Hypoallergenic cats. The idea sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? If you’re an allergy sufferer and a pet lover, you’re probably looking for a cat who won’t affect your allergies. You may have about hypoallergenic cats, and you may wonder if they truly exist.
Why You’re Allergic to Cats
If you’re an allergy sufferer and have the unfortunate curse of being allergic to cats, you may wonder what triggers your allergies. A person who has an allergy to something either inhales or comes in contact with that allergen, according to the Mayo Clinic,. The body creates an immune response, which causes swelling and inflammation at the contact site. Cat dander is often the culprit because it can remain airborne for periods of time, and stick to furniture, clothing and other places. The problem isn’t necessarily the cat’s hair, but a protein in the cat’s dander and saliva. As you know, cats groom themselves by licking, and thus shed that saliva and dander everywhere.
Cats Considered Allergy-Friendly
In the quest for cat-ownership, some allergy sufferers have turned to certain cat breeds for an answer. There is anecdotal evidence that suggests that certain cat breeds are less likely to trigger a reaction than others in mild allergy sufferers. These breeds include the Russian Blue, Sphynx, Siberian, Cornish Rex, Devon Rex and LaPerm, but there is no scientific proof that these cats are allergy-friendly or won’t cause a reaction.
Allergies are largely an auto-immune response and vary from individual to individual. Just because a handful of persons who can tolerate a particular cat doesn’t mean that all allergy sufferers will. These breeds are often pricey, costing hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
A company named Allerca back in 2004 claims to have designed a genetically-modified cat that is truly hypoallergenic. However, there are no independent, peer-reviewed studies nor published data to prove that these cats are truly as touted. What’s more, at a whopping $6950 to $22,950 for a cat as of 2011, these pets are obviously out of the price range of most people.
What Should You Do?
If you’re not able or do not want to purchase an Allerca cat, you may be tempted to try one of the above breeds. The problem is that a full 50% of allergy sufferers may not shows signs of an allergy at first when introduced to a new cat. You may have to visit a particular cat breeder several times before determining if you can tolerate the cats. Be aware that just because one breed of cats works for your friend, it may not work for you. Talk to your allergist or find one who is sympathetic to cat ownership and who will work on better controlling your allergies.
You can also reduce cat dander by giving your cat a bath at least twice a week, vacuuming the house every day, and eliminating carpets in favor of tile or hardwood floors. Washing your bedding and clothing frequently to remove cat danger will help remove dander. Also washing your hands after you pet the cat is a good way to reduce symptoms.
Hypoallergenic Cats — Do They Exist?
Allerca Lifestyle Pets
Hypoallergenic Cats — Should You Own One?