Everything You Need to Know About Cat Dander Allergies

Cat dander is one of the causes known to trigger an allergic reaction. If you have a cat in your home, then you may be subject to a cat dander allergy as it can strike at any time. Below is some important and helpful information about dander allergies, its symptoms and how to prevent them, and what you can do if you are required to give up your cat because of the allergy.

Facts About Cat Dander Allergies

Allergies to cat dander are more common than allergies to dog dander. Like any type of allergy, can dander allergies can develop suddenly in those who've spent years around cats with no problems. Cat dander allergies are due to an allergen called Fel d 1, which is found in cat saliva and dander from sebaceous and anal glands. Cats produce this allergen in fairly large amounts, especially male cats who have not been neutered.

Symptoms of Cat Allergies

The symptoms associated with this allergy include:

  • Itchy, watery eyes;
  • Sneezing;
  • Sinus congestion;
  • Coughing, and;
  • Respiratory distress.

Prevent Allergy Symptoms

If you develop an allergy to cat dander, you don't necessarily have to give up your cat. Here are some things you can do to prevent a build-up of cat dander, which can minimize your allergy symptoms:

  • Have your male cat neutered.
  • Bathe the cat once or twice a week.
  • Wipe the cat with a wet cloth daily.
  • Don't allow the cat into your bedroom and close any vents leading into the bedroom.
  • Keep the cat outside if necessary.
  • Vacuum daily with a HEPA-filtered vacuum.
  • A HEPA air filter can be used to clean the air in individual rooms.

If You Must Give Up Your Cat

If the above steps do not produce significant reduction of allergy symptoms, you may have to give up of your cat. If cat dander allergies do force you to give up your cat, you should be aware that cat dander can remain in the home for months or years. In order to remove the dander, you'll need to thoroughly clean your home. Start by washing all of your bedding, rugs, and other soft materials. Next, replace your air conditioner and heat vents as they will most likely have a large amount of dander build-up. Also, dust all of your hard surfaces and then vacuum all the rooms in your home. Last, steam clean the carpet in every room as well as your upholstered furniture.