Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Hypoallergenic cats?

I am severely allergic to cats (upon entering a house, I can tell within 10 minutes if there is a cat in residence), so I cannot fathom why anyone would actively expose themselves to the direct source of an allergen. But I know lots of people who do. People who go through their life sneezing and wheezing, taking medicine for their runny noses and asthma, rather than go without the companionship of their cat(s). So if you are one of those people who are willing to forgo personal comfort for the sake of your pet, here's a new book for you: The Sneeze-Free Cat Owner, by Diane Morgan. She gives lots of practical advice about how to tamp down the allergic reaction through bathing (the cat, not you), neutering (ditto), and grooming. She also has suggestions for different cat breeds that are less prone to producing the allergen protein in their saliva. At the risk of offending legions of cat fanciers, I have to say that the Sphynx cat (which is hairless) seems to have crossed the line from unattractive into downright repellent, but I'm sure they have lovely personalities. Another handy tip when considering a cat: females make less of the allergen than males. So if you, or someone you know, is a suffering cat owner, check out this book.

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