What are Hypoallergic Cats? An Overview

 

Do you really think that hypo allergic cats exist? Let’s know some interesting facts about it.

Cats are lovely animals. There are certain breeds of cats that have a great tendency to develop allergic reactions in humans as compared to others such as Persian cats. Some owners like to know about hypo allergic cats which cause fewer allergic reactions in humans. As you know, many people show allergic responses when cats are around them (feline-induced allergy). To under the exact phenomenon of feline-induced allergy, we have to discuss it with the help of scientific literature.

 

In this article, we will discuss a bit about hypoallergic cats and all facts related to them.

Why some breeds of cats are called “ hypo allergic cats?

  Hypo-allergic cats produce low-allergens in their body as compared to the other cats. This is why they are less likely to induce allergic reactions in allergy sufferers.. All along with that, there is a protein that is called “ Fel D1” that plays a major role in causes allergic reactions. This particular protein is also called “cat allergen”. It causes sensitization in humans.

 

Mechanism:

 Fel D1 is an allergen protein that is encoded by two important genes in cats namely CH1 and CH2. This allergen protein is mainly produced by salivary and sebaceous glands in the cat. Many research studies support that this allergen protein gets trapped in cat fur, dried flakes of skin, coat etc. It provokes allergic reactions in humans particularly in those individuals who have a previous history of allergic diseases.

Note: Fel D1 allergen triggers IgG and IgE reactions in sensitized individuals. Some experts believe that there is nothing like a “Hypo-allergic cat” but here we are going to discuss some important hypo-allergic cat breeds, particularly for allergic owners.

 

Hypo-allergic cat breeds:

Here we are going to discuss some important hypoallergic breeds along with their important features.

 

Siberian cat breed:

Siberian are friendly and playful cat breeds. But they have long hair which needs critical maintenance, particularly during their shedding period. Over and above, they produce less amount of allergen protein Fel D1. This is why this breed of cat is considered as a “Low-allergen cat as compared to other breeds.

 

Devon Rex and Cornish Rex:

 These both breeds are pretty hypo-allergic, curly-haired breeds that shed little hair as compared to other breeds of cats. All along with this, they are energetic and intelligent breeds.

Similar to the other hypoallergic breeds, they also produce less amount of allergen protein “Fel D1.

 

Bengal cat breed:

 This is another hypoallergic breed of cat. It possesses friendly and playful behavior. Many owners (with allergic complications) have claimed that this breed of cat rarely triggers allergic reactions in them. They also produce less amount allergen protein FEL D1. For all owners who have allergic diseases, they should consider this breed as a pet.

 

Sphynx:

This is the awesome hypoallergic cat breed. Many experts emphasize that the sphynx breed doesn’t have a hair coat. This is why it is much suitable for those owners who have allergic complications.

Remember, their leather-like skin needs regular care (bathing/washing).

 

Russian blue:

 This is a strong and beautiful breed of cat. They have incredible skin coat. Russian blue cats shed less hair and produce a low amount of allergen protein in their bodies. This is why they are pretty much suitable for those owners who have cat allergies.

 

 Frequently asked questions:

 – Does hypoallergic cat not cause allergy in humans at all?

This is not true, but hypo-allergic cat produces less amount of allergens in their bodies. This is why chances of allergic reactions become rare in owners.

 

– Do kittens produce FEL D1 (Allergen protein)?

Yes, but kittens produce less amount of FEL D1 as compared to adult cats. So, they cause rare allergies in humans.

 

– How FEL D1 provoke allergic reactions in humans?

This is basically an allergen protein that is produced by saliva and sebaceous glands of cats and then gets trapped into the fur, coat of the cat. After coming in contact with the cat, this allergen causes sensitization in humans (induces IgE and IgG reactions)

 

– Does male produce a larger amount of FEL D1 as compared to females?

Yes, this has been scientifically proved that male cats produce a greater amount of FEL D1 compared to female cats. So, they cause a greater incidence of allergies in sensitized individuals.

 

– Can a neuter male produce FEL D1?

Yes, a castrated cat male also produce allergen protein but in less amount as compared to intact males.

 

– Why Siberian cats produce a lower amount of FEL D1?

Siberian cats are hypo-allergic cats. They have a genetic disposition to not produce enough amount of FEL D1 that causes allergy in sensitive individuals.

 

– Which cat breeds are called “Hypo-allergic cats?

Because of the lower production of FEL D1 allergen, the following cats are known as “hypoallergic cats.

Oriental shorthair, Burmese, Cornish Rex, Sphynx, Devon Rex, Russian blue, LaPerm.

 

– Is there any genetic test to confirm the production of allergen protein in cats?

No, there is no such test that could tell the exact and accurate results. But yet, there are a few tests which give a bit good results.

 

REFERENCES

Butt, Ahmed, Daanish Rashid, and Richard F. Lockey. “Do hypoallergenic cats and dogs exist?.” Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology 108, no. 2 (2012): 74-76.

Lockey, R.F., 2012. The myth of hypoallergenic dogs (and cats). Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology130(4), pp.910-911.

Satorina, J.M.G., Do hypoallergenic cats exist?-Secretion of Fel d 1 in the Neva Masquarade versus domestic cat breeds.Bastien, B.C., Gardner, C. and Satyaraj, E., 2019. Influence of time and phenotype on salivary Fel d1 in domestic shorthair cats. Journal of feline medicine and surgery21(10), pp.867-874.

Morris, D.O., 2010. Human allergy to environmental pet danders: a public health perspective. Veterinary dermatology21(5), pp.441-449.

Liem, O., Kessen, K. and de Groot, H., 2019. Hypoallergenic animals, fact or myth?. Nederlands tijdschrift voor geneeskunde164.

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