Dilemma: daughter needs her therapy cat but baby sibling is allergic to cats

A teenage girl who lived with foster parents moved in with her real parents in 2019. Before the move she adopted a kitten. Her parents agreed that it would calm her down.

She bonded with the kitten and the relationship calmed her. She said, “I bonded quickly and she helped me a lot with adjusting.”

Dilemma as one daugher needs her cat for therapy while the other is allergic to cats

Dilemma as one daugher needs her cat for therapy while the other is allergic to cats. THIS IS NOT THE GIRL IN QUESTION. Image by Елизавета Ливертовская from Pixabay (modified).


The idea of adopting a cat went well as it greatly benefited the teenager. Things changed for the worse when her parents had a child. The baby was diagnosed as being allergic to cats which made the baby ill.

A dilemma presented itself. How to find a compromise that satisfied the baby’s need to be free of the cat because of the allergy and the teenager’s need to interact with the cat as a coping mechanism?

The teenager has been criticised as being selfish for not relinquishing the cat to a shelter. She refuses to as the cat is too important to her. She is keeping the cat in one room of the home and away from the other areas. It did not work as the baby still became sick due to the cat’s allergen Fel D 1.

Fel d 1 structure

Fel d 1 structure. Pic in public domain.

Apparently her parents also say that she is being selfish in not agreeing to relinquish her cat which keeps the child sick.

A compromise is there somewhere. Firstly thinking about the cat, it is untenable for the cat to live in one room for years as a compromise. It is a compromise built on giving her cat a poor life.

The obvious solution is to rehome the cat but that’s unacceptable to the teenager. I would firstly get a second or third opinion on whether the baby is becoming ill because of an allergy to cats. I have not heard of a child becoming generally sick because of an allergy.

Once the allergy is confirmed, I would try the new anti-allergy cat food called Purina LiveClear. It is getting a bit of a reputation as being useful in reducing the amount of Fel D 1 allergen released into the atmosphere. One Reddit user endorses it:

“I use Purina Liveclear and it works!!!! Dander and saliva is DOWN and if you can get some Allerpet spray (on amazon) and spritz your kitty down a bit when you comb them. I can shove my face into cats and NOT SNIFFLE.”

I have a page on the product which you can read by clicking here.

This would be a nice compromise if it worked as all three parties would benefit namely the teenager, her baby sibling and the cat. This needs to be tried before a more dramatic solution is employed which can only be the removal of the cat to a new home via a cat shelter. That solution would not be the end of the world for the teenager as she could find alternative ways to cope. There are other ways and her GP and a therapist might be able to guide her.

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Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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2 Responses

  1. Cat's Meow says:

    What happens if the cat is rehome, and the baby remains sick? Get a try medical diagnosis before condemning the cat. Then try all the alternatives first.

    My sister is VERY allergic to cats BUT she owns many, fosters more, and rescues/TNRs even more. She takes allergy meds and deals with the rest.

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