Thursday, April 9

Pet Dander Allergies

Pet dander allergies
are a problem for any pet owner with an allergy to cats. Cat owners with a cat dander allergy may not realize that whether they own a pet cat or dog, the problem and solution are about the same.

Pet dander, cat dander, dog dander, even human dander are very small flakes of skin (dandruff) that shed continuously into the environment around us. Household dust is made up mostly of human and pet dandruff.

In humans, cat dander allergies are normally generated by cat dander as well as their saliva and urine. The same is true of dogs dander. So dander or dandruff is not the sole cause. Animal fur itself is not an allergen, but common allergens are often found on fur, especially saliva and urine.

Dander Galore

Between cats dander and dogs dander it is dog dander that is a more frequently a problem with humans. There are two logical reasons for this. First, dogs are often larger so as stated above, they usually have more skin that can dry and flake off. Secondly, dogs scratch themselves much more than cats. So, the net result is that a dog can produce more dander that is unwittingly more readily and efficiently propelled into the house environment by frequent and vigorous scratching. So, it could be said that cats may be less of a problem in generating danger than dogs.

Ironically, sometimes energetic dog scratching may be a reaction to an allergy that the dog has contracted. Dogs are more prone to allergies than cats. When dogs become allergic it is often something within the household that is the allergen. While there are many possible causes, human dander, dust mites and mold are the top three allergen sources within a household environment. Of course cats can also become allergic to human dander.

Sometimes veterinarians see a paradox in the study of pet dander allergies. There are times when a cat owner is allergic to his cat’s dander, only to discover the cat is allergic to the owner’s dander. The cat and the cat owner are supplying dander to aggravate the other’s allergy. Of course, this can also be true of dogs and god owners.

De-railing an Allergy

Although there are medications and treatments for allergy symptoms, for many people the most effective way to control a mild to moderate allergy to a pet cat or dog (and their allergy to you) is to 1) clean and vacuum your house, often. It is best to use a super-filtering HEPA filter vacuum. 2) Naturally, you also want to make sure you maintain a clean air filter on your heating/air-conditioning system. 3) However, to take it a step further, an air purifier will super-clean the indoor air. There are room models that work quite well, or you can have one fitted to your forced-air central heating/air-conditioning system.

These measures will significantly decrease exposure to pet dander allergies. For many people with a mild to moderate allergy, this is all that is needed.

Sensitivity to allergens does fluctuate due to variety of factors. By lowering the amount of allergens in the indoor air and in your living environment the human body will often react by lowering its sensitivity to the remaining allergens. This will not work for everyone, but for many the level of dander will be low enough that symptoms of your pet dander allergies will be significantly reduced or eliminated. Then you can breathe easily without wheezing and sneezing—and while keeping the cat!

Of course, if you need to, there are certainly other things you can do in addition to the above suggestions. Everyone is different and some people may need to take further steps. If this is you, then read 14 Ways You Can Avoid or Decrease Your Allergenic Reaction to a Cat. Pet dander allergies can be greatly reduced or eliminated in most people if you are willing to work at it.

Friday, April 3

More About Me

Although born an American national, I have spent most of my life in New Zealand, Canada, and Scotland. In my secondary school years, I spent one year in Canada and the rest of my senior school years in Glasgow, Scotland, where I played in the pipe band and I was on the school football team (not both at the same time).

Here are some music videos about Scotland. This will give you a sense of the pride of nation, pride of culture, and pride in the people of Scotland.

Bonnie Scotland (We Have A Dream)

Celtic Bagpipe Music Compilation- Part 1 of 4

Scottish Football Song

Scotland The Brave
The National Anthem well song by John McDermott

I hope you enjoyed these music videos. You can read more about me in More About Me on my Dog Allergies blog.

All music provided is the property of their rightful owners, I trust the rightful owners will not object to my use of their excellent music videos on my blog.

Wednesday, March 25

Allergies to Cats: You Are Not Alone

Allergies to cats are not fun. Individually, symptoms do vary but they often mimic a cold with sneezing, sniffling, coughing, wheezing, and watery, itchy eyes. Many people also develop redness on their skin where a cat has licked, or hives, a rash or welts on their chest and face. Alas, if you live with a cat and have an allergy to your feline friend, this may well be a never-ending misery.

