We have two cats and I love them both, however I am allergic. We never had cats when I was a kid so I didn’t know I was allergic until we had already adopted our cats. I can’t justify getting rid of them since they are a part of the family, but I do have to work harder to keep certain things clean around the house, so I don’t end up sneezing all day. So today I’m sharing my tips for how I clean our home to prevent cat allergies.
#1 Floor Care
If you have carpet in your house it’s important to vacuum it often. Cat hair and dander will get caught in the carpet and cause your allergies to act up, if it’s not vacuumed regularly. To keep allergies at bay vacuum every other day, but if you can’t do that, at the very least vacuum once a week.
Sprinkling Arm & Hammer baking soda over the carpet, before you vacuum, will also help to keep your carpets fresh and get rid of any “pet smell”.
Wood, linoleum, and other types of flooring don’t attract hair and dander, like carpet does, but hair will still gather around the baseboards and corners of the room. It’s just as important to vacuum these surfaces at least once a week too. Vacuuming is better than sweeping, for allergy reduction, because sweeping will just push the allergens back up into the air.
Our cats love to lay on the comfy chairs in the living room, and cuddle next to us on the couch while we are watching TV. This results in our furniture being covered in cat hair. For a quick and easy clean up of the hair I use a lint roller to pick it up. However the lint roller doesn’t pick up the dander in the cushions so I also like to vacuum my furniture, yes I said vacuum the furniture. If you have a vacuum with a detachable hose you can buy a mini turbine tool that attaches to the hose and vacuums the furniture just like the floor!
If you don’t have a detachable hose you can also just pick your vacuum up and place it on the furniture to vacuum it. I have done it both ways, and they both work just as well.
#3 Allergen Pillows
I was recently given an allergen pillow and it has really helped reduce allergies! If you have cat allergies I recommend investing in a good, washable allergen pillow and cover. These pillows are made of cotton and polyester and their “allergy proof fabric prevents collection of dust mites, pet dander, pollen and other allergy triggers”. When you wash the pillow it refluffs, so you don’t ever have to worry about it getting ratty from washing it.
If you allow your cats to lay on the bed, make sure you also wash your bedding and vacuum your mattress regularly.
#4 Fresh Air
Fresh air is very important for keeping allergies at bay so when the weather is nice I keep our windows open as much as possible. Allowing the fresh air to flow through the house reduces dander in the air, which drastically reduces allergy symptoms. When it’s too hot, or too cold out, the best way to keep the air clean is with an air purifier. There are a lot of very affordable air purifiers on the market, that will help to cut down allergy symptoms year round.
#5 Cat Care
Properly caring for your cat is another thing that must not be over looked. Grooming them can really to help reduce allergies:
- Brush, or vacuum, them regularly
- Have them shaved in the early summer months to reduce shedding around the house
Good litter is also important because there are so many on the market that are really dusty, and scented, which only makes the air smell worse, and me sneeze more. We use a low-dust, scent-free litter from Arm & Hammer, and it’s amazing. The baking soda in the litter absorbs the smell, and gives it advanced odor control, and it keeps the litter box fresh and clean.
#6 Wash Your Hands
I know this seems like a silly thing to have on this list, but it’s so important. After petting your cat(s) don’t touch anything until you have washed your hands. All too often I forget that I was petting one of the cats and then I’ll touch my face, or worse, my nose or eyes, and then I’ll break out and itch for hours! The oils from your cats skin and hair gets transferred to your hands when you are petting them so it’s important that you get up and wash your hands before doing anything else. Make sure you scrub under your nails too because oil and dander can easily hide under there. This is a very basic rule but for me it’s also one of the hardest ones to remember.
This is how I clean our house to reduce my cat allergies but if you have any other tricks I would love to hear them! I am always on the look out for more, or even better ways, to reduce allergy symptoms!