It’s so hard when your close friends can’t hang out at your house because your best friend, the cat, lives there. If you do decide to have allergic buds over, there are a few ways you can help mitigate their potential allergic reactions a bit.
First of all, TELL THEM about the cat. There are a wide variety of reactions that someone with allergies can have, from mild to potentially deadly. Or even just really annoying and unpleasant. It’s their decision to risk it; if they decide they will, here’s some stuff you can do to make their visit a more bearable experience.
Vacuum early, not day of
If you have people coming over and they are alergic [sic] to your cats, don’t vacuum the house the day of, vacuum the day before. If you vacuum the day of, it will throw dander into the air and will make it worse for them!
Stirring up the air right before someone walks into your space is a bad idea when the air is full of particles that make them sick. Instead, clean the day before and let the remaining dust settle. Some commenters suggested that the OP just doesn’t have a quality vacuum, and a better one would suck up the dust and dander rather than just stir it up, but they insist that even a vacuum with an amazing filter will “throw up stuff” into the air. Better safe than sorry.
Have a safe place to sit
The comments on this tip were full of other helpful suggestions; for example, u/slytherpuffenclaw recommends having a designated chair that is less susceptible to absorbing dander:
Additional tip: have a chair on hand that ISN’T fabric to offer them for a seat. Not sitting on a fabric chair may prevent their allergies or buy them time before allergies bother them.
And u/Fleshfeast, who has a cat allergy, agrees this works:
This. I’ll have an asthma attack within half an hour if I come into contact with carpet or fabric that a cat has been on. I can sit in a metal or wooden chair in a cat house for an hour or two and be OK though, as long as the cat isn’t present.
Cats are also more attracted to sitting on fluffy, cloth-covered things, and might be less likely to spend time sitting on a chair without something cosy on it. They really know how to live luxuriously.
Yesterday was International Cat Day, and the perfect way to celebrate is by enjoying the company of a local feline. Sadly, cat allergies prevent some cat admirers from enjoying their adorable smooshy faces.
But even if you’re terribly allergic, there are steps you can take to help alleviate symptoms and enjoy every day with these volatile furballs.
Have a No Cat room
This is not something I could do in my apartment, but for people with more space, the luxury of a “no cat” room is the perfect solution; your allergic friends are safe and there’s a place in the house where you can go without getting hair on your pants. It’s what u/monster_mentalissues does:
We have a room in our house that’s no pets allowed so if our friends with furbaby allergies come over they have a safe spot to hangout in.
The only hard part there is that in my experience the cat always knows exactly what room it’s not allowed in and spends as much time standing at the door as possible. Watch your feet going in and out!
Check your filters
Do you have an air purifier or access to your furnace filter? Check them, clean them, and if you can, replace them. Then run them, as u/im_not_a_grill suggests:
Also, change your furnace filter to a high quality HEPA one and run your furnace fan all day to help clear the air in your house.
While you’re at it, open the windows.
Keep allergy medication in the house
It can take a while for allergy medication to kick in, and it’s possible your guest has already prepared themselves by taking an antihistamine before coming over. But it doesn’t hurt to have a non-drowsy antihistamines on hand, just in case they decide they need it.
Have a backup plan
If your friend with cat allergies is nice enough to try to hang at your house, be nice enough to have a plan for where you could go if it’s not working. A nearby coffee shop, a park, a bar — just have a Plan B in mind. Make sure to check in and ask how they’re feeling. Be ready to leave the house, and the cat, behind for the day.