How do I deal with a cat allergy when suffering with Bronchiectasis?

I have Bronchiectasis which has recently worsened, but for over twenty years I have suffered continual cold and bug like symptoms which despite numerous tests, remained undiagnosed. By chance I did an online allergy test. I was asked to include pet hair which I did reluctantly as I have lived with cats most of my life and thought there was not a problem.

Unfortunately, the result of the test was that I was allergic to the pet hair. I have three cats, two are elderly but the other was a stray I brought into my home in February and the vet thinks he is about five. I am now in an awful situation. If I needed further proof, last week I stayed in a cat-free environment and my symptoms improved enormously. Are there any Bronchiectasis sufferers out there who have found themselves in this predicament? If so, any advice would be greatly appreciated. I could easily re-home the newcomer, he is a beautiful Birman and my cat sitter has already said she would take him like a shot, (this would be very painful for me of course) but the two old'uns who are 16 yrs could not possibly be subjected to rehoming at their advanced years. They came with my husband and I think he would prefer me to leave rather than his two beloved cats.

18 Replies

  • Perhaps you are going to have to be selfish! I would strongly suggest you keep your bedroom as cat free as you can from now on!

    There are allergy specialist out there! Perhaps you need to talk to blf helpline!

  • Hi Kevi,

    An allergy specialist sounds promising! Will start Googling!

  • Yep Kick Cats Out And Husband :)

    But No Seriously My Lung Specialist Thought My Condition Was Brought On By Cats ... But Mine Died Five Years Ago ... So No Couldn't Of Been That ... Mine Must Of Been Asbestos Fibers

    But Did Hear Jack Russells Are Bad Pets To Own If You Have Lung Condition .... Only Thing I Can Suggest Is Get Your Fella To Groom Cats Out Side

  • Thanks for your advice re brushing. Hubby will need a spot of retraining before he deems brushing and litter tray changing his domain but I will work on it!

  • Hello Ravenswing, I'm an animal lover myself so this would be very hard for me but I think you need to rehome the newest one, especially as you have a loving home for him to go to. The only thing I can suggest with the old timers is to get your husband to groom them every day if possible to keep the dander down as much as possible and, again, to hoover every day.. What a terrible dilemma for you. I do hope you can find a happy solution. George

  • Hello George,

    Thank you for your reply. There are so many people who can't stand cats so you can't help asking,'why me???' Yes,the new boy I'm sure is making things worse as he constantly licks and washes himself,probably due to anxiety as he was obviously ill-treated before he was kicked out. It is cat saliva that causes the problem apparently. I am taking antihistamines daily now and I will also try an air purifier but it looks as though I will have to part with the adorable Jasper as he could easily live for another 15 years.


  • I have to echo what George says. Rotten decisions to make and I don't envy you.

  • Almost as bad as getting rid of your child. They are such sweet, dependent little chaps.

  • Could you ask your gp for a cat allergy test....just to make sure.

    Both my daughter and I have had the test, and she is allergic to them.

    We always had cats but I am ok with them... but still wheeze now they have died of old age.

    The weird thing is the 3 cats were always coughing and wheezing too...the last one I had was diagnosed with asthma! Maybe they were allergic to house dust like me.

  • Yes, they have allergies to contend with too. I have made appt with GP for tomorrow and will have another test to be 101 per cent sure. House is a tricky allergy isn't it?

    How on earth can you avoid it? Have you tried air purifiers? I wonder how effective they are.

  • Feel for you Ravenswing I love cats too but couldnt have one as my daughter's been allergic to pet hair and household dust since she was a child.

    Now that I have this Bronchiectasis I'm glad I don't have your dilema.

    Hope you find a solution.

  • Thank you,Delia,

    Can just ask what were your daughter's symptoms before you realised she had an allergy?

    As my own were nothing like 'normal' allergy symptoms it has taken over 20 yrs to find the cause and I am interested to know how her own allergy presented itself.

  • Groom the cats outdoors wearing a dust mask and glasses or goggles. Have two bowls of water. Use one to drop the groomings into and the other to moisten the comb and brush before each use.

    Next cats make sure they are Cornish Rex...

    Of course, you could save yourself and shave the cats.

  • Thanks for that Brian. Have just read it out to cats' in question and they look very unamused!

  • It's for their own good. No more fleas, no more grooming, no wet fur when it rains and your breathing improves. Show them a picture of the Cornish Rex.

    If shaving seems harsh, try Immac or that thing they advertise on tele Oh No or something. Gets rid of their embarising whiskers.

  • Just found them huddled in the corner with my mobile, ringing the RSPCA!

  • See your disease is acute. One week away from the cats environment will do no good. For that matter you can help your self a little if you did away with your love( cats). At the end of the day you must admit to the fact that it's a killer disease. Even i have been suffering with bro' tisis. Well buddy best of luck to ourselves.

  • Warmer weather helping, can have doors and windows open at least.

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