Maine Coons are recognized by their long, thick fur. With long fur, the shedding will inevitably occur. But, what about other fur problems, like the risk of dander? It’s natural for people to be concerned about their allergies and the risks of dander, really it’s an allergy sufferer’s worst nightmare. So, do Maine Coon cats have dander?
For a Maine Coon, it is possible to have dander. Maine Coons aren’t necessarily more susceptible to dander than other breeds of cat. Maine coon cats are not entirely hypoallergenic either and carry more allergens than other breeds.
What is Dander, And Am I Allergic
The terms dander and dandruff are similar, but not the same. They both refer to a condition when dead skin flakes are visible to the human eye. However, the distinction is where it is located and what type of skin is being shed.
Human scalp flakes are dandruff, whereas dander comes from the body of an animal. Dandruff is also much larger and heavier than dander.
Cat dander is smaller and nearly invisible to the human eye. Since it is lighter, it tends to float in the air. Some cats may have more than others, and in some cases, it might be more visible. For example, dander on a black cat is going to be much more noticeable than dander on a white cat.
Dander isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s natural, just as it is for human dandruff. But, just like humans, too much can point to an underlying issue.
On top of that, it’s not like humans are allergic to dandruff, but we can be allergic to dander. It’s not the skin we’re allergic to. It’s a protein found in cats, but we’ll jump into that in a moment.
What Causes Dander In Cats
There can be several reasons why your Maine Coon is showing some dander. Remember, it is natural to have some dead skin flakes. When there is an excess amount, it can point to some potential problems.
These are reasons outside of your cat’s health. Usually, these are more fixable and less worrisome than internal causes.
Heat can cause your Maine Coon’s natural oils to dry out, causing flaky skin. Similarly, when it is cold and dry, a cat’s skin might become drier. Like when our lips get chapped during winter.
Skin mites are already irritants for your pet.
Lack of grooming
Obese cats are especially susceptible to this. If they can’t reach a spot to groom, they will likely have flaky skin.
These causes can point to potential health concerns for your kitty. These concerns are rooted in your kitty’s health. The most common cause is generally a lack of crucial nutrients in their diet. However, if you have ruled that out, there are other considerations.
Lack of healthy fats or certain vitamins such as zinc
Thyroid, Arthritis or bone pain
This can prevent your cat from properly grooming
If you believe your Maine Coon is suffering from any health concerns, please visit your vet immediately.
How Can I Relieve Dander
First, it is important to consult your vet. Your vet can rule out any health concerns like thyroid concerns. After major concerns are ruled out, there are things you can do at home to help with dander.
Groom your cat
use various techniques such as brushing. If possible, do this outside to limit the about dander that falls off into your home. Make sure you wash your hands before and after.
Bathe your cat
bathing your cat should only be an option if absolutely necessary. For a complete soak, use special cat shampoo. If you want a less eventful option, use a damp washcloth to wipe them down.
Limit the space
I always love to snuggle my fur babies on the bed, but that leads to hair and dander all over the place. Try to limit the space your cat can explore.
This one is obvious. Make sure you are taking the time to dust frequently.
We might not be able to see it, but there is a lot of dust and dander trapped in our carpets. Make sure you take the time to vacuum frequently.
Are Maine Coons Hypoallergenic Cats
Most allergies are blamed on cat fur and dander being mixed up in the air. However, this isn’t really true; however, there might be some truth behind it. There are specific proteins a cat secretes called Fel d1 and Fel d4. Because of these proteins, there is no such thing as a cat that is 100% hypoallergenic. Some cats will shed less and produce less dander, which helps reduce the nose tickles.
The proteins that are secreted are mainly found in saliva, body oils, and urine. The most that the cat fur does is irritate the eyes and nose, causing sneezing and watery eyes. Logically, it makes sense for cats who are hairless (like the Sphynx) or short-haired (like the Russian Blue) are less likely to cause allergies.
In this sense, Maine Coons are not hypoallergenic. Their long and shaggy coats shed frequently. The fur and dander in their air can cause watery eye and itchy noses. Even if you don’t believe you have an allergy, cat fur can still be an irritant.
Some cats that are more hypoallergenic are Sphynx, Russian Blue, Devon Rex, and Cornish Rex.
In short, people are genuinely allergic to different proteins that a cat will secrete. However, fur and dander can still be irritants. Therefore, short or no-haired cats are more hypoallergenic (not wholly) than long-haired cats, such as the Maine Coon.
What Should I Do If My Cat Is Causing Me Allergies?
Is it the protein, or is it the hair? That’s the first question you need to think about what deciding your next steps. If it is the dander and fur, refer to the section about relieving dander. More often than not, taking a few extra steps to clean and groom your cat can help tremendously. If you are looking for a cat, you might want to consider a hairless or short-haired cat.
If that is not helping, the sad fact of the matter is, you might be allergic to the proteins that are part of the cat’s body. A real cat allergy goes beyond irritating sneezes and watery eyes. If you have any of the following symptoms, you may be allergic to cats:
● Facial pain
● Chest tightness
● Itchy throat
● Throat tightness
● Shortness of breath
● Skin rash or hives
Some of these symptoms can be extremely dangerous and taken seriously. If you are experiencing these, please leave and consult a doctor immediately.
If you are genuinely allergic to cats, you should not own or interact with cats.
Dander is common among cats. It is small and light, causing it to float through the air and settle on various surfaces. Maine Coons are just as susceptible to dander as any other cat. Several different things can cause excessive dander in your kitty.
These can be harmless and easy to fix, such as the weather causing dry skin, to severe conditions such as thyroid conditions. Either way, it is best to consult a vet first to find the reason your cat is producing an excess of dander. In addition to your cat’s health, make sure you are taking extra steps to clean your home to reduce the amount of dander on surfaces.
Proteins are the cause of true allergies, not just irritants. If you experience any significant health risks around a cat, please remove yourself from the situation and seek medical attention.
Unfortunately, Maine Coons aren’t hypoallergenic, but with proper care, the amount of dander can be reduced to provide a healthy home for you and your cat.