Allergens at home - Pet dander

Allergens at home: Pet Dander

And how Philips can help

4 min. read

We believe there is always a way to make life better. That’s why we’re dedicated to creating comprehensive solutions to help improve air quality at home. In this article we introduce the allergens our furry friends are shedding and provide tips on what you can do to avoid them.


So, what exactly is pet dander?

Your immune system protects you against foreign invaders, such as bacteria, fungi and viruses, that can cause infections. However, in people with allergies, your immune system mistakes a substance that’s ordinarily harmless to most people for something that’s dangerous – and attacks it. One of these substances is the proteins contained in pet dander.


Let’s take a closer look

Pet dander is made up of tiny, even microscopic, bits of skin shed by animals with fur or feathers, like cats, dogs, rodents and birds. These flecks can cause reactions in people who are specifically allergic to them. But it’s not just your furry friend’s skin you’ve got to think about. Proteins found in their saliva, urine and faeces can also cause allergic reactions in some people.


Pet allergens can get into the air when an animal is petted or groomed, or when they’re stirred up after settling through dusting, vacuuming or other household activities. And because they’re very lightweight and small, once they get into the air, they can remain suspended there for a long time[1].


Is there such a thing as hypoallergenic cats?

Unfortunately, the answer here is no, because regardless of hair length, cat saliva, urine and dander also carry allergens. Some cat breeds, like Siberian and Russian blue, are thought to be less allergenic, but there is no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic cat.[2][3]

Allergens at home - Pet dander, allergic facts

Did you know that roughly twice as many people report allergies to cats compared to dogs?[4]

How can I avoid pet dander?

The microscopic size and jagged shape of pet allergens means they can easily stick to furniture, bedding, fabrics and many items carried into and out of the home. That’s why pet dander is easily spread through the home and can be found even in homes and buildings without pets. Luckily though, there are some pointers to keep it at bay:


  • Use a high-filtration vacuum cleaner with filters capable of retaining a high proportion of the smallest particles and vacuum all surfaces of upholstered furniture at least twice a week
  • Wash sofa covers every couple of weeks with allergy-friendly laundry detergent
  • Frequently wash rugs in hot water wherever possible – dry cleaning would also be beneficial
  • Keep pets out of the bedroom, and keep your bedroom door firmly shut so that your pets are unable to enter the bedroom at any time
  • Take your pet to a groomer’s or wear a face mask while grooming your pet yourself [5][6]


Philips Air Purifiers have an in-built advanced multi-layer filtration that is capable of removing 99.97% of airborne allergens such as pet dander. If you’d like to know more about how you and your family can enjoy clean and healthier air, simply follow this link.


Go on, breathe the difference, today.





[3] Adrian Morris. ABC OF ALLERGOLOGY. Current Allergy & Clinical Immunology, June 2008 Vol 21, No. 2

[4] B.-M. Bellach. Der Bundes-Gesundheitssurvey 1998. Gesundheitswesen 61 (1999) Sonderheft 2 S55–S56. Robert Koch-Institut, Berlin.

[5] Environmental assessment and exposure control: a practice parameter—furry animals. J. Portnoy et al. / Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol 108 (2012) 223.e1–223.e15

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