Cat allergies can be the biggest problem for people who are excited about owning a new fluffy friend. Due to their soft coats and reputation as being high-quality cats, you might hear about Siberian cats being hypoallergenic. It’s certainly something pushed a lot.
It’s important to do your research before purchasing one, as you want to make sure both you and the cat are comfortable with your new partner.
Are Siberian Cats Hypoallergenic?
Although it’s a nice thought that some cats might not affect your allergies, the truth is that no cat is hypoallergenic, and every breed of cat poses a risk to those who suffer from allergies. However, a healthy and groomed Siberian cat poses a much lower risk of an allergic reaction than other cats.
Most people who are allergic to cats have a problem with the Fel d 1 protein they secrete from their fur. A regularly groomed purebred cat with a nice coat will have lower levels of this protein being secreted, so they often get mistaken for being entirely hypoallergenic.
Siberian cats fall under the same umbrella. This doesn’t mean that you can’t own one — only that there’s no guarantee they won’t exacerbate your allergies.
Are Siberian Cats Good For Allergies?
Now that you know they aren’t hypoallergenic, the question remains: are they good for allergies?
Siberian cats, some research has shown, produce the lowest levels of the protein that most people’s allergies respond to. Therefore, they might just be the breed that produces one of the lowest reactions and might be the best bet for those who suffer from cat allergies and still want to own one.
It does, however, require taking good care of your cat and being proactive about removing cat hair around the home.
Do Siberian Cats Shed A Lot?
Throughout the year, Siberian cats usually do not shed a lot of fur, which is how they’ve gotten the slightly misleading reputation of being hypoallergenic.
However, in the spring, they shed their heavy winter coat and in the fall, they shed their light summer coat to prepare for a new season. If your cat is an indoor cat and exposed to the same climate all the time, this shedding might not be as extreme.
As they have a triple coat, that’s a lot of fur, so during shedding periods you might see an excessive amount and your allergies might get worse. On an average day though, they shed far less than most other cats.
You can help with this by grooming them regularly. During non-shedding periods, you should brush your cat around once a week and when shedding, it should be every day.
You should also make sure you clean up the hair that sheds around the house, which might require daily vacuuming during shedding periods.
If your cat is shedding during periods it shouldn’t be, something might be wrong.
Stress can be a major factor. Cats often don’t adapt well to changes, so if something has changed — e.g., you’ve moved, or introduced another cat to the house — they might shed more.
Try introducing a product such as Feliway to the home, which emits calming pheromones and helps them adjust to new situations. It can plug into the wall as a diffuser and be left there 24/7.
Fleas will also cause a cat to shed more. Even if your cat is indoor-only, it’s important to keep them up to date on routine flea prevention. Fleas can get inside the house.
A poor diet might also cause your cat to shed more. Research the type of food you’re giving them, and make sure it’s packed full of nutrients and not fillers. CatfoodDB.com is a great resource to check out the quality of your food and find better alternatives if you need to.
Allergies are the last thing that might cause shedding. That’s right — your cat can be allergic to things too! If you suspect your cat has allergies, your veterinarian can run some tests.
If your cat is shedding excessively during seasons it shouldn’t be, a vet trip is always the best way to find out why.
7 Ways To Reduce Cat Allergies
If you suffer from cat allergies and have only just realized it after purchasing your Siberian cat, fear not. There are