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C2008-37

Dear Christopher Cat

My daughter’s boyfriend is allergic to cats, and he’ll soon visit for the weekend. How can we make him comfortable without banishing our cat to a boarding kennel?

Christopher Responds

First, let him know about your cat, so he can seek advice from the physician who treats his allergies.

Next, remove as much cat hair and dander from the guest room as possible, and keep your cat out once it’s clean.

If your cat tolerates it, give him a bath. I refuse to let Mom bathe me, but some cats are not as proud as I.

Consider applying an anti-allergen product such as Allerpet/C to your cat. It helps some people, although a formal study showed it did not decrease Fel d 1 levels in the air.

Fel d 1 is the protein we cats produce that triggers human allergies.

In the study, 24 cats were divided into four groups.

One group was treated with Allerpet/C. Group 2 received acepromazine, a tranquilizer once thought to minimize cat allergens. Group 3 was bathed weekly, and Group 4 received no treatment.

Throughout the eight-week study, each group of cats released the same amount of Fel d 1 into the air.

According to another study, you humans are less allergic to light-colored cats than dark cats. So, depending on your kitty’s color, your houseguest might not sneeze as much as you fear.

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