Help with Ragdoll Cat Lulu Moulting and Human Allergies

| March 16, 2015 | 16 Comments

Ragdoll Cat Lulu Moulting and Human AllergiesHelp with Ragdoll Cat Lulu Moulting and Human Allergies

Reader Deborah writes, “The weather is improving here in the UK, so naturally my kitten  (pictured today at 8 months old) is moulting, and I mean a lot!  I’ve never owned a Ragdoll before and have never seen anything like the giant volume of fur I’m combing out of her rabbit like coat.

The problem I’m having is that I suffer from allergies and Lulu’s undercoat is getting every where. My doctor has prescribed some allergy tablets for me, but even taking these, my face, especially my nose and eyes are very itchy.

I recently bought the Kong Zoom Groom which is really good and clings to her incredibly fine undercoat brilliantly so that it doesn’t fly about so much.  Luckily Lulu is happy to be groomed especially after an energetic “fetch” game and some food.  She does prefer to be groomed on my lap, so I keep a sticky clothes roller handy to clean my clothes up when we’re done.

I use a vacuum designed for use in homes with pets and always clean surfaces with a damp cloth or polish to keep dust from flying about.  My hard floors get mopped with Sanicat – a pet friendly, allergy safe liquid.

I work from home so the only real respite I get is when I go out, but with pollen allergy too that won’t work much longer.  Lulu is currently banned from the bedroom so I can sleep without breathing in kitten fur.

I have seen Ragdolls being placed for rescue due to allergies, for me this is NOT an option.  She is a loving affectionate kitten and makes me laugh, I’ve had her in my life since she was 14 weeks old.

In the 18 weeks since she came home I have dealt with territorial spraying, teething, a blocked anal gland, a toppled cat tree injury and spaying/neutering (which stopped her spraying). Surely there must be an answer to Ragdoll moulting allergy!

When I researched different cat breeds I took my 10 year old Bull Terrier into account, a relaxed, big cat like a Ragdoll seemed (and is) the best fit.  When I met Lulu, her mom and her grandma it was Autumn here, none of the cats were shedding, so I had no idea that I might be allergic, I’ve never had an allergy problem with cats in my 46 years!

Any ideas on anything else I can do?”

UPDATE after further reading about allergies:

“Lulu is a licker, any bit of my bare skin she can groom, she goes for, especially when I’m grooming her.

I never even considered it might be her saliva that was causing a problem.  May still be her fluffy undercoat.  I’m going to try being more conscience about washing my hands whenever she’s done with fuss.

Flip side of the coin, maybe my body needs to learn that Lulu is not an enemy?”

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Category: Cat Grooming

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About the Author ()

Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,

Comments (16)

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  1. Kattolio says:

    What you are allergic to is the protein in the cats saliva. I have the same problem. They groom themselves a lot and their saliva dries onto their fur. The fur sheds and we inhale small particles of it causing running noses, etc. When my cats lick my skin, I wash after to reduce the inflammation. I also have the same problem when my dogs give me kisses. You just make adjustments by washing those areas. Hope this helps. Cindy

  2. Christy says:

    My understanding is that the allergy is from the dander which can be in the fur but it’s not from the fur itself.

    I have read that animals that are fed a raw diet do not create allergens in their dander. Scientific proof? I’ve got none! I do have neighbors that are HIGHLY allergic to cats but have zero reaction when in my house so maybe it’s true?!

    On the same subject of diet, I’ve also heard that high quality EFA’s from Omega-3 intake can help (the cat should be getting it, although it might help you to take some too!).

    Get rid of upholstered furniture, carpets and rugs. Replace them with leather furniture and wood flooring (cheap, easy and totally practical right?!!!).

    Perhaps try a HEPA stand-alone air purifier and get a vacuum with a HEPA filter.

    Wash you hands every single time after touching gorgeous Lulu or anything she has touched.

    Check out immunotherapy – it’s long (about 5 years I think), time-consuming (I think something like 2 appointments a week for a while) and surely has side effects (may you’ll grow a tail?!).

    If you’re open to alternative modalities, maybe some homeopathic remedies will be of to help you: https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=homeopathic+treatment+cat+allergy&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

    Hopefully you’ll find a solution that works for you and you’re feeling better soon!

