DD2 is 5 and has struggled with respiratory issues her entire life. She has been on inhalers since 1 year of age and at age 3 we had to go to Singular as well which had been controlling her asthma. Until this last winter. She was sick the entire winter, literally with a new illness every single week, she hasn't attended a full week of school since November. Her asthma was completely out of control. Early April we decided to do allergy testing to see if anything was setting her off. Testing came back with allergies to grass, trees, pollens, dust mites, etc... and cats, she reacted very strongly to cats. We have 2 indoor cats.
Within days of the testing we went off on a 2.5 week vacation with zero animal contact where she was an entirely different child. No constant clear runny nose that she always has, no black circles under eyes, she slept well. no coughing. Within 2 days of being home again, she was sick once more. We just got back from another shorter trip in our state where once again her runny nose stopped while we were gone. I have my answer despite me wishing it was not so, she is allergic to our cats. DD2 is too hyper for our cats, they stay away from her, she rarely touches them. They sleep upstairs in our loft. I have always keep them out of her bedroom because of her asthma. One is a long hair, the other a siamese. I have always been against outdoor cats for obvious reasons. It is even more troublesome in my area where bears, coyotes, and mountain lions do roam around. Our long haired cat is my eldest DD's, she has had him since she was very little, and attached doesn't begin to describe how she feels about him. Anyone have any suggestions?
Supposedly washing cats every week causes them to stop producing the stuff in their saliva which is generally the true allergen. They lick themselves, it gets on their fur and dander and all over the house.
If you start washing them weekly, remove all rugs and replace all upholstered furniture (get stuff with zippered covers that you can remove and wash weekly), your dd's allergies may be tolerable. In addition to not letting the cats in dd's room, make sure they never get in the laundry and curl up on her clothes or bedding. But if the allergies don't improve, that's no way to live. And if you rehome the cats, you should still replace upholstered furniture and remove rugs. I have reactions just from sitting on couches in houses where cats live and I'm not touching or even seeing the cats.
You can also put HEPA air filters in each room.
Ultimately, your dd's health needs to be the priority.
Agree with the other two posters. You know what has to happen. Kids trump animals every time. I wanted to add some hugs too. I am sad for you. They're a part of your family. I totally get it.
Certified Crazy™ Wife to my Spiderman husband (Aug '01)
Super proud Momma to DD (Jan'00), DD (Apr '02) and DS (Jun '04)
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Its not going to help. Unless completely decontaminate everything and I do mean everything and then the cats never are touched...what a life for you and the cats. Washing cats weekly is not good for the cats either. What quality of life is that?
That's where I'm at right now. But it's me and not the kids. We've removed all carpeting, gotten rid of cloth furniture and curtains. Animals are not allowed in the bedrooms at all. I'm still in hell. The only time I feel good is when I'm at work. It sucks so much. We're going to rehome the cat, as my problems started when he showed up. I can't even deal with it anymore.