How To Get Rid Of Cat Allergies Forever
Are you sick of taking allergy medication everyday? You can try cat-proofing remedies at home such as getting an air purifier or a vacuum for cat hair (these are my recommended air purifier and vacuum with HEPA filter 99.9% that I use).
The short answer to getting rid of cat allergies forever is allergy immunotherapy. Many people who suffer from allergies to cats don’t know how to get rid of cat allergies forever, because they’ve never talked to a doctor about it. But there are precautions you should know when considering if it’s for you.
Allergy immunotherapy is basically allergy shots. It’s not guaranteed to work to reverse all allergies like allergy to food, but it has a high probability of working for allergies to pollen, bee stings, dust mites, and pet dander. Woo hoo!
So why doesn’t everyone get it? Mostly because it’s costly, very-time consuming, and most people hate getting shots. (I like getting shots, particularly seeing the needle go into my vein, but I’ve been told this is not normal.)
Here’s what you need to know about allergy shots as a method to get rid of cat allergies forever, and make your own determination as to whether it’s for you.
How Do Allergy Shots Work?
Allergy shots, or allergy immunotherapy, is basically like a vaccine. A vaccine contains a small dose of virus and exposes to your body so that your body gets used to it. Similarly, allergy shots contain a small dose of the thing you’re allergic to so that your body doesn’t freak out and starts to consider it a friend, not a foe, upon exposure.
The difference between a regular vaccine and allergy shots is that you have to gradually increase the dose of the allergy shots for your body to start building immunity around it. This is so that when you’re constantly exposed to it in high doses like at home around your cats if you have cat allergies, your body doesn’t react to the cat dander.
How Many Allergy Shots Do You Need to Get?
Typically, you’d get small doses of the allergen, with gradually increasing doses every 2 to 4 weeks for 12 months. Then once your body is well-equipped to take on the cat dander without reaction, you will get a dose of the allergy shot ever 3 to 5 years thereafter to do a similar treatment all over again.
As you can see, it’s quite a commitment. When the doses start increasing, you need to get several shots at one visit. So if you hate needles, this definitely ain’t for you. You might be looking at around 100 shots in total throughout your immunotherapy journey. Most people purportedly stop going because it’s so time-consuming.
Are Allergy Shots Safe? Are There Any Risks?
For the most part, allergy shots are safe. But because you’re exposing your body to that very thing your body is allergic to, you could react to it. Surprise, surprise! You’re required to stay at the doctor’s office for half an hour after the shot each time to make sure you don’t react.
In the area you got the shot, you’ll see redness and swelling.
There is a rare life-threatening risk of anaphylaxis, which is low blood pressure and trouble breathing. It usually shows up within 30 minutes of the allergy shots but sometimes could take longer for the symptoms.
How Much Does Cat Allergy Shots Cost?
Allergy shots are anywhere from $25 – $100 each time you go. If you go go 25 times in the first year and let’s say it’s $50 each time, that’s $1,250. Then 3 to 5 years later, your treatment might be only 15 shots, so that would be $750.
So, basically an estimated cost of allergy shots is $800 – $1000 for one year’s worth, repeated every 3 to 5 years.
It sounds expensive, but if you’re taking allergy medication every day of your life, allergy shots might actually more cost effective. For example, Zyrtec D which works the best for my allergies is $30 for 12 pills (one pill per day). For a year’s worth, I need to purchase 30 of those boxes. That’s $900 for one year.
At least with immunotherapy, you spend a grand every 3 to 5 years. Something to think about.
Who Should I Ask About Getting Cat Allergy Shots?
Many people ask whether they can give themselves the shots or get a family or friend to give them the shot at home to save money. (Not a problem for my Canadian friends where it’s free for doctor’s visits, although the problem is it may take forever to get a doctor’s appointment.)
Although allergy shots are safe for the most part, doctors recommend you have medical supervision just in case your body reacts severely.
So, make an appointment with your doctor and get them to refer you to an allergist to start the process.
The good news is that you can live with cats even if you’re allergic, because there is a way to get rid of cat allergies forever!
The bad news is that you will basically have to become a junkie and shoot up consistently for a year and then every 3 to 5 years. It’s a huge time commitment so if you’re barely managing your time right now, you might want to wait until you have more time on your hands for a year.
Allergy shots are also quite costly. It’ll basically cost you around a thousand dollars for each year’s worth of immunotherapy, every 3 to 5 years. But it might actually be more cost effective than taking allergy medication everyday for the rest of your life, because those bad boys are not cheap.
If you can’t stand even the sight of needles, let alone the needle injecting you, immunotherapy is not for you. You need to get butt loads of shots throughout this journey. But don’t worry. There are other methods you can take to reduce your allergic reaction to cats and that means, there is still a way for you to live with cats even if you have allergies.
Thanks for reading! I hope you found this helpful and that you find the right path for you to be able to live with cats allergy-free.