If you love cats but find yourself itching or sneezing uncontrollably anytime youre in the same room as one, you might be one of the millions of people worldwide who suffer from cat allergies. Rather than give up on the dream of owning a cat, you might wonder whether its possible to find a hypoallergenic breed. Maybe youve heard about hypoallergenic dog breeds and are curious if such a thing exists in the cat world as well.
Image Credit: Xaya, PixabaySo why arent Sphynx cats considered hypoallergenic just because they dont have hair? But they may be less likely to trigger allergy symptoms because they dont spread the allergens widely in their environment by shedding hair.
You know you wont be able to get a truly hypoallergenic cat, but the good news is there are some steps you can take to reduce the allergens that end up in your house. Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, ShutterstockYou can help reduce the allergens on your Sphynx cats body by bathing them frequently. Any place your cat spends a lot of time will eventually build up allergens from the skin contact.
Speaking of breathing, using High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters in your home is another way to decrease the allergens present. As weve seen, while Sphynx cats arent truly hypoallergenic, theyre still one of the best choices for allergy sufferers since they are often less likely to trigger a reaction.
Are Sphynx cats OK with allergies?
Sphynx. The Sphynx is a hairless breed of cat. If dander is the root cause of your allergy to cats, then the Sphynx is a great breed to consider.
Are Sphynx cats actually hypoallergenic?
The hairless Sphynx is a breed often associated with being hypoallergenic, since it doesn’t have much allergy-laden fur to shed, though it does require a weekly sponge bath.
Which cat is most hypoallergenic?
1 – Sphynx. The strikingly unusual looking Sphynx – no hair, no allergies. ….2 – Cornish Rex. A Cornish Rex cat with a beautiful tabby coat – and one that won’t provoke allergies. ….3 – Devon Rex. ….4 – Oriental. ….5 – Russian Blue. ….6 – Balinese. ….7 – Siberian. ….8 Bengal.
First things first, no cat breed is completely non-allergenic. Hypoallergenic cats are breeds that produce fewer allergens than others, and so cause less of an allergic reaction. It is, however, always a good idea to spend time around different breeds to see how you react. Here is a list of the top breeds recommneded for allergy sufferers that want to adpt a feline friend, but just cant wait for a cat allergy cure!
Unlike most cats, the Cornish Rex does not have three layers of fur they only have the soft undercoat meaning they shed far less and carry less dander (skin cells) which is less irritating to those with allergies. One of the defining features of a LaPerm cat is its unique curly coat which holds dander and loose hair in place preventing allergens from spreading, and thus reducing allergic reactions among allergy sufferers.
As this breed also has a dense double coat, it traps allergens more closely to the cats skin so theres less chance of them floating around. Although not one of the first breeds that would spring to your mind as hypoallergenic due to their long and shaggy fur Siberian cats, like the Russian Blue, Bengal and Balinese produce less of the Fel D1 protein found in their saliva and skin. Unlike other breeds, the hairless Sphynx does not shed any Fel D1 protein saturated fur around the house the allergen just stays on their skin.
Well, the Sphynx is a unique cat breed that is known worldwide for being hairless and looking, well, a little alien. A fascinating fact we uncovered about this breed is that even though hairlessness is a naturally occurring genetic mutation, the Sphynx was developed via selective breeding. Thats why these cats can be completely hairless or have fine hair. Some Sphynx cats dont even have whiskers!
Why Sphynx Cats Aren’t Truly Hypoallergenic
So why aren’t Sphynx cats considered hypoallergenic just because they don’t have hair?Well, contrary to what you might think, it usually isn’t a cat’s hair itself that triggers an allergic reaction. Instead, people typically react to the cat’s saliva, dander, or natural skin oils because that’s where the major allergen in cats is found. When a cat grooms their coat, the saliva and skin oil spread over its hair. It’s the shedding of that allergen-coated hair along with dander into the cat’s home environment that tends to spark the allergy symptoms.Because they don’t have hair to shed, Sphynx cats are more likely to keep their allergens to themselves. When they groom themselves, they will still collect the allergens on their bodies and it will still cause allergic reactions.So, Sphynx cats aren’t truly hypoallergenic because they still wear a coat of allergens on their bodies even without hair. But they may be less likely to trigger allergy symptoms because they don’t spread the allergens widely in their environment by shedding hair.
Bathe Your Cat
You can help reduce the allergens on your Sphynx cat’s body by bathing them frequently. A bath or a good wipe with cat cleaning wipes once a week can help cut down on the buildup of allergens on the Sphynx’s body. Again, you won’t eliminate them completely, but it could be just enough.
