|Posted on July 26, 2014 at 10:00 PM|
Fel d 1 is a tiny protein expressed in saliva, skin oils, and via the anal glands. Salivary Fel d 1 is spread through the fur during grooming, and sebaceous Fel d 1 also spreads through the fur through expression. The Fel d 1 enters the atmosphere via loose hair, dander, and the litter box.. The allergen is very stable and can remain active in the environment for over a year. Anally expressed Fel d 1 ends up in the litter box, of course, which is why Unfair Rule # 1 for allergy households exists: Allergic persons should not scoop litter boxes. If you are the allergic party and live alone, consider investing in an automatic litter box. Then use a mask to protect you when emptying the container or washing out the unit.
Using an electrostatic air filter on your furnace together with a HEPA filter helps to remove the floating hairs and dusts that carry the dander and allergen proteins about your home. If you have radiators or electric baseboard heat, invest in high quality room air filtration units.
When selecting furniture, opt for leather and hard surfaces- things that can be easily wiped clean. Use blinds or shades that can be wiped, instead of curtains.
Use glass enclosed display areas to keep treasured items from becoming catch alls for dander.
Be sure to select a low dust, non scented litter. If you can't find any, consider using play box sand which is fine grained and very dust free. The downside is you will absolutely need to dump this litter every day or so, as the urine will not clump in it. Adding baking soda to the litter box helps neutralize urine odor in between dumpings. An additional benefit to dumping frequently and then washing / disinfecting the litter box is that it is a very good way to maintain cat health, especially if you have two or more cats.
Keeping your Siberian groomed reduces loose hair in the environment. Use Allerpet C before grooming to prevent the allergen from becoming airborne during daily brushing or combing. Washing your cat weekly removes the dander and protein from the body. You can simply use tap water or a mild shampoo. It is simply the act of thoroughly wetting the coat, rubbing it, and then rinsing thoroughly that mechanically removes the dander and deposited fel d 1. We use one cup of white vinegar in a bucket of warm tap water as our final rinse (or second to final - you may want to use a neutral smelling conditioner after the rinse if a vinegar scent bothers you!!).
Bathing cats with shampoos or grooming solutions which contain tannins or borates deactivates many allergens. Normal levels of the allergen deposits return within a week. Routine bathing of your Siberian, combined with vacuuming rugs, mopping floors, and wiping off surfaces, reduces the allergen buildup in your home.
In homes with some allergic and some non allergic individuals, it is realistic to declare certain areas "off limits" to your cat. Bedrooms are top priority. Next is a family room or other area that the allergic person(s) spends a lot of time. Even installing doors to provide a "cat free zone" is a realistic step.
Speaking of bedrooms, use the "Transition Room" as a permanent bedroom /retreat for your Siberian. When you go to bed, so does kitty - in his or her own bedroom. Keep the HEPA filter running at all times in there. Also HEPA vacuum daily, and open your Siberian's bedroom window for at least one hour a day. The hours your kitty is in her room are hours that dander is not distributed throughout the house. It is also a great safety measure: you can Siberian proof her bedroom area and not worry about her biting through light cords, or getting into cleaners or medications while you are sleeping. Finally, in cases of emergency, you know where your cat is. With a carry crate in that room, you can easily get your cat safely confined and removed from the house, or let rescue people know where to find your beloved pet, instead of having her terrified and hiding in the house "somewhere."
Consider implementing as many of these steps as you can if you are cat allergic and would like to ensure that both you and your Siberian are comfortable at home!
ForestWind Siberians... pure, healthy kittens since 2005