How to reduce cat allergies without medication

The information posted on this blog is based on the author’s personal experience. What works for some pets may not be right for you and yours. Please consult your veterinarian for all of your pet’s health, wellness, dietary, and behavioural issues.

Love cats, but cuddling them with your cat allergies results in itchy red eyes and never-ending sneezing? 

Yet you still spend hours watching funny cat videos on Youtube, dreaming of adopting your own cat one day. 

Your allergies come from more than just cat hair – cat saliva, skin cells and other proteins all play a part in causing your immune system to go haywire. 

After taking in a litter GEARS foster kittens, I learned a thing or two about reducing these allergens to alleviate my cat allergy symptoms.

The following steps can help make your dream come true – with a little preparation, you can happily coexist with furry friends, even without allergy medication!

STEP 1: Create an allergen-free zone

Make your bedroom a cat-free zone.

Having an allergen-free place to sleep or relax will greatly decrease your chance of waking up puffy eyes and sneezing.

Ditch the scented candles and plugin air fresheners.

Both of these – primarily when using artificial scents – can exacerbate allergy symptoms, sending your immune system into havoc when cats are added to the mix.

Cover heating or air conditioning vents with cheese cloth.

Do this in your cat-free zone to reduce the dandruff and hair getting into your allergen-free sanctuary.

Swap soft fabrics for leathers, plastics or wood.

Soft upholstery can trap dander (and triple the time you spend cleaning). Leather, pleather, or wood furniture are best for your pet-friendly home.

Eliminate more dander-traps by:

  • Getting rid of any rugs.
  • Washing your blankets in hot water to eliminate allergens.
  • Switching your curtains for blinds.

STEP 2: Wash your hands often!

This one is a no brainer – don’t forget to wash your hands after petting your cat and before you touch your face.

STEP 3: Invest in a HEPA Air Filter

While pricey, this investment will be a total game changer when living with cat allergies.

The Honeywell HPA160C True HEPA Allergen Remover is the same air purifier (a.k.a. lifesaver) I used when living with 9 kittens in a basement suite. 

If you have carpet, invest in a vacuum with a HEPA filter too!

STEP 4: Reduce dander on your cat

No bath, no problem! Use pet-friendly wipes or a damp microfiber cloth to reduce dander on your cat.

Ensure you feed your cat a balanced diet. A healthy diet = healthy skin, and less dander!

Also find a friend to brush your cat outdoors (or wear a dust-mask). 

STEP 5: Get your non-allergic best friend/partner/roommate/mom to clean your cat litter   

OK, this one might be a bit of a long-shot. If you can’t bribe anyone into helping you out, make sure you purchase hypo-allergenic litter brands such as Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Ultra Premium Clumping Cat Litter.

This litter is 99.9% dust free and low-tracking – so your feline friends don’t leave a trail of allergens and litter around your house after doing their business. 

STEP 6: Foster a cat in need

If you’re not sure you’re ready to adopt, fostering with GEARS is the best alternative.

GEARS foster parents are either temporary or long-term. Temporary fosters care for the animal for a few days or weeks, while our long-term fosters care for the animal until it’s adopted.

If your allergies are too strong to own a cat full-time, being a temporary foster can be a great way to experience life with a furry friend without sacrificing your health. 

A temporary foster cares for our foster animals when our long-term fosters need a babysitter or vacation. GEARS covers all costs and supplies, and only places you with animals that are best for you and your living situation.

You can learn more about temporary fostering cats at

The Greater Edmonton Animal Rescue Society is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. Amazon offers a small commission on products sold through their affiliate links. Each of your purchases via our Amazon affiliate links supports our cause at no additional cost to you. We only recommend products we use and love. These commissions help us provide our foster animals with veterinary care, supplies and more.

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About the authors

This blog is written and maintained by GEARS volunteers! We are a mix of animal behaviour enthusiasts, storytellers, adoptive parents, and just plain animal lovers.

Do you have a great GEARS “Happily Ever After” story to share? Are you an expert on dog/cat training methods? We’d love to have you guest post! Send an email to [email protected]

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