Cat dander carries allergens with it, and people who are allergic to cats will often experience discomfort around a cat with a little extra dander. If there is a cat in your household, you may be tempted to lock yourself in a cat-less room for a little while to get some relief. But will that work? Can cat dander travel through your vents?
The answer is yes, cat dander can travel through your air ducts. As disheartening as this news may be, don’t give up yet. Although dander can travel, there are still ways you can work to combat it. By reducing the accumulation of dander and managing your cat’s production of dander, you can work to lessen the strain on your allergies.
How to Reduce Dander Accumulation in Your House
A great way to minimize the spread of dander is to cut down on the amount. To do so, here are a few tips that may help you out.
Frequently Clean Your House
Dander will accumulate more readily in a house that is not often cleaned. By cleaning your home regularly, you are preventing it from accumulating in larger quantities. This can help to relieve allergies, as there will be fewer allergens in the air for you to react to.
Minimize Clutter in the House
As sad as it may be, some of your knick-knacks may be causing you trouble. If cat dander is traveling into small cracks or hard-to-reach places due to excessive clutter, it could be building up and causing you to have more reactions. Reducing clutter (or at least dusting regularly) can help to manage this.
Change Out HVAC Filters
Your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems may have a collection of dander inside their filters. By changing out the filters consistently, you can help reduce the dander accumulating in your vents.
Put Hardwood Flooring in Your House
This is an expensive option that may not be available to everyone, but if you can do so, installing hardwood flooring in your home may help alleviate some of the dander. Pet dander is more likely to become stuck on softer surfaces, such as carpets. If you can remove the carpet in your home and replace it with a harder material, you may be able to prevent dander from accumulating.
Contain Your Pet to Specific Areas in the House
Although restricting your cat from certain areas in the home is not a guarantee that no dander will accumulate in those places, it can still help. If locations in your home tend to gather dander more quickly, you may want to prevent your cat from entering those places. If you can minimize your cat’s contact with these places, you may be able to reduce the accumulation in your home.
How to Manage Your Cat’s Dander
There are plenty of steps that you can take to reduce the build-up of dander, but what can you do to prevent it in the first place? Although you will not be able to entirely stop your cat from producing dander, there are things you can do to slow the production.
Before deciding to do any of the following options, be sure to consult your vet. Your vet will be able to determine the best and healthiest course of action for both you and your cat.
Change Your Cat’s Diet
If your cat is producing a lot of dander, the reason could be its diet. If the food your cat eats does not have a high enough healthy fat content, its skin can become dried out and flaky. Omega fatty acid supplements in high-quality dog food are a great way to promote healthy skin and coat in your cat and may reduce dander production.
Bathe Your Cat
Washing your cat can remove dander from its skin and fur. It can also keep your cat’s skin moisturized, which can reduce the amount of dander made. Using a dandruff shampoo for cats may also help.
Brush Your Cat
Brushing your cat regularly is an integral part of its grooming health. This will help to remove dander from its fur and to keep its skin and coat healthy.
Although cat dander can travel throughout the home, that does not mean you cannot have a cat while managing allergies. As long as you take precautionary steps to reduce the accumulation and production of dander, you should be able to manage your allergies while living with a cat. If the allergic reactions do not slow down, you can talk to a physician about receiving allergy shots.
Featured Image Credit: Nau Nau,Shutterstock