What is Cat Dander ?
Cat dander is nothing but the dead skin cells of cats. In fact shedding of the dead skin tissue is not limited to animals alone. Even in humans it is noticed. The word dandruff is actually derived from dander meaning dead skin. But usually reference of the word dander is made with regard to animal skin. Loosing dead skin is a natural process in the course of normal growth cycle.
The allergy causing protein present in the cat generally takes piggyback ride on the dander. That means the dander acts as a carrier of the allergen though does not cause any allergy on its own. Till now 12 separate allergy-causing proteins have been discovered in cats.
Fel D 1 (Felis domesticus allergen1) and Cat Dander
The most common allergy causing protein is Fel D 1 (Felis domesticus allergen1). Around 80% of the affected individuals are afflicted by this. Though exact nature of this protein is still a mystery, it is widely perceived to be secreted along with the sebum (lubricant which oils the skin). Through this it reaches the skin. The other prominent locations where theses proteins are most likely present include the following:
- Lachrymal glands (tear ducts)
- Anal glands
- Breast milk
Research in this area predicts that Fel D 1 (Felis domesticus allergen1) is derived from the hormones (endocrine glands). Castrated male cats do not secret this protein.
Treatment and Prevention of Cat Dander Allergy
The treatment options for cat dander allergy include the following:
- Remove the pet entirely
- House the pet separately if possible
- Use energy-based allergy treatments such as NAET (Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Techniques) or Bioset which often leads to permanent cure