Coping with a cat litter allergy isn’t easy.
In this article, we will show you not just one, but 5 things you can do to reduce or even get rid of those annoying cat litter allergy symptoms.
Treating allergies will differ from person to person and cat to cat. Because of this, we advise you to try out different things and hopefully you will find something that works for both you and your furry friend.
Are you ready? Here we go.
Change the Type of Cat Litter
Cat litter comes in a variety of materials. Litter made out of clay will in most cases generate dust which is a well known allergen. On top of that clay can attract dust mites, another allergen source. Try to stay clear of these clay-based litters and go for the hypoallergenic varieties.
There are many different types of cat litters on the market, but essentially most of them fall into three distinct categories: clay-based, silica-based, and biodegradable. The last two tend to produce little to no dust.
Scan through the ingredients list located on your cat litter packaging. Non-clumping conventional litters are typically made out of clay. If you are using clumping cat litter there is a high chance it is made from granulated bentonite clay. These are the types you probably want to avoid. On the other hand, if you are allergic to the biodegradable types you might want to look for a clay-based litter that is very low on dust.
Biodegradable litters are made from various plant resources, including pine wood pellets, recycled newspaper, corn, wheat, and walnuts. An added advantage that these litters have is that they are much more friendly to the environment.
Silica gel litter is often referred to as “crystal litter”. The silica used in these products is similar to the beads packed in a permeable bag that are used as a preservative for goods that can be damaged by excess moisture. Because the granules in this type of litter are not fine, they produce a lot less dust.
Keep in mind that switching litter might take some time as it is typically a process of trial and error. But don’t get discouraged as changing litter is one of the best ways to reduce cat litter allergies.
By changing the litter you potentially help correct another problem. If your cat stopped using the litter box because she/he is allergic to the litter, switching might just help to get your kitty on the catbox again.
Check the Location of the Litter Box
Preferably the litter box is placed in a well-ventilated area, but make sure to avoid highly trafficked areas to reduce exposure to the cat litter.
Choose an area like a garage or laundry room that has vents to the outside. On top of keeping dust out, odors can also escape.
Make sure to keep the litter tray away from central air intake vents, as these will spread the dust throughout your home. Having the allergens circulating around your house will probably make things worse.
Avoid rooms where you spend a lot of your time or that you frequent a lot. The main goal is to come into the least amount of contact with the kitty litter.
Empty the Cat Litter Frequently
Make sure to change the litter often. Keep the box as clean as possible by washing it down at least once a week. This will reduce allergen buildup.
As cat urine and feces can also contain allergens, scoop at least once or twice a day. It’s even better if you can get to it as soon as your kitty has made a deposit. There are self-cleaning litter boxes available that use a sensor to tell when a cat has entered and then left the litter box.
Twice a week is a general guideline for replacing litter. Fitting a litter liner in your cat’s litter box can help minimize spillage when emptying the box.
Scrub the box every time you change the litter using a mild dish detergent. Be careful when using stronger cleaning products as they can turn a cat off, and in some cases are toxic to cats.
If possible, have someone in the household who is not allergic scoop or empty the box. Otherwise using a mask and gloves can help minimize allergic reactions.
Emptying the litter is not one of the most fun chores to do around the house. But on the bright side, by regularly changing the cat litter you have the added advantage that the litter box will always smell fresh.
Wipe or Wash Often
When your kitty uses the catbox, litter material will inevitably end up on paws and fur as cats instinctively try to cover their feces. Wiping or washing your cat will help keep potential allergens on your feline’s fur to a minimum.
Frequent baths wash away cat litter allergens on the coat and skin. Make sure to use a cat-friendly shampoo with no scent, and no additives. Look for one that does not dry out your cat’s skin.
As bathing is typically very stressful for a cat we recommend that you first apply a flower essence blend to reduce your cat’s anxiety. If your cat flips out just let go as a frightened, distressed cat will shred or bite you to get free.
For felines who prefer not to be rinsed in the tub, cat wipes are a good alternative. They might actually be more effective as they can be used on a daily basis and are less stressful for your cat. Wipe from back of the ears to tail, carefully avoiding eyes.
Note that washing also applies to your own hands whenever they have been in contact with the cat litter. Either directly or via your cat’s fur.
Try an Air Purifier
As litter dust can occur throughout your home, getting an air purifier for the area that you or your pet are immediately in can actually be a great way to decrease allergens and dust mites.
Even with constant cleaning and vacuuming, it’s difficult to keep the air in living spaces clean. An air purifier can help to take on this problem, and effectively get rid of these airborne allergens.
Make sure to look for a model that comes with a HEPA air filter. These filters trap 99.97% of the dust, dust mites, and other allergens out of the air.
You can buy a free-standing unit or you can also get models that are attached to the heating or cooling system.
Keep in mind that having an air purifier does not mean you can stop cleaning. They clean the air but litter dust can still be attached to the floor and other surfaces.