How can you better control my cat dander allergies?

By: Contributors

People who are allergic to cat dander might have a tough time avoiding it if they have a cat in the house. Dander collects on animal fur, on walls and on carpeting, and it doesn't lose much strength over time. When your body comes in contact with cat dander, it misidentifies it as a dangerous substance and combats it by releasing chemicals, which in turn cause you to react with symptoms like sneezing, itching, a runny nose and other cold-like symptoms.

The best way to control cat dander allergies is to stay away from cats -- and possibly even keep your distance from cat owners since dander can easily hitch a ride on someone's clothes. If you have a cat in the house, there are a few ways to minimize your exposure to dander. First off, you should limit the areas your cat is allowed to enter. The bedroom should be completely off-limits since people tend to spend at least a third of their time in the bedroom. Regular and thorough cleaning is essential to reducing the presence of dander. However, if you're the one with the allergies, have someone else do the vacuuming and dusting since these tasks can kick up a lot of dander. If you decide to clean anyway, wear a dust mask to prevent yourself from breathing in the dander as it becomes airborne. Remove carpeting, as it's an ideal place for dander to collect. An electrostatic or HEPA air filter will help remove some of the allergens from your forced-air heating and cooling system. You can also cover air vents with a filter to further reduce the allergens floating around.


It may also be beneficial to bathe your pet weekly. Have someone without cat allergies brush the cat outside to get rid of some of the dander where it won't trigger your allergies.