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Topic: question for those with cat/smoke allergies.

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Subject: question for those with cat/smoke allergies.
Date Posted: 11/14/2011 9:49 PM ET
Member Since: 6/24/2007
Posts: 159
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I did a search first and didn't find anything helpful, so, I'm asking.

I know allergies vary in strength, some people just can't pet cats and some people can't go near other people who have cats.

1. How long would a household have to be cat-free before you would consider it ok to send out a book to someone with an allergy condition in their book requests?

I USED to have a cat.  She died over a year ago.  She was a short hair cat and I don't see cat hair in my house anymore.

Also, my older daughter has a mild cat dander allergy, as does my mother, and neither of them show signs of their allergies being affected when they stay overnight.

2.  Neither I nor my husband smoke and I can't STAND the smell of cigarettes.  However, my husband's grown nephew is staying with us for a few months, and he smokes outside. 

Am I ok to send out books as long as they are kept away from his room?  (cause I know how the smoke smell clings to a person's clothes.)

Or would I be better off not taking a chance.   My nose is very sensitive, I have a toddler and I can smell her diaper from across the house. *grin*  I can't stand nasty smells - smoke, poo, skunk, mildew, etc.

Thank you in advance for your feedback!!!

Date Posted: 11/14/2011 10:30 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2007
Posts: 15,226
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For 1, I would say that any books you've aquired after you had the kitty would be fine to send unless their RC paints a picture of a pretty severe allergy. I highly doubt you have cat dander floating through the air in your house a year later. (Of course you could just go adopt another cat and turn down all RCs wink)

For 2, As someone who has a "current household" smoking RC and is very sensitive to it, I would have no problems getting a book from you. Your home is not subjected to him long term, so the smell shouldn't be able to settle into all the fabrics of the home like it would with a resident smoker. I would suspect he is also going to be pretty good about it since you are so sensitive. If I got a book from you and asked about a smoke smell, if you gave me that explanation I'd be pefectly fine with it. I would say that any RCs asking for a book to have never been subjected to smoke should probably be turned down.

Date Posted: 11/15/2011 3:13 AM ET
Member Since: 9/22/2010
Posts: 3,691
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smoking environment or smell

This has been hashed over in other threads. I can receive numerous fire ant bites or stings and, while uncomfortable for awhile, I get over it. Someone who has an allergy to insect bites might be stung once and die.  (Note: the red imported fire ant both bites and stings.) The same with tobacco...

Many of us who have allergies to tobacco smoke cannot tolerate anything with it, no matter how faint it might be to others. I have gotten a headache from an ash tray full of butts I didn't even know was in the room.  Tobaco smoke is attracted to other materials and binds with them. Your nephew may smoke outside, but he brings the smoke inside on his clothing and hair.  If you send a book to someone with a "no smoking environment" request you risk being told it smelled of tobacco and losing your credit.

Last Edited on: 11/15/11 10:17 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/15/2011 7:32 AM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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Angela, thank you for being considerate and caring enough to try to clarify this issue.

What Thomas said -- most "non-smoking" RCs will be along the lines of "not in a smoking environment", and you don't qualify with your nephew there.  Yes, I know he's only smoking outside, but, as you noted, it still comes in with him and clings to everything.  As someone who has a tobacco-RC myself, I would hope you'd decline my RCs based on your current situation.  Since it is a health issue for folks, it would be best to decline and not take a risk.

When your nephew moves out and things have aired out a bit, you can re-evaluate.

And I agree with Melanie that adopting a new cat would solve the cat hair issue (and be lots of fun) devil



Date Posted: 11/15/2011 10:56 AM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2006
Posts: 4,985
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If you're really torn about the idea, you can always decline.  I never feel bad declining RCs if I'm not sure, since I know I am next in line to be requested, and I usually get another request for the book fairly soon. 


As far as the cat allergies go, can't help you there.  I'm slightly allergic to cats myself (I'm a 1 on a scale of 1 to 5 according to my allergist).  But as you can see my from signature line, I have two (very spoiled) kittys in my home anyway.  Doesn't really bother me, even if I am "allergic".  So cat dander a year later?  It's hard to say.  I think someone would have to be really, really sensitive to it. 

Date Posted: 11/15/2011 11:39 AM ET
Member Since: 1/1/2009
Posts: 1,924
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 I would decline both. 

Dander can get in the oddest of places and even when moving, it can move with you. (ask me how I know! LOL) 

As for smoking, my sister stayed with us these past few months and she smoked outside as well however the smell got everywhere, even my own hair at times smelled like it. I got used to it for the most part and stopped noticeing. Friends however who came over noticed it so I have choosen to consider this house a smoking one for at least a year even though my books never came in contact with her or the room she was in. In a years time I should be able to tell if they have any smell from her stay with us. Till then.... I just don't want to risk it. 

Date Posted: 11/15/2011 1:56 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Interesting observation regarding cat hair Angela.  At one time there was a discussion thread asking if people with pet allergies had actually ever reacted to pet dander on a book.  Last I checked, the answer was no.  That said, allergies are annoying and severe allergies can be life threatening...so be considerate when choosing to accept or decline RC's  heart  When I met The Cutie, he said he was allergic to cats.  At the time I had a short-hair that didn't seem to bother his allergies at all.  A few years ago the kids found a litter of abandoned kittens, and we considered keeping the adorable long haired sibling...no go, within days The Cutie was miserable with allergies.  But we've had two indoor short-hair cats for the last 10 years, no allergy problems.  I've met several people with the long-hair vs. short-hair feline allergy.

ETA - DS once had an allergic reaction to his regular allergy shot.  Scary stuff, even tho the entire incident took place at the dr. office and we were surrounded by medical professionals.  I knew the symptoms and was able to alert the nurse immediately.  Within minutes his hands were itchy (sos to nurse) and a light body rash appeared.  They administered meds and oxygen, but within just a few more minutes he had a few hives and difficult breathing.  His lungs rattled before the intervention kicked in.  Fortunately, in this instance the symptoms disappeared almost as fast as they had arrived.  But it was an intense and scary 30 minutes.  Don't even want to think what might have happened if we had been farther from medical care and I never again complained about having to wait 20 minutes in the doctor office after his injection.

Last Edited on: 11/15/11 2:13 PM ET - Total times edited: 2