326352 tn?1310994295

Cat Allergies in Children

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to help de-allergize a cat instead of getting rid of the cat?  Our 3 1/2 yr old will probably fall to pieces if we end up having to give the cat away because her sister is severely allergic to him.  To keep this in persective, I'm allergic to cats also, but manage mine fairly well and have grown out of mine, mostly.

There are some products for bathing and for spraying around the house.  Does anyone have any recommendations before I start shooting in the dark?
21 Responses
214105 tn?1265935159
How bad are his allergies? My son has really bad allergies to cats and nothing really worked.He's nearly five now and it hasn't really gotten much better. Let me know if you find anything that works.
Good luck
326352 tn?1310994295
Allergy tested said 4 on a scale of 5, so pretty bad.

What have you tried?
467562 tn?1207313036
Ds is severly allergic to cats, itchy, red swelling eyes, runny nose, asthma attacks.  He started allergy shots (3 shots every Friday) for that along with shots for Dogs, 5 different tree pollens, 5 different bees, a wasp, dust mites.  Any time he'd go outside and play with one of the barn kitties he'd get sick.  And sometimes end up with a sinus infection.

He's also on DDAVP for bloody noses,  Singulair, Patonal, Flonase, Allegra, Flovent, Albuterol, and topical cream for eczema.
326352 tn?1310994295
Dang, how do you keep all that straight?  Our's is on Singular, Albuterol, Atarax (for the itching), and about 6 or 7 different eczema creams and goos.

We've decided to wait out the cat (he's 14, can't live all that much longer...4 years maybe) and just try to keep the pet hair vacuumed as best we can and bathe him more often.

We've just gotten off yet another round of antibiotics for the ear infection and a dose of prednisone which helped tremendously.  Hate to dose her up so much, but she's miserable which makes the rest of the house miserable.  You know, though.

Doc didn't recommend shot treatment yet, but that'll probably come as she gets older.  I did them as an adult and they can help.  When did your son start those?  (age?)

What's DDAVP?  I thought I heard that Zyrtec was coming out with a formula for children.  
467562 tn?1207313036
I thought they already had a formula of Zyrtec for kids?  My boys started zyrtec when they were 6 mos old. It was a liquid.   Ds had to stop the zyrtec after a while b/c it made his eczema flair as it dried him out way to much.

DDAVP is desmopressin acetate sometimes it's rx'd for bedwetting or nose bleeds. Ds had his rx'd for both.

He started his shots this past Nov. and he turned 9 that Sept.
326352 tn?1310994295
The zyrtec I heard mentioned was probably non-prescription.  You know how they advertise all that stuff so much.

Thanks for the tip on the eczema and zyrtec...not something I want to make worse!

Have you tried something called Hylira (hyaluronic acid) for the eczema?  It's a prescription goo applied all over to help with the moisture content of the skin.  At this point, that seems to be the best resolution (along with the prednisone) for dd's skin.  It's a challenge to find what works.
467562 tn?1207313036
No I've never heard of Hylira!  Does it work good?  We've used protopic, elidel, and a bunch of other medications. The dr has us slather them up with Aquaphor (the really greasy stuff). Currently ds 9 yrs old is using Triamcinolone Acetonide cream.  

My little one is on Lotrisone cream.  We put it on the patches then for a week after they are gone. Then once they come back we start all over again.  He gets fungal infections from his eczema.  He also does a round of Diflucan a few times a year to help clear it up.  We can never seem to get it to go away long term though.
326352 tn?1310994295
Ah man.... fungal infections??  We were thinking Lauren had thrush this weekend and are fighting the ever present vaginal yeast infection.  She gets one everytime we're on an antibiotic.  Strange thing is, when the regular stuff quit working, the ped doc told us to use Lotrimin which is for fungus.  Never put the two together.

We're using protopic now with the Hylira.  The Hylira (thankfully now generic and cheap) is a goo that you put on twice a day for moisture (no steroids).  Then we do the protopic and triamincinolone (or whatever) is the other, then there's two for her face.  I had to leave the instructions at home with the names for my mom.  We're poised for another major outbreak (noticed it last night)....we're trying to head it off before it goes full blast.

The Hylira helps for keeping the skin moist, soft and the eczema doesn't get to that crusty part as much...it stays red and inflamed (like bad, bad heat rash), but doesn't develop into the cracked and oozing patches...if you understand that description.  Then a couple of days of the high-powered stuff on those patches seems to work.  But it has returned...we were hoping it wouldn't return quite so quickly.  Hylira's the one we use consistently.

