Battling Family Allergies to Cats

Knowing the source may go a long way toward control

While cat hair takes the blame for causing cat allergies, it is the proteins in cat saliva that stimulate most human allergic reactions. The “dander” or dried saliva left on your cat’s hair coat after she grooms—not the hair—is usually the true culprit. To reduce exposure, keep your cat well-groomed (microfiber cloth is great at grabbing dander), dust and vacuum daily, and limit your cat’s access to specific rooms, such as bedrooms. Change furnace filters regularly, consider air filters in rooms, and wash bedding regularly. It also helps if you wash your hands after playing with the cat. Many cat allergies can be controlled with standard allergy drugs. Talk with your physician.