Photo of cat and dogDid you know that in the United States alone more than 65% of households have at least one pet?

That’s quite a high percentage given the fact that three out of 10 people have cat or dog allergies.

It seems like a lot of us are voluntarily putting ourselves through the agony of pet allergies just because we love our cats and dogs so much.

And while the best treatment for this issue is to remove pets from the home, we both know that isn’t going to happen. Therefore, it’s only natural for you to wonder, “Do air purifiers work for pet allergies?”

Air purifiers claim to clean the air around you so it’s fresh to breathe, but do air purifiers help with pet dander?

In this post, we’ll answer that exact question so you’ll know if an air purifier is a good choice for you or not.

We’ll start with the short answer to give you a brief hint of what’s ahead and then go into a more detailed explanation in order to give you a well-rounded response.

The Short Answer:

Yes, an air purifier can help with pet allergies. It removes particles like cat dander from the air so you don’t breathe it in or get it in your eyes. Just make sure that it uses a True HEPA filter, which is the best kind for removing pet dander.

If this is what you’re looking for, you can find our review of the best air purifiers for pets here.

A More Detailed Answer:

First, What Causes Pet Allergies?

The job of your immune system is to protect your body from infections and threats. People who are allergic to cats or dogs have an overly sensitive immune system that sees pet dander as a danger to the body.

In response, your immune system flares up and sets off an allergic reaction.

A lot of people think that pet allergies come from exposure to pet hair. That’s simply not true.

Pet dander is so much more than pet hair. A lot of it comes from the tiny dead skin flakes that your animals lose throughout the day. Pet dander is also a protein that you find in your cat or dog’s saliva, feces, and urine.

Pet dander by itself is harmless, but your overactive immune system sees it as a threat.

The protein in cats that cause allergies are called the Fel d I protein, and the proteins you react to in dogs are called Can f I and Can f II. Pet dander that is shed from your animal’s skin has ragged edges, so it makes it very easy for it to stick to fabrics and spread throughout your home.

Twice as many people report having allergies to cats over dogs, and this can lead them to the question, “Do air purifiers work for cat allergies as well as dog allergies?”

We’ll tackle that question next.

Second, Can an Air Purifier Help with Pet Dander?

Absolutely.

An air purifier’s job is to remove particles from your indoor air. This includes things like pet dander.

If you add an air purifier to your home, you should notice a rapid improvement in your allergy reaction levels as long as it includes a HEPA filter.

A HEPA filter can remove up to 99.97% of particles ranging from 0.3 microns in size and up. A micron is a unit of measurement that is too small for the human eye to see. In technical terms, a micron means one-millionth of a meter.

In addition to removing dog and cat dander, a HEPA air purifier can also reduce:

  • Bacteria
  • Mold
  • Dust
  • Smoke

Now, a logical question you may be having is, “Will an air purifier help with cat allergies or dog allergies if it doesn’t have a HEPA filter?”

The answer is no.

The air purifier must have a HEPA filter for it to remove pet dander that causes your allergy symptoms.

This is a key concept to remember because not all air purifiers include a HEPA filter. Some air purifiers use a process called ionization to clean the air which is not nearly as efficient for pet allergies.

Lastly, How Do You Find the Best Air Purifier for Pet Allergies?

Now that you know how well HEPA air purifiers help with pet dander, you’re probably curious to find out which products are best made for cats and dogs.

If you’re ready to find out more, you can check out our review of the best air purifiers for pets here.

Summary – Can Air Purifiers Help with Pet Allergies?

The answer is yes. Here’s a recap of what you learned:

  • Pet allergies are caused by an overactive immune system.
  • When you have an allergic reaction to cats or dogs, you’re reacting to a protein in your pet’s dander, saliva, urine, and feces.
  • An air purifier with a HEPA filter is the only type that can catch and trap pet dander to reduce allergies.

Now you know the answer to the question, “Do Air Purifiers Work for Pet Allergies?”