by Nick Gromicko
Cats and dogs produce allergens that pose a health threat to certain individuals.
Modes of Transmission
Cat dander consists of microscopic pieces of cat skin that have dried, flaked off and become airborne. Shed dander can land on and stick to bedding, curtains, carpeting, and other surfaces, including people's skin and clothing. It contains Fel D1, a glycoprotein found in the cat's sebaceous glands, located under their skin, and, to a lesser extent, it is found in cats' saliva and urine. Fel D1 can cause rapid allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Unlike cats, the dogs’ allergen, Can F1, is found in higher concentrations in their saliva than in their sebaceous glands.
Facts and Figures
Pets are forbidden by many lease agreements, which may then be violated by tenants who secretly house cats or dogs. Also, cats may visit a residence at night to forage for food or gain shelter. The following detection methods may be used:
Inspectors may be asked about pet-allergen cleanup by clients who are looking to buy a home but are concerned about the air quality in their prospective new home. The following suggestions may be offered:
A combination of approaches—medical control of symptoms, good housecleaning and planning—is most likely to succeed in allowing an allergic person to live with pets. For allergic clients who won’t give up their pets, inspectors can pass on the following tips:
In summary, irritation and contamination caused by pet allergens can be limited by proper care of their hygiene, homes and owners.