81 days ago

Cat Allergy

Owner from Curtain Clean BOP Ltd

What is cat allergen?
An allergen is a material that is capable of provoking an allergic reaction, such as pollen grains, dust mites or foods. Cat allergen is not cat hair, but a protein present in the dander and saliva of cats. These allergens become airborne as microscopic particles that can produce allergic symptoms when inhaled into the nose or lungs.

Although individual cats may produce more or less allergen, there is no relationship between the pet’s hair length and allergen production, and no such thing as a non-allergenic breed.

Where is cat allergen found?
Cat allergen is present in the largest amounts in homes with cats, but has also been found in homes where cats have never been present, and in offices or public spaces where animals are not allowed. Cat allergen is particularly sticky and is carried on clothing to other locations. It is almost impossible to not be exposed to some level of cat allergen. Of course, levels of exposure will be much higher where cats are present, and these levels are more likely to cause allergic symptoms.

Because cat allergen particles are particularly small (1/10 the size of dust mite allergen), they remain airborne for prolonged periods of time. Cat allergic individuals are more likely to have a rapid onset of symptoms when entering a room with cats, because the allergen will be in the air and can be easily inhaled. Opening windows, using exhaust fans and using high-efficiency air cleaners can decrease airborne allergen levels.

Soft furnishings, such as carpets, sofas, and mattresses, will hold cat allergen even after a cat is removed from the home or banished from the bedroom. It has been shown that it can take as long as 20 weeks for levels of allergen in carpets to decrease to the levels found in a home without a cat, and up to five years for cat allergen levels in mattresses to decrease to such levels. Removal or treatment of the carpet and sofa, and encasing of the mattress, will reduce the continued exposure to these reservoirs of allergen.

Cat allergen is also found on vertical surfaces such as walls. Attempts to decrease cat allergen exposure in a home should include wall cleaning. If the cat is removed to a restricted area of the home, it is important to realise that airflow through the duct system in a hot air heated home could spread the allergen. Efficient vent and furnace filters could help trap the allergens and reduce this spread.

Step 1: Use Allergen Wash. To get all the cat saliva and dander off your clothing and bedding, use a special detergent that removes all allergens. Use the warmest water setting possible for the fabrics to get all of the saliva and dander out.

Step 2: Use a vacuum with a high efficiency air filter. These filters remove more allergens from the carpeting and upholstery than regular vacuums. Vacuum all the floors and furniture thoroughly to get everything out. Wait several hours after the first vacuuming and go over everything again. This allows the dust you stir up the first time to settle, and you get the remnants of that dust on the second vacuuming. Make sure to empty the vacuum or change the bag outside to prevent everything you vacuumed from coming back in.

Step 3: Steam clean. After vacuuming everything completely, go over the whole area with a steam cleaner. The steam cleaner gets more of the allergens out of the carpet than the vacuum, picking up the cat saliva and dander deeper in the fibres.

Step 4: Take it to the cleaners. Take things you can't wash, such as curtains, to the cleaners. Cleaning will remove the cat saliva and dander from the fabrics. Curtain Clean has a special product used to remove cat allergen. You should advise your curtain or dry cleaners of your allergy so they may apply the correct product.

Step 5: Keep the cats off your fabrics. As soon as the cats get close to any of the fabrics, the dander and saliva will return. Studies have demonstrated that washing of cats with water removes much of their surface allergen, and significantly reduces the amount of future cat allergen produced.

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4 days ago

Your favourite ever summer holiday

Lorna Thornber Reporter from Stuff Travel

Hi everyone,
Now that summer's finally here and the holidays are just around the corner for many, we'd love to hear about your favourite summer holiday memories. Has there been a trip that you continue to think about years later? Where did you go, with who and what did you get up to? What made it such a stand-out experience? As usual, please put 'NFP' in your comment if you don't want it included in a travel article. Cheers.

1 day ago

Housing choice plan change - have your say

Communications from Tauranga City Council

We regularly review our City Plan to monitor it’s effectiveness and to respond to any emerging issues.

Our housing shortage is a good example. As we grow, we need to ensure we have enough homes for people to live in and housing types to accommodate our changing population. To allow Tauranga to grow up as well as out and enable more housing choice, our City Plan rules need to make it easier to provide for more types of housing.

Head over to our website to find out what we’re proposing and have your say.

Remember, what you do with your house or land is up to you – but the proposed changes would open up a wealth of opportunity for our community and our city over time.

16 hours ago

It's International Volunteer Day!

The Team from Red Cross Shop Greerton

To our RC Shop Volunteers,

Thank you for your amazing support and the kindness you show Red Cross. Our shop couldn’t do it without you, you are the heart of our work and we are very grateful for the service you give to our shop. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

If you are not a Red Cross Shop Volunteer yet and you would like to become one, just hit the Read More button for further information.