Hypoallergenic Cats For People Who Are Allergic But Love Felines
If youre allergic to cats, youd be forgiven for thinking you couldnt own one. It makes sense, right? Allergies impact your life and encourage avoidance, so how is it that a person whos allergic to cats can still own one?
The primary cause of allergies to cats is a glycoprotein known as Fel D1, which is produced by the sebaceous glands under the skin, and to a lesser degree is present in cats saliva.
A cat is constantly shedding minute particles of dander into the environment, and when they groom, they transfers saliva on to the coat, which is then shed around the home producing allergies to those susceptible.
People with allergies have over sensitive immune systems. Their bodies mistake harmless things like cat dander for dangerous invaders and attack them as they would bacteria or viruses. The symptoms of the allergy are the side effects of your bodys assault on the allergen or trigger.
How To Test For Cat Allergy
A skin prick test is commonly how a doctor will test their patient for suspected cat allergies. Its the same method that can be used to a number of other allergies. The physician will take a bit of an extract of cat allergen and place it on your skin after a pinprick has been made. Allowing the extract to go into the superficial tissues so that if there is a reaction it can be observed.
Best Cats For People With Allergies
Allergies can hold you back from fully enjoying many aspects of life, including pets. If you are prone to suffer from allergies, it can be extremely challenging to choose a pet cat fits your lifestyle. Fortunately, there are some animals that produce less allergens than others and can often be enjoyed by people who typically struggle with allergies. If you want to have a cat as a pet but worry about the potential for allergies, consider the cat breeds listed below. These six breeds of cats are often said to be hypoallergenic because they produce minimal dander and/or produce less of the Fel d 1 Protein, which is often the source of cat allergies.
Is your cat experiencing trouble with allergies? The Vet on Fourth offers Allergy & Dermatology services for your fur baby.
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The 20 Worst Cat Breeds For Allergy Sufferers
There are many cat lovers in the world who dont own a kitty because they suffer with allergies and are afraid that having a cat in the house will trigger an attack. Having allergies doesnt necessarily mean that you cant own a cat. Some breeds are less likely to trigger an attack, while others are notorious for making sensitive people ill. In most cases, it is the dander and the saliva that people are really allergic to. While each cat is an individual and some may cause allergic reactions, while others within a breed do not, we can make generalizations based on what people have reported about their experiences with certain breeds. . These substances just happen to be on the hairs so the more shedding that happens, the worse your chances of having a reaction. I youre considering getting a cat, but have allergy concerns, we have a list of the 20 worst cats breeds for allergy sufferers so you will know which ones to avoid.
British Longhair Cats
Maine Coon Cats
Norwegian Forest Cats
Scottish Fold Cat
Turkish Van Cat
The Napoleon Cat
The Best Cat Breeds For People With Allergies
Some are furless but all are full of character. These felines are considered hypoallergenic, including the Balinese, Siberian, Devon and Cornish Rex, and Bengals.
Let’s face it, a cat allergy is not pretty. Sneezing, hives, itchy eyes, and even severe asthma attacks can happen when a furry friend is underfoot. To make matters worse, cat allergies are fairly prevalent: As it turns out, people are twice as likely to be allergic to cats than dogs. Does this mean that you can’t bring home a purring cat if you’ve experienced allergic reactions in the past? Simply put, it depends. Common belief is that the amount of hair or fur on an animal is what causes allergies. However, cat geneticist Leslie Lyons, who runs the University of Missouri’s Feline and Comparative Genetics Laboratory, says this isn’t true. “You’re not allergic to the hair you’re allergic to proteins that are in their saliva.” And when people talk about a cat’s dander, what they mean are these proteins.
Here’s the science: Fel d 1 protein is found in the cat’s skin, saliva, and urine. When a cat cleans itself by licking its fur, the Fel d 1-laden saliva dries and turns into an airborne allergen. This is added to the fact that the owner has it on their hands after petting the cat and can spread it to other surfaces plus, cats inhabit almost every nook and cranny of a home, making the allergen widespread.
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The Worst Cat Breeds For Allergy Sufferers
Remember that these cat breeds are making to the list of worst only because they produce an average amount of Fel d 1 which might trigger some allergic reactions in some people. This does not mean that they arent suitable as pets. They are amazing, playful, extremely cute, and well-behaved cats but might not be the best for allergy sufferers.
Ideal Cats For Allergy Sufferers Top 7 Breeds
There are a variety of cats that produce fewer allergens and can make pet parenting a bit easier. This hypoallergenic cat list should not be the only thing you consider when researching which breed of cat to adopt.
The best way to determine if you are sensitive to a cat is to meet him or her. We recommend contacting an animal shelter or rescue group and arranging to meet the pet before making a decision.
