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Are Munchkin Cats Hypoallergenic? The Interesting Answer! (With Pictures)

Kit Copson

By Kit Copson

munchkin cat is looking away while lying down

Being a cat lover and an allergy sufferer at the same time can be rough—you’d love to have a cat but are concerned about flare-ups. Some allergy sufferers choose cat breeds considered “hypoallergenic.” Unfortunately, if you have your eye on a Munchkin cat and are wondering if they’re hypoallergenic, they’re not.

Read on to find out more about why Munchkin cats are not considered hypoallergenic and get a heads-up on which breeds may be suitable for allergy sufferers.

Why Aren’t Munchkin Cats Hypoallergenic?

Contrary to popular belief, when someone suffers from a pet allergy1, it isn’t the fur that triggers the reaction—it’s the dander. Dander is the dead skin cells that pets shed and the protein within it is the allergen. It can be found pretty much everywhere in a home with cats, including on surfaces, clothing, furniture, carpets, beds, and walls.

This allergen is also found in saliva and urine and, in an allergy sufferer, can trigger symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, itchy and/or swollen eyes and nose, red eyes, and postnasal drip among others.

In the case of Munchkin cats, they don’t shed as heavily as some other breeds, but they do shed enough to potentially trigger a reaction in an allergy sufferer. For this reason, they’re not considered a hypoallergenic breed.

Image Credit: Pagespeed.ic

Are Any Cats Hypoallergenic?

The truth is that there are no 100% truly hypoallergenic cats because all cats shed to an extent, even if the extent is minimal. That said, some breeds are labeled hypoallergenic because they don’t produce large amounts of Fel d1 protein—the allergen responsible for triggering allergy symptoms.

These include:
  • Sphynx
  • Russian Blue
  • Siberian
  • Devon Rex
  • Balinese
  • Cornish Rex
  • Ocicat
  • Burmese
  • Javanese
  • Oriental Shorthair

sphynx kitten, webbed feet
Image Credit: ElenaBoronina, Shutterstock

Can An Allergy Sufferer Have a Cat?

This really depends on the severity of the allergy. If your reaction to pet dander is often severe, it might not be the best thing for you or the cat. One thing we want to avoid at all costs is the heartbreaking decision to give up a cat because of unmanageable allergy symptoms.

If you aren’t sure if you have a pet allergy, you might want to consider getting an allergy test to find out. You may find out that your symptoms aren’t caused by pets at all but by something else. Pet hair can also carry other allergens like pollen, dust, and mites.

If your symptoms are manageable, there are certain things you can do to help minimize your exposure to symptom-causing dander.

Here are some tips:
  • Wipe down surfaces, wash bedding and clothing, and vacuum carpets your cat has had contact with regularly.
  • Consider using an allergy-friendly vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter.
  • Consider investing in an air purifier with a HEPA filter.
  • Avoid letting your cat on furniture or beds.
  • Ask someone else to clean the litter box and groom your cat when necessary. If possible, groom them outside to reduce dander in your home.
  • Consider wearing a mask and gloves when cleaning.
  • Wash your hands after touching your cat or their bedding.

Conclusion

To recap, Munchkin cats are not hypoallergenic, but then no cat is truly hypoallergenic even if they’re labeled as such because they all shed to an extent.

The good news is that some people with pet allergies do keep cats and are able to manage their symptoms, so all hope is not lost. It might be worth discussing your concerns with an allergist as they’ll be able to offer some useful tips on living with a cat as an allergy sufferer.


Featured Image Credit: Twinsterphoto, Shutterstock

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