I’m very sad.
It seems apparent now that I have been having an allergic reaction to Smacky. It may be something else, possibly my new apartment, but since the time between moving in to my new place and getting Smacky was only a few months, it’s hard to tell which may be the cause.
The symptoms have been a persistent nasal drip, congestion in the chest and throat, itchy eyes and throat… all the typical symptoms. The symptoms have been affecting my regular exercise and running. I haven’t been able to run as fast or as far while being unable to breathe. Strange, huh? (Sarcasm alert)
At first I thought it was a cold but it hasn’t gone away, and I notice it far more when I’m at home and particularly around Smacky.
I don’t recall ever having a reaction to cats like I’ve been having, though. I’ve been avoiding thinking about it, because I do not want to have to give Smacky up. But in researching it (thank you, InterWeb!) I’ve discovered that I chose exactly the wrong kind of cat — turns out male, dark-colored, shorthair cats produce the strongest allergic reaction.
Well, that’s not entirely true — unaltered males produce the least amount of allergic reactions. So I’m going to finally get Smacky neutered. He’s not going to like it, but it’s necessary. Even if I give Smacky away, I’m going to get him neutered. Shelters won’t take him otherwise. But hopefully having him altered will decrease my reaction to him to the point where I can keep him.
Other things I’ll look into are changing the cat litter I’m using. I do notice a strong reaction around his litterbox. I’ll see if I can find another type.
The worst part is, I now need to clean my apartment waaaaaaaaaaay more often than I’m used to! That sucks. But I suppose it’s a benefit, too. Bleah.
Other online suggestions I’ve found are replacing carpets with wooden flooring and using air filters. I’ll think about getting a filter for the bedroom. I have started keeping Smacky out of the bedroom, which is also sad.
I have been bathing him regularly but I understand there are specific shampoos for reducing the amount of allergens cats produce; I’ll try one of those, too.
If anyone has any tips, post ’em on this comment.