Cats are considered to be the most allergenic amongst the pets. In earlier years, cat fur was believed to be the cause of cat allergies in people. Now we know that it is a glycoprotein, namely Fel D4 in cat saliva and Fel D 1 in sebaceous glands, that is the culprit which triggers allergic responses. As the cat grooms, the saliva containing the allergen is deposited on fur where it becomes a part of dander.
People diagnosed with allergies to cats are often advised by their doctor to get rid of their cats. If this is your case, don’t panic, in most cases it will not be necessary.
There are several things you can do to decrease the concentration of allergens
1. Keep the cat out of your bedroom. Ideally, you should have one or more ‘cat free’ places in your house where you can take refuge.
2. Use good quality HEPA air filtration systems in rooms where you cats stay frequently. It is worth to get a vacuum cleaner with a good quality HEPA filter as cat dander particles escape normal filters.
3. If possible, consider getting rid of carpets, rugs and plushy furniture. Cat dander gets trapped on these surfaces and as it is small and sticky it will often persist there for months. If this is not a feasible option for you, use environment friendly carpet and upholstery anti-allergen sprays like AllerSafe Dustroy Anti-Allergen Spray which is said to reduce and/or neutralize cat saliva allergens.
4. Wipe your cat with a cloth moistened with anti-allergen pet products like AllerPet Dander Lotion at least once a week to remove dander from the coat and to neutralize saliva allergens. You could also use this lotion in a spray bottle and then comb the hair to spread it equally. The lotion is environment friendly and non-toxic so you can apply it as frequently as required.
5. Wash your hands after petting the cat. Avoid kissing the cat and don’t let him rub against your face. Wash the bedding and rugs in hot water regularly (once in a week).
6. Ask your doctor about hyposensitization injections. Hyposensitization is not always successful but it’s worth of trying. Some people report great relief with homeopathic treatment.
By taking the necessary precautions most people with milder allergies to cats experience significant relief. However, if you experience life threatening allergy symptoms like severe asthma attacks and breathing difficulties, rehoming your cat may be the only option.