Cat Dander

Cat looking up smallFirstly there are two definitions of the word dander:

  1. Dander – slang to become angry. Temper.
  2. Dander – small particles of scales or flakes shed from humans or animals from skin, feathers or hair (like dandruff but harder to see). Can be the cause of asthma in humans.

Cat Dander Allergy Symptoms

Some people are allergic to cat dander due to a certain protein that is in the dander. The same protein is also in the cat’s saliva. A person who suffers with asthma may have an allergic reaction to dander and the sensitivity will possibly worsen their breathing problems. Dander becomes airborne and settles on surfaces making up much of the household dust. Cat dander is also sticky and can get on to the clothing of those living in the household with a cat.

When the dander becomes airborne and inhaled the person’s body reacts. Cats are individuals so it is possible to have an allergic reaction to one cat and not another. Some of the symptoms that may occur to a person can be:

  • Itchy skin and skin rashes.
  • Sneezing and coughing.
  • Itchy and runny eyes.
  • Runny nose.
  • Breathing difficulties.

Allergies from pet dander cannot be cured. However, there are ways to manage the situation in the home to greatly reduce and sometimes prevent the allergies.

Medication treatment

A general treatment is by taking anti-histamine, such as hay fever tablets. Your doctor can test for allergies and prescribe a treatment suitable for you.

Managing cat dander allergies in the home

If someone in the household suffers a cat allergy there are some things that can be done to reduce the level of dander. It does not mean the family cat has to go to another home.  Pet allergens can remain in the home for up to six months even if the pet is removed from the household. Dander allergens can be in carpets, drapes and clothing or on furniture and fittings, doors and frames. Any where a cat rubs up against or sits on.

A few things that you can do to lower the level of cat dander allergens:

  • Wash your hands if you touch the cat. Do not touch your hair or face until you have washed your hands.
  • Do not let the cat into the bedroom of the person who suffers from the allergy. Keep the door shut. Regularly clean the room.
  • Do not let the cat on to furniture.
  • Thoroughly vacuum clean carpets daily (don’t forget the carpet edges). Also the upholstery if the cat gets on it. Ensure the vacuum cleaner is in good effective working order and filters are regularly changed or cleaned. Vacuum cleaners should be equipped with a HEPA filter. Without the correct filter dander particles become airborne instead of being captured in the vacuum cleaner.
  • Regular dusting of surfaces will help control allergens.
  • Damp wipe clean furniture etc where the cat has brushed up against.
  • Regularly groom your cat.
  • Launder clothing that comes into contact with your cat.

None of the information on our website is meant to be a substitute for regular animal veterinary care or for peoples personal care by a doctor or consultant physician.
Please see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment of any concerning symptoms or medical condition.

We assume no liability for the misuse or misunderstanding of any information.