People love their pets. I heard someone on the radio a few days ago that really made me chuckle. He said 15 years ago “people had pet cats and dogs and now they have children in fur coats”. He was speaking of the growth in the pet care industry.
You don’t have to tell me that people love their pets. I know personally. I love my pets (well except when they are tearing something up or making a mess). Don’t you love your pets? I also hear the heartbreak in people’s voices when they call and are faced with giving up a pet because someone in the house has what they think is cat dander allergy. They are faced with very real pain from the loss of their loved one in a fur coat.
The conversation usually starts like this, “I need some cat dander allergy spray” or “do you sell that cat dander allergy soap?” or “I heard you have some stuff to rub on the dog to get rid of the dander”. The first thing we try to do is educate the caller. When people are informed, they are better able to make rational decisions about the actions they need to take. See, it is not the cat or dog dander that causes the allergy. The actual substance that triggers the allergic reaction is a protein that is found in the saliva and urine. There are several proteins involved, but when it comes to cats, the most common is the Fel d1 protein. All cats and dogs produce this protein. Some more than others. Don’t buy into the notion of the “hypoallergenic” cat or dog. It doesn’t exist.
These allergy-causing proteins get spread on the animal’s skin and fur every time the animal grooms itself and empties its bladder. It sticks to bits of hair and it sticks to little bits of skin. It can dry up and flake off on its own or more commonly, it gets shed when that piece of skin or that strand of hair is shed. The bits of dry dead skin on animals is referred to as dander, and that is why so many people mistakenly think it is the cat dander that causes the allergy. Just think of the dander as a carrier of the allergen, not the actual allergen and you will be well on your way to understanding what is happening.
Knowing the source of the cat allergen helps to understand how to control it in the environment. It almost goes without saying that the person with the cat allergy should not be in charge of cleaning the cat litter box. That is because the protein is in the urine and the urine is in the cat box. If you have cat allergies and must clean the cat box, then wear a mask. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly afterwards (that applies if you have cat allergies or not..eeewww).
Control where the animal sleeps. Don’t let them sleep with you. I know it is hard, but your body really does need the restful down time to recover from the stresses of the day and if you are subjecting your immune system to allergens unnecessarily, that just can’t happen.. Besides, you might even get a better night’s sleep if the cat isn’t waking you up every 2 to 3 hours because it is bored or wants to be petted.. That doesn’t sound like any pet you know does it?
You can wipe the cat down at least once a week with a coat conditioner made especially for controlling the allergens riding on the cat dander. It is called Allerpet/C. They also make a formula for dogs called Allerpet/D. I have personally used the Allerpet lotion on my cats before I have visitors with cat allergy and have wonderful results. You just pour the Allerpet on a clean rag and wipe it all over the cat (or dog). It is not a shampoo, so you are not soaking and rinsing the animal. You are just rubbing it on the animal. It goes to work right away to get rid of the cat allergen. As a bonus, it contains ingredients that make the animal’s fur very soft and shiny.
If the animal roams freely through the house, you have a bit more work in store. You will need to spray down the fiber surfaces that can collect those little bits of shed skin, hair, or dried saliva or urine with a denaturing agent like ADMS Spray. This goes for any upholstered furniture that the cat gets on as well as rugs or carpets. This needs to be done at least once a month.
If you or someone you know is allergic to cats, it may be possible to get that “cat dander allergy relief” without getting rid of the cat. But at least now you know its not really relief from cat dander you need.
The Allergy Store
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