Are Siamese cats hypoallergenic. Most people love to have pets. However, some are unable to do so as they are allergic to pets. It is said that 3 out of 10 people in the United States have allergic reactions to pets.
Thus breeders have tried to breed hypoallergenic breeds of cats and dogs so that even people with pet allergies can have pets.
Have they been successful? Not quite! Although 100% hypoallergenic cats are non-existent, there are some breeds that come close to being hypoallergenic.
Siamese cats are one such breed. Most of these breeds happen to be oriental cats and Siamese cats are also included in this category. Are Siamese cats hypoallergenic? Let’s figure that out in this article.
- What does hypoallergenic mean?
- Why are people allergic to cats?
- Symptoms of cat allergies in humans
- Are Siamese cats hypoallergenic?
- Where to find a good quality Siamese cat
- How to reduce cat allergens
- Factors that affect allergen production in cats
- What other cat breeds are hypoallergenic?
What does hypoallergenic mean ?
When something causes lesser allergic reactions, it is supposed to be hypoallergenic. This term was first used in 1953 in a cosmetics campaign.
It is actually the characteristic of provoking fewer allergic reactions in allergy sufferers. Hypo means less and not none.
Pets that are supposed to be hypoallergenic can still produce allergens but these are lesser than others of the same species. People suffering from severe allergies and asthma can be affected by hypoallergenic pets.
Why are people allergic to cats ?
When the human immune system reacts to any substance as if it were dangerous, allergies occur. A person who is allergic to cats reacts to a protein found in their urine, saliva and dander or shed skin cells.
A popular belief is that people are allergic to cat hair. The truth is these people are actually allergic to the saliva, urine or dander it collects.
Other allergens such as dust or pollen collected in a cat’s hair can also cause allergies. What is more, the allergens produced by a cat can linger for months.
A protein known as Fel D1 protein found in a cat’s urine, saliva and skin is the true culprit in causing these allergies. It is said that about 10% of the human population is hypersensitive to this protein.
The protein gets on to a cat’s fur when it grooms itself. The saliva dries and becomes a vapor that carries the allergen through the air. Shedding and using the litter box can set loose the Fel D1 protein, which then finds a warm place to stay in the human nose and sinuses.
All cats produce this protein, but the amount can vary depending on certain factors such as breed. Most of these breeds are of the oriental variety.Cat allergies are supposed to be twice as common as dog allergies.
So, people are looking for hypoallergenic cats to share their lonely lives without the constant sneezing and eye scratching. Siamese cats are one such breed that is supposed to be hypoallergenic.
Symptoms of cat allergies in humans
- When a human breathes in the Fel D1 protein, they respond with respiratory symptoms.
- Some will experience breathing difficulties and will have to be hospitalized.
- Swollen eyes, massive hives or swollen closed airways can be experienced by individuals with severe sensitivity.
- It is ideal for people with such allergic reactions to keep their medications with them.
- The severity of your allergy will decide whether you should have an epinephrine shot with you.
- Allergy pills and inhalers can also help relieve people with allergies living in the same house with cats.
Are Siamese cats hypoallergenic ?
There is no such thing as a pure hypoallergenic cat. It is just that some produce less of the FelD1 protein that irritate allergic people than other breeds.
Siamese cats possess unique genetic features affecting their appearance and health.These cats are not heavy shedders. They have short and silky fur and go through two molts per year like most cats.
Hence they can be taken as pets by someone who is allergic to cats. However, if you have severe cat allergies, you should be cautious around Siamese cats too.
Grooming your Siamese cat properly can help keep allergens even lower. Start giving them a bath when they are very young to help expose them to water. This will help give them a bath without a fuss. Give a bath at least 3 times a week to lower the allergens in your home.
Siamese cats are quite vocal, inquisitive and love company. They love to be near their owners. So it is quite impossible to stay away from them even if it triggers allergies in you. Keep their belongings clean by washing them.
You can also brush the cat regularly to reduce dander and remove lose hairs to prevent these from spreading all over the house. Start this as soon as you get the cat so that they adjust to it.
Siamese cats are great pets as they enjoy human company. Get yourself tested before getting any pet for yourself. This will help you decide on the right kind of pet to adopt.
Where to find a good quality Siamese cat
- Many dogs and cats need the support of humans to survive in the modern world.
- There is an over population of these creatures due to their excessive reproduction.
- So the need for many pet shelters have arisen.
- Almost any breed can be found in these shelters, but luxury breeds are very less.
- Try spending an hour or so with the cat you intend to buy and see if it triggers your allergies or not. Many animal shelters allow this.
- Siamese cats can be found at a shelter or you can buy one from a reputed breeder.
How to reduce cat allergens
- Wash hard surfaces and clean carpets by vacuuming thoroughly and regularly.
- Clean your air conditioning systems and heating systems too. Cat’s hair can go deep inside them.
- Cat hair can be in filters and ducts too.
- You can change the air filters monthly with special allergen filters.