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, allergies are the most widespread chronic condition in the world. In fact, allergies affect almost every household and nearly everyone either has an allergy or knows someone that has an allergy.

The most common forms are allergies to cats. Between 10 and 15% of the population are allergic to pets, with feline allergies the most common. The number of people with this chronic condition has multiplied in the last decades, possibly because more singles and families now have a household feline pet. In fact, cats are slightly more popular than dogs. Allergy to dogs is much less common at perhaps 3 to 4% of the population, which is somewhat higher than those allergic to horses.

What Causes The Allergy

Contrary to popular belief, it is not feline fur that is the allergen (the cause of the allergy). The real culprits are:

  • Proteins in cat saliva, which is often on their fur,

  • Urine, which can be on their fur as well as the kitty litter, and

  • Dander, which are dried flakes of skin which is often on their fur.

However, the fur itself is not an allergen.

Unfortunately, cats can aggravate other human allergies by carrying in outdoor allergens into the house. This is why some people with asthma will have a flare-up a short time after coming in contact with a cat. It is not the cat but what the cat has picked up from outside journeys and is carrying in its fur.

What To Do

If you have allergies to cats, there are steps you can take inside the home to reduce allergen exposure. This takes the form of two strategies:

  • The first is essentially: 1) clean the cat, 2) clean the house, and 3) clean the air in the house.

  • The second is by limiting exposure to their cat.

Some people are successful in minimizing allergenic reactions by having a cleaning program in coordination with limiting their exposure to their cat.

There are specific ways and some tips and tricks to get both of these strategies to work which I write about in the article, Cat Allergy Solutions: 14 Ways You Can Avoid or Decrease Your Allergenic Reaction to a Cat. However, by whatever methods, the removal of allergens is always the first thing to do and it is the most desirable approach to allergy control.

For some people, this may not be enough. For them, there is medication that may help, including over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants as well as prescription medication. Do not self-medicate. Your doctor can advise you what is appropriate in your case.

You can also have immunization shots, however this is an involved and time-consuming procedure, it is expensive and it is too often not successful.


Although allergies to cats are not fun, for most people allergenic reactions to our feline friends is controllable with an organized cleaning regiment, and/or reducing their exposure to their cat. Perhaps you may draw comfort in the knowledge that you are not alone in your desire to have or keep a cat, and you are not alone in your desire to find a way to make it work.

Monday, March 23

Cat Allergy Solutions: 14 Ways You Can Avoid or Decrease Your Allergenic Reaction to a Cat

Cat allergy solutions are around the corner if you own a cat but have a cat allergy. Most people do not have strong allergenic reactions. The symptoms are usually minor and very manageable. If your reactions are not major, you can reduce the risk of having or decreasing the affects of an allergenic reaction by using the suggestions in this article.

Cat allergies are airborne and therefore must be breathed in by you for you to be affected. Although airborne allergens are generally harder to control, nevertheless they are certainly controllable. There is an appropriate old saying, “where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

1. Wash or clean your cat regularly. Of course you already know that many cats dislike baths. Older cats not used to baths will likely have a frantic reaction to getting wet. However, if cats are bathed from a young age, they tend to tolerate the experience better.

Between regular baths and grooming, you may wish to consider these two options for better allergen control, especially for older cats that find baths difficult:

A) You can buy and use a micro fiber cloth. Dampen the cloth and rub-down the cat’s coat. This will wipe away the primary allergens (the causes of the allergy), which are 1) dander (dead skin flakes) and 2) saliva on the hair.

B) You can use a product called Allerpet. This is applied to the cat’s coat. This is a popular and effective product that is non-toxic and is even safe to use on kittens. (There is a version for dogs and puppies.) This product is available online, at some pet stores, and from your veterinarian. Allerpet shampoo and dust spray are also excellent products you may wish to use.

2. Grooming your cat is very healthy for your cat and should be done every time your cat is bathed. This helps to eliminate loose dander. In good weather, do the grooming outside. Or use an area of the house you normally do not use. You should wear a mask and gloves when grooming. When finished, remove your clothing and be careful to keep these clothes out of the bedroom until after a full laundering. Then wash your face, hands and arms.

