If you have cat allergies but love cats, you may be interested in finding a hypoallergenic cat. These cats are often described as solid options for those with allergies. However, the science is often much more complicated than that. There are many misconceptions surrounding hypoallergenic animals in general, which is often made more complicated by some companies marketing their pets as hypoallergenic.
Siamese cats are sometimes grouped in the hypoallergenic category because they are thought to shed less than other cats. However, this isn’t necessarily the case. Siamese shed just as much as any other feline. Their hair is simply smaller and finer than other cat’s fur, so it may appear that they shed less.
However, as we’ll discuss, it doesn’t actually matter how much Siamese cats shed at all.
What is the Science Behind Hypoallergenic Cats?
When someone has a cat allergy, they are reacting to the proteins the cats create. This protein is found in a cat’s urine, dander, and saliva. All cats have these things, and therefore, all cats make these proteins. You aren’t going to find a protein-less cat. Therefore, there isn’t really any such thing as a hypoallergenic cat (or dog).
The amount of fur a cat produces doesn’t actually have anything to do with whether or not there are hypoallergenic. Those with allergies aren’t allergic to a cat’s fur; they’re allergic to their skin. It doesn’t matter if the cat sheds or not, therefore. Any cat that has skin and makes dander will set off someone’s allergies. There is currently no cat that doesn’t produce dander.
Fur can work to spread the dander around. It may help it stay airborne. However, dander does a pretty good job at this itself, so it often doesn’t need the loose fur to cause allergens. In fact, the protein that causes cat allergies is found just about everywhere – including places that don’t even have cats, like schools and stores. The dander likely catches a ride on people’s clothing and is then deposited into the environment. The hair itself isn’t really important in this process.
Can You Make a Siamese Cat Hypoallergenic?
No. There is nothing you can do to make a feline hypoallergenic. All cats are going to create dander, and therefore will continue to cause allergies. However, there are several strategies that you can take to reduce the amount of dander in your home, which may help with allergies.
While the most effective method for reducing allergies is to remove the pet, this is commonly not done by pet owners. Most who develop pet allergies look for other ways of reducing their symptoms without removing the pet. You can also keep the cat outside, but this is often no recommended by physicians or vets alike. Cats have a significantly lower lifespan when kept outside, and you will likely still interact with the cat, leading to dander potentially setting off your allergies.
Even if the cat is removed, the dander will often stay in the home for some time. It takes a while for the protein concentration to get low enough to prevent allergens from inciting an allergic reaction.
Many people implement extensive cleaning schedules. Because allergies are often caused by allergens that are already in the environment, removing these allergens can be extremely helpful. The cat can only produce dander so fast. The main problem is the dander that they have produced building up in your carpet.
It is often recommended that mattresses be encased and carpets removed. These places often harbor the most dander. Removing the carpets alone can do a lot to reduce the amount of dander in the home.
Bathing the cat may or may not be helpful. There have been mixed studies, and the scientific evidence is currently confused over whether or not bathing actually reduces the number of allergens a pet produces. Plus, bathing a cat is very difficult, so this often isn’t possible. Cats also don’t tend to build up as many allergens in their fur, so bathing may be less helpful for them in particular.
The Siamese doesn’t fit the typical definition of a “hypoallergenic” cat. They shed just as much as any other feline, though their shorter hair makes it less noticeable. They also produce the exact same type and amount of dander as any other cat breed, which means that they’ll produce the same level of allergy symptoms as any other feline.
In fact, there is actually no such thing as a hypoallergenic cat. All cats produce proteins that are potentially allergens in their skin, saliva, and urine. Any of those could causes allergy symptoms. If you’re allergic to cats, don’t believe the advertising that any cat is hypoallergenic.
Looking for more information on the Siamese Cat? Try our articles on:
- How Long Do Siamese Cats Live? (Average & Max Lifespan)
- Do Siamese Cats Shed? What You Need to Know!
Featured Image Credit: Witsawat.S, Shutterstock