Owning a cat is believed to be a highly fulfilling and rewarding experience. The fluffy fellows can make even ordinary days vibrant and lively. Cats are playful and very affectionate towards their owners. They are instant mood lifters and will cajole you out of your bad mood with their funny acts, innocent faces, and loving demeanor. Sometimes, however, keeping a cat in your house can bring along some unwanted problems, allergies being one of them.
There are several things cat lovers must consider before buying a cat, e.g., knowing about the breeds, which may be less hypoallergenic than others, would be a good start for people prone to allergies. Ragdoll cats are mostly the first choice of people with allergies but are Ragdoll cats hypoallergenic? Or do they make a good choice for people with allergies?
In this article, we will take a closer look at the Ragdoll breed, their temperament, and how to look after them.
Introducing the Ragdoll Cats
Ragdolls are large, affectionate cats that have blue eyes and a silky, medium-length coat. Their males tend to be bigger than their female counterparts. Where male Ragdolls weigh around 20 pounds, female Ragdolls weigh between 10 to 15 pounds. They are famous for their gentle and patient nature who loves to play and cuddle with their pet parents. Ragdoll breed got its name because they are so docile, they go limp when picked up. Just like Ragdolls, they are very soft, and you can keep them in your lap for as long as you want. They are also called Floppy cats. Unlike other breeds, Ragdolls do not climb over high places or jump. Instead, they like to stay on the ground. This is why they are called floor cats by the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA).
Coming back to the main question, Ragdoll cats are hypoallergenic because of various reasons. Before jumping on to the details, let’s understand the actual meaning of the term “Hypoallergenic.”
What Does Hypoallergenic Mean?
Hypoallergenic means something that causes less to no allergies. If we break down the word, we get “hypo” and “allergenic.” The prefix “hypo” means something low, under, beneath, down, or below normal. Whereas “allergenic” means having the tendency to cause allergies. This means the word hypoallergenic stands for things or living beings that are less likely to cause allergic reactions.
Do Hypoallergenic Cats Exist?
No, there are no truly hypoallergenic cat breeds—no cat can be 100% hypoallergenic. Most people believe that it is only cat hair that triggers allergies in people. But actually, it’s the presence of different proteins—allergens such as Fel d1—produced by cats and present in their saliva, urine, and dander that are mainly responsible for triggering allergies. All cats, irrespective of their breeds, produce this allergen. So, a truly hypoallergenic cat is a myth.
Don’t get sad if you have pet allergies. Do not give up the hope of keeping a Ragdoll a pet.
There are certain factors that make some cats less allergy-inducing than others.
Are Ragdoll Cats Hypoallergenic?
Unfortunately, Ragdoll cats are not hypoallergenic, but they are widely considered to be partially hypoallergenic because they shed less as compared to other breeds. This is because they don’t have an undercoat. The absence of the undercoat greatly reduces the amount of shedding in Ragdoll cats.
Additionally, female Ragdoll cats and kittens are believed to produce less Fel D1 protein which is considered the main reason behind feline allergies in humans. This Fel D1 protein is present in saliva and urine. When a cat licks her body, she transfers the protein to her fur. This protein then clings onto our hands when we touch our cats. From there, it can be easily inhaled by us if we touch our nose or mouth without washing our hands. This Fel D1 protein can also become airborne through the cat’s dander which can get into our lungs when we breathe, triggering allergic reactions.
Why are Ragdoll Cats Considered Hypoallergenic?
- They lack an undercoat and shed very little
- They are believed to produce a lesser amount of Fel d1 (allergen)
Managing Your Allergies Around Your Cat
Being allergic to cats shouldn’t discourage you or force you to give up on your dream of owning a fluffy cat breed like Ragdoll. There are some ways you can smartly manage your allergies around your cat.
Keep the Environment Clean
You need to keep your house and the room, where you spend most of your time, clean. To get rid of allergens in your environment, it is advisable to invest in a vacuum, preferably with micro-filtration devices. They are designed to catch the smallest of cat allergens. If possible, also get air filters installed in your house so they can purify the air inside your house.
Bathe your Ragdoll Regularly
It is important to bathe your cat regularly with an allergen-reducing shampoo. Don’t over-bathe her, though, as it can dry out her skin, making it more prone to secreting allergens. Most cats hate water, so bathing could be a daunting task. If bathing your ragdoll sounds like a daunting task, you should check out our bathing guide: “how to bathe your kitten in 7 simple steps.”
If your Ragdoll seems to be unhappy about regular baths, you can instead try cat moisturizers or grooming wipes to get rid of the allergens clinging to your cat’s skin.
Create a Cat-free Zone
It is also important to create a cat-free zone in your house, so there are fewer airborne allergens there. For instance, you should bar your cat from jumping on the bed or sofas. You can just deny her entry to your bedrooms. If you want this banning area to work, you should get your Ragdoll a comfy cat bed, where she can comfortably lounge in when you are in your bedroom.
Groom Your Cat Regularly
You should try to regularly comb and brush your cat to get rid of the dirt on her body. Brushing her frequently will keep her allergen-free. This will also help you minimize allergens to spread in your house. Ideally, you should ask someone else to brush your cat if you’re allergic, and also it should be done outside of the house.
Wash Your Hands
Always remember to thoroughly wash your hands after you touch your cat or play with her. You should also cleanse your hands after dealing with cat food and water bowls or cleaning the cat litter box. This will minimize the chances of any allergens sticking to your hands and then getting inhaled.
Consult with a Doctor
It is always wise to discuss it with your doctor before buying a Ragdoll or any other cat breed. Your doctor can help you learn more about allergies and the ways to manage them.
The Final Verdict: Are Ragdoll Cats Hypoallergenic?
Ragdolls are not completely hypoallergenic—no cat is. However, Ragdolls are considered to be partially hypoallergenic. Ragdoll cats pose a lesser risk of triggering allergies in allergy sufferers as they lack the undercoat and shed very little. More so, Ragdolls produce lesser quantities of allergens like Fel d1, further substantiating Ragdoll’s status as a hypoallergenic cat breed. Additionally, if you learn to manage your allergies by taking the necessary precautions, you wouldn’t find keeping a Ragdoll cat hard at all.