I am in the process of buying a townhouse but the previous resident had a cat or cats in the home and my daughter is allergic to cats. How can I throughly clean the house so my daughter doesn't end up having allergy attacks or asthma attacks? I am wondering whether it is worth it to buy this home if I have to invest in a lot of money just to clean it before we move in. Thank you.
Maria from Las Vegas, NV
I am also alergic to cats. I know how your girl feels. From what I know, there is not much that you can do to clean the place. You need to wait about 6 months for the issue to correct itself. I got the from a site that addressed stuff like this. But I am sorry that I can not be of further help.
My husband's allergist told us that cat dander can remain in a home up to seven years! I don't know if it is true; but I suspect if all carpets and upholstered surfaces were removed, and everything else thoroughly wiped down, (including ceilings), it might be OK.
My daughter is a severe asthmatic and is highly allergic to cats. While she had a 6 week stay at National Jewish Hospital (which is an asthma research hospital in Denver,CO) I was told not to purchase a home where the previous owner had cats. There is no way to fully remove the cat dander from the residence no matter how well it is cleaned. They said that the dander lasts for years and years. ~Janette~
Clean your ceilings and then paint them with a good quality paint. I have grandchildren that are allergic to cats and was told that the cat dander will settle on the ceiling. Hope this helps.
I'm allergic too, and asthmatic, and I moved into a flat where the previous occupants had cats. And you could tell from the smell. :-(
I had to be very thorough in cleaning and vaccuming all the carpets and stuff, but I've been fine. It's a while ago now, but I think I just took Benadryl (the only allergy tablet that works for me, you can't get a generic) for a while until it was clean enough.
If you really want to do it properly, wipe down every surface you can. Do a room at a time so you don't get overawed with the task, start with the ceiling and work down, and keep the door shut.
You could build this in with decorating which would make sense as often you use a sugar soap solution to wipe down all surfaces before painting.
If you can afford it, rehome the carpets and buy new or varnish the floorboards and use rugs that you can stick in the washer. Give the old carpets away on Freecycle, there's always someone who will gladly rehome that type of thing. Then you don't even have to feel that guilty about throwing good stuff out!
Seven years here, and I've had more trouble with hayfever! (As I'm pretty much in the countryside) Don't give up hope!
My brother-in-law is severely allergic to cats as well. Their biggest requirement when home buying was no pets. Found the perfect house, yes no pets so good to go. Only the previous owners had had cats. Of course they only found this out later.
They moved in and within hours he started having a severe attack. He had to live with his folks (hours away) for around a week while rest of the extended family cleaned his new house. They scrubbed everything -ceiling, walls, baseboards, wooden blinds - everything. Removed the almost new carpet and had to buy new etc. It was terrible and so expensive.
If you do go ahead w/ this purchase have the duct work cleaned. There was all kinds of pet hair/dander (dog and cat) in their ducts.
They love their house now, but the labor, expense and worry was almost more than they could handle. Good luck.
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