How do you adopt a cat suffering from allergies? Even today, many myths exist about this chronic disease. However, even if you are allergic, the hairball can be welcomed.
Cat allergy today affects 10% of the French population and is the third cause of allergy in general. However, many allergy sufferers are overwhelmed and decide to welcome cats. But are there cat breeds that you prefer?
The possibility of coexistence between an allergic person and a cat
Adopting a cat when you have an allergy may seem incompatible. However, coexistence between the owner of an allergy and the cat is possible.
Be careful though, to reduce exposure to cat allergens and thus symptoms, the owner will have to put in place several tips such as:
- Clean your home regularly
- Prevent the cat from entering the room
- Neuter your cat
- Treat the cat with allergy wash or wipes
- Perform desensitization on the advice of a health professional
- Take certain medications if your doctor suggests you…
There are also cat foods that are suitable for this type of situation. For example, kibbles Pro Plan® Liveclear® is known to reduce allergens on cat hair and dander by 47%. It takes only three weeks to notice a decrease in the level of allergens in a cat.
What are the causes of cat allergy?
Runny nose, sore throat, dry cough or even conjunctivitis … The symptoms of a cat allergy are multiple and can be painful for an allergic person.
A person who is allergic to cats is actually sensitive to the allergen protein Fel D1. It is this allergen present in the saliva and sebaceous glands of cats that causes restrictive symptoms in the patient. This protein is then spread on the hair when the cat is caring for itself, and then spread throughout the house when the cat loses its hair.
In addition, Fel D1 tends to stay in the air for extended periods of time and adhere to various surfaces such as floors or fabrics. This is why it is not uncommon for people allergic to cat hair to begin experiencing symptoms even when the animal is not in the room, or even outside (1,2).
Are there favorite breeds?
As we told you a while ago, a person with allergies can adopt a cat provided they follow some tips.
There is a myth that dark or long-haired cats are more likely to cause a flurry of symptoms to their owners: Studies conducted, especially in 20193showed that neither coat length nor hair color had an effect on Fel D1 production.
It is important to keep in mind that there are no “100% hypoallergenic” or allergen-free cat breeds. All cats will produce Fel D1, even cats with less or no hair.
On the other hand, a cat that tends to lose a lot of hair will spread the allergen more widely around it. Thus, adopting a breed of shorthair or hairless cat can help manage allergies.
In addition, certain breeds of cats are known to produce lower amounts of Fel D1, such as the Siberian.
It has also been shown that the sex of the cat has an effect on the production of allergens.
In fact, non-neutered male cats produce more Fel D1, and this production decreases with castration.
Therefore, it is preferable that a person allergic to cats move towards a neutral female or male.
As you understand, there are not necessarily “ideal” breeds of cats for masking symptoms. All cat breeds should be considered allergens.
However, it is possible to adopt a European cat as a purebred cat, as long as you apply the various tips mentioned above to live well with your companion.
- Munir AK, Einarson R, Driburg S. Airborne cat allergen contrast, Fel d1, in a public setting. indoor air. 2003 Dec;13(4): 353-358. DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0668.2003.00181.x. PMID: 14636229.
- Siebers R, Jones B, Bailey L, Aldridge D, Draper J, Ingham T. Internal exposure to allergens in elementary school classrooms.
- Bastian, B, Gardner, C and Satyraj, E (2019). Effect of a phenotype on saliva Fel d 1 in domestic short-haired cats. Approved, Journal of feline medicine and surgery.