Clean, Clean, Clean
Any place your cat spends a lot of time will eventually build up allergens from the skin contact. Wash your cat’s bedding frequently. Vacuum carpets and clean any furniture where your cat regularly sleeps. You might want to consider washable furniture covers to make this easier as well.
Create A Cat-Free Zone
Keeping your Sphynx cat out of your bedroom is another way to make your life easier as an allergy-stricken cat owner. Yes, it means you won’t be able to fall asleep snuggling your purring cat, but it could help you breathe a little easier.
Use Air Filters and Purifiers
Speaking of breathing, using High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters in your home is another way to decrease the allergens present. A HEPA air purifier can also be effective at this as well as reducing other allergens, like dust mites or pollen.
Visit An Allergy Doctor
With so many allergy sufferers in the world, allergy treatments are also plentiful and becoming more and more effective. Allergy medications or allergy shots may also help allow you to live safely with a cat. Ask your doctor about your options or whether a referral to an allergy specialist might be a good idea.
Do Sphynx Cats Shed?
No, Sphynx cats have a very low shedding level. Even though they seem hairless, some Sphynx cats have very fine hair on their coat. Fortunately, since Sphynx cats don’t shed much, if at all, there will be less airborne allergens floating around your home. Their hairlessness also means that they don’t trap other allergens in their coat, which is a secondary risk for allergy sufferers.Shedding Levels: 1/1010Hair Length: 1/1010The other great news is that they also can’t leave saliva all over their coats when self-grooming, like other breeds do. Since some of them have small hair on their bodies, even if they do shed, you will hardly notice it. Therefore, you won’t really find cat hair all over your home.
Sphynx Cats Dander and Saliva Levels
Cats produce over six allergy-producing proteins, but feline albumin and feline d1 protein are the most common ones.All cats produce these proteins, and this breed is no exception. That’s why the fact that they are mostly hairless isn’t the only thing allergy sufferers need to factor in. Sphynx cats still produce a low amount of fel d1 which is how they can trigger skin allergies. This protein is typically found in dander, saliva, urine and other substances they produce.Saliva Exposure: 4/1010Dander Levels: 3/1010Sphynx cats have a very low dander production rate. Therefore, the probability of dander being released into your home environment can be quite low. However, your risk of saliva exposure may still be there.It just depends on your Sphynx’s self-grooming patterns. Sphynx cats still lick themselves clean like most cats do. But they are also incredibly self-aware that they cannot properly clean themselves on their own.This leads to some interesting behaviours from our not-so-furry felines friends! Many Sphynx owners notice that their cat simply approaches them when it is time for a bath instead of licking themselves clean. It sure is hard work to lick through all those skin folds!The other risk with saliva exposure comes to drooling habits. Drooling is quite normal in cats, including Sphynx. Most of them drool when they are relaxed and happily rested on your laps though it’s not as significant an amount as with dogs.
Grooming and Coat Maintenance
Just because Sphynx have little to no hair all over their bodies, doesn’t mean that they can take care of their grooming. The many skin folds they have and their lack of fur means that they don’t have anything to absorb body oil; therefore, they must be bathed regularly.Sphynx cats must be bathed at least once per week to get rid of the oil buildup on their skin. Just make sure you scrub properly in-between their folds and wrinkles. If not bathed, they can leave oily spots all over your clothing and furniture.Maintenance: 5/1010Ease of Grooming: 7/1010Risk of Allergen Exposure: 5/1010Just like all cats, the Sphynx cats don’t always like being bathed, so make sure you start washing them from a very young age.
Best Shampoo for Sphynx Cats
Since Sphynx cats have rather sensitive skin, it’s important you invest in a good shampoo to ensure their skin stays healthy and shiny! Here are our top picks…
Espree for Kittens
A mild shampoo that avoids irritation and itching is the best choice for a sphynx cat. Besides being mild, what we love about this shampoo is that it contains quality and natural ingredients. You don’t want to risk using a shampoo that has ingredients your cat is allergic to, so simpler can be better!
If your sphynx doesn’t exactly love getting wet, this waterless option by Burt’s Bees is right up your alley! It’s the easy option for bathing your cat and can make bath time fun and a whole lot less messy.
Sphynx cats battle with dry skin since it is always exposed and they lack fur which properly distributes moisturising oils across their skin. Especially after a bath, your sphynx needs to be moisturised and this all-in-one product helps you do just that!
Protect Your Home From Allergens
Sphynx cats are social and smart cats that respond well to positive reinforcement. So, we recommend that you teach them the following: