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.