clean home (and cat) and make sure you know what your guests need to be comfortable, so even friends with allergies can enjoy spending time with you, your family, and your cat.
If you enjoyed this article, get them straight to your inbox along with access to gated content, member only discounts/offers, free samples and competitions. Become a member today.