When it comes to allergies, some people are relatively fortunate to either have mild allergies or allergies that can be easily avoided (such as not having certain plants in the backyard). Other people are not as lucky and may have severe and life-threatening allergies, or even allergies to their favorite furry friends.
When dealing with pet allergies, it is important to weigh the balance between how uncomfortable you will be and how much you really want an animal.
Thankfully, there are some forms of hypoallergenic animals that you can adopt, but what about Siamese cats?
Siamese Cats and Allergies
Where do Siamese cats fit into all of this?
Siamese cats qualify as hypoallergenic cats because they produce smaller amounts of the Fel D1 protein, meaning that some people who are allergic to this protein will find that the Siamese cat doesn’t aggravate their allergies quite as much as other cats do.
Siamese cats, much like other cats, still produce other proteins (Fel D2 and Fel D4) that can cause allergies to act up, so if you are allergic to either of these, no cat will be suitable for you, including the Siamese cat.
Siamese cats also shed far less than other cats do, which means that there is less of a chance for the allergen to spread around the house and irritate you. For that reason, Siamese cats are often considered fairly good cats for being hypoallergenic and they can become a lovely addition to your family if you find that you can tolerate the proteins that they have.
For being a hypoallergenic cat, the Siamese is a perfectly viable option to someone who can handle other similar breeds that produce less Fel D1 than other breeds, and it may even be a good choice because of how little this cat sheds.
As long as you take care to wash clothes more often and groom the cat frequently, you will find that you can easily live with a Siamese cat, even if you have a cat allergy.
About Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds
Hypoallergenic breeds are animals that do not carry the same allergens that other animals do, or if they have it, they produce considerably less of it. This means that there is less or none of that allergen in the air for the person who is allergic to be bothered by.
Common Cat Allergens
The problem with cat allergies is that there are two primary allergens that cats carry.
There is an allergen (scientifically known as Fel D1) that is commonly found in pet dander, which means that it is in the cat’s fur and anywhere the fur goes. This allergen is the primary cause of cat allergies and is the most common one you will find.
This is typically what hypoallergenic cats are focused on, meaning that the cat does not produce the allergen found in the cat’s dander and the cats do not shed their coats out nearly as much.
There is also a second allergen that is found in cat saliva, urine, and skin. More specifically, there are several other proteins similar to the first that can cause these problems and they are known as secondary allergens.
There are two that are the most common and are found in cat saliva, urine, and skin. (The scientific names for the most prominent secondary proteins are Fel D2 and Fel D4.)
This is another cause of cat allergies, though it tends to be less common, but it is also more problematic.
Cats lick themselves to groom, so it means that even if the cat’s dander is fine, the cat will put its saliva into its fur, causing problems for those who are allergic to the cat’s saliva. It also means that your cat affectionately licking you can be a problem, as can cat bites. There really isn’t a way around this allergen aside from not adopting a cat.
Searching for a Hypoallergenic Cat
Because of this duality in cat allergies, before you begin the search for a hypoallergenic cat, you first need to determine if you can own a cat as long as it has a hypoallergenic coat or if the cat’s saliva is what is causing problems for you.
Most doctors will be able to perform this allergen test and will be able to let you know if it is cat dander or cat saliva that is causing problems for you.
Unfortunately, there is no commercial test for Fel D4, or the less common cat allergens. Chances are that if you spend time with a hypoallergenic cat and are still having a reaction, then you are allergic to an allergen other than Fel D1.
What Is a Hypoallergenic Cat?
Now that you have a bit more understanding of allergens that cats produce and what they mean for those who are allergic, it is time to look back at hypoallergenic cats.
The truth is that all cats can cause allergies, and that hypoallergenic cats are simply cats that produce far less of the Fel D1 protein compared to other breeds. This means that people who are especially sensitive to it or people who are allergic to other proteins a cat produces may still have a reaction to the cat. This also means that no cat can be fully hypoallergenic, though some people may find that the reaction is minimal enough that it might as well not be there.
Even cats that produce low amounts of Fel D1 are not suitable for people who have the potential to have a severe reaction. Some people are dangerously sensitive to Fel D1, and those people should not own any cat for that reason as even hypoallergenic cats produce small amounts of this protein.
If you are testing to see if you can handle being around hypoallergenic cats, you should spend some time with them in a relatively controlled environment first to gauge your reaction. From there, you can determine whether the effects you feel are still severe enough to mean you shouldn’t own a cat or if they are manageable enough for you to comfortably care for a cat.