Non-allergic cats? - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-26-2005, 07:50 AM Thread Starter
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Non-allergic cats?

Hello everybody, first post here

I'm a cat lover, and my girlfriend is too. Sadly, she is allergic to the furry thingies, so she can't keep one.

I've been told, however, that there are certain breeds that don't have that allergic effect. The person who told this to me mentioned three races, of which one is the Norwegian forest cat (I've forgotten the other two).
What do you think? Is this true, and if it is, are there other races?
I'd really want to give her a kitten as a birthday present, she'd be very happy
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-26-2005, 08:51 AM
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I spent a few minutes doing some research on this and really couldn't find anything conclusive to prove one way or another whether Norwegian Forest cats are less allergenic than other cats. I did find some references saying that Siberians, Devon Rexes, and Sphynxes are less allergenic, though. However, getting a certain breed of cat based on such inconclusive evidence that it's hypoallergencic wouldn't be, IMO, a good move. Because you won't really know for sure until you have the cat. And then if it doesn't work out, well.......

I'd suggest having your girlfriend consult with her allergist to see if there's any medication or desensitization treatment that would allow her to have a cat.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-26-2005, 12:51 PM
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I am allergic to cats too, quite badly. Whilst I don't get as bad as anaphelectic shock, I do suffer - so as a consequence I can't have cats
However, I've heard it isn't the fur, but the skin cells. Don't quote me on it, it was just something I heard.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-26-2005, 01:21 PM
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Actually, it's a protein in the cat's saliva, which is transferred to the fur during grooming, and thence into the environment.

Here's a detailed article:
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-26-2005, 02:52 PM
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Did you know that alot of people are only allergic to male cats. therefore they can be confused and believe the allergy is female as well because the female lives with a male cat. each sex has very diffrent danders. i have spoken to dozens of people with cat allergies who have then come over to visit my girls and left allergy free because my girls have NEVER been around a male cat and dont have a trace of male dander on them.

even if your allergy to cats is slight. did you know that dunking your cat in the water once a week...(not to scrub them, just make sure they are thuroughly soaked) can remove all traces of dander on the fur and skin because dander is completly water soluble.

If you can find someone with only females with no contact with males and you only feel very slight allergies, occasional bathing with frequent home vacuming can illiminate the problem almost entirely.

I have made some pretty sad people happy when they found out that they could infact own cats, just females.

just let it be known that if females dont bother you, and you go pick up a girl...but she bothers you, its the male dander on her. give her 2-3 weeks with several bathing episodes and the allergy will go away
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-27-2005, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by timskitties
Actually, it's a protein in the cat's saliva, which is transferred to the fur during grooming, and thence into the environment.

Here's a detailed article:
Thanks Tim. Good article. I'll have to get a cat without salivary glands!
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 12-27-2005, 07:08 PM
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The allergens produced by female cats are often less potent than that of male cats, which is probably why people mildly allergic to cats sometimes (but not always) react less, or not at all to female cats. Thats not to say that if you don't react to most female cats, that any female cat will be okay, regardless if they've ever been around a male or not. Individual cats will vary.
For instance, I've lived with both male and female cats. I am less allergic to my female cats than I was to my roommate's male cats. Though I am less allergic to my cats, they still occasionally cause me to have an allergic reaction. But between my 2 female cats, I am more allergic to Sadie than I am to Trixie.

How allergy-causing a cat is will depend on many things. Some of these things can be controlled. Cats who shed a lot will leave more dander laying around the home. Feeding a high quality diet will help to improve skin and coat health which will reduce shedding. Brushing the cat (by a non-allergic person) will also help to control the amount of hair (and therefor dander) around the home.
Frequent vaccuuming and dusting is important (but can stir up allergens so is best done by a non-allergic person). Investing in a good HEPA air purifier will help to remove airborn allergens.
Giving the cat a bath on a regular basis (every 1-2 weeks) will significantly help. The cat needs to have her fur completely wet, though, to remove most of the dander.
The allergic person can also take daily allergy medication if needed. I use walgreens generic brand of claritin, and when I buy it on sale, it costs me about 20 cents per day.

I think taking the right steps to prevent allergies is better than relying on a paticular breed, but as far as hypo-allergenic breeds go, the only breed I've heard of that might be non-allergienic is the Siberian. The hairless or very short haired breeds seem to affect some people less, as well, since the shedding factor is reduced.
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