Give up dream to rescue cats or give up your partner?

The title is simplified but this is another story about friendships or partnerships becoming stressed over the domestic cat. In a previous post I mentioned the stresses that can happen between long established friends if one allows their cat outside unsupervised and the other doesn’t believe in that type of cat caregiving.

In this instance, a woman has held a lifelong dream to rescue elderly cats and provide them with a home until the end of their life. She has cherished this goal for many years it seems to me and wants to hang onto it. She has finally arrived at the moment financially when she can afford to turn her dream into a reality.

Partnership under stress over one being allergic to cats and the other wanting to rescue cats
Partnership under stress over one being allergic to cats and the other wanting to rescue cats. This is a deliberately funky image to illustrate the article.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

However, her partner is allergic to cats and he, on my reading and understanding of the story, is intransigent about allowing his partner to rescue elderly cats from shelters. About him she says, “He does not seem to think there is any future in which I could get a cat and for us to remain together. I understand his feelings, but I am finding it hard to let go of my lifelong dream. What do I do?”

I don’t think the agony aunt, Eleanor Gordon-Smith writing in The Guardian newspaper, actually provides the advice that this person is seeking. She talks about the problem but doesn’t provide an answer. Perhaps there is no answer. But I think there is.


The bottom line is that it comes down to choosing between rescuing cats and having cats around you and living your life as fully as possible (for the person concerned) or living with your partner who based on what I have read, shouldn’t be so intransigent. I don’t think he is being ameliorative enough. What I mean is I don’t think he’s looking for a solution. He is simply digging his heels in and saying no to allowing his partner to express her dream.

So, I think she should say goodbye to him. It’ll be tough. We don’t know how long the partnership has been in place. Perhaps it isn’t as sound a partnership as it might be anyway. So, it might not be a great loss to her.

Certainly, she has one chance to express this dream and make it come to fruition. She will have another chance to meet a person who could be a new partner for her. That would be my argument.

You shouldn’t get to the end of your life with regrets. A regret that you didn’t do something that you dreamt about doing all your life. You’ve got to maximise your life. That’s the old mantra which we read a lot on the Internet and in the self-help books. I don’t by self-help books but it’s common knowledge that you got one chance at life and you got to maximise it.

She is not married to this man which makes it a little bit easier to say goodbye to him. I can’t find information about how long the average unmarried partnership last in the UK. It must vary tremendously. I’m trying to be businesslike about this to find an answer. She has a choice between him and her cats as I see it. Or there might be a third way….

Finding a compromise

If he was a little bit better as a partner he would find a solution. Perhaps one like this: a person allergic to cats can live with cats. You can do certain things. You can suppress the feline allergen that causes the allergy in people by giving cats a dry cat food designed for that purpose. That’s one thing.

You could live in a house which is separated into two compartments; in one there are the cats that have been rescued and in the other this man lives. You can be fastidious about vacuuming the home to minimise the feline allergen, Fel D1, floating around the room. You can use an air purifier with a filter which filters out the Fel D1 allergen which normally floats around on bits of dander and becomes deposited on furniture and the floor.

These are top of the head thoughts which I’ve arrived at while dictating this. The point is you could do some more research on that. Here are some further thoughts on this topic of suppressing the allergen. Some of them overlap with the above.

How can a person allergic to cats live with cats?

Living with cats when you have allergies can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. Here are some tips that might help:

  1. Keep the cat out of your bedroom: Create an allergen-free zone to ensure better sleep and reduced symptoms.
  2. Use high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters: These can help trap dander and reduce airborne allergens in your home.
  3. Clean frequently: Vacuuming with a HEPA filter and dusting can remove allergens from surfaces.
  4. Bathe and groom your cat regularly: This can reduce the amount of dander your cat spreads.
  5. Wash your hands after handling your cat: This prevents spreading allergens to your face and other surfaces.
  6. Consider hardwood floors instead of carpet: Carpets can trap allergens more than hard surfaces.
  7. Use allergen-reducing products: There are sprays and wipes designed to reduce pet allergens.
  8. Consult with an allergist: They can provide personalized advice and may recommend treatments like allergy shots.

Remember, the effectiveness of these strategies can vary based on the severity of your allergies and individual circumstances. It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the best approach for you.

RELATED: Allergy to cats VERSUS mild common cold symptoms

There is a solution. But above all this person should fulfill her dream now that she has the chance to do so.

Note: I have presumed that the person is female. This may be incorrect.

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