Prevention Is Perhaps The Best Approach
Overall, its important to be aware that an allergy sufferer would unfortunately never be able to achieve the hypoallergenic cat. Prevention is usually key in being the most effective way to reduce your exposure to the allergen. If you are a cat allergy sufferer with a cat, or are thinking of getting a cat, and would like some more advice on what to do or how to deal with a particular situation, we would recommend you speak with your doctor and to your local vets who will always be happy to help.
Is There A Cure For Cat Allergies
There is no sure-fire cure to combat against cat allergies, unfortunately. However, there are treatments that can help lessen, and in some cases eliminate, allergic reactions to cats. This treatment involves visiting the doctor routinely for allergy shots. These allergy shots even involve booster shots every month or so.
Depending on the severity of your allergies, working to build up resistance is also a potential option. By exposing yourself to a cat and heir allergy-provoking qualities you may be able to give your body the opportunity to become more tolerant of cats, and not react so harshly when exposed to them.
If nothing else, keeping your home clean can greatly reduce any trace of cat allergen sources. If your allergy symptoms are mild and youve decided to adopt a cat, its important to stay on top of vacuuming, dusting, and cleaning their litter box. By doing this you can greatly decrease your symptoms of allergies to your pet cat. Cleaning in a meticulous fashion is definitely one of the best cures for cat allergies.
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First Do Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds Exist
Hypoallergenic breeds do exist, and some even come in long hair, says Sasha Gibbons, DVM at Just Cats Veterinary Hospital in Stamford, Connecticut. Contrary to popular belief, it is not the hair that people are allergic to but rather proteins in the saliva that are introduced onto the fur through grooming or dander throughout the fur. Certain breeds produce less of the proteins that cause a reaction, making them easier for people with cat allergies to tolerate.
Though no cat is 100% hypoallergenic, were about to give you the lowdown on a handful of hypoallergenic cat breeds known for producing fewer allergens so the two of you can live in harmony!
How To Minimise Allergic Reactions To Your Cat
So, weve established that theres no such thing as a hypoallergenic cat, but some breeds produce less Fel d1 and Fel d4, the allergy-causing protein. This allergen is typically found in cat saliva, which is spread to the fur coat and dander when a cat grooms itself.
Tip Cat breeds to avoid for people with mild and severe allergies include Persian cats, the Maine Coon, Himalayan cats, British Longhairs and Norwegian Forest Cats!
For mild allergy sufferers, there are also things you can do around the house to help minimise your, or a family members allergic reactions.
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What Causes Cat Allergies
Allergies are the immune systems abnormal response to otherwise harmless substances called allergens. A person with cat allergies has a hypersensitive immune system that triggers a reaction when the body comes in contact with, or proximity to, cats.
While many people think that a cats fur is the primary allergen, this is actually a widespread misconception. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology, the allergic potential of cats is not driven by their fur, but rather by the presence of a protein in the animals saliva, dander, and urine. Although the fur itself is not an allergen, it can collect saliva, dander, and urine in addition to other allergens like dust and pollen, which means that cats with less fur may be less likely to collect allergens and easier to keep clean.
One of the reasons cat allergies are so common is that the size and shape of the Fel d 1 protein molecule is conducive to remaining airborne for long periods of time, subsequently sticking to fur, carpets, fabrics, and other surfaces. This is why highly sensitive people can experience cat allergies even when an animal isnt present. Research has shown that cat allergens can even appear in relatively high concentrations in public places without cats, such as schools and libraries.
Other Choice: Boxie Cat Premium Clumping Clay Cat Litter
This litter is unique because the clumps dont soak to the bottom. Instead, hard flat top clumps form at the top of the litter box so you can easily scoop them up and keep the litter box clean.
This actually keeps the litter so clean that it lasts two times longer. And, it works well for single or multi-cat households.
When you use Boxie Cat Premium Clumping Clay Cat Litter, the dust levels remain low and you wont notice a scent. Your cat will like it because it is soft on their paws. It is hypoallergenic and works well for all types of litter boxes.
The packaging is resealable and the handle makes it easy to carry. There is also a pour spout to make filling your cats litter box even easier.
The only criticism we could find for this litter is that it is a bit pricey. And, for some cat parents, the litter stuck to their cats paws and they ended up tracking it through the house.
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What Is A Hypoallergic Cat
Hypoallergenic means something that is less likely to cause allergies. In the case of cats, its a common misconception that fur causes allergies. However, the saliva is an actual culprit as it contains a protein Fel d 1 that causes allergies.
