Replace Your Air Filter
Air filters work to remove pollutants that affect your indoor air quality. Choosing a higher MERV rating will help ensure that smaller pollutants, like cat dander, are also captured. At minimum youll need a MERV 11 air filter to capture pet dander, although a MERV 13 has the added benefit of helping prevent the spread of airborne bacteria and viruses. If youve moved into an older home, you may actually want to consider cleaning your air ducts. Dirty air ducts can store pet dander and other pollutants including mold spores that have slowly built up over time.
These steps to getting rid of cat dander in a new home should help alleviate lingering cat allergy symptoms, but it may take a few cleaning sessions to properly remove all irritants. Although it may seem extreme, if youre wondering how to control cat dander so you can avoid rehoming your pet, repeating the process often may be necessary.
Which Animals Pose The Biggest Problems
Cats are kept as pets in 27 percent of homes in the United States and dogs are found in 32 percent. However, roughly twice as many people report allergies to cats when compared to dogs. Research also indicates that male cats produce less Fel d I allergen than female cats, although the reason is not clear. 1
Animals with fur may be more likely to carry allergens from other sources, like dust, but the fur itself is generally not a trigger. For that reason, short-haired or hairless animals contribute dander and allergens to indoor air pollution just as effectively as long-haired animals do. There is no such thing as a non-allergenic dog or cat. 1
You Notice Redness On Your Skin
Cat allergies can definitely cause an obvious rash, and even hives that leave your skin super itchy and inflamed. But you should also look out for general redness on the skin, especially on areas of your skin that have had contact with your cat. In particular, Londonâs Allergy and Immunology Center reports that you should especially look out for âhives or a rash in the area of the face and neck.â
You May Like: Are Bell Collars Bad For Cats
How To Combat Cat Dander
If youve been diagnosed with a cat allergy and have a cat, dont fret. Just because an allergy has been diagnosed does not mean you need to get rid of your feline family member! There are methods for combatting cat dander in your home.
Make sure to keep your cat well-groomed and brushed regularly to remove dander, Barrack said. If your cat isnt game for a DIY grooming session, bring him to a professional groomer. Besides making sure your feline is primped, its equally as important to keep up with home cleanliness. Barrack suggests trying to eliminate as much dust as possible and vacuum pet hair regularly. Home air filtration systems can also help decrease the amount of dander in ones home, she added.
Characteristics such as the length of a cats hair, gender and the amount of time a cat spends indoors are not associated with cat allergen levels, Martin says, so banishing your cat to the outdoors for a few hours daily or buying a cat with shorter hair may not be the best bet for combatting allergies. However, there is one aspect associated with allergen levels: number of cats. Homes with more than one cat have higher levels of cat allergens, he said.
Grooming & Regular Brushing
One of the best ways to help keep your felines fur dandruff-free is by scheduling regular grooming and brushing;your cat on a consistent basis. Brushing will help to stimulate the production of natural oils in your cats coat and prevent the skin from becoming dry and flaky.
If you are considering;a lime sulfur dip;for;your cat, please seek your vets opinion first. Specific precautions must be followed with the use of such dips. In some cases, their use may make the skin condition or dandruff worse. In addition, care must be taken to prevent accidental ingestion, which can be fatal to your cat.;
Also Check: Why Is My Kitten Throwing Up
Dealing With Pet Dander
If youre a pet owner, youre no stranger to visitors claiming to be allergic to your pets hair. Unfortunately for them, theyre not really allergic to pet hair no one is. Pet hair just serves as a vehicle for other allergens, attracting dust, urine, saliva and pet dander, which makes people think theyre reacting to the hair when theyre really reacting to another allergen. Dander is the dead skin cells of animals, shed through normal activities. Controlling pet dander in the home can help make your house more visitor-friendly and comfortable overall.
An Explanation Of Allergies
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, an allergic reaction happens when your bodys natural defense system the immune system tries to fight off a substance it thinks is harmful by releasing antibodies. Antibodies are responsible for allergy symptoms like swollen, itchy, watery eyes; sneezing and runny noses; and skin rashes. People who experience allergic reactions tend to have a sensitive immune system that mistakes harmless things, like pet dander, for evil invaders.
While most people experience allergies only for a brief time after coming in contact with the allergen, some people who are exposed continuously over long periods of time may develop chronic issues related to their allergy, like asthma. Asthma is a condition in which the airways in the body become swollen and inflamed, making it difficult to breathe. Uncontrolled asthma can be dangerous. If someone in your home has asthma that is irritated by exposure to pet dander, or if you have regular visitors who have health concerns related to exposure to pet dander, you can take steps to limit their exposure and the complications of coming into contact with pet dander.
Recommended Reading: Why Do Cats Hearts Beat So Fast
How Do I Know That My Cat Has Dandruff
Cat dandruff is one serious problem, just like in human beings. It is made from dead skin cells. The difference between cat dandruff and cat dander is that cat dander consists of invisible skin cells. The dead skin cells are usually shed as part of the normal cycle of growth.
