How to Reduce Cat Dander

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If you or someone in your household is allergic to cats, that doesn't necessarily mean you must find Fluffy a new home. There are ways to reduce cat dander so that the allergic individual and the cat can co-exist.

Weekly Bathing

Bathing your cat once a week with a shampoo designed for felines significantly reduces the amount of dander. Of course, giving Kitty a bath is easier said than done, but most cats eventually get used to it. If bathing is out of the question, wiping your pet down with wet cloths will help. Wipes specifically designed to remove dander can lessen the allergen load in your living space and even make a for a welcome massage for your cat.

Brushing the cat on a daily basis also helps remove dander, and this is an activity most felines enjoy.

Regular Vacuuming

Vacuum your house thoroughly and as often as possible -- daily if need be. Avoid vacuuming while the allergic person is present. If that's you, wear a dust mask while vacuuming. Obtain a vacuum cleaner created with pet dander in mind. These vacuum cleaners include HEPA filters, which stands for "high efficiency particulate air." They remove many minute particles that non-HEPA vacuums do not.

Cleaning and Washing

Besides vacuuming, it's important to dust and clean the home frequently. That includes washing curtains, sofa covers and pillows, and throw rugs. Kitty's bed requires regular cleaning in the washer.

Use Air Purifiers and Filters

Installing one or more air purifiers in the home helps take allergens out of circulation. If possible, purchase and install a commercial air purifier rather than the smaller ones intended for single room use. And change your furnace filter -- ideally pleated and designed to catch pet dander -- according to the maker's recommended schedule -- generally once every one to three months.

No Cats in the Bedroom

No matter how much Kitty likes to sleep with the allergic individual, that's simply out of the question. Not only should Kitty stay out while the person is sleeping, but the bedroom should always be off-limits to him.

Allergy Shots

While allergy shots don't reduce dander, they can make a difference for the allergic person. Immunotherapy shots don't work overnight, but can make a long-term difference to the person committed to keeping their cat. Make sure your allergist understands that keeping Kitty is a priority.

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