When the cat grooms herself by licking their coat, the allergens transfer from their saliva to their fur. Once the fur dries and becomes airborne, the chances of a reaction increase. All the pets contain allergens. But allergies caused by cats may feel like:
- Coughing, shortness of breath
How We Choose Our Products
As we told you earlier, we spent over ten hours researching the best litter options for allergy sufferers. We looked through all of the options on multiple websites like Amazon, Walmart, Target, Petco, Chewy, and PetSmart.
Our original list had about ten different options based on dust, scent, and odor control. And, from there, we narrowed our list down to the top five based on reviews and price.
We spent a lot of time trying to determine the best litter options for allergy sufferers. When we choose our products here at Cat Kingpin, we take pride in our research and make sure to cover every possible detail.
Basically, weve saved you a lot of time.
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Quick Tips For New Pet Parents
Adopting a hypoallergenic cat may not be a total cure-all but you can hopefully relax and breathe a bit easier. Try spending time with a cat of the same breed youre interested in and see if your allergies remain in check.
Once you have a cat, there are steps you can take to minimize allergens whether you have a hypoallergenic breed or not:
Frequent Baths and Brushing: If youre allergic to cats, the process is best left to a groomer or family member. Research has proven that regularly bathing your cat can help remove up to 84 percent of existing allergens and reduce the future production of allergens. Some claim that using distilled water in the bath may also reduce allergen levels.
Wash Toys and Cat Bedding: Washing toys and bedding also reduces the number of allergens floating around your home. Do this at least once a week.
The Worst Cat Breeds For Allergies
Given all of the information thats been laid out above, it can be assumed that cats with big and fluffy fur coats are probably not the right direction to go when trying to avoid allergies. A few examples of these fluffy cats include the Persian, the Maine Coon, and the Norwegian Forest cat just to name a few of the fluffier breeds of cats out there.
Again, depending on the severity of your allergies, you may be able to get by with one of these breeds by keeping your house as free of fur and dander as absolutely possible. For the severe cat allergy sufferers, being around any of these cats may be completely impossible.
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Are Certain Cat Breeds Really Hypoallergenic
Unfortunately, no. According to Anthony, this definition is simply not true. Whats more accurate is that each person has a different allergy threshold. One person with allergies might not be greatly affected by one type of cat, while another could react to the very same hypoallergenic breed if theyre sensitive enough, she explains. Anthony also notes that female cats tend to produce less Fel d 1 than males, and neutered males less than intact males.
And if youre really smitten with a certain cat? Ask a veterinarian to test your favorites Fel d 1 protein before bringing him home.
What Are Common Cat Allergy Symptoms
If you suffer from cat allergies, you wont need us to tell you what the symptoms are. However, if youre new to cats or have a family member youre worried about, the most common allergic reactions include:
- a runny nose
In severe cases, an allergy sufferer could experience anaphylaxis, but this is rare.
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Best Pets For People With Allergies
Having a pet can bring a lot of happiness to a home, that is, if you arent allergic to them. While pets still bring joy to people with allergies, they also bring a handful of allergy symptoms too. Finding the right pet for you is already challenging without the allergies. Thankfully, there are options when it comes to finding the right pet for you and your allergies.
Although these animals may be considered a safer choice, it is always a good idea to see an allergist before making your decision.
What Is It About Cats That Trigger Allergies
There are multiple reasons why a person may start sniffling and sneezing much more than usual when in the presence of a cat. The first reason could simply be the fur/dander. Allergies to cat fur and their dander are very common. Two things that simply are not escapable when you own a cat. Unless of course they are hairless by nature. You could vacuum all day every day, but your cats fur would still find a way to trigger your allergies.
Another factor that could be contributing to your cat allergies is, believe it or not, their saliva. Most cats have a unique protein within their saliva that has a tendency to trigger allergies in their humans. There are a handful of cat breeds whose saliva contains a much lower amount of this protein, making them virtually hypoallergenic.
Even knowing this information, sometimes its hard to really differentiate whether you are allergic to the cats fur, their dander, or the special saliva protein. Consider the fact that a cat uses its tongue to bathe by licking its fur. This is where an allergy test comes in handy, as it will give you a more detailed answer about your cat allergies.
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Best Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds
Believe it or not, its not actually the hair itself that most people are allergic to, but proteins that are secreted by the skin and present in the cats saliva . While there are no 100% hypoallergenic breeds, there are non-shedding cats that dont shed nearly as much hair and dander as other breeds. These rarely cause allergic reactions, and can often be a great option for people who normally suffer around pets. We would advise spending some time with a cat of the specific breed youre thinking of getting before you commit, to see if it will work for you and your family. Here is a list of our top 7 favourite hypoallergenic cat breeds.