Allergens are proteins which most commonly originate from pollen in the air. But also in dust mites, their excrements or even in animal hair. So far, eight different allergens have been found in cats. Of these, Fel d 1 (Felis domesticus) is the most common and important biomarker – it is the most likely to trigger an allergy and is responsible for the disease in up to 95 percent of all cat allergy sufferers.
Air purification and cat washing
While country cats often roam about outdoors and are exposed to allergen-regulating dirt, the “clean” indoor cats often live in rooms that are excessively clean rather than hygienic. This leads to a much higher exposure to allergens. Fel d 1 allergens are found on textiles, furniture and everywhere else in homes occupied by cats. Often long after they have moved out. Besides cleaning textiles with detergents in a washing machine, it helps to also dry them in a tumble dryer.
Washing the cat itself can also significantly reduce the amount of allergens, but is not really a solution with lasting effect and must be repeated weekly.
Using air filtration devices is advisable against so-called indoor feline asthma, provided the devices are equipped with a HEPA filter.
Current and detailed information about cat allergies can be found here. Or in the current book “Diagnose Katzenallergie” by Karl-Christian Bergmann.