3. It is important to keep your cat permanently out of your bedroom, so keep the door closed. Of course, this means the cat should never sleep on your bed. If your cat does sneak in and hop onto your bed, you should launder whatever bedding the cat touched, as soon as possible.

4. It is really best to restrict your cat to as few rooms in your house or apartment as possible. But cats do like to roam so get in the habit of closing doors.

5. Try to keep your cat off of upholstered furniture, as they are primary collection spots for dander. This can be difficult to do.

6. So, consider getting rid of under-used or unnecessary carpets and upholstered furniture from the rooms where your cat has regular access. I realize this may not be otherwise practical or especially desirable.

7. Use a low-dust kitty litter and place the litter box in an area as far away from you and your daily activities as possible. Also, it is important to place the litter box in an area away from outlets of the house air supply. Cat allergens are airborne and hindering airflow from the area of the litter box to the rest of the house is an important consideration.

8. Review your cat’s diet and make sure your cat is getting some natural animal fat or vegetable oil. This will help avoid dry skin, which will help hinder the creation of dander.

9. Be mindful that when you play or touch your cat you must wash your hands afterwards. Try not to hold your cat on your clothes. If you do, it’s laundry time.

10. If you touch your cat, it is very important that you do not touch your eyes until after you have washed your hands.

11. Vacuum the area where your cat is allowed to roam twice weekly with a very good quality HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) vacuum cleaner. This includes the floors, carpet, walls, chairs, sofa, and other furniture in the room. This is often the single most important cat allergy solution you can do. Of course, it is better if the person with the allergy is not the one that does the vacuuming, but I realize this may not be possible.

12. Be aware that air currents from your central heating and air-conditioning system will spread allergens throughout the house. Many systems have some form of air filter. The filter should be replaced periodically. Buy a very good quality filter replacements for your system.

Some systems will have an HEPA air purifier. These are excellent, and they also have filters that need replacing as needed. If you do not have an air purifier, consider getting one as it will bring a major improvement to the air quality in your home.

13. If the above cat allergy solutions have not been enough, another step you may wish to consider is to get a vapor steam cleaner and then steam clean your carpets and upholstery on a regular basis. This will be effective in killing off cat proteins and washing out the dander and hair that is very likely embedded in your carpets and upholstery. In addition, steam cleaning is a chemical-free way to kill dust mites, bacteria, and mold spores.

14. If all else fails, you may wish to consider allergy medication or possibly an immunization program of shots. You will need to speak with your family physician.


A reaction to a cat allergy can be minor or major, depending upon the individual. If you do not have a serious allergenic reaction to cats, then with a determined effort to adhere to the above suggestions you can keep your cat while significantly decreasing your chances of having a troublesome allergenic reaction. Of course, this is not guaranteed, but most cat allergy sufferers will notice a drastic improvement by following some or all of these cat allergy solutions.

Wednesday, March 18

Cat Allergy Relief - An Introduction

Cat allergy relief is a timely topic for cat owners with an allergy to cats. It is a prevalent problem that affects up to 15% of the human population. Nevertheless, a surprising percentage of these people own and love a cat companion. Most people can live with a cat even though they have an allergy to cats, if they know what to do in the home environment.

In many cases, there are practical measures that can be done that will significantly lower the impact of an allergy to cats, and make living with a cat much more enjoyable. In some cases, medication can help ease your allergy to your cat.

In all cases, information and awareness of all aspects of allergies to cats is very important. That is why this blog can be of service to you. In other articles/posts I provide general information for people that have an allergy to a cat, including how to deal with cat dander allergies, cat allergy treatment and other cat allergy solutions.

Veterinarians are asked for advice about cat allergy relief frequently, nevertheless it is only appropriate to ask your personal physician. If you have cat allergy symptoms, see your doctor to discuss treatment options.

The information on this blog is for general information only and is not intended to replace the advice of your personal physician (see Disclaimer on the right).

I hope you find this blog on Cat Allergy Relief of worth to you.