Cats are beautiful creatures. They are highly-intelligent and are low-maintenance as well. These fun loving and lazy pets are a nice addition to your home if you prefer a quiet and peaceful atmosphere. Be wary though as taking care of a cat is not a walk in the park. For some, taking care of these pets is tedious, especially if you are suffering from cat dander.
What is Cat Dander?
Cat dander is a material shed from cats — something similar to dandruff. It is naturally released by the sebaceous glands of a cat such as in the skin, saliva, and fur. The main allergen in cat dander is called Fel d1, a compound also found in a cat’s urine and other body secretions.
Allergy to cats is a very common problem — in fact, up to 25 percent of people suffer from it . It is even more common than dog allergy, mainly because dogs are often bathed regularly while cats are known to hate water.
Symptoms of Cat Dander Allergy
Some of the most common symptoms you may notice are the following:
- Skin rashes
- Itchy throat
- Continuous sneezing
- Difficulty in breathing
- Red and Itchy eyes
You may experience one or all of these symptoms, but one thing is for sure — any of these symptoms are very debilitating and annoying. It is really important that you do something about it.
You may hear a lot of people and even some doctors tell people who have allergies to their pets that the best way to get rid of the allergy is to get rid of the pet. Now you just don’t want to throw poor kitty away, right? Luckily, that is not the only option today. It is possible to get rid of cat dander along with the allergic reactions but still keep your cat.
Sources of Cat Allergy
You don’t have to get rid of your cat to eliminate your allergic reactions to it altogether. You just need to be diligent in cleaning your pet and home regularly. Here are some things you should do to get rid of dander while keeping your cat in your home:
- Keep your pet cat out of your bedroom. Since you spend a lot of time in your bedroom, you are more likely to be exposed to the allergens that your cat releases if it choses to stay there. At first, your cat may meow all night and scratch at your bedroom door. When this happens, don’t give in. Eventually, kitty will find a new comfy spot in your home to spend the rest of the night.
- Bathe and brush your cat regularly. Cats surely hate water but once they get used to it, they wouldn’t react as much. Just make sure you have their claws clipped so that when they struggle, you won’t have deep and painful scratches on your hands and arms.
- Get rid of your carpets. Carpets are breeding grounds of bacteria and allergens, not to mention cat dander. Replace your carpets with hardwood or vinyl so that you can easily clean it. If you also use carpets on your walls, get rid of them too. A simple paint job or wallpaper will do.
- Vacuum your place regularly. Cat dander is virtually everywhere so make sure you get rid of them in your home by using a vacuum cleaner. Make sure your vacuum has a HEPA filter. Pay close attention to the areas your cat hangs out most of the time.
- Heavy drapes and curtains must go. Just like carpets, your thick and heavy drapes and curtains have the ability to trap cat dander. Replace them with easy-to-clean blinds or washable curtains. If you will be using curtains, make sure you wash them at least once a week.
- Wash your hands well after handling or playing with your cat. Also, do not allow your cat to go near your face. Do not rub your eyes or any part of your face before washing your hands.
- Take allergy shots as these can completely get rid of your allergic reactions to cat dander. You will only do this if nothing seems to work or improve. Consult with your doctor. You will only need monthly shots and afer a few years, you’ll completely rid yourself of allergies.
Cat dander may persist for months or even years, even if your cat is gone. To make sure you completely rid your home of cat dander, you will have to clean your home thoroughly. Wash all your beddings, rugs, carpets, and even pillows. Having your cushion, couches and chairs vacuumed will also help.
As long as you clean your home and pet regularly, you will have no allergy attacks. Now you can enjoy the company of your cat without having to sneeze every now and then.
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