Good Healthcare Requires Treatment of Your Mind, Body, and Soul

Good Healthcare Requires Treatment of Your Mind, Body, and Soul

What To Do If You Have A Cat Allergy & Suspect The Previous Tenant Had A Cat

by Hugh Larson

Most tenants who have cat allergies specifically look for rental units that are—and have always been—cat free. However, sometimes a previous tenant secretly kept a cat in what was supposed to be a no pet rental unit. If you have recently moved into a rental unit and suspect a previous tenant had a cat, there are a few things you can do so you don't have to continue to suffer with allergy symptoms. Here's what you need to know. 

Deal with your landlord or property manager 

In a perfect world, all carpeting and surfaces would be cleaned in between tenants, but that's not always the case in the real world. Ask the landlord if he or she had the carpets cleaned prior to your moving in. If not, ask them to have the carpets cleaned and other surfaces cleaned by a professional cleaning service. Explain to them that you have a cat allergy and suspect the previous tenant had a cat due to your allergy symptoms. 

If they say they have had everything cleaned, use a lint roller on the carpeting to see if any cat hair is picked up. If so, you'll have proof that either the carpets were not cleaned or not cleaned thoroughly enough. Show the landlord what the lint roller picked up and ask them to do the carpeting again. If they refuse, consider speaking with a lawyer about your legal standing in the matters, which depends on your location's laws and regulations. 

Speak with your allergist or primary care physician

It's important to understand when you have allergic rhinitis, you are at risk of developing asthma. In fact, according to researchers from the National Institutes of Health, your risk increases 3-5 times when having allergic rhinitis. Therefore, it's crucial to control the environment where you live. A letter from your allergist or primary care physician may be helpful in getting through to the landlord or property management personnel. Also, ask your medical team what you can do to reduce your allergy symptoms. 

Take medication to prevent allergic reactions

Preventive medication will likely be necessary for you to be able to stand being in your rental unit. You'll need medication that will suppress your body's response to immunoglobin E antibodies, which helps to prevent allergic reactions. The response your body has to cat dander includes the production of the following mediators: tryptases, prostaglandins, leukotrienes, cytokines, chemokines, and the well-known histamine.

Therefore, you'll need to take more than just an anti-histamine. Fortunately, there are nasal sprays available that combat the production of each type of mediator. One such medication is fluticasone nasal spray. However, you may need to take this medication for several days before it will be effective. 

Purchase HEPA air cleaner(s)

Even though preventive medication like fluticasone nasal spray can help, it's still a good idea to clean the air in the rental unit in addition to cleaning the carpeting and other surfaces. Animal dander, which is skin scales, is extremely small and lightweight, which means it can float in the air. Dander that doesn't get removed from the rental property by cleaning can get kicked up into the air and float for hours. 

Run a HEPA filter air cleaner in the rental unit. Your landlord or property manager may have a few units available for your use. Definitely keep one in your bedroom where you likely spend most of your time when at home. Have someone else change the filters in the air cleaners so you don't expose yourself to the dander again, especially during the time period while you are waiting for the nasal spray to begin working. 


About Me

Good Healthcare Requires Treatment of Your Mind, Body, and Soul

I have worked in a supportive role in the medical industry for over 20 years, and I have been amazed at the advances in medicine that have been made. While it is always great to hear about a new medication that helps cure a disease or a new surgical procedure that can help someone live a normal life again after an injury, I have been especially amazed at the research that has shown just how much our physical and mental health are connected. Since I keep on top of all of the amazing medical studies being performed and I know others are too busy to hunt them down themselves, I decided to start a blog to share my favorite health tips for keeping both your mind and body healthy.