Cat Hair Left Behind by Previous Owners

Updated on November 21, 2010
S.T. asks from Clemmons, NC
12 answers

I am allergic to cats and we were told no cats lived in the house we just bought prior to moving in. However, I have been having asthma attacks ever since we moved in and am fine when I go outside. Do you have any suggestions, other than clean the carpet which I have done, that would help me eliminate any remnants of cat in the house?

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So What Happened?

There aren't any window hangings except blinds. Maybe I should take those down too. Hadn't thought about dust mites. Any suggestions on eliminating those?

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answers from Honolulu on

You were told that NO cats lived in that house... can't you make "them" pay for cleaning the house???
I would try that....
they were NOT honest about it nor did they try to be.
And you have a health problem.... so, I think 'they' should be held responsible for their erroneous claims about the home.

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answers from Seattle on

Ah the fun. Our house owner kept harping on how it was a pet free home, little did he know that the previous tennants had cats. We CLEANED (rented a carpet shampooing machine) the carpet twice. You also have to wash down the walls and windows, preferably remove any fabric/blinds anything that can accumulate dust. If you can move the stove and fridge to clean under/behind them. And last but not least change all filters in your ducts (if you have them), vaccuum out the ducts and the furnace if possible (you might need a professional service for this, in our place we were able to do it ourselves).
It took about 2 straight weeks of cleaning and vaccuuming before my husband could breathe again.
Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

File a complaint with the listing agent;
or the real estate broker whose office the agent works.
request an adjustment or refund of part of your money.
You were defrauded and should be compensated.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

The previous owner of our house had cats, and it was not just the carpet, there was hair on top shelves and in cupboards, EVERYWHERE. You will have to do a total clean from top to bottom if there were cats in the home to get rid of all the hair, and will also need to have someone come out and clean the vents of the heating system.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Could it be dust mites? Mold? Just asking, because if the previous owners said there were no cats (of course they could be lying), then it may actually be something else, and it would be a real pain if you were going after the wrong problem... just food for thought.

Dust mites are a real pain in [email protected] is everywhere, and you'll never eliminate all of it, so the odds are already stacked against you. But YES, there are some things you can do, starting with where they are most prevalent, and going from there. You can do research online, and there are many websites out there that will give you a run down of the most effective ways to limit exposure to dust mites.

It's not actually the mite itself that causes the allergy, but their droppings, and their body particles when they die that become airborne, and we breathe that in. Nice, I know. Dust mites prefer dark, warm, moist places, which is why they are so prevalent in our bedding and mattresses. It's the perfect living/breeding ground for them. They recommend encasing your mattress and pillows in dust mite proof cases, so no particles can escape into the air from any mites that are in, or that get into those places. They recommend taking down any curtains. Wash all bedding, pillows, blankets, sheets, etc. at least once per week in hot, and dry in hot. Pull up any carpeting, if possible. This may be one of your culprits, if it is older carpet. You may have a lot of dust mite droppings and body particles circulating from walking on older carpets. They recommend taking down mini blinds and replacing with roll blinds, as mini blinds collect dust. Get a good vacuum with a hepa filter. Change your air filters once per month and use the anti-allergy type. And dust with a damp cloth, to keep particles from becoming airborne. That's the gist of it. It can be overwhelming. We just found out last week that my son has a ton of environmental allergies, one of which is dust mites. So we are just delving in to this area ourselves, which is why this info is so fresh in my mind.

Good luck...

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answers from Phoenix on

I would have the air ducts cleaned and remove any window hangings that were left behind. Good luck!

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answers from Minneapolis on

I think you will need the carpet shampooed, the appliances moved, the baseboards washed, the walls painted and the ducts cleaned. I know that is a lot and too bad it was not done before you moved in as it would have been easier then. Now you will have to do it around all of your "stuff". It would not be a bad idea to have an housekeeping service come in and go through tit either. We actually offered this to the couple who purchased our home. Then the house was move in ready. Good Luck!



answers from Nashville on

Febreze makes an allergen reducing formula that really worked for me. I sprayed it every day for a week and it seemed to work.



answers from Raleigh on

You will def need to get your home deep cleaned (every inch) , carpets thoroughly cleaned, air ducts cleaned, appliances cleaned (inside/outside/underneath/behind) , and if you have already moved in, furniture cleaned as well. We clean for alot of clients with pets and without doing these things, there is no way to remove the hair. You might be amazed to know that animal hair also gets trapped in the vents of your appliances ;-)


answers from Spokane on

Oh thats aweful. Ive been a house cleaner for about a year, i HATE animal hair, it gets everwhere and it seems like once you think you get it all, there it is again!
My mom has 2 cats and her house stays pretty hair free, but she's completely anal about vacuuming. maybe if you just can make sure you vacuum everyday it could get better.



answers from Charlotte on

S., you need to get your ductwork cleaned out. It's kind of expensive, but worth it. Ask your neighbors if they had it done and who they like. That's the best way to find people. Then ask for quotes from those companies over the phone. I had it done in my house we bought last year because the former people had dogs and I was having too much sinus problems for me to take a chance leaving it that way.

Good luck,



answers from Spokane on

Deep clean EVERYTHING and a fresh coat of paint couldn't hurt either. Cat hair is a b*tch to get rid of, so it may take a while.

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