For those allergic to cats: Question regarding hypoallergenic cats

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by wordgirl, Dec 28, 2009.

  1. wordgirl

    wordgirl One of the Shire-folk

    Apr 14, 2009
    I just saw a thread about someone saying that she (Kelly G) owned British Shorthair cats and that they were alright for her bad allergies. Has anyone else had any experiences like this, with British Shorthairs or any other breeds? I've read that Russian Blues and Siberians can also be more hypoallergenic than some other cats.

    I'd never heard of this before, and it sounds very interesting, especially if it means that people with terrible cat allergies can actually have cats in their house. (My Dad has horrible cat allergies. He can't be in a cat-owning house for hardly any time at all before starting to get symptoms.)
  2. Year of the Rooster

    Year of the Rooster Sebright Savvy

    Jun 27, 2008
    West Central Ohio
    I had cat allergies when I was younger (under 10), but now I've mostly grown out of it. But cat urine/ammonia sets them off still. Good thing my cat uses the bathroom outside [​IMG]

    Maybe try getting a Sphinx? [​IMG]
  3. wordgirl

    wordgirl One of the Shire-folk

    Apr 14, 2009
    Quote:I originally thought that would be the best option (if we ever did get an inside cat – I don't know that we ever will [​IMG] ) but apparently it usually isn't the actual hair that aggravates cat allergies. It's most often caused by the glycoprotein Fel d 1 mostly found in the cat's skin and saliva.
  4. Candachan

    Candachan Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 12, 2009
    As far as I know there's not a true allergen-free cat that isn't thousands of dollars, but I've also heard that Russian Blues, Siberians, and Bengals can be hypoallergenic. Hypo just means "less/under" so they still have a chance of setting off a reaction to someone that is allergic, especially if the allergies are severe. I've also seen it vary from cat to cat, some bengals might be hypoallergenic while others might not be. My boyfriend is very allergic and I've seen him react much worse to certain cats.

    Overall you shouldn't get a cat with the expectation that it will be hypoallergenic, if the person who is allergic wants a cat, they need to go spend time with the specific cat for a few hours to see how they react. I also know of some cat breeders that will actually mail you a bag of the cat's fur or a blanket they use in order for you to test your reaction, but even sometimes that won't work because the allergen is carried in the cat's saliva, not their actual fur. This is why hairless cats still trigger allergies!

    If someone with allergies really wanted a cat, there's a lot of things they can do to reduce the allergens in their house. Replacing carpet with wood or tile floors, reducing the amount of fabric in the house (replacing drapes with blinds and fabric sofas with leather, etc), replacing their air filters with allergy-specific filters, keeping the cat off of their bed or out of the bedroom entirely, and actually bathing their cat once or twice a week can help a lot! If washing your cat seems impossible, they also make allergen-reducing wet wipes to use on your cat. You should also wash your bedding often and dust!

    You can also get a regular treatment of allergy drops or allergy shots, which help you buils up a gradual immunity over time, but you have to get the shots at least once or twice a week to begin with! Eventually treatment is reduced, but it can be expensive and time-consuming. It is possible for someone to "get used to" their own cat after a few weeks or months, but it's not a guarantee.

    It can be done, but it definitely takes a lot of patience!
  5. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 20, 2009
    Orange County, NY
    Our friends have a son is allergic; however, they were told by their allergist that an all black cat would not affect their son's allergies - They have now had the said black cat for three years, and he has not had any allergy problems with it at all.
  6. Candachan

    Candachan Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 12, 2009
    Quote:It's possible that he grew out of his allergy or is used to his particular cat, as far as I know there's no link between a cat's color and the amount of allergen they produce.
  7. Elite Silkies

    Elite Silkies Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 17, 2009
    My Coop
    I would say the only one that might come close is a hairless. I would love to have one of those. My daughter is allergic to long hair cats. her face swells up really bad. She can't even set on a couch that a long hair cat has been on or she has a bad reaction. She does pretty good with short hair, but I truly do not know why. I would think if your that allergic to one, you would be to the other also, but that isn't the case with her.

    I think maybe it's because a long hair sheds worse??? [​IMG]
  8. Frizzled

    Frizzled Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:I had never heard of this, but I am highly allergic to cats and for some reason I got my wife one from the animal shelter, it was all black and it doesn't bother me at all. Never could figure out why until now I guess.
  9. SunnyDawn

    SunnyDawn Sun Lovin' Lizard

    Sep 12, 2009
    Nor Cal
    Wikipedia says color of cat makes no difference and saliva and dander worse than hair for most people. The reason that shorthaired cats cause less problems than longhaired ones is because the longer the hair the more dander (shedding skin cells etc, similar to dandruff) that the fur holds onto. I am horribly allergic to cats and yes longhaired cats are worse for the most part but siamese seem to be the worst ever!!! Worse than any longhaired cat I've ever been exposed to!

    Here's what Wikipedia had to say about hypoallergenic cats...
    "In 2006, the Allerca company announced the successful breeding of a line of hypoallergenic cats. However, no peer-reviewed studies have been done to confirm their claims and many scientists and consumers are skeptical of the company's assertions.[5] However this firm has been the subject of numerous complaints alleging that these cats aren't as described.[7]

    [edit] Other cat variations
    It appears that female cats shed substantially lower amounts of allergen than males, and a neutered male sheds significantly less than a full male tom.[citation needed] In 2000, researchers at the Long Island College Hospital found that cat owners with dark-colored cats were more likely to report allergy symptoms than those with light-colored cats.[9][10][11] A later study by the Wellington Asthma Research Group indicates that hair color has no effect on how much allergen a cat produces."

    See for more info.

    Notice that it used to be thought that dark cats produced more dander, not less. Interesting that an allergist would claim the opposite to be true. The article did mention that people can become immune to their own pets over time (desensitized) but it can also go the other way and become worse!

    BTW, Thank you everyone for taking this topic seriously. I can't tell you how many people think we're "faking" it or should just "get over it"! Not funny when your feeling horribly sick, you can't breathe and your eyes are swelling shut! The next time one of those people gets a horrible flu bug, has a car accident, or comes down with strep throat I'm tempted to say "Oh your just imagining it, get over it!". (I don't though)
  10. sbarab

    sbarab Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2009
    Conroe, TX
    The thing with cat allergies is that some people are allergic to the actual hair of the cat while others are allergic to a specific protein in cat saliva.

    I have raised Sphynx cats for quite a few years and have had alot of people have no problems with allergies... If you are allergic to hair, then a Sphynx is the answer. If you are allergic to the saliva then no cat is the answer.

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