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If you share your home with a cat, you have dander. These dead flakes of skin are a highly potent allergen that can wreak havoc with respiratory conditions such as asthma and allergies. Here are 5 pieces of information that will help.

What you can't see can be a problem. There's an old saying that what you don't know won't hurt you. But if you are sensitive to the protein found in these dead skin flakes, your body doesn't have to be told that it's there. And it can definitely hurt your quality of life by causing you to sneeze, wheeze, itch, have watery eyes, and a congested nose.

Because these particles are microscopic, they cannot be seen with the naked eye. Don't let that give you a false sense of security about your air quality.

There's no getting rid of it. Replacing older skin with newer skin that is more able to protect the body against disease and infection is the body's ingenious way of keeping your pooch as healthy as possible. So this process is normal for all warm-blooded animals. That means that it's a fact of life for as long as you have your pet.

Grooming your cat can help minimize the amount of dander on your cat. That means there is less to attach to furniture and go airborne with daily activities. Feeding it a healthy diet can also help keep skin healthier and reduce unusually high amounts of shedding because of improper nutrients.

Every cat produces it. There is no such thing as a cat that doesn't produce dander. Even with minimal hair, this process of rejuvenating skin continues. And even though the hair and fur are not the actual allergens, because dander is sticky stuff, it often attaches to these particles and makes it seem as though these big particles are the allergens.

Eliminating hair and other particles can help. In addition to pet-related pollutants there are a number of particulates found in indoor spaces regardless of how clean it is. They include dust, dust mites, mold and mildew spores, seasonal pollen, bacteria and viruses.

By reducing the number of airborne particles, you are also reducing the microscopic particles (dander, bacteria, and viruses) that use them to travel from one host to another. That means you can eliminate multiple sized particles. And that's a good thing.

Filtering the air is the most reliable way to reduce dander. A high efficiency particle arresting (HEPA) filter is specifically designed to remove airborne particulates that are .3 microns or greater in size. A micron is defined as one millionth of a meter is considerably smaller than the period at the end of this sentence.

Nothing will get rid of all of the airborne particles. But by continually filtering the air of normal pollutants as well as the ones your cat generates will drastically reduce the respiratory issues that can be caused by the protein in dander.

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