- Wash linens and clothes and also vacuum daily.
- Restrict your cat from entering certain areas such as bedroom, bathroom, living room etc. You can leash your cat or train it to do this.
- Wash all your cat’s bedding and toys at least once a week.
- Wash your hands and face after touching your cat. Do not touch your face or eyes with unwashed hands.
Factors that affect allergen production in cats
- There are several factors that decide whether a certain cat produces more allergens or not. Here are some of them.
- Males secrete more allergens than females.
- Neutered males tend to produce less allergens than intact ones.
- Kittens produce very less allergens when compared with adults.
- Although the reason is unknown, dark colored cats tend to produce more allergens than lighter ones.
So, if you intend to get a Siamese cat, get a light colored female one with lilac or blue points. Remember to get her spayed or neutered as soon as possible as they go through puberty very quickly.
What other cat breeds are hypoallergenic ?
- There are other breeds of cats that are considered to be hypoallergenic. Many of these are oriental breeds.
- Here’s a list of some of them in detail.
- Balinese-Javanese cats
- They resemble the Siamese and have a silky smooth coat and a luxurious tail plume.
- This type of cat is considered to be one of the least shedding cats among long-haired breeds, despite their fluffy appearance.
- Balinese cats are talkative, have an easy going personality, in addition to being considered hypoallergenic.
- This is due to a lower concentration of Fel D1 protein in their saliva and dander.
2. Siberian cats
- This is a large and powerful cat breed with a bushy coat and extra fluffy tail.
- They have an affectionate and intelligent temperament and are popular for their lack of irritating dander.
- These cats are somewhat special as they do not mind getting wet and even like to play in water.
- They are also hypoallergenic, though the appearance can question this.
3. Devon Rex
- It resembles a hairless breed and has short curly hair.
- Although it is small in size, the personality is large and sociable.
- It is also a hypoallergenic breed of cats.
4. Sphynx cats
- Just like their warm affectionate personality, the skin of a sphynx is supposed to resemble warm suede.
- Sphynx is one of the most allergy friendly breeds.
- Although they appear to be bald, they have fine and short fur that usually cannot be seen by human eyes.
- Shedding is almost not occurring in these breed of cats.
5. Bengal cats
- These cats have a wild, untamed appearance that resemble an African predator.
- They are a large athletic breed who are great hunters.
- These cats are also very playful and are good with kids.
- They have a trait called ‘glistening’ that makes their fine coat shiny and glimmering.
- Bengal cats are also hypoallergenic as they don’t groom themselves as often or as long as other cats.
- So their fur has less saliva with allergens.
- They also do not shed as much, restricting the spread of dander in their fur.
6. Burmese cats
- These cats are almost dog like due to their natural tendency to follow their owners and to give and receive affection.
- They can also learn to play fetch.
- Their coat is short and solid colored with subtle variations in shading.
- This is a spotted, wild looking cat that happens to be a distant relative of the Siamese.
- It is short haired and come in several distinct colors with leopard like spots.
- These are smart and sociable cats that get along with people and other pets.
8. Cornish Rex
- These cats are very good for allergy sufferers as they shed very little.
- This is because they possess only the undercoat layer known as down hair.
9. Russian blue
- It is a short haired breed with a blue/ grey colored shiny coat.
- It is also a hypoallergenic cat.
- They have playful personalities and spend hours amusing themselves.
- These cats have a curly textured coat that makes them shed a lot less.
- It is thought that the curls in their coat help keep the dander from spreading.
- These are gentle, affectionate and active cats.
11. Color point short hair
- This breed is related to the Siamese but unlike them have 16 point colors.
- They make friends easily and chatter persistently.
- These cats show deep affection to their owners and are sensitive to their human moods.
12. Oriental short hair
- These cats come in 300 different colors and patterns, having a very fine short coat.
- They shed infrequently and will benefit from regular grooming to keep dander to a minimum.
Many people suffer from pet allergies. Cat allergies are said to outnumber allergies due to other pets.
These allergies are due to a protein known as Fel D1 present in a cat’s urine, saliva and skin. The protein is released when cats groom themselves using saliva and also when you clean their litter box.
Hypoallergenic means something that will provoke lesser reactions in allergic people. There are no 100% hypoallergenic cats. Only cats that will trigger less allergic reactions due to the release of lesser Fel D1 protein.
So, are Siamese cats hypoallergenic? Siamese cats are supposed to be a hypoallergenic breed as they release less of the allergen protein as well as being short haired. Most other hypoallergenic cat breeds also descend from the Siamese cats.
These cats are social cats who crave human company. They communicate vocally with people around them. Siamese cats can get pretty lonely and sad if left alone for long periods of time. Get another cat if you are not going to be home a lot.
These cats have to be given a bath regularly and their coat brushed often to minimize allergens. Clean surfaces and floors thoroughly to avoid contacting allergens.
Always contact your doctor if you are allergic to pets and wish to get one. Even hypoallergenic cats can trigger reactions in people with severe cat allergies.
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