Help! Allergic to cats...need advice

  1. Moved into an apt where the former tenants had cats. I know this by finding cat food under the sink and cat hair in the carpet. Come to find out I'm allergic.

    I cannot breathe when I'm in my apt. Once I leave, after about 15 mins I feel better. I've vacuumed and dusted daily and bought an air purifier hoping it would do some good. Nothing yet. I'm taking double doses of benadryl in the morning and then q4 hours after that. I'm a zombie. My nose is raw (and I'm talking bleeding raw) from attempting to blow some of the snot out of my nose and using vicks continously. I wake up feeling like I'm suffocating. I sit up straight and my sinuses make a clicking noise because NO air is going in or out of my nose. My teeth are literally throbbing in pain because I'm breathing through my mouth all the time. I am so frustrated. I usually end up in tears - this has been going on since late Dec.

    Obviously, I need an alternative. Any suggestions? I'm going to borrow my mom's carpet shampooer this weekend and hope that helps some. I'm so close to telling the apt manager to find me an apt where cats did not live.
  2. 13 Comments

  3. by   canoehead
    The dander would be stirred up and so hard to get rid of. I suggest professional rug shampoos, and if that doesn't work having the entire apt wiped down, walls, ceilings, vents.
  4. by   RGN1
    A really good vacuum with a HEPA allergy filter might help (Dyson have an allergy vacuum here in the UK - as do others - so I'm sure they have the same in the USA.) It works better than just a normal vacuum does because unless you have the filter the particles can still get back into the air. You may be able to hire if you can't afford/don't want to buy.
  5. by   prmenrs
    Several vacuums in the US have "hepa" filters, Dyson is one of them. Dyson is $$$ tho. Get the bagless type and clean out the bin each time.

    I might have professional carpet cleaners come in to "de-cat" the premises. They have special stuff for that purpose. Also, wash down the bottom 1/3 of the walls in case the cat sprayed. Check PetSmart or PetCo for a good product.

    You can get better allergy treatments; talk to your PCP, you might need to go to a specialist.

    OR--move to a different appt. Might be the cheapest alternative.

    Good Luck! I love my kitties, but I sure feel sad (and a little guilty) for those that suffer.
  6. by   walkingrock
    I would talk to the apt manager and see if you can move to an apt that hasn't had cats in it.
  7. by   TazziRN
    I'd talk to the apt manager, maybe suggest a terminal cleaning if he wants to keep you as a tenant if there is no other apt you can move into.
  8. by   SmilingBluEyes
    move to a new apt if you can. It's almost impossible to get rid of all cat dander, even by washing walls and vaccuming carpets. You would need new carpet and the walls steam-cleaned and painted, really, to be rid of it all.

    Failing that, get some good ionic breeze air cleaners for every room, and clean the place thoroughly. Keep the windows cracked to let fresh air in, too, if you can.

    I wish you luck. Cat dander is like tiny droplets of glue. It's very hard to eradicate, no matter what we do.
  9. by   SmilingBluEyes
  10. by   bethin
    Thanks everyone for your suggestions and links to websites. I have alot of work to do!

    I'm at my parents for the weekend and I can breathe. I am not looking forward to going back. I really don't want to have to move: my parents would have to take a day off of work and I just moved in. Moving is such a pain in the butt.

    I'm going to use my mom's carpet shampooer, wash down the walls and go to PetSmart and see if they have anything. And I guess I'll make a dr's appointment to see if he can give me some meds. And I'm laying off the benadryl (taking it q4h) for a while - I'm a permanent zombie. I'll try taking Claritin instead.
  11. by   SmilingBluEyes
    I hope you can work this out. I am so sorry you are suffering. Good luck.

    I am told the Ionic Breeze rocks. Maybe you can check that out, in addition to cleaning the place.
  12. by   bethin
    Update: this is the first day that I can breathe in my apt!! I moved the air purifier closer to my bed, cracked my window and took Claritin before I went to bed. I hope this isn't a one day fluke. The problem is, the Claritin was made with psuedoephedrine, and I don't think they make it with that anymore. Might have to ask my doctor for a script.

    Will still be going to Petsmart and getting something to use and will look into a different vacuum, mine is broken anyway. And washing down the walls and shampoo the carpet.

    What are the odds that the dander is on my clothes? Clothes hit the floor, clothes pick up what's on the floor, etc. Think that could be a problem?
  13. by   CHATSDALE
    when you go on vacation make sure they give you a smoke free room
  14. by   bethin
    Thanks for the reminder, Dale. I'll call them tomorrow and tell them I need a smoke free room.