Elidel and Elocon didn't seem to work for her .... she claimed it burned.  I can't stand to see her cry like that, so we just backed off from those.

My boss has recommended something to us for allergies and ear infections, etc.  I'll try it and see if his daughter's claims are good.  Then I'll post it for you to try.  

Never know where the magic bullets are!
467562 tn?1207313036
I'll def. ask the allergist when we go about the Hylira!  

and do keep me informed on the the thing for the allergies! I'm interested!  

I'm now on patonal drops myelf to help with my allergies along with Clariten D...it' takes the edge off but doesn't help all the way!  I was on Zyrtec D but now all that has gone OTC I can't find that yet in the store around here. I'll ask my pharmacist to order me some!
Avatar universal
My son has a severe allergy to dogs and it's even worse to cats.  I keep him completely away from both.  I know you said your other daughter would be devastated if you get rid of the cat but she will get over it.  It's not worth possibly making your other daughter miserable to keep the other one happy.  Think about when they're older, how will your daughter that's allergic feel to know you continued to keep the cat that is making her sick just so you didn't upset her sister.  

As far as just keeping the cat clean or using special products, it will not ever do the job, the cleanest house or the cleanest cat around wouldn't be able to keep the cat dander out of your house.

As far as medicating her to death, why should she have to take all that medicine just so you guys can keep your precious cat?  I understand if she had to be on allergy medication because of other allergies, such as environmental.  I don't think the answer with kids with environmental allergies is to keep them indoors all the time and isolate them from regular everyday childhood things but her home should be her safe haven and you as her mother should be doing everything you can to keep the allergens out of your home.

Believe me I'm no strange to all your above topics, my son has, as his pediatrician described as "The second worse case of eczema I have seen in my medical career."  At one point he was visiting his dermatologist 3-4 times a month, along with his PCP and allergist.  I can't do much to keep him away from the environmental allergies (you try telling a 3-year old boy he can't go play outside because pollen is high right now, lol) but as far as our home, as allergen free as I can keep it.  I want him to be able to breathe indoors and not have a stuffy nose when he's laying in bed at night trying to go to sleep.  Or staying up all night because he can't quit scratching.....etc.  If you haven't already I would start looking for a good home for your cat and stop looking for products to de-allergize the cat.  
326352 tn?1310994295
Well, it's not just the one child, they both like Tony, our cat.  He's 14.  We did try to find a home for him, but have had not takers and neither of us is willing to have him put down.  And we (my hubby and I) also are rather fond of the rascal, even if he's a pain sometimes.  Our oldest daughter is still rather confused as to what happened with Cleo (who died a few months ago in our home).  She's 3, though.  Thankfully the younger doesn't really remember.  We're seriously trying to keep the drama and trauma down in our house, it's been full of it since 2005.

The newer stuff from the allergist is doing a much better job at keeping her eczema at bay, although not fixing it.  And the atarax works.  I don't like to continually medicate my child, but if that's what it takes, then that's what we'll do.  There are no guarantees that even if we get rid of the cat that this will just magically clear up in a few months.
Avatar universal
I would recommend to all those who have pet allergies to look into getting an air purifier for the house. I have one that covers the whole house, works up to 3000sq ft. Definitely something to look into.
326352 tn?1310994295
That's one of the things on our list to do...we've been researching some, do you have a recommendation on any particular kind or what to look for besides whole house?  THAT would be so appreciated, if you have any kind of insight.

467562 tn?1207313036
Yep we have one installed with our heating system in our finished basement. The thing is huge.  It works up to 5,000 sq ft and does our entire house (only 4,000 sq ft).  We also change the filters on a regular basis.  It really keeps the dust down and since we installed it a few years ago we noticed a huge difference in that.  It runs non stop year round.

467562 tn?1207313036
This is the one we use and like...although the filter replacement costs are high.
We have the Amaircare Air Purifier 10000
326352 tn?1310994295
I shall look into that...THANKS so much for the rec!
Avatar universal
Yes, I use and recommend the Airsource 3000 model. If you would like I can send you some detailed info on it.

You can also check out this site: www.howtoxicisyourair.com/pbrechlin

Let me know if you have any questions.

