If you're worried that your children will be allergic to the cat you're thinking about adopting, there are a few things you can do to verify your suspicions. Consider using one or more of the following tips:
Spend Some Time at the Animal Shelter
An effective way to test the waters and see if your children exhibit any cat allergies is to spend some time at your local animal shelter caring for the resident cats. Whether it's for one hour or an entire day, you and your kids will make a positive difference in the lives of the cats while seeing if any allergy symptoms develop during the visit. If you notice that one or more of your kids get watery eyes, a stuffy nose, or a skin rash while at the animal shelter, there is a good chance that they're allergic to the cats.
It's important to make sure that none of your children have a cold or other health issues when you visit the animal shelter or you might mistake any cold symptoms they already have for cat allergies.
Babysit a Cat for a Friend or Family Member
Another easy way to determine whether your kids will suffer from allergy symptoms if you adopt a family cat is to babysit a cat for a few days when a friend or family member will be away from home. It would be best to babysit the cat at their residence instead of bringing it into yours. This way if a child does have allergies, you won't have to worry about cleaning all the cat dander and saliva out of your home to provide them with relief.
Spend a couple hours a day at the cat's residence so your kids can play with it and groom it. If any allergy symptoms start to show up, you can remove your kids from the environment and finish the babysitting job yourself. If the cat does have to stay at your home, choose just one room for them to live in while visiting. This will keep the rest of your house free of pet allergens so your kids don't have to spend time in the same room as the cat and suffer if they end up being allergic.
Visit a Pet Allergy Specialist
If your child does start to show signs of cat allergies when you visit an animal shelter or babysit a friend's furry family member, it's a good idea to visit a pet allergy specialist. The specialist will determine whether the allergies really are due to cats or if there is another allergen source to look into. You may find that your child isn't allergic after all, or that your pet allergy specialist can provide treatments that will minimize keep the allergy symptoms if you decide to adopt a cat after all.
For more information, contact a company like Oak Brook Allergists.