An estimated 10% of people have some sort of pet allergy. With cat allergies twice as common as dog allergies, we’ve followed up our Hypoallergenic Dogs List with one for Cat Lovers!
We specialize in hypoallergenic bedding so we can confidently match our allergy-prone customers with mattresses, pillows, toppers, and mattress pads that will give them a more restful and irritant-free sleep.
What causes cat allergies anyway?
Most cat allergies have been linked to a protein found in feline saliva called FEL D 1. Every cat produces this protein (even hairless cats), and when it binds with the LPS and MD2 molecules it activates a TLR4 response. This response manifests itself as the runny nose, itchy/watery eyes, etc. usually associated with cat allergies.
What does hypoallergenic actually mean?
Dictionary.com defines hypoallergenic as, “”
Misconceptions about this word have created problems for humane societies all around the world. Don’t assume that adopting a hypoallergenic pet means that you won’t have an allergic reaction; there is still a very real possibility of a flare up!
Experts recommend visiting with a specific animal multiple times before proceeding with the adoption. This helps to determine how you’ll react to the pet before bringing it home.
Which breeds are considered hypoallergenic?[table id=1 /]
Additional Information to Consider
- Male cats produce more allergenic secretions than females and spayed/neutered males.
- Dark-colored cats tend to produce more of the Fel d 1 protein.
- Kittens produce fewer allergens than adult cats.
Advice for Handling Cat Allergies
- Remove/reduce the amount of soft surfaces in the home. Choose hardwood over carpet, get easy-to-clean furniture, and if you still have that shag rug from the 70’s… toss it.
- Keep the pet out of the bedroom. As much as you might love sleeping with your furry friend, the bedroom is where people spend most of their time, so reducing allergens in this room is key.
- Get a HEPA filter for your home. These have been shown to reduce the amount of allergens in the air.
- Stay tidy! Do a thorough cleaning of the house and cat toys on a weekly basis. If you are vacuuming, wear a dust mask to reduce the inhalation of allergens kicked up from the cleaning process.
- Heating and A/C can spread allergens throughout the house, so cover the vents with a filtering material (e.g. cheesecloth).
- Have someone without an allergy brush the cat outside of the home, and have them take care of the litter box as well!
- Bathe your cat! This one is still debated. There is some thought that bathing your cat could reduce the number of allergens on its fur. There is also some thought that bathing your cat could increase the number of cat scratches on your body.
- Talk to your doctor about options for combatting your allergies!