Avatar universal
I'm a nurse and from what I've read on the subject, cat allergies associated with toddlers can result in mild to severe allergic reactions, i.e. red, itchy, watery eyes, red, itchy skin, nasal congestion, severe repetitive sneezing, coughing, and even respiratory distress. The severity of the reaction depends upon how severe the child's immune system reacts to the proteins in the cat's saliva, urine, or dander (dead skin).

The immune system just reacts to an allergen the same it would as if it were a bacteria or virus...surrounding the invading organism resulting in an immune response, i.e. swelling of the area, blood rushing to the area, itching caused by an influx of histamine...(if allergen is found in the skin), an increased production of mucus to trap the invader and not let it travel deeper into the respiratory system, i.e. the lungs. These reactions can be sometimes more severe in little children because everything is so close together due to their small frames...small nasal passages and smaller airways.

Secondly, children's immune systems are not as strong as an older child or an adult. Their immune systems are constantly getting bombarded by viruses, bacteria, and allergens because of them being in daycare, school, or in close proximity to the floor.

Allergy medicines should not be given to little children because it tends to lower their immune response and might lead to an inabilty to fight off more severe antigens, i.e. rhinovirus (common cold) and etc.

As for de-allergizing a cat..I think that is impossible! As I mentioned earlier, the allergic culprits are the proteins within the cat's saliva, urine, and skin cells.

Continually exposing your little one to the cat might lead to a chronically lowered immune system, which might lead to asthma. I say this because a person's immune system tends to remember what antigens (foreign bodies) have been inside the body and what the body needed to do to rid the invader. It is this cell memory that puts the immune system into "automatic pilot" whenever a similar antigen is detected within the body. If the white blood cells in the body have a memory, wouldn't it be logical to assume that other cells int he body have memories? Following that logic, the airways and alveoli (air sacs), can automatically react to an antigen, i.e. automatic constriction of the airways and air sacs due to the previously experienced reaction stored in their cells' memories.

So, the more children with allergies are exposed to an "allergen", the likelihood that the reaction worsens is very high!

To avoid further allergic reaction, you would have to:
* Keep the cat away from your child.
* Keep the cat away from whatever the child comes in contact with
(toys, carpet, furniture "couches, chairs, beds".
* Use a high quality air filter at all times and make sure the filter is changed frequently (every 2 weeks...NOT every 3 months!!!).
* Clean the house visorously everyday.


Get rid of the cat!

Your choice!
Avatar universal
My 2 1/2 year old was just diagnosed with a severe cat allergy that is causing her asthma and we don't even have a cat, but after talking to her teachers and friends parents we now know her exposure to cat allergens is happening in preschool/daycare.  There are three teachers in her classroom and among the three teacher there are six cats and we know some of the students have cats.  Our allergist has sent the school a letter telling them to limit her exposure to cat allergens.  Do you have ay suggestions on how I can do this when the exposure isn't happening at home?  
Avatar universal
My best advice is to wait at least 6 months and see if your child develops an immunity to your cat.  I was deathly allergic to cats, but I love cats, so I was stubborn and got one.  The first week, I was in agony from the allergies.  And, as weeks went by, I was getting better and better.  It took about six months for me to finally have no symptoms at all.  So, I actually built up an immunity.  Then, I got a second cat and felt fine.  My stepson moved in with us for a couple of years.  He was extremely allergic to my cats.  I felt so bad for him because he really loved the cats and wanted to cuddle up with them.  He was taking some Claritin back then in the beginning.  Then, we found out that he was doing fine without the Claritin.  It took several months, almost a year for him, but he is IMMUNE!  Yah.  So, it can be done.  Some people wrote to stay away from the cat, but that does not work.  You have to be exposed to the dander in order to build up the immunity.  It won't kill you.  You just have to deal with some annoying allergy symptoms for awhile, but it is worth it in the end.  Good luck!
Avatar universal
Our son's best friend is 17 years old.  He SUFFERS everyday from allergies, asthma & recently depression/suicidal thoughts & actions.  
He lives with his grandmother who has 3 cats, 2 dogs, & a very loud cockatoo in the home.
I sent him amino acids (5-HTP & Tyrosine) to help protect his brain, immune system, nervous system.  
I pray that he survives the situation he is in.  I never would have even imagined that any adults, parents, or grandparents would even consider keeping animals which can literally destroy children!  This is cruel, destructive, and has very damaging effects.  :(  I pray for him everyday.  I have never asked the grandmother to get rid of the 3 cats yet.  But I am going to begin to ask her in a very patient, kind way as she is 72 years old & told me once that she loves animals even more than people!
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