Tuesday 4 October 2011

What cats are hypoallergenic?

No cats are hypoallergenic although some individual cats might cause less of an allergic reaction that other cats. Also some cat breeds might cause a reduced allergic reaction than other cat breeds. But all the claims are anecdotal. There is no science on this.

Also we should remember that most people are not allergic to cats. The allergen that causes the allergic reaction is a protein in the cat's saliva called Fel D1. It is deposited on the fur when the cat grooms. It dries and flies off into the atmosphere as cat dander. If you are allergic to cats you need not touch a cat but just be in the same area and feel itchy.

Unneutered male cats are more likely to cause an allergic reaction. Incidentally, the word "hypoallergenic" means less likely to cause an allergic reaction.

Cat breeders like to mark out their cat breed as special. It is a marketing method. One Siberian cat breeder claims the Siberian cat is hypoallergenic. I cannot confirm or refute that. The Savannah cat is said, by a respected person who knows, to be hypoallergenic but this is not confirmed with science. The Life Style Pets (Allerca) Ashera GD is an F1 Savannah and claimed to be hypoallergenic. That is why they are sold.

Answering the question, "what cats are hypoallergenic?" we get the answer, "None, except that some will be less likely to cause an allergic reaction in people who are allergic to the Fel D1 allergen." The key is to find the individual cat or go to a Siberian or Savannah cat breeder and see if you start to itch!

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