Cat dander has protein that can be very irritating, especially to people who are allergic. You will know that your cat has dander if whenever it comes near you, youll start having allergies like watery or itchy eyes, coughing, or nasal congestion.
How Do You Control Pet Allergens
For homes with sensitive individuals, the best way to protect indoor air quality is to remove the animal from the home. However, pet allergens may stay in the home for months after the pet is gone because the allergens remain in house dust. Allergy and asthma symptoms may take weeks or even months to improve. 1
If the pet stays in the home, keep it out of the bedroom of anyone who has asthma or allergies. Do not allow the pet on furniture, especially upholstery, and keep the pet away from carpets. Clean the home often and do not allow dust to accumulate.
Institute of Medicine, Division of Health Promotion, Indoor Air and Disease Prevention. Clearing the Air: Asthma and Indoor Air Exposures. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press, 2000. Kanchongkittiphon W, et al. Indoor Environmental Exposures of Asthma: An Update to the 2000 Review by the Institute of Medicine. Environmental Health Perspectives. 2015; 123: 6-20.
Read Also: How Long Do Maine Coon Cats Live
Factors That Cause Dandruff In Cats
Cat dandruff is mainly caused by dead cells. What usually happens is that the sebaceous glands that produce oil in the cats skin produce oil excessively. The oils are supposed to protect the skin, but they irritate the skin and cause flakiness if in excess. If you can see white particles in your cats fur, then it has dandruff. Here are some common causes of dandruff in cats:
Pet Dander Vs Human Dander: Are We That Different
In this article we dive into learning about pet dander, its associated health risks and how best to manage it in your home. We will also be taking an interesting look at how our pets are not so different from us when it comes to dander allergies.;;;
Some estimates that 2% of the population is allergic to cats, and a third of them have a pet cat at home. This number is not surprising considering millions of households worldwide own pets, with more than half of all Americans having a dog or a cat in their home.;
Don’t Miss: How Long Do Cats Live Indoor
What Dander Looks Like
Flea Science elaborates on how the appearance of cat dander can be mistaken for flea eggs. Both are tiny , white and shiny. However, whereas flea eggs are oval, dander is usually a small flat square. In addition, flea eggs fall out of the coat, while dander often becomes trapped among the hairs. This gives the coat a flaky appearance.
Dander comes in different sizes from microscopically small to visible flakes. Again, a word of caution. Petful explains there is a mite, cheyletiella, with the nickname “walking dandruff.” Just because something looks like dandruff, doesn’t mean it is.
How Do Cats Get Tapeworms
There are two common ways cats can get tapeworms: From fleas, or from eating an animal that was infected with tapeworms like mice, birds, rabbits or squirrels. The most common cause of Dipylidium caninum tapeworms in cats are fleas. While in the intestines, tapeworms detach segments filled with eggs called gravid proglottids. They are excreted through the feces. Flea larvae consume the excreted proglottids, and thus consume the tapeworm egg sacs. The tapeworms grow with the flea larvae as the mature to adult fleas. Fleas feed off of blood and commonly attack cats and dogs, as well as other animals like mice and other rodents. Cats who have fleas may consume a tapeworm-infected flea while grooming, and become infected with a tapeworm. As the tapeworm grows within the cat, it releases proglottids into your cat’s feces, potentially starting this tapeworm to flea cycle all over again if fleas or rodents are present. Over-the-counter tapeworm medication can be bought in stores and online.
Cats who are infected with Taenia taeniaeformis tapeworms are typically infected by eating flea-infested rodents.
Read Also: How To Keep Cats Out Of A Room Without Doors
What Causes Cat Dandruff Or Dry Flaky Skin
Dry skin is a common cause of flakes, Dr. Cross says. Environmental factors, such as low humidity, and diet can cause a cats flaky skin.;
Dry, flaky skin is more common in cats, but there is a greasy form as well. Too much oil in the skin can cause a buildup of skin cells, which then flake off.
Besides a dry or oily coat, there are other reasons for cats to have flaky skin, such as obesity or arthritis. These conditions can limit a cats ability to groom herself and remove dead skin cells.
Since there are many other reasons for a flaky coat, its a good idea to consult your veterinarian to rule out any potential medical causes and find the right treatment.
Air Filtration Can Also Help
If you have forced air heating or air conditioning, then change your systems air filter regularly every 3 months, and make sure to use HEPA filters that are rated at least MERV 11.
If you have severe cat allergies, you may need an air filter that is rated MERV 13. Allergy sufferers and dedicated cat owners may also want to invest in one or more air purifiers for their home, which clean pet dander and other allergens from the air.
Keeping your cat out of your bedroom will help to minimize your exposure to dander and reduce the likelihood of an allergic reaction.
