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removing cat hair from house

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Old 04-30-2001, 11:00 AM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 2
esb HB User
Post removing cat hair from house


I'm new to this board. Please bear with me, this may be a little long. I was wondering if someone(s) here could help me out. My wife and I just moved into a pre-owned house where there was a cat living there. Probably for at least 5 years, maybe longer. Unfortunately my wife is allergic to cats. She is not deathly allergic, but when she gets around cat dander or saliva, it does get harder for her to breath and she just feels miserable. So I was wondering if someone could tell me how we can remove the maximum ammount of this cat residue from the house? Also, could you answer the specific questions:

1) We have about 700 square feet of carpet. What I have heard is that the best thing to do is to get a powerful vaccum with the best HEPA filter you can find, and then suck as much of that stuff out as possible. Also, you can then spray it with some sort of solution, but I'm not really sure what it is or where to find it. Does this sound like the best mode of action, or do you recommend something else (other than ripping out the carpet)? Also, where might I find this solution?

2) Another person said that the best way to get the cat residue out of the corners of the house is to run a latex glove all along the corners (especially in carpeted areas). Is this the best way to get the hair out of those nicks and crannies?

3) What do I do about the rest of the house? Most of the house is hard wood floors and tile, but I have heard that cat dander/saliva is very sticky. Maybe I should hire a professional cleaning service? What type of soap or solution should I use to clean the floors and walls and such?

4) Finally, what order should I do these things in? I'm guessing:

1 - Use the hard-core vaccum several times
on the carpet

2 - Go over the corners with the latex

3 - spray the solution on the carpet

4 - Get the professional cleaners to come

Thank you for bearing with me. I appreciate ANY help you can give. We have to get this place cleaned of as much cat hair as possible before we really start moving our stuff in.


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Old 05-01-2001, 08:37 PM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 25
jim20 HB User

My house has carpet in the family room and hardwood floors in the rest of the rooms. I'm in the same situation... deathly allergic to cat dander. The previous
residents of this house had cats.

I purchased one of those "certified" HEPA vacuum cleaner and that still didn't help, even after vacuuming many times. It is much more difficult to get the allergen out of the carpet if the cat "missed" the litter box and urinated on the carpet - cat allergen is present in urine/saliva and not just dander.

I also left my HEPA filter and in the room for a weekend while I was gone... the room would be OK for a few days and then I would start to react again.

So.... I purchased a product called "X-Mite" which is made by Allersearch. A 1-pound container is around twenty dollars. Do a search for "x-mite" on any search engine and you will probably find more info on it.

I used the entire container on my carpet, which is approx. 25x25 feet in area. It neutralizes dust mites (hence the name X-Mite) but also deactivates allergens from animals (including cats) and certain pollens. After sprinkling it on the carpet (and you can use it on upholstery too) you brush it into the surface.. I used one of my vacuum cleaner's extension tools that had a brush on the end. You then leave it on the surface for about three hours and then vacuum the entire area.

I haven't heard about using a latex glove around the corners. I have a small extension tool on my vacuum cleaner and I used that to get into the corner areas of the carpet by lifting up the baseboard around the edges just enough to get behind them.

For the hardwood floors... I vacuumed the surface first, and then I used a mild wood soap and scrubbed them with a mop. I didn't use any sort of soap specifically for allergens because I haven't had problems in those rooms.

If the x-mite doesn't work, I'd try renting one of those steam cleaners (you can probably get them at a local grocery store, they usually have them up front for rental) and purchase a cleaner that is specifically for pet allergens. You could always call the professionals but it's much cheaper to do it yourself.

Or, you can skip the entire "cleansing" routine and send your wife to see a doctor for an antihistamine, or replace the carpet. A bit drastic, yes, but it would work!

Hope this helps & good luck!!

Old 05-07-2001, 01:25 PM   #3
Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 2
esb HB User

Hi Jim,

Thanks a lot for your help. I did go to a store to get X-mite this last weekend, but instead the lasy told me to try this spray that does a similar thing. Hopefully it will work as well.

So do you think that the cat hair really only sticks around in the carpeted rooms. Some people have told me that the cat dander is very sticky and thus sticks to the walls. So you think that the concentration in the other rooms is not great enough to be a problem? I hope so, because I am afraid to move our stuff in until we get this issue resolved. So it would be great if I didn't really have to worry about the other rooms. Did you do anything like wipe down the walls with a wet cloth? It seems at bit drastic, but I will do whatever I have to.

Thanks so much,


Old 05-07-2001, 02:02 PM   #4
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: USA
Posts: 25
jim20 HB User

Actually, I re-painted every room in this house before I moved in... and that involved washing the walls, ceilings, etc. I never thought of the cat dander on the walls and stuff.. but it may have been on the walls and I got rid of it when I painted :-) So yeah, I'd wash the walls and ceilings a bit if you want, but definately get the floors!

I don't know if you have baseboard or central heat or whatever.. but I have a gas furnace with vents in every room. If you have the same, I'd advise that you put a filter over the vent in your bedroom. I did the same in the bedroom.. But you don't want to do it in every room as this will strain your heating system because it has to work harder to force air through the filters. You can buy these filters in rolls and just cut off the amount you need and use velcro to keep them on top of the vent, or open up the vent and put them between the duct and the vent as it comes up through the floor. There could be cat dander within the heating ducts and the filters could help.

Old 05-29-2001, 02:20 AM   #5
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: Michigan
Posts: 14
cksmlap HB User

Hi! I'm allergic to cats also. Here's what my allergist said.

-It can take 7+ years to get rid of all the cat dander in the home the longer that cat was there, the longer it will take

-replace the carpet

-use several layers of cheesecloth behind the register ducts of your furnace/central air ducts. Having the ducts cleaned doesn't do enough and doesn't catch all the dander and replace the filters every 2-3 months and replace the cheesecloth monthly or as often as needed.

-use a vaccuum with a certified hepa filter

-use a air cleaner with certified hepa filter

-mite products do not work - the only way to kill them is in hot water for several minutes.

-products that you apply to your pet and/or home to reduce dander allergens do not work.

What helped me most was to continue my allergy meds, I use a Phantom vaccuum, an air filter in my bedroom and wherever I spend most of my time (family room) and on each floor, and the cheesecloth technique and change my the filters every 3 months.

It seems like a lot to do, but I found my allergist advice helpful and effective! Good luck!

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