Cats are one of the cutest animals to adopt; their furry coat, the colored eyes, their heartwarming nature; all of these and more are why humans love them. This is especially true when it comes to Persian cats.
Unfortunately, not everyone is naturally predisposed to raise cats. Not necessarily because they don’t love animals or lack experience in raising one. Sometimes, it’s as a result of their nature and body reaction.
One of the top reasons why many people can’t adopt a cat is because of cat allergies. Cat allergy occurs in about 12% of people in the US according to a report. This means out of every ten persons that interact with cats, at least one would develop an allergic reaction.
Although, these days, there are so many adverts for cat adoption where you see lines like 100% hypoallergenic breed. What does this mean exactly? Which cat breeds are genuinely hypoallergenic? And are Persian cats hypoallergenic?
Here we’ll discuss all you need to know about those cute Persian cat breeds. And how they fare when it comes to being hypoallergenic.
What Makes a Cat Hypoallergenic?
Allergies are caused by exposure to allergens which triggers a reaction in the body. Allergens are tiny substances that we can come in contact with in different ways. These allergens are protein molecules found in foreign bodies.
In most cases, the symptoms are mild, while in a few others, the reactions are severe. The response to cat allergy differs in individuals and also depends on the cat breed. But some of the common symptoms observed include sneezing, stuffy nose, coughing, irritated eyes, itchy skin, rash on contact areas with the allergens, asthma attack in allergic asthma patients, and anaphylaxis in some rare cases.
Now that we know that allergens cause allergies. We should ask next, do cats produce allergens to trigger cat allergy? The answer is yes. This is true and also a fact for all cats. All cats have a specific protein that’s the culprit here. It then begs the question, what makes a cat hypoallergenic?
First, let’s answer this question, what is responsible for the allergic reaction from cats? The allergen found in cats is a protein called Fel d 1. The protein is secretoglobin, which means it’s found in secretions from cats like the saliva and the sebaceous glands on the skin.
The Fel d 1 protein only occurs in our feline companions and is the leading cause of allergic reactions to cats in humans. But like we mentioned earlier, some cats are designated hypoallergenic. These are the breeds that are said to not trigger allergic reactions in people who are allergic to cats. Is this even a possibility?
Remember how we said that all cats produce the allergen. That simply proves that no cat is 100% hypoallergenic, irrespective of the breed or age. However, the species and age of a cat do determine how allergic a cat would be.
Cats that produce little quantity of the cat allergen are the ones referred to as hypoallergenic. And rightly so, because these breeds trigger lesser allergic reactions. Often, you can stay around kitties like these and yet you would not get any allergies. That’s because the amount of allergen they produce is inconsequential.
Are Persian Cats Hypoallergenic?
Now on to our main discussion today. Are Persian cats hypoallergenic? The short answer is no. Persian cats as a cat breed can’t be considered hypoallergenic. The main reason is that they produce high amounts of the Fel d 1 protein in their saliva and skin glands.
The more possible it is for people to contact the cat allergen, the higher the tendency for a cat to trigger allergic reactions. Many people get triggered just being in the same room as a Persian cat. There are two reasons for this. It’s their saliva and their hair.
Persians groom themselves a lot just like every other cat breed. You’ll often find them grooming themselves multiple times each day. They do this to keep their coat in shape. But in the process, they also get their saliva stuck to their fur.
Cat hair is the leading cause of the spread of the Fel d 1 allergen. When cats groom themselves, the saliva gets stuck on the fur. Also, the Fel d 1 produced in the skin under the fur gets attached to the fur. Therefore, coming in contact with an infested hair will trigger allergic reactions.
What Cat Breeds are Hypoallergenic?
Though no cat breed is completely hypoallergenic, some can be better managed than others. These include;
Sphynx (Also called hairless cat)
Siberian Cat (Low Fel d 1 protein)
Balinese (Low Fel d 1 protein)
All of these cat breeds also trigger allergic reactions but to lesser degrees. And also for different reasons. Some of them have shorter hair lengths. Like the Sphynx cats, which are almost hairless. They are hypoallergenic because the Fel d 1 allergen they produce rarely gets a place to stick to and spread.
For the Siberian, Balinese, Russian Blue, and Siamese breeds with long hair, they produce a a lesser amount of the culprit protein. This also means less of the allergen can spread around.
These are some of the cat breeds to consider if you are allergic to cats. Allergic cat owners can easier manage these. Not that Persians can not be properly cared for also but it would require more work and carefulness.
Dealing with Allergies from a Persian Cat
Now that you know that all cats can trigger allergic reactions, you can decide to adopt any cat breed that appeals to you include non-hypoallergenic Persians. All you need to ensure is keep best practices to keep the allergens from spreading your home.
Here are some of the proven ways to keep cat allergy at bay;
If you’re going to keep your Persian cat as hypoallergenic as possible, then you should pay more attention to grooming your cat well. Grooming is excellent for cats, especially Persians. It makes them look their best and also keeps them more hypoallergenic. If you can take proper care of your cat’s hair, you can worry less about them being allergic.
Grooming starts with bathing your cat as often as you can afford. Once every two weeks is a good start. This helps get any saliva or secretion stuck in the fur out and reduces the spread of allergens. Also crucial in grooming is trimming. You can curb excessive shedding when you groom your cat correctly.
Use antibacterial washes in your house.
Neatness plays a significant role in keeping allergies at bay. You want to ensure you keep your cat litter and surroundings as neat as possible. This would significantly reduce the chances of getting the allergens to spread.
It’s advisable to clean your cat beddings, litterbox, feeding bowls, and other objects around the house using antimicrobial wash. You can use natural cleaners like vinegar to keep the environment relaxing for your fluffy pal.
Cat hair is a significant concern for Persian cat owners. This is because they have long hair that is easily shed. For allergic persons, the more exposure to cat hair, the higher the chances of developing a reaction.
Getting rid of cat hair is not so easy but necessary. Using a high-performance vacuum cleaner makes the work easier. You should vacuum the area where you place your cat’s litterbox, most especially. You should also extend areas with furnture where your cat frequents the same courtesyy. This way, you make the environment neater and also less prone to trigger allergies.
Use HEPA Air Purifiers
Allergens are quickly caught up in the air. That’s why the most common symptom of cat allergy is sneezing, runny nose, or coughing. That’s because the allergens are absorbed through the nose or mouth from the surrounding air.
The best way to remove such particles from the surroundingss is to usehigh-efficiency particulate absorptionon (HEPA) air filters. This model of air purifiers is quite effective in pulling off allergens from the environment.
Keep cats out of your bedroom.
Everyone loves to have their cat snuggled up in their bed or near their pillow while they sleep. Or at least have their cat litter box close to the bed so they can have their furry little friend as close as possible. While that is all cute and nice, it is surely a bad idea if you have cat allergies.
You don’t want to get much cat dander around you, because that is what will happen when your cat lives so close by. You would definitely get the allergen in your space all the time which would set off your body to react. What you should do is get a separate room for your kitty and keep the best hygiene.