Lastly, if you have cat allergies, dont let your cat into your bedroom. If you sleep with your cat and you dont want to change your habits, then wash your bedding and pillows once a week. You may need to consult with an allergist for more tips on how to reduce dander in your home, or how to reduce your own reaction to cat allergens.
Many people find benefit from taking antihistamines, or getting tested for allergies, and then receiving immunotherapy.
Some cat breeds are purported to be hypoallergenic or low shedding. Russian Blues, Balinese, and Siberian cats all shed very little, and produce less of the Fel d1 protein, so one of these cat breeds might be a good option for people with cat allergies.
While cat dander is a normal part of life for any cat owner, there are ways to minimize its impact upon your life.
Don’t Miss: How To Tell If Your Cat Is Pregnant
Home Remedies You Can Try
Fortunately, there are simple remedies you can use from home to prevent cat dandruff. Here are five of them:
1. Bathe them using a cat dandruff shampoo
This is one of the most effective ways to cure cat dandruff at home. Get a cat shampoo that has been designed for use on dry skin. You dont have to bathe your cat daily, but you can do it occasionally. This will help in removing any dead skin and also moisturize the skin.
An excellent alternative for dandruff is aloe and oatmeal shampoo. They are not like some soap that is harsh and can be harmful to the cats skin. A vet can prescribe medicated shampoo that can help treat skin conditions.
2. Treat parasites
Allergic reactions in cats can happen when they are bitten by parasites like lice, fleas, and mites. The reactions end up causing dandruff. To get rid of such parasites, treat all the pets, and remember to clean the bedding in your home.
3. Buy a humidifier
A dry and hot climate will cause dry skin because of dry air. To bring in some moisture, purchase a home humidifier. The appliance will add moisture to the air, hence preventing the cats skins from drying.
4. Have a regular grooming routine
5. Try new cat food
Treating A Cat With Dander
Where possible, the underlying cause of the dander should be identified and treated. For example, the cat that isn’t grooming due to arthritis should be prescribed pain relief. Whereas a cat with parasitic disease needs the regular use of a product effective at killing that parasite.
In addition, it is beneficial to provide a healthy, balanced diet rich in essential fatty acids, and a living environment that is neither too hot or too cold. Regular brushing also stimulates the circulation to the skin and improves the immune system, making the skin more resilient.
Recommended Reading: How To Make Cat In Little Alchemy
Everything You Need To Know About Cat Dander
Allergies to cats are about twice as common as human allergies to dogs. Although most people believe that cat hair is what causes allergies, this is not actually the case. Cat allergies are most likely to be caused by cat dander. But what is cat dander and why are so many people allergic? Find out in the article below.
*spoiler Alert* Its Different Than Dandruff
Dander the natural shedding ofÂ; tiny dried up pieces of skin that fall from your cats body around your house. However, dander isnât the same thing as dandruff. When a cat has dandruff it looks similar to the way a human with dandruff looks. There will be large visible flakes of dried skin on the catâs coat or around the areas they like to sleep. Dander on the other hand is microscopic pieces of your cat’s skin that fall about your apartment or become airborne. Although it is commonly thought that your catâs hair is what causes cat allergies, dander is actually responsible for human allergies to cats.Â;
The pieces are quite small, measuring about one tenth the size of your average dust mite. However, these tiny particles of your catâs skin are actually what causes an allergic reaction. However, itâs not the skin itself that causes people to have an allergic reaction. The dead skin cells actually combine with a protein in a catâs saliva that is left behind on their fur and skin when your cat grooms itself.Â;
You May Like: Why Is My Cat Scared All Of A Sudden
When Your Cat’s Got An Itch She Can’t Scratch There’s A Small Chance It Could Be Cat Lice
Did you know that cat lice rarely show themselves? Thats why rescue cats should always be checked for lice before you bring them home and all cat owners should be on the lookout for signs of infestation.
The good news is that, according to the Companion Animal Parasite Council, lice are not nearly as common as fleas in cats or dogs, and theyre species-specific. A lot of pet owners will blame their cat for giving them lice, but you cant catch lice from your cat, says Justine Lee, a veterinarian and the CEO and founder of VETgirl, a subscription-based continuing education podcast. That means you cant catch lice from your kitty and she cant catch lice from you!
The Difference Between Fleas and LiceBoth lice and fleas are tiny parasites that bite and live off their hosts, but they are otherwise as different as black and white literally. When you look closely at a cat whos been infested, fleas will present as jumpy black dots and leave a trail of black dirt. Lice, on the other hand, are white, and its usually the eggs sticky white dots stuck to the hair near the skin that can be spotted more easily.
Symptoms and DiagnosisIf your cat has lice, he might not seem too agitated, so it can be hard to diagnose the problem. In general, fleas make cats itchier and more uncomfortable than lice do. A heavy lice infestation could lead to a scruffy, unkempt look, and excessive scratching can lead to raw or bald patches.