Reducing Human Allergies to Cats Through Hygiene

Human allergies to cats can be significantly reduced, if not outright eliminated, through hygienic solutions. It is possible for allergies to become an issue for pet owners, or pet lovers, at any age. Approximately 15% of the population has an allergy to their pet. The main issue in humans allergies to cats is the cat dander, not necessarily the cat hair.

Dander is the cat's dead skin that is continually shed, just as people are in a continual process of shedding skin. People can also be allergic to cat saliva and urine, but dander is the most usual culprit for human allergic reactions to cats. Hypoallergenic cats are a myth and every cat will shed skin particles. An allergy to cat dander can manifest as mild reactions, such as sneezing, feeling itchy and a stuffy nose. Severe reactions can be the milder symptoms intensified, or can manifest as an asthmatic episode. There are a few steps one can take to hygienically reduce human allergic reactions.

Tips to Hygienically Reduce Human Allergic Reactions to Cats

  • Dust and vacuum regularly, especially in areas heavily used by the cats and the allergy sufferers.
  • Tiled or hardwood floors are preferable to carpet and they do not trap dander in the fibers.
  • Buy and use a freestanding HEPA air filter unit in the cat and human heavily used rooms.
  • Don't underestimate good ventilation; opening a window can help in some cases.
  • Clean your air conditioning and heating vents regularly, at least once per month.
  • Bathe your cat, depending on the severity of the allergies: from once a week to once a month, with fragrance-free, high quality cat shampoo.
  • Wash hands after petting the cat and handling their toys or bedding.
  • Feed a high quality, protein-rich food, to help reduce the skin cell shedding.
  • Add a fatty acid supplement to the cat food to lessen skin shedding.
  • Use blankets or throws for the cat on furniture also used by the allergy prone people.
  • Do not allow cats on furniture, especially in the humans sleeping area.
  • Wash furniture covers, cat beds, and washing machine compatible pillows in hot water, at least once per week.
  • Brush the cat daily to stimulate skin's own sebaceous glands to keep skin healthy and not as prone to skin shedding.
  • Use the correct type of grooming brushes, dependent on the length of the cat hair, for the cat.

Choosing the best hygienic method to combat human allergic reactions to an indoor cat is a trial and error process. What works for one, may not work for all. Get specific, be aware of the allergic reactions and when they happen most often, and specifically what they happen in response to. Hygienic measures are an easy way to help make allergic reactions to a cat more tolerable, or potentially cancel out the allergic matter entirely.