Can You Still Be Allergic To Hairless Cats – What To Know – FAQcats.com

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Many years ago I decided to adopt a hairless cat, called Sphynx cat, thinking it would relieve my pet allergies. It helped, but I still had allergy symptoms. Confused by this, I decided to do some research to answer the question; can you still be allergic to hairless cats?

Yes, you can be allergic to hairless cats. A cat’s fur is not the source of your allergies. A person allergic to cats is primarily sensitive to the protein Fel d 1, which is found in a cat’s saliva, urine, and dander, not its fur. There is no such thing as a completely hypoallergenic cat and allergies will always be a possibility.

Fascinating answer, isn’t it? So it’s true, hairless cats can cause as many allergies as a full haired cat. We’ll dive into the science behind it in this article, and also share some tips on how you can reduce your cat’s allergies, hairless or not!

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How Cat Allergies Work

Cat allergies have nothing to do with a cat’s fur; Instead, the cat’s saliva, urine, and dander (dead skin cells) are the real culprits. This explains why you might find yourself sneezing around a Sphynx or other cat with little or no hair.

Even though a hairless cat like a Sphinx does not shed physical hair, the Fel D1 protein still remains on its skin. This means that if you touch them and then touch your face, or are near them, you may find yourself sneezing and getting watery eyes.

Your body normally recognizes these things as harmless, but people with cat allergies have an immune response because their body thinks they are dangerous. Side effects of your immune responses, when caused by something that we are not harmful to, are commonly referred to as allergies.

How to know if you are allergic to cats

This allergic reaction often causes symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, cough, and itchy skin. Even if your cat is not currently in the room, you may find that these reactions occur in a space it has recently occupied. If your cat gets into blankets or around furniture and you sneeze, you probably have cat allergies.

Other common symptoms can include watery and itchy eyes, as well as a rash. However, these can sometimes lead to other more serious symptoms and should be monitored closely. These can include chest pain, wheezing, or difficulty breathing. Don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor about pet allergies!

What is Fel d 1?

Although there are several identified cat allergens, Fel d 1 is the most important. An allergen is a type of protein made in the cat’s body, which is then secreted in different ways. All cats produce this allergen, even supposedly hypoallergenic cats, such as the sphinx breed. This is because it is primarily delivered through the skin of the cat, and there is no cat without skin!

Which cats produce the least Fel d1?

Siberian cats and Balinese cats are known among cat owners to be less likely to cause an allergic reaction because they naturally produce less Fel d 1. These cats are commonly referred to as “hypoallergenic cats”.

Some cat breeds, including Balinese ancestry, may also produce less Fel d 1, as noted by National Geographic in 2019. These breeds include Oriental Shorthair, Oriental Longhair, and Siamese cats. However, scientists are still working to verify these claims, and currently it is unknown how true these rumors are.

Additionally, queens tend to produce less than their male counterparts, and castrated males produce less than uncastrated males. Despite this, they all produce enough to trigger an allergic reaction in a sensitive individual.

There are of course Peterbald and Sphynx cats, two of which are mostly hairless.

Are Sphynx cats hypoallergenic?

Not necessarily, any cat can potentially cause allergies. The length of a cat’s hair, or the amount of hair shedding, are not definitive factors in allergies.

The skin of Sphynx cats still secretes Fel d 1, the main allergen identified in cats. However, sphinx cats and other hypoallergenic breeds cause less severe symptoms and are less likely to trigger allergic reactions in all but the most sensitive individuals. Some people can successfully live with these cats, despite their allergies, if they are willing to clean frequently and use allergy medications.

Do Hairless Cats Cause Allergic Reactions?

It is certainly possible. Hypoallergenic breeds, such as hairless cats, still produce the protein responsible for allergic reactions in their urine, saliva and dander. If the cat releases less protein, allergic reactions may be less severe or less frequent than in other cats. However, just being a hairless cat does not guarantee that someone will not suffer from allergies.

What Breeds of Cats Should You Avoid for Allergies?

Long-haired breeds, such as Persian cats or Maine Coons, can be difficult for people with cat allergies. With such long fur, they need almost constant grooming, which puts you in contact with their skin and dander more often. Not to mention, they are a lot of work! These types of cats usually have dense fur, which can lead to excessive shedding. Loose fur left around your home can contain allergens in addition to making your home messier.

Other breeds to watch out for include: Norwegian Forest Cats, Cymrics, Himalayan Cats, and Ragamuffin Cats.

Can you be allergic to one cat but not another?

Sure! Since what triggers the allergy are the proteins found in a cat’s saliva, urine and dander, one cat is quite capable of producing less protein than another. Although both cats technically elicit a response from your immune system, you may notice minor symptoms in one cat while the other causes noticeable symptoms.

Can you build immunity to cat allergies?

It is possible to build immunity to cat allergies. Some people see their symptoms diminish over the years if you own a cat. You may not see a complete absence of allergic reactions to contact with a cat’s saliva or urine (especially if your cat has a tendency to scratch or bite), you may experience fewer symptoms associated with allergies or less powerful reactions.

Instead of continually sneezing while sharing a home with a cat, you may find that you only sneeze when your feline companion chooses to share your lap or cuddle with you. However, if your allergic reaction is strong, try to wait, the symptoms can have serious consequences. Always discuss your symptoms with your doctor if you are unsure.

Can You Suddenly Develop Cat Allergies

Yes, you can suddenly develop cat allergies. This is the case even if you’ve never had allergies before, and it can vary from cat to cat. It is possible to be allergic to one cat, but not to another of the same breed.

Various types of allergies can come on suddenly and occur at any time in your life. Even people who grew up with cats may find that after moving and living without a cat for years, they develop new allergies to cats. Sometimes you won’t know you’ve developed the allergy until you go and adopt a new cat into your home!

How to deal with cat allergies

Being allergic to cats can be disappointing at first, but there are workarounds. Even if you have the most annoying allergies, taking a few steps to protect your home from cats, keep it clean, and choose a specific breed can have a huge impact.

There are many ways to deal with allergies, but here are a few to consider:

• Wash your hands frequently after being with a cat, especially before touching your face. This helps minimize contact between the most sensitive areas of your body and the cat’s allergens.

• Keep the cat confined to certain areas of the house and out of your bedroom. Although dander can easily be transferred to soft surfaces and become airborne, keeping certain rooms cat-free can give you a safe haven if you start having trouble breathing.

• Frequent cleaning to reduce levels of airborne cat dander and on soft surfaces, such as blankets, rugs or curtains. Installing an air filter and using a special vacuum cleaner can also help.

• Over-the-counter or prescription medications, usually decongestants or antihistamines, can relieve symptoms of cat allergies. Benadryl and Zyrtec are good options, although you should always consult your doctor before starting a new drug regimen.

• Feeding the cat a hearty, high-quality diet will help keep its coat healthy and minimize dander. Certain wipes can be purchased or recommended by your veterinarian that can replace the need for a bath while reducing your cat’s dander.

• Some people suggest physically bathing your cat. While this is a great way to clean up dander, it might not be worth the effort since most cats hate getting wet! Just be sure to use special pet shampoos or something approved by your veterinarian.

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