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Are Siamese Cats Good Or Bad For Allergies?

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Are Siamese Cats Good Or Bad For AllergiesSiamese cats have some unique genetic features that affect their appearance and health. Their genetic differences also change how humans with allergies react to them. Siamese cats cause less allergic reactions than other cats.

Are Siamese cats good or bad for allergies? Siamese cats release less of the Fel D1 protein that causes allergic reactions in humans. No animal can be 100% hypoallergenic, however. Individuals with severe cat allergies should still be cautious around Siamese cats.

Siamese cats are not the only felines with a reduction in the FelD1 protein. This trait seems to show up in oriental breeds, however. The protein comes from the saliva and urine of a cat and can irritate humans in a variety of ways.

Siamese Cats and Allergies

Siamese cats may elicit less of an allergic reaction in some individuals, but this is not certain. Some people react dangerously to even small amounts of the Fel D1 protein. If a person has a cat allergy, no cat is “good” for them.

Siamese cats also shed less than other cats, making it a little easier to avoid the allergen. Everyone must make a choice about living with cats. It is best to meet with your doctor to find out how severe your allergy is and how to manage if a pet cat is essential to you.

Oriental cats, in general, seem to have less Fel D1 protein, giving potential cat owners more choices when allergies are an issue. Less shedding also makes Siamese cats an attractive option.

The Fel D1 Protein

Proteins are responsible for many allergic reactions. Even people allergic to peanuts can often eat foods fried in peanut oil because manufacturers make it without the proteins from the nuts. In cats, the offending protein is called Fel D1 and can cause a variety of allergic responses.

Cats release Fel D1 through:

  • Urine
  • Skin
  • Saliva

The cat can lick a person and cause skin irritation. Cats also like themselves when grooming, putting the protein on their fur. When the saliva on the fur dries up, the protein can become air born.

Humans can breathe in the protein and respond with respiratory symptoms. Cats that shed a lot leave traces of this all over the house. Individuals with a severe sensitivity may experience swollen eyes, massive hives, or a swollen, closed airway.

The Hypoallergenic Myth

The quest for hypoallergenic animals has led many breeders of cats and dogs to get creative. Animals marketed as hypoallergenic can be quite expensive. Many parents are willing to pay the price to give their kids the joy of growing up with a pet.

A hypoallergenic pet, however, is a myth. Siamese cats release the same protein as other cats, just in smaller quantities. There is no way to be sure an individual won’t have a problem with this small amount of Fel D1.

Animals marketed as hypoallergenic are usually a result of selective breeding for less shedding. This does not mean the allergens are absent. It is better to spend money on an allergist or other medical intervention than trusting your health to a breeder of “hypoallergenic” animals.

Coping with A Cat Allergy

Humans that suffer from cat allergies can experience serious reactions. These can be severe enough to affect breathing and send individuals to the emergency room. It is crucial for people with allergies to keep proper medications on hand.

Depending on the severity of your allergic reactions, you may need to keep an epinephrine shot in your medicine cabinet. Allergy pills and inhalers can also help allergic individuals that must live in the same house with cats.

Those with mild allergies may be able to live with cats if they take precautions. Some examples are:

  • Wash linens
  • Wash clothes
  • Vacuum daily
  • Restrict cats from certain areas (bedroom, living room, bathroom, etc.)

Keeping your bedroom free of cats may be useful, so your body can take a break, but we understand if you want your furry friend close to you. An alternative could be a separate closed off room (Guest room, Bathroom, Office).

Age of Cats Effect Amounts of ‘Fel D1′ Released

Sometimes families get a kitten, and the family does well until it begins to grow. This can lead people to believe they suddenly developed an allergy to the cat. Kittens, however, also release less Fel D1 than adult cats.

If you or someone in your family starts to show allergic symptoms as the kitten grows, pay close attention to the severity. Large scale reactions can happen very quickly. Proper testing is always the best way to find out if your body can handle a cat in the home.
If you do not know if you are allergic to cats, get an allergy test done at your doctor before you bring a cat home.

Otherwise, you may end up rehoming your pet after a few weeks. This is difficult for both the animal and the family. Thankfully, there are some therapies that help people overcome minor allergies.

Female Cats May be Better for Allergies

If you have been to the doctor and have a sight cat allergy, as your doctor about the safety of living with a cat. You can lower your chances of having a reaction by getting a Siamese cat or another oriental breed. Females sometimes emit less of the protein than males, as well.

