Cat dander would be a part of your life as long as you have a cat around you, perhaps, even months after that. The presence of the dander shouldn’t worry you if you aren’t allergic, but if you are, then this HomeQuicks article will give you 9 effective tips to get rid of cat dander, or at least minimize its presence from your surroundings.
Did You Know?
It is not cat fur that causes allergies to cats in humans but cat dander. The allergen called Fel D1 is considered to be the triggering factor for the allergy. This allergen is present in the sebaceous glands, saliva, and urine of the cat.
Most people confuse the term ‘dander’ with dandruff. It is essential to note that they are not the same. Dander, in fact, is a composition of dead skin flakes that are shed by every human and animal. In case of cats, the dander becomes loaded with traces of Fel DI because cats tend to groom themselves quite often. Therefore, cat dander consists of dead skin cells with the cat’s saliva and poses a threat to those with allergic tendencies towards this pet.
It would be interesting for you to note that male cats tend to secrete more dander than female cats. Also, those cats that are neutered tend to produce less Fel D1 than other cats. If you are allergic but still want to live with your darling kitty, consider opting for a female cat, or a neutered one.
9 Ways to Control Cat Dander in Your House
Before we begin, know that a hundred percent elimination of cat dander is not possible as long as the cat is in the same vicinity. Shedding of fur and dead skin is inevitable, therefore, what you can do is take steps to minimize the accumulation of dander in your house. Certain thoughtful measures that are simple and effective can come to your rescue to get the job done. The following list consists of 9 effective solutions that will help you accomplish the task.
1. Bathe Your Cat Once in a Week
As much as cats loathe the touch of water on them, it becomes highly crucial to bathe them once in a week to keep the dander accumulation at bay. Use mild cat shampoos, or medicated shampoos that are available in the market to prevent allergy and keep dander under control. Ensure that you clean the sink thoroughly, and even wash your hands properly so that the remnants don’t create a problem to your health.
2. Use a High Filter Vacuum Cleaner
Vacuuming the house everyday is a must when it comes to removing cat dander. It is suggested to use a vacuum with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter that has the capacity to trap even minute particles that regular cleans wouldn’t trap. Regularly clean the problematic areas of your house including upholstery, carpets, windowsills, draperies, and lampshades, and other accessories where your cat spends most of its time. You can also use a vacuum hose on your cat’s fur, that is, if your cat permits you to do so.
3. Use Hypoallergenic Pet Wipes
You bathe your cat once in a week, but dander continues to shed almost everyday. While you can’t make your cat bathe everyday, it is highly suggested to use hypoallergenic pet wipes to clean your cat’s fur everyday. This will help control the presence of dander in the house. In fact, if you invest a little time and money on your pet’s grooming, that would also prove to be helpful in the cause.
4. Wash Walls and Ceiling with Hot Soapy Water
Like dust, dander too ends up getting accumulated in your wall, floors, ceiling, and practically every corner of the area where the cat spends time. Ensure that you do a periodical cleaning of the same with hot soapy water (you can also use a multipurpose cleanser) to wash off the dander along with the dust particles.
5. Use Air Purifiers
If you really have problems arising due to the dander issue, it would be wise to invest in a large-sized air purifier. We generally tend to go in for a room-sized unit, which proves to be inadequate to cover the entire area. A large-sized unit will successfully clean the dust, dander, fur, mold, and other problematic particles in the house.
6. Use Anti-mite Products
Products that are manufactured to control dust mites are highly efficacious in controlling dander as well. This is because dust mites and dander tend to behave in similar ways. It would be interesting for you to know that the size of a dander is one-tenth of the size of dust mites. Which is why, getting rid of dander isn’t really a piece of cake. Therefore, using nontoxic, eco-friendly sprays and other products that defend your house against dust mites will be highly useful for dander control.
7. Steam Clean Carpets and Upholstery Periodically
As we had mentioned earlier, it is practically impossible to eliminate dander while the cat is still around. And what happens to be the most stubborn place where all the unwanted sheddings of our pets accumulate? Carpets! Therefore, it is a must to get the carpets and upholstery of the house steam-cleaned, as we very well know how our furry darling loves to cuddle up on them! In severe cases, it would be wise to remove the carpeting of your house completely, to prevent the source of accumulation.
8. Make Your Bedroom a No-entry Zone for the Cat
If you are highly allergic to cats but love your pet way too much to part with, then it would be best to restrict the entry of the cat in the bedroom to allow the allergic individual to have a dander-free zone in the house. Also, if it is possible, close the air ducts in the room to prevent entry of the allergen in the zone. Although this is more or less like a remedial measure than a solution, it helps a lot.
9. Use Dust-free Cat Litter instead of Clay Litter
While clay litters have been popular among many cat owners, and are relatively inexpensive when compared to other options, it is best to switch to a dust-free cat litter. This is because dander is just as tiny as dust, and where there is dust and air, there is a chance of it being scattered at each and every corner of the room. Therefore, choosing dust-free litter would minimize the risk of dander scattering in the area.
The aforementioned tips will definitely prove beneficial in keeping the allergy symptoms such as sneezing, irritation, coughing, and nasal congestion, at bay. Ensure that you use products that are natural and safe to use, with minimal side effects and composition of harmful chemicals. In case of severe problems, seek help of a professional cleaning service immediately. You may need to replace the upholstery and repaint the house. If you are very sensitive to the dander, it is best to stay away from the cat zone.