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When it comes to owning pets, allergies are always a concern. In the case of domestic house cats, some breeds are actually more hypoallergenic than others. Since tabby cats are the most common house cat, we decided to find out if they are hypoallergenic or not.
So, are tabby cats hypoallergenic? No, tabby cats are not hypoallergenic. Because tabby is just a coat pattern, it does not determine the amount of Fel d1 in a cats saliva. Humans are allergic to the Fel d1 molecules. Some cat breeds have lower Fel d1 levels in their saliva, but none of them are entirely hypoallergenic.
Understanding why cats cause allergies is important, especially if you plan to own one. Whether the cat has the tabby coat pattern or not, the allergies can still come about. We’ll take a look at the breeds less likely to cause allergic reactions, and some tips for dealing with cats who are not hypoallergenic.
Can You Be Allergic To Tabby Cats
Owning a cat is a lot of fun, but not if you have allergies. Because the tabby cat is the most popular house cat, we’ll address this issue first. To answer the question, yes you can be allergic to tabby cats just as you would with any other type of cat.
Tabby is simply the coat pattern on the cat. That can be stripes, blotches, spots, and ticked markings. That, however, has zero effect on whether you’re going to be allergic to the pet or not. Learn more about how tabby cats get their coat patterns here.
Just because a cat is a tabby cat does not mean they are going to cause you more allergies than any other kind of cat though.
What does cause allergy issues with cats is their saliva. Cats are known to lick their fur on a daily basis. Every time they do this, small molecules called Fel d1 transfer to their skin. Fel d1 is typically the main cause of cat allergies. When you come in contact with it it can cause you to sneeze, your eyes to get watery, and other typical things that happen with allergic individuals.
How To Own A Cat When You’re Allergic
Just because you’re allergic does not mean you cannot own a cat. It will take a few changes to your lifestyle and how you care for the pet in order to deal with those allergies the right way. Besides, pet allergies are very common. Approximately 5 to 10% of all people have some sort of pet allergy.
Thankfully, there are some options for those who want to really own a pet cat. Whether it’s a tabby cat or some other type, there are some great options to minimize the impact of their allergens.
Below are a few ways you can own a cat when you’re allergic.
- Use a HEPA air cleaner
- Upgrade to tile or hardwood flooring
- Keep the litter box cleaned regularly
- Change clothing after play sessions
- Bathe your cat regularly
- Grooming Your Cat
- Get a hypoallergenic pet
The first way to deal with a cat if you’re allergic is to better the air you’re breathing in. To do that, it helps to use an air freshener with a HEPA filter. Many cat owners wonder if HEPA filters work for cat allergies, and yes they do. The filter will catch any dirt or dust particles in the air. It also catches cat dander so you don’t have to breathe that in.
The next strategy to dealing with cat allergies is to change from carpeted flooring to something bare. Tile and hardwood floors are not only great upgrades for the home, but they don’t trap the hair inside. This helps cut down on vacuuming and fans which can sometimes stir up more hair than help.
Cleanliness is very important for allergic cat owners. This doesn’t just apply to rooms in the home, but also the litter box where cats frequent every day. It’s a good idea to keep the litter box cleaned regularly.
The kind of cat litter you use also matters. Brands like Cats Pride and Dr. Elsey’s are some of the best for limiting allergic reactions caused by cat litters. These litters clump better, leaving fewer dust particles floating in the air. They are also free of synthetic fragrances which will help keep your tabby cat happy.
Tabby cats are some of the most affectionate and adorable cats out there. Chances are you will want to play with them, pick them up, pet them and hold them frequently. This is not easy to deal with if you have allergies though. To help cut down on the sneezing and negative reactions to your cat, it’s important to change clothing after long periods of interaction with them.
While most cats don’t need baths, if you have allergies baths can help rinse off saliva from the cat’s fur. Keep in mind that cats tend to lick themselves quite a bit after getting a bath.
Grooming your cat can help cut down on pet dander. Since most homes have an American Shorthair tabby cat, it’s really important to groom them daily as they tend to shed quite frequently. Shaving your cat is an option but not recommended. Read here to learn more about shaving tabby cats.
The last solution to help you with dealing with a cat while maintaining your allergies is to simply get a hypoallergenic cat. There’s some science to support the claim that some cats are entirely hypoallergenic.
The overall belief, however, is that all cats have at least some form of allergenic molecules in them. There are however some cat breeds that have less of the Fel d1 molecule in their saliva. We’ll discuss those breeds next!
What Kinds Of Cats Are Hypoallergenic
While tabby cat coats don’t determine if a cat is hypoallergenic, the breed of the cat does. There are a few specific breeds to consider if allergies are a concern for you. Below is a list of the best cats that are considered hypoallergenic or at least very close to it.
- Oriental Shorthair
- Devon Rex
- Cornish Rex
- Hairless Sphynx
- Colorpoint Shorthair
- Russian Blue
All of the cat breeds listed above are either considered low allergy cats. Since no cat is completely hypoallergenic, you still may find some issues owning one. However, with proper grooming and care, you can own one.
Of all the cats on the list, the Siamese, Sphynx, and Oriental Shorthair are considered the best to have. These cats all produce very low levels of Fel d1, and they don’t shed very much.
Cats that don’t shed much include the Devon Rex and Cornish Rex. Oriental Shorthairs have very thin coats as well and don’t need nearly as much grooming as others. Balinese and Russian Blue cat breeds simply produce less Fel d1, so they are good options. They also have the tabby cat pattern too.
If you desire a longhair tabby cat, then the Siberian is a good choice. Although the coat is long, they produce small amounts of Fel d1.
Are Hairless Cats Hypoallergenic
In the case of the Sphynx, there is no hair to deal with, so in a way, they are almost completely hypoallergenic. The reality, however, is that Fel d1 glycoprotein is still in their saliva. If they lick their skin for any reason, chances are you will have to deal with it.
Sphynx cats also need quite a bit of bathing to keep clean. Their skin easily builds up with oil, which means you’ll have to deal with the Fel d1 at some point. The good news, however, is that the amount of Fel d1 is low in this particular breed, so it won’t have as many issues as other breeds.
Can I Have A Cat If I Am Allergic
Ultimately, if you want a tabby or any other cat, you’ll need to make some adjustments to your lifestyle. Anyone can own a cat if their allergic, but much of it depends on how badly allergies affect you.
As a general rule, try to get a cat breed that does not shed very much. The three breeds that don’t’ shed very much include the Cornish Rex, Devon Rex, and Sphynx.
Regular grooming of your cat can help cut down on how much they shed. You could also visit a professional groomer to have them do it for you if you worry about allergies.
Below are some additional tips to help you own a tabby cat (or any other cat) if you have allergies.
- Vacuum windows and drapes regularly
- Switch to leather furniture
- Avoid scented candles
- Make certain areas of the home cat-free zones
- Consult your doctor for allergy medicine