What Is Cat Dander?
If you yourself don’t have allergies to cats, you probably know someone who does. Cat allergies is a problem that affects quite a few people in the U.S. Some sufferers just can’t have cats in their home, and they are fine—others have allergies so severe that when they walk into a home with cats or are even around cat owners, they are affected. What causes these symptoms, however, remains largely a mystery to many people: cat dander is the substance behind these allergies, not cat hair. It turns out that small particles of cats’ skin, smaller than 1/10 the size of a dust mite, are what really cause itchy swelling eyes, hives, and more uncomfortable effects in cat allergy sufferers. Another silent allergen that could be causing allergy flare-ups could possibly be cat dandruff on your pet. Dandruff is made up of the same proteins that cause allergies in those with sensitivities toward cats and similarly are very small and hard to detect.
Since cat dander is microscopic, it can hide in a lot of places. When a cat’s skin becomes dry, it flakes off in these tiny particles and makes its way into the air. From there it can end up on human clothes, hair, and skin. Most people don’t even notice the difference, and the dander wears off eventually without them knowing. Cat dander only poses a problem to those with a sensitivity to a substance called Fel D1, a protein found in the dander.
Fel D1 can be found in the glands beneath the surface of a cat’s skin, as well as in their bodily fluids, especially urine or saliva. The Fel D1 present in the cat’s skin can be potent enough, but when combined with the added amount from a cat’s saliva as they groom themselves causes the effect to double. Also, as a cat moves about and grooms, it can loosen the dander from the skin and cause it to become airborne, causing more of a problem.
Here’s What No One Tells You About Allergic Reactions to Cats
Some people can confuse cat allergies with the common cold or flu, and some may correlate their allergy symptoms to just the unwelcomed “allergy season”. While some people may swear they have worse reactions to some cats than others. It’s not just in their heads—the Fel D1 protein in cat dander is present in varying amounts depending on a few factors. Male cats are known to have more of the protein present in their bodies than females. In either males or females, sterilization tends to lessen Fel D1 potency. Certain types or breeds of cats have more Fel D1 present than others. All of these, among other factors, affect how strongly someone’s allergic reaction to the cat will be.
As mentioned before, not everyone exposed to cat dander starts sneezing and coughing. To be affected, an individual has to have a sensitivity to Fel D1. This happens when their immune systems recognize it to be a harmful substance and begin an attack. In response to the perceived threat, those individuals produce a specific antibody called immunoglobin E, and when they come in contact with the dander, they release histamines, which produce an inflammatory effect. This is what causes the swelling and rashes common with allergic reactions of all types.
- Female cats generally make less Fel d 1 than male cats.
- Light-colored cats generally make less than dark-colored cats.
- Long-haired cats may give off less allergen into their environment than short-haired cats because their long fur holds the protein against the skin better.
Learn How Cat Hair Gets into Our System
Dander can get in in a number of ways. The method through which it enters your body can determine what type and the severity of the reaction you have if you are a sufferer of cat allergies. Nasal inhalation, common since dander is often airborne, can cause excessive sneezing, congestion, and runny nose. If the dander is inhaled through both the nose and the mouth simultaneously, it could cause these symptoms but can also trigger an asthma attack. There are some circumstances where people are highly affected by cat danders like those who suffer from asthma and respiratory issues can have severe health effects from cat hair. These danders are very small, small enough to find its way into the lungs which could lead to breathing difficulties. Asthma sufferers have a greater chance of being sensitive to cat dander, and therefore should be extra careful when around cats to avoid this potentially life-threatening immune response. Another way dander can enter our systems is through our skin—if a cat licks you or spends a lot of time cuddling with you, the dander can hang onto your skin and cause hives.
Removing Feline Fur From Your Home
For some people who are allergic to cats, their symptoms may seem so extreme that even if they love cats, they can’t bear to suffer the symptoms that come on when they are near their pet. Although cat dander can be a nuisance to those with Fel D1 sensitivity, it doesn’t have to be a deal breaker. Especially when buying a home, these danders can be unbearable. Mild allergy sufferers can remove some of the dander, present in their home through a variety of methods.
It is obviously important to keep a generally clean home—regular dusting, vacuuming, and washing laundry are some good practices to follow in order to lessen the amount of dander present. If seasonal outdoor allergies are not an issue, opening windows for ventilation and dilution are a good additional measure to take. Even following these guidelines, however, won’t be able to remove all of the cat dander.
What Is The Best Pet Dander Air Purifier
Airborne cat dander is one of the biggest culprits to triggering uncomfortable allergy symptoms. Therefore, the best thing to do to alleviate those symptoms is to remove the pet dander from the air. Although many standard filters and HVAC systems are designed to trap allergy-causing substances like pollen and pet dander, they don’t effectively remove the risk—those particles are unfortunately often just recycled back into the air. The best solution for removing cat dander in your home is the OdorKlenz Mobile Air System, a portable odor eliminating air purification system that not only traps particles in the air like dander or other irritants but also breaks down and neutralizes the odors that they produce as well. OdorKlenz’s unique technology breaks down these substances in a way that other filters do not—dander is not only trapped but pet odors are also removed from the source.
The OdorKlenz Mobile is convenient for use in the home because it comes with wheels that make it easy to move from room to room. With three different settings, users can customize the filtration process depending on their need. This system is unlike any other air purifying system. Users with cat allergies are able to notice a difference within only days. It is by far the best solution for those who suffer from dander allergies, but who don’t want to have to give up their pet because of it.
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The OdorKlenz Mobile System is a versatile air purification system that removes particulates like pet dander, allergens, dirt, hair, & dust, while also capturing and destroying a broad spectrum of odors like household odors. The system is portable and can easily be moved from room-to-room. Say goodbye to air pollutants and toxins with this air system!
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- Replace Air Cartridge every 4 to 6 Months
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