Female cats also have different personalities than males, so make sure to do your research. Both sexes require proper supervision or surgery to avoid accidental litters. You may even decide to try a different type of pet.

If you prefer a male, make sure to get it neutered as soon as possible. This lessens the amount of Fel D1, as well. Choose a cat with a light-colored coat if you are trying to avoid allergens. Darker cats have more of the protein. You stand a better chance of success if you combine different features. For example, you can get a female Siamese cat, or get your male neutered.

Other Breeds With Less Fel D1

There a several breeds that have minimal Fel D1. Many of these are oriental breeds, like the Siamese cat. Burmese cats and Siberian cats, and Balinese are on the list. If you are a fan of designer cats, you may also consider a hairless Sphynx cat.

Long hair on a cat does not necessarily mean they produce more allergens. Siberian cats have long fur and still show less Fel D1. You can also look at the Devon Rex breed and the Oriental Short Hair. While no cat is entirely allergen-free, some are better than others when it comes to allergen production.

To summarize a couple of examples of the breed with less Fel D1:

  • Burmese
  • Balinese
  • Sphynx
  • Devon Rex

When you are ready to purchase your cat. Do some research on the breed. This way, you know what to expect. Since shedding can increase your exposure to Fel D1, a Siamese cat is a good option. This keeps the allergens from spreading as much.

Finding a Quality Siamese Cat

The domestic animal population is too high in many areas. Dogs and cats depend on humans to survive in the modern world. Due to the excessive reproduction of dogs and cats, there are many great pets in shelters.

You can find almost any breed of cat in a shelter; however, some luxury breeds are less common. If you know that you need a specific breed to help reduce allergic reactions, you may need some guidance. Of course, a breeder is going to promise a pure bloodline. There are, however, many breed-specific rescues, so you can still save a homeless animal.

If you manage to find a Siamese cat in a shelter, you do not have to worry about an odd mix of breeds. Both parents must have the correct genes for the offspring to present with the pointed pattern and blue eyes. If you want to make sure of the breed, you can get a genetic test at the vet or for home.

Grooming your Siamese Cat

You can help keep allergens even lower by grooming your cat properly. This can be tricky, as many cats do not cooperate for baths. If you know you must groom your cat regularly, start exposing them to water when they are very young. It can take up to 3 baths a week to keep allergens low in your home.

It is almost impossible to limit where a cat sits or walks. Siamese cats are inquisitive and love to be near their owners. Simply wash your cat’s toys and blankets in hot water once a week. You can also use washable covers on your furniture and wash your own bedding.

Brush the cat regularly, as well. This helps reduce dander and removes loose hairs before they make their way around the house. Again, you must start this as soon as you get your cat, so they adjust to it well.

Removing Cat Allergens From Your Home

Sometimes you may end up somewhere where cats used to live. Perhaps you purchase a used car, and the previous owners had cats. You can even buy a house that previously had pet cats living in it. In these cases, you may need to get the allergens out quickly.

You can wash hard surfaces easily; however, cat hair can hide in many places. It is often easier to remove carpet than clean it. Allergens can move deep into the carpet, making them difficult to remove. If you cannot replace it immediately, get a professional steam cleaning. Hard floors are best for people with allergies, however.

Many people forget about the air conditioning and heating system. Cat hair can live in the filters and ducts for years. Replace the filters immediately and make an appointment to have the ducts cleaned. Change the air filters monthly with special allergen filters.

Thankfully, a car is a small space to clean. You can vacuum and shampoo the seats and floors. Wipe hard surfaces with disinfecting wipes. You can also take the car in to get thoroughly detailed. This is the most efficient solution and is usually very affordable.

What’s The Solution?

Siamese cats are great pets because they enjoy being with their humans. This works out well if you are home a lot or have kids to give them extra attention. Before you decide on any pet for your family, it is a get tested for allergies at your doctor’s office. This makes it much easier to decide on the right animal. Siamese cats have less Fel D1; they are not absent of it.

Make sure your doctor explains the severity of your allergies. Individuals with mild cat allergies may live with cats for years without understanding how to manage the situation. Proper cleaning of the home and grooming of the cat can help immensely. Siamese cats and other oriental cats are interesting specimens when it comes to allergens.