When it comes to owning a cat, one major concern people have is to know about the possible allergies they may contract. As you can hardly find a completely allergy-free cat, there are some cat breeds that are less likely to cause allergies than others. What about Siamese cats? Are Siamese cats hypoallergenic? Can people with allergies or those with overly sensitive immune systems keep a Siamese cat as a pet?
Let’s take a closer look into this, and find out more about Siamese cats and their reputation as hypoallergenic cats.
What Are Hypoallergenic Cats?
If we break down the word “hypoallergenic,” we can see it is a combination of two words, Hypo and Allergenic. The prefix ‘Hypo’ means low, under, below normal, or down. This means that when something is labeled as hypoallergenic, it is less likely to cause an allergic reaction than other similar species—or products. The same is the case with cats.
When people say about certain cat breeds that they are hypoallergenic, it means they are less likely to cause an allergic reaction to their owners.
No Cat is Truly Hypoallergenic
Most people think that it is cat hair—only cat hair—that is responsible for triggering allergies. So, they consider low-shedding or cats without hair such as Sphynx as hypoallergenic, but that is not true. No cat is completely hypoallergenic, not even a hairless Sphynx cat. Because cat hair is not the only underlying factor that makes them allergic. The other factor is an allergen called Fel d1, which is present in cats’ dander, urine, and saliva.
All cats produce this allergen, Fel d1, which is why no cat is truly hypoallergenic. That said, some cats produce a lesser amount of this allergen, so they are considered hypoallergenic cats.
Are Siamese Cats Hypoallergenic?
No cat is 100% hypoallergenic, but Siamese cats are believed to be causing fewer allergies in people, which earns them the reputation of hypoallergenic cats. However, research is still being carried out to find out more about Siamese and allergies.
Why Are Siamese Cats Considered Hypoallergenic?
There are two reasons underlying the hypoallergenic status of Siamese cats. Below, we will look into the reasons that make people believe the myth that Siamese cats are hypoallergenic.
- One reason people believe Siamese cats are hypoallergenic is that they produce less Fel d1 protein. This protein produced by cats is the main culprit responsible for triggering allergies in people. As mentioned earlier, it is found in feline dander, urine, and saliva. Most people who are allergic to cats react to the saliva of cats.
The Fel d1 protein is either transmitted directly from a cat’s saliva when your cat licks you or is transmitted from her fur when you pet her after she has been self-grooming—licking herself. Siamese cats are cuddly and love to lie next to their owners and curl up against them.
- The second reason behind people believing Siamese are hypoallergenic is that they shed very little as compared to many other cat breeds and are thus categorized as cat breeds that don’t shed.
Why Are Some People Allergic to Cats?
Apart from the Fel d1 allergen produced and spread by cats, there is another reason some people are more allergic to cats as compared to others. As we come with different genetic makeup, everyone is unique in him or herself. Some people have a sensitive immune system, which triggers a fighting response with a slight disturbance from the outside environment.
The same thing happens when you keep a pet. Other people may have no allergic reaction to pets, but your immune system may be more sensitive, making you allergic to pets, including cats.
How to Minimize Cat Allergens and Live with a Cat Even if You Are Allergic?
You don’t have to completely give up on your dream of keeping a Siamese if you are allergic to pets. There are various ways in which you can co-exist with a cat easily and with more fun without triggering allergic reactions.
Check with Your Doctor
First and foremost, you have to check with your doctor if you are allergic to pets or not. You might be allergic to something else in your surroundings, but the allergic reactions started showing up after you came in contact with a cat. So, it is advisable to go through allergy tests and determine what might be causing the allergic reactions.
Keep Your House Clean
Another important thing to combat pet-related allergies is to keep your house clean and tidy. Regularly vacuuming and dusting can help reduce allergens. If you can invest in filters and air purifiers, that will be a plus. Installing such filters can help in purifying the air. You may also want to invest in a vacuum cleaner with a pet power brush that will pick up all the fur that your cat shed without burning out the motor.
LEVOIT Air Purifier
Create a Cat-Free Zone
You need to stop your cat towing behind you all the time if you have feline allergies. You can create a cat-free space in your house. This should be a place that your cat cannot access. Similarly, you can also limit your cat to a specific area—install her cat window perch, cat trees, and bed, etc., in that area so that she never gets bored and have access to all the essentials. You can also use cat collars to make your cat stay away from certain indoor off-limit areas.
PetSafe Pawz Mini Barrier for Cats
Groom Your Cat
To keep your house free of allergy-inducing fur and dander, it is advised to brush your cat regularly. This will not only help you control the allergens but also maintain skin and coat health for your cat and strengthen your bond with your cat.
If possible, you should do the cat brushing outside, so there is less fur-shedding inside the premises of your house.
Remove Things that Trap Allergens in
There are certain things in or around the house that allow the allergens to adhere to them for a long time, such as carpets, upholstered furniture, and some types of bed linens and fabrics. As it may not be possible to get rid of all these items from your house, you can try cleaning them regularly.
No More Snuggling in Bed with Your Cat
Most cats love to snuggle under warm bed sheets with their owners. Similarly, some cats love to lay on their owners’ chests. Most cat lovers love this; perhaps you do as well. But it increases the chances of allergic reactions. Therefore, it is advised that cat owners with allergies keep their cats away from their beds as well as bedrooms.
Keep the Litterbox Clean
The litterbox is another safe haven for allergens to cling to. Since cats’ urine also contains allergens, you need to clean your cat’s litterbox as soon as she relieves herself. Besides, cats are fastidious creatures. They love their litterbox and pantries clean.
Use Cat Moisturizers to control Allergens
Bathing could be a great way to remove dander from cat skin but bathing a kitten is a daunting task as most cats hate water. So instead, we advise you use a cat moisturizer to get rid of the allergens that are clinging to your cat’s skin.
Burt’s Bees for Cats Grooming Wipes
Wash Your Hands After Touching a Cat
Always remember to wash your hands every time you touch your cat or her belongings. You should also be cleaning your hand after petting your cat, putting food in her bowls, cleaning her litter box, etc. This will help you get rid of the allergens that might have clung to your hands.
Try Medication and Therapies
It is always sensible to consult your doctor and inform yourself about your allergy’s possible treatments. Your doctor can prescribe medications or suggest possible treatments, such as immunotherapy. As medications can help you deal with the symptoms of feline allergy, undergoing immunotherapy can make you more tolerant of allergens.
The Final Verdict: Are Siamese Cats Hypoallergenic?
Yes, Siamese cats are widely considered hypoallergenic. Their extra-short coat sheds limitedly, lessening the risk of allergic reactions. They are not 100% hypoallergenic because no cat or dog is fully hypoallergenic. But it is safe to say that these Siamese cats cause fewer allergic reactions than other cat breeds, making them an excellent choice for people with feline allergies.
With proper care and precautions, you can pet a Siamese cat, even if you are allergic to cats and dogs. As a side note, it is always sensible to discuss it with your doctor and vet to make an informed decision.