  3. DezizWorld says:

    Furst we wanna say fank you fur not givin’ her up fur adption. And she’s quite bootyful. Now bout yous allergies, it is da saliva dat gets mixed wiff hers fur. Her lickin’ you is not causing the weaction. This is why peeps fink dat short haired cats and dogs wuld be better ifin they have allergies and they’re wrong. cuz it’s always the saliva. Unfortunately you also have a dog that goes outside an brings in the pollen that then gets on Lulu’s fur and makes you have even more weactions. There is a shot series that can be given to your cat dat will make her allergen purrduction lower, however it is very spensiv and painful. And you wuld still be allergic to every udder cat in da world ifin you have those allergies. But you might want to check with your vet about it and see ifin they give them in da UK. A lot of U.S. vets won’t give the shots because it’s a series and is very spensive. And because it is painful fur yous kitty. It is also our experience that da typical cat trees sold in local pet stores and even online are not sturdy enough for a rambunctious and large Ragdoll. You should look into having one made or the larger heftier ones made by these smaller companies. they are more spensive, but well worff it as they will hold up and not fall over. good luck and thanks again fur keepin’ her as pawt of yous furmily.

    Luv ya’

    Dezi and Lexi

    • Deb Smith says:

      Thanks, the cat perches have been made safe, one now has a bag of gravel in the base box, another is secured to the wall with sturdy hook and chain. They are supposed to be for large cats. I complained to the supplier of the tree that toppled and they reimbursed all vet costs, Lulu made a great recovery.

  4. ABarletta says:

    Hi Deborah. I know whereof you speak. I am extremely allergic to cats and have two. Years ago I took allergy shots for years and they did seem to help. I will say, washing your hands religiously after contact is a huge help. If I forget, and I rub my eyes, I look like Garfield after 20 minutes and itch like heck. I do let my guys in the bedroom. I don’t have the heart to leave them crying at the bedroom door. I am currently seeing an allergist and taking something at night to help with respiratory symptoms that occur in the spring. Benadryl is great for itching eyes and skin. Pills and cream. I think maybe a dry shampoo or something might be helpful is absorbing the saliva…

  5. ABarletta says:

    p.s. I am also highly allergic to dogs. Could it be that you are too? So you are having a double reaction? When grooming, maybe wear a mask over your nose and glasses on your eyes. I found that I did get “used to” them and don’t react nearly as much as when I meet a “foreign” kitty. Also, there are coat sprays that you can put on the comb or brush that may help get rid of the saliva at each grooming. I use Chris Christiansen “Ice on Ice” for my long haired guy Sebbie. I use wipes on my short haired girl Gracei. It tends to help not only with saliva, but with static and soil, etc.

  6. plmcat says:

    if it’s really warm there i would get her clipped. if she might get chilly, get a little sweater for her. also get the lily brush, it works much better than a sticky roller for cat hair. there are also many homeopathic and supplemental herbs that you can get for allergies. here’s a good article and list from webmd..
    http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/lifestyle-guide-11/allergies-allergy i clipped my long haired, bunny haired cat last summer and he was happy and there was a lot less hair. good luck

  7. Teresa Reid says:

    Feel for you and your sweet Lulu. Have the same issues, but 30 years ago, I decided that I would not allow them to keep me from having my angels and so about 15 cats later, would tell you that having them hasn’t made any difference in my seasonal allergies even though I did test positive to their saliva as well. So, I also took injections for 3 years and became allergic to those as well. Stopped all that stuff and now take something we have here in the US that is called Flonase that is an inhaler steroid which helps better than any of that other stuff all combined.

    That said, I do vacuum about every other day in shedding season and take my sweeties outside to brush them. The birds love getting the fur for their nests and they love to be brushed outside on the table so they can see everything. Makes it a very happy time.

    So sorry you had to go through so much trauma and hope you will have a very happy life together when these things get straightened out. Just don’t give up EVER!!!!!

