Reducing cat dander can minimize allergic reactions and make your home cleaner and more comfortable.
By introducing your cat to a regular bathing and grooming routine, ensuring they eat a high-quality diet and using preventative parasite treatment you can effectively reduce the amount of dander they are producing.
Less dander produced by your cat combined with specific home cleaning techniques will make a considerable difference to your home and managing your allergies.
What is Dander?
Cat dander is essentially the pet equivalent of dandruff, it’s tiny flakes of dead skin that fall from your cat as new skin cells replace them. A certain amount of dander is normal but you may be noticing more than usual.
Excessive dander can be caused by many factors including lack of grooming, diet-related health issues and parasites. After falling from your cat, dander can land on furniture, clothing and curtains and can also linger in the air.
Minimizing Cat Dander
If you are not allergic to cats it’s likely you don’t even realize your cat’s dander unless they have started to produce a lot more than normal.
On the other hand, if you are allergic to cats you will likely react to being exposed to cat dander causing you to sneeze, itch or become congested.
Fortunately, there are several simple ways you can minimize the amount of cat dander on your cat and in your home.
1. Brush your cat regularly
A regular grooming routine can help to prevent dander from building up on your cat’s skin. A quick brush once a day will remove any dead fur and will help prevent dander.
This is particularly important if your cat is older, overweight or long haired as they will be less able to groom themselves effectively.
A regular grooming routine will benefit your cat and play a role in keeping their coats clean and healthy.
2. Bath your cat with cat shampoo
If you are struggling with cat dander, a weekly bath using cat shampoo can help get control of the situation.
We recommend using a cat shampoo that has been specifically designed to help with skin problems and dander. These shampoos will be gentle on your cat’s skin and will moisturize and sooth to help heal irritated skin and remove dead skin.
When bathing your cat, it is really important to use a shampoo that won’t further irritate their skin.
Avoid shampoos with harsh chemicals, artificial dyes or additives, parabens and alcohol. It is also very important to never use a human shampoo on a cat as our pH balances are different and human shampoo will cause your cats skin to become irritated and dry out.
3. Use a de-shedding tool
If your cat is shedding their fur, they will be shedding a fair amount of dander too. Using a de-shedding tool on them each week can help significantly reduce the amount of shedding and dander around your home.
This is particularly effective when dealing with long haired cats. As well as helping reduce dander, a regular de-shedding groom will also help to reduce hair balls.
4. Use parasite prevention treatment
Protect your cat against ticks, fleas and other dander-causing parasites by introducing a monthly spot treatment to your cat’s care routine. Preventing and treating fleas or ticks is inexpensive and effective.
If you notice your cat has parasites, begin treatment immediately.
5. Wipe your cat with hypoallergenic or dander reducing wipes between baths
Using antiallergenic wipes on your cat’s coat between baths is a really easy way to remove dander and help with flaky skin. There are wipes that are specifically created to reduce dander by moisturizing your cat’s skin and coat.
As many cats hate baths using wipes will help you to keep your cats coat clean for longer.
Many cats are far more tolerant of being wiped with a cloth or a wipe than they are of having a bath so this offers a great alternative option.
6. Feed your cat a high-quality diet
One of the significant factors that impact your cat’s skin health is the food they are eating. Feeding your cat a high-quality cat food will help to ensure they are in good overall health and have healthy skin.
Protein, fat, vitamins and minerals each play vital roles in the health of your cat’s skin and coat.
A poor-quality diet or a diet lacking in proper nutrients often causes dry skin among other issues. Many low-quality diets lack important nutrients such as omega-3 and 6 fatty acids.
7. Speak to your vet
If you’re struggling to reduce your cat’s dander or you’re seeing increasing amounts of dry skin, speak to your vet.
Ask a Vet
If you have serious concerns about your cat’s dander we recommend you speak with a vet ASAP to help you work out what’s going on and what needs to be done. JustAnswer allows you to talk in real-time to veterinary experts for a small fee.
They will be able to examine your cat and may perform tests such as a skin scrape, biopsy or allergy test to see what is causing the excessive dander.
How to Get Rid of Dander in Your House
Handling the amount of dander on your cat is an important part of dealing with the issue but it is equally as important to clean your home to remove the existing dander.
1. Vacuum often (ideally with a HEPA vacuum cleaner)
Using a HEPA filter vacuum will remove up to 99.97% of allergens and will play a significant role in keeping your home dust, dander and allergen free.
2. Use an air filter
Similarly, an air filter will also help as they are designed to reduce the amount of dust and dander in the air.
The great thing about an air filter is that it will be working constantly to remove dander from the air. It’s a good idea to put an air filter or purifier in a room that is frequently used by you and your pets.
3. Wash all bedding often
Dander will cling to material and bedding so be sure to wash your cats bedding weekly to clean it of fur and dander. A hot wash will help to eliminate any dust mites and cat allergens from bedding.
In terms of your bedding, it is best to use allergy free covers as they make it much harder for cat dander to cling to them. These covers make sure the dander doesn’t get trapped in your bed which makes it easier to effectively hoover and remove dander from your bedding.
Ways to Decrease Allergic Reactions
Here are a few simple ways to decrease allergic reactions to cats:
1. Have a cat-free room
This may be difficult initially if your cat is used to having full run of the house but it will be worthwhile as having a cat free room can reduce cat dander in an area you spend a lot of time, for example your bedroom.
Having a cat free bedroom will likely have a positive effect on your sleep quality too and you can continue to spend time with your cat in other areas of the house.
Similarly, it can also be helpful to not let your cat lounge on your sofas or furniture.
That’s definitely easier said than done so another option is covering the furniture with a blanket or making sure you vacuum after your cat has been on the furniture to remove any dander.
2. Wash your hands after touching your cat
Finally, after you’ve been stroking and cuddling your cat, immediately wash your hands.
This sounds obvious but is important as it will remove the allergens clinging to you and will reduce allergic reactions.