You like cats, but your allergies don’t. Even a few minutes around cats make your eyes tear up, and you start sneezing. You assume that you can never have a cat of your own because of your allergies, but you fight your body’s natural reaction and adopt a beautiful Persian cat. And there it is: your allergies strike again, as if on cue. So, is a Persian cat hypoallergenic?
Persian cats are not hypoallergenic. Even though no cat is 100% hypoallergenic, Persian cats are not allergy-friendly. They shed more and produce more protein than other breeds. Persian cats have an average amount of Fel d1 protein which can cause some reactions such as a runny nose or watery eyes.
No cat breed is 100% hypoallergenic, meaning that it won’t trigger your allergies with a full guarantee. No matter what an ad for cats might say, every cat will make your allergies act up if you’re allergic to them. But there are cat breeds that won’t make your allergies any worse because of the type of fur the cats have.
Even if you have a cat breed that is an allergic offender, like your sweet new Persian, you don’t have to continue to suffer or, worse, give up your best friend.
What Makes a Cat Hypoallergenic
You might think all that cat hair stuck to everything – including you – is what makes your nose itch and your eyes water, but that’s not the whole story. Sure, you may be allergic to the hair too, but most people are allergic to a protein called Fel d1 protein.
So, where does that protein come from? This protein does not come from the fur itself, but surprisingly skin secretion from the cat’s saliva. It’s a common misconception that it’s the actual fur that most people are allergic to.
Then Why Do I Think I’m Allergic to Fur
Fel d1 protein attaches itself to your cat’s hair, which then attaches to everything you own: your furniture, your clothes, dinner that you cook. People then assume that the hair is making their allergies worse. In some ways, it is, but it’s the protein on the hair, not the hair itself. Since the protein isn’t something you can see, it isn’t easy to know if you don’t know the science behind it.
Cats who don’t shed as much or are non-shedding cats mean they are more hypoallergenic. The logic is simple, right? Less cat hair tumbleweeds around your house mean less Fel d1 protein to trigger your allergies.
Are All Cat Breeds the Same
You’re in luck if you’re on the hunt for a new best friend even if you have allergies.
Different cat breeds may be better or worse for your allergies, depending on the kind of fur they have, their length, and the amount of Fel d1 protein they secrete. No one cat breed will certainly not trigger your allergies, but some breeds might be easier to manage than others.
Check out the list in the next section to get an idea of what cat breeds might limit the number of tissues you go through.
What Cat Breeds are Hypoallergenic
Even though no cat is 100% hypoallergenic, here are some other cat breeds to consider:
1. Sphynx (sometimes called hairless cats)
2. Oriental Shorthair
3. Russian Blue
These breeds are more allergy-friendly for different reasons. For instance, the Sphynx is hypoallergenic because, well, there’s no fur for Fel d1 protein to get trapped in.
Other breeds – the Balinese, the Russian Blue, and even the long-haired Siberian – produce less of the Fel d1 protein.
A lot of people assume that the hairless cat is the only option for allergy sufferers. But you have other options, too. You don’t have to rule out long-haired cats because you’re afraid of the fur; you just have to do a little research first.
What About the Persian Cat
Persian cats are gorgeous, with their long fur and unique faces. Impressive enough to forego your worry about your allergies and adopt.
And as soon as you get home: Ah-choo!
Your allergies don’t think your new Persian is as cute as you do. Your cat keeps itself clean enough, and you’ve been diligent about vacuuming up the fur around the house, yet you’re still suffering from allergies. And those allergies might even be worse than when you visit your friend who has an orange Tabby cat. Sure, the Tabby’s hair is shorter, but does long hair mean more sneezing? Not exactly.
Why Is the Persian Cat Worse for My Allergies
We’ve already talked about that Fel d1 protein that you’re probably allergic to. It’s connected to the hair on your cat.
Persian cats have more fur and shed more, so they produce more protein, especially if they’re not bathed regularly. Unlike the long-haired Siberian that can be somewhat hypoallergenic, the Persian produces the usual amount of Fel d1. This means that it’s not always about the length of your cat’s fur but the amount of fur they have that they can shed around your house.
Tips to Deal with Allergies as a Persian Cat Owner
So you bought your Persian cat (or any other non-allergy friendly breed) thinking you wouldn’t have allergies because of your cat. And you don’t want to give up your new best friend! Here are some tips for dealing with those annoying allergies:
- Limit where your cat goes. You don’t want to confine your pet too much, but maybe Fluffy can’t sleep in bed with you.
- Bathe your cat regularly. If you don’t want to do it yourself, find a great, trustworthy groomer.
- Use HEPA cleaners to keep allergens in your home at bay.
- Use a high-efficiency vacuum.
Will My Cat Sometimes Shed More than Other Times
How much your cat sheds probably depends on many factors from the diet you feed it to the climate you live in. However, if you live in an environment with four seasons, your cat will probably start shedding more in the spring and summer. Your cat develops a thicker coat in the winter to keep it warm and then sheds the hair for the summer to stay cooler. Many people refer to this as “blowing their coat.” Therefore, your allergies might not be so bad in the winter but then really come back as temperatures start rising.
But Will My Allergies Ever Go Away
Well, unfortunately, probably not. You can do what you can in your home to keep allergens under control, but if you want a cat with cat allergies, you may have to always deal with allergies.
Allergy medicine prescribed by a doctor may also help you out, so look into that too. Like I said earlier, no cat is 100% hypoallergenic, so the best you can is limit the allergens if you want a furry friend to live in your home.
If You Can’t Beat them, Join them.
Remember: allergies don’t have to be the end of the road. I had a family friend who loved cats. I mean, loved cats. Everything she owned was cat related. She even made the local newspaper’s front page for being the local “crazy for cats, lady.” She also had three cats of her own. And guess what? She was completely, totally allergic to cats. With proper care and attention, she was able to live with her cats without a significant problem. And if she could do it (even with her allergies), so can you.