Week of:
Jun 30, 2017

My partner is moving in, but they're allergic to my pets

(1) Alice,

I am very much in love with my girlfriend. She would like to come live with me next summer (between semesters), but I have a cat and she is allergic. I was thinking that if I kept the house well vacuumed, and bought an air filter, gave the cat baths, or something, it might help. Do you have any suggestions? I love them both, neither more than the other, but I don't know what to do. Thanks.

— Friend of Cat

(2) Hi Alice,

After all these years, I've finally met The One. He's wonderful, he's kind, he's perfect, he's... he's allergic to my dogs. My mother (who apparently approves of him!) says that there are pills that one can take for allergies to pets. I've searched and can't find anything other than OTC antihistamines and snake oil. His symptoms are mild mucous membrane irritation; however, I wouldn't ask him to live with that or with the side effects that go with antihistamines. Are there other alternatives we don't know about?

Sleeping with the animals

Dear Alice,

Is it mentally healthy to sleep with pets? I've been sleeping with my cat since childhood, but have recently added my dog to my bed. When I mention it to people, they kind of raise their eyebrows. The cat won't leave, but should I kick out the dog?


Rat scratch fever?

Dear Alice,

I just got clawed by a rat in a nearby park. It jumped off of the top of a trashcan, hit my leg, twisted around and clawed my leg, broke skin with three claws. I cleaned it out really well, but what else should I do?

Fleas, fleas everywhere, and I don't have pets — What happened and what can I do?

Hi Alice,

I live in a one-bedroom apartment and I have never had any pets. I do not own cats, dogs, or any other pets. I saw 3 fleas in my apartment. My ankles and legs have a total of 20 bites; they are in sets of 2 each. I am itching like crazy. What I don't understand is how can I have a flea problem when I do not own any pets? Also what can I do to get rid of them? I'm also worried because I have an 18-month-old and I don't want them to bite her. What should I do?