  8. Patti Johnson says:

    Oh, Deborah, I’m so sorry that you have such a bad allergy condition. You poor dear. ****BIG HUGS**** I totally understand what you mean about the moulting and the cat fur literally invading every single inch of your home. It’s EVERYWHERE. All. The. Time. I vacuum, I dust, I groom Our Girl and when it’s all done I find new “fluffies” everywhere it seems. Thank goodness The Moulting Season does come and go. However, anyone with a long haired cat is going to have to learn to live with the shedding I think. It’s unavoidable. It’s the only downfall of lurving these wonderful, special creatures called Ragdolls. To us, it’s worth a few floating “fluffies” and having to pull a cat hair out of our mouth every now and then. But we are lucky enough to not suffer any allergies.

    I pray that you can find a solution that will work for your condition, honey. I truly do. And….your Lulu is One Gorgeous Gal!!!!

    Big hugs!

    Patti & Miss Pink Sugarbelle (aka Queen Of The Fluffles) 🙂 <3

    • Deb Smith says:

      Thanks Patti, I of course agree that Lulu is gorgeous, Biased, moi?

      I was offered the pick of the litter and this sweet kitten choose me and simply fell asleep in my arms while I talked to the breeder, I sometimes look at the photo and can’t believe she was ever that tiny!

      My late siamese slept on my pillow and drank from my bedside water glass (I know this ‘cus I caught her at it one night, had no idea how long it had been going on, so thought – not dead yet, let her get on with it), never an allergy problem.

      Perhaps the Ragdoll affectionate nature, head bumping, licking, wanting to be where you are ALL the time is the problem – Nah, it’s adorable!

      I’ll just keep on grooming and cleaning……

      • Patti Johnson says:

        Years and years ago we had a little Desert Lynx & Serengeti cross bred girl we called Tiny Tina (she was just so tiny compared to our other full Desert Lynx girls we had at the time). Tiny Tina lurved to drink from my ice water glass All The Time. And, I shared it with her. I figured we both had strong enough immune systems. Of course, she actually thought my water was HERS. She made have been Tiny but she was Mighty in the way she behaved. lol 🙂

        Wishing you a successful solution to your allergies, hon. Truly. <3

        Big hugs!

        Patti & Miss Pink Sugarbelle 🙂 <3

  9. Deb Smith says:

    Thanks to all for your helpful comments and support.. I do wear glasses all the time and last year invested in some photochromic wrap around Oakleys for every day wear – they have made an amazing differance to being outdoors in spring and summer, some how those pesky fine wavy hairs still get my lashes.

    Lulu was weaned on raw and Matilda my dog changed to raw when the kitten arrived.

    Leather furniture, yep, have that, a bit scratched in places by my previous cat, HEPA filters, yep, you don’t share your home with fluffy and hairy creatures without a vacuum that can cope!

    I do draw the line at clipping her, she’d look silly and be the laughing stock of the district.

    In my lunch break I went to my local pet store and got some wipes, have them ready and waiting for when she comes looking for her post nap fuss.

    Thanks again all, and thanks Jenny for allowing me to raise this on your site. If anyone wants to buy Kleenex shares now is a good time…….

    Deb

  10. Deb Smith says:

    Quick update for all you lovely people, just booked a deep allergy friendly (for me and my four legged friends) clean for the few carpeted rooms in my house. Leaving it until 1st May, hope the fluff will be minimal by then. If the company is decent I may make it a regular thing. Lovely pet shop owner suggested when I walked in “looking like Garfield” – loved that description – soooo true!

    • Patti Johnson says:

      That’s great, Deb! Wishing you luck with this! I hope it makes a big difference for you!

      Big hugs!

      Patti & Miss Pink Sugarbelle 🙂 <3

      • Deb Smith says:

        A couple of people have posted that homeopathy can help. I totally agree, I had a serious allergy to eggs as a kid. Not deadly, but I have no idea what an egg tastes like to this day. My mom was and is a great cook and very slowly introduced egg into my diet, to a level that I can tolerate it.

        European holidays have been a problem, especially Italy – fresh pasta and good ice cream. Yum! I take time to learn enough of the language to speak to the chef. Allergies are part of my life, they weren’t even fashionable when I was a kid. My grandma once said ” if she doesn’t know she’s eating it….”

        Developing an allergy to something you love is rubbish!

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