Allergic To Your Cat? Get Symptom Relief By Dealing With The Dander
Is your kitty giving you the sniffles and sneezes? Are you worried that as long as you have your furry friend you'll be forced to endure a constantly itching throat and swollen, puffy eyes? Relax. Cat dander is the most common pet allergy, and many sufferers can completely control their symptoms with the below three measures.
1. Clean Your Kitty Regularly
The most effective way to combat cat dander is to prevent it from entering the air to begin with. You can do this by giving your cat a regular bath. Begin by trimming their nails, and removing any loose hair with a pet comb.
Lay a towel on the floor of your sink or bathtub to prevent your cat from slipping and sliding. Place your cat on the towel and slowly and calmly use a spray nozzle, a pitcher, or even your cupped hand to dampen all of kitty's fur.
Next, rub your cat down with a solution of five parts water to one part mild pet shampoo. Don't use shampoo on your cat's face -- just wipe the area with a damp washcloth. Once your pet is all soaped up, you can rinse him or her off in the same manner as you used to initially wet the fur.
Cats are perfectly capable of cleaning themselves and the goal of the bath is simply to keep dander from entering the air. If you find that your kitty will have none of this bath routine, just giving him a quick, daily spray-down with a water misting bottle can substantially reduce the amount of skin dander floating around your house.
2. Have Your Heating Ducts Cleaned
No matter how often you vacuum, you'll never be able to catch all of the fur and dander that falls off of good old kitty. Your furnace air ducts, however, will do a perfectly fine job of catching any bits of allergy-symptom inducing particles you miss. Furthermore, if your duct work isn't properly sealed, unconditioned, dirty air has a direct path into the vent system.
When your furnace kicks on, a blast of air will come up through the vents, carrying all of that fur and dander with it and sending you into yet another fit of coughing, sneezing, wheezing, or whatever other manifestation your allergy symptoms take on.
If you really want to relieve your pet allergy symptoms, it's crucial to have your air ducts cleaned and inspected by a trained professional. Duct cleaning costs, on average, between $400 and $1000, but a single cleaning can drastically improve the air quality of your home for five to seven years.
3. Install A High-Efficiency Furnace Filter
If you currently use disposable filters in your furnace, get rid of them. These filters are highly ineffective at filtering out kitty's fur and dander. Instead, switch to a high-efficiency, pleated filter.
The pleats increase the surface area of the filter, allowing it to grab and hold far more particles than a standard, un-pleated filter. The filters also have an electro-static charge that actually draws particles to them like metal to a magnet. In fact, studies show that high-efficiency, pleated filters can trap 90 percent of all pet dander in your home!
Once you've installed a high-efficiency filter in your heating system, inspect it monthly and change it when it appears dirty or clogged. Call a professional near you, like Just In Time Furnace Inc, for an inspection once or twice a year.
If you have mild cat dander allergies, you can control your symptoms, and you can do so without shipping kitty off to a new home. Have your kitty and breathe easy, too, with the above three tips for dealing with cat dander in your home.