How Long Does Cat Dander Stay on Surfaces?
Cat Dander Can Stick Around for Months
Do you love cats but suffer from allergies? If so, you're not alone. As much as 20% of the population is allergic to cats. While it's not always possible to avoid allergens altogether, you can do a few things to minimize your exposure.
Cat dander is a potent allergen that can cause allergies (allergic rhinitis) in sensitive individuals. It's essential to understand how long cat dander stays on surfaces so that you can take steps to reduce your exposure. Cat dander is light and easily goes airborne, which means it can stick around for months if not properly removed. Since it’s so lightweight, dander can be easily re-aerosolized, causing allergy symptoms and spreading around to other surfaces. Fabrics and upholstery are often magnets for cat dander due to their static properties.
Cat dander is made up of tiny flakes of skin shed by cats. These flakes are light and easily transported through the air, where they can stick to surfaces such as clothing, furniture, and bedding. Once airborne, cat dander can remain suspended for long periods, making it a potent allergen for people with respiratory sensitivities. Also, cat fur can collect (and cling to) pollen, mold spores, dust mites, and other common allergens.
Allergens from pets are ubiquitous and can even be found in homes and other environments where animals have never been present. Aside from cat allergens spreading through the air, people can also carry and spread allergens on their clothing or shoes. Pet allergens – including cat allergens – will not lose their strength for long. In fact, the allergens can remain at high levels for several months and can collect on furniture, clothing, walls, mattresses, drapes, and other surfaces.
Cat hair itself is not an allergen; however, it can collect allergens like dust and pollen and cause allergy symptoms. In those cases, the allergy is to the dust or pollen, not the cat.
Although anyone can develop allergies anytime, some families are more prone to them. While allergies to a specific allergen aren’t inherited, the overall likelihood of developing allergies is increased when other family members have allergies.
How Do I Get Rid of Cat Dander in My House?
Out of other common allergens, like dust mites, molds, and pollen, cat dander is the smallest. Since cat dander becomes airborne and hangs out in the air for long periods, those who are allergic can constantly be exposed to the allergen. If not appropriately managed, allergies to cats can lead to decreased quality of life, including difficulty sleeping, lack of energy, and worse.
Fortunately, if you have cat allergies, you can take steps to reduce symptoms. If you're allergic to cats, here are some things you can do to reduce your exposure to cat dander.
- First, start by creating an “allergy-free” zone in your home (such as your bedroom, home office, or another room you spend a lot of time in) by prohibiting your cat’s access. Remember, dander levels will always be highest in areas where the pet is physically present, so this will minimize your exposure while you sleep or relax.
- Bathe cats regularly with our The Ecology Works Anti-Allergen Pet Shampoo to remove allergens from their fur. Bathing a cat can be daunting the first time, but it is possible with a bit of patience (and a lot of treats.)
- Use high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters in your home's HVAC system to remove allergens from the air; these filters are particularly effective at removing smaller particles like cat dander.
- Instead of using a regular vacuum cleaner that will simply spew allergens back into the air, use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to capture allergens effectively.
- Clean frequently and thoroughly with The Ecology Works Anti-Allergen Solution and a damp microfiber cloth to remove dust and dander from surfaces.
- Use The Ecology Works Anti-Allergen Laundry Detergent to regularly wash articles such as bedding, clothing, couch covers, pillows, curtains, pet beds, and other fabrics that may have come into contact with cat dander.
What is the Best Laundry Detergent to Remove Cat Dander?
The Ecology Works Anti-Allergen Laundry Detergent is free of perfumes, dyes, and enzymes. This 100% biodegradable, plant- and mineral-based laundry detergent neutralizes common indoor allergens, including cat and dog dander, molds, and dust mites, on contact. One container provides up to 40 wash loads.
Have questions about which allergen-reducing products are best for your home? Contact us today to talk about allergen-busting, or check out our Instagram for everyday tips on reducing or preventing allergies for the long term.