Are Scottish Folds Hypoallergenic? A Guide For Allergy Sufferers
If you have your heart set on the Scottish Fold, but there are allergy sufferers in your house, you might wonder if they are hypoallergenic. Unfortunately, this cat is not hypoallergenic and can affect allergy-prone people.
No cat is truly hypoallergenic since all cats can trigger an allergic reaction in varying degrees. So, what does this mean for allergy sufferers who love the Scottish Fold or any cat? Well, let’s take a look!
Why Are People Allergic to Cats?
To understand why some people are allergic to cats and some aren’t, we need to investigate what triggers the allergy in people who are. But what exactly is an allergy? This reaction is when a person’s immune system overreacts to a foreign substance or allergen. Allergens are present in numerous things like peanuts, milk, eggs, and dust mites.
Some people might assume it’s the fur that’s the culprit behind their allergies, which is why they may also assume that a cat with short to medium hair, like the Scottish Fold might be hypoallergenic. People that are allergic to animals generally react to the proteins found in animal feces, urine, saliva, and dander.
While Scottish Folds are considered moderate shedders, their fur is usually short in length, so you might not notice it when they do shed. There are long-haired variants of the Scottish Fold. However, as it isn’t the fur that people are allergic to but the protein sticking to the hair, the only difference will be that you will at least see how much your cat has shed if you have a long-haired version.
How to Deal With Your Cat Allergy
If you have your heart set on a Scottish Fold, you might be wondering if it’s possible to manage your allergy or if you could eventually get over it. While allergies will, unfortunately, not go away completely, there are ways to live with them.
1. Keep Your Cat off the Bed
You might need to keep them out of the bedroom entirely if you can’t trust them to stay off the bed when you’re not in the house. Keep your bedroom as a sanctuary from allergens to give yourself a break.
2. Use an Air Purifier
A HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) air purifier will clean the air in your home. These require filter replacements, but they offer much-needed allergy relief, so if you need a purifier, it’s worth the cost.
3. Keep Clean
Wash your bedding in a 140–degree wash. Even if your cat isn’t sleeping on your bed, you will bring potential allergens into the room with you on your clothes. Also, make sure you vacuum and wash anywhere your cat has been, like chairs, the carpet, and windowsills.
4. Wash Your Hands After Touching Your Cat
Keep your hands clean and ensure you don’t rub your eyes after touching your cat. You can use anti-bacterial soap after each feline encounter to prevent itchy eyes.
5. Clean Your Cat
This will be a little more difficult, but washing your cat will reduce the amount of allergen released. If your cat dislikes the bath, you might need to bribe another family member or a good friend to help you.
6. Look Into Treatment for Your Allergy
Consider managing your allergy symptoms with over-the-counter medication or immunotherapy.
7. Look Into Neutering
It’s believed that the proteins that cause your allergies may be higher in males than in female cats, and neutering your male cat might decrease your allergic reactions.
8. Don’t Adopt More Than One Cat
If you’re allergic to one Scottish Fold, it makes sense that having more than one in your home is going to increase the number of allergens exponentially and make your symptoms worse. So, while getting a friend for your new Scottish Fold is tempting, stick with one.
Getting a new cat is a big decision and one that shouldn’t ever be made lightly. However, your decision is even more weighted when you or a family member are allergic to the cat. After all, the last thing you want to happen is that you have to rehome your beloved cat.
You could consider other breeds that produce fewer allergens or even a different pet altogether. However, all is not lost if you are sure you want a Scottish Fold in your life. You will, of course, need to prepare before they arrive. Look into medications or determine which rooms your new cat will need to avoid. Managing an allergy is possible, but always be sure first that you can offer your new pet the stability of the safe and loving home it deserves.
Featured Image Credit: Alice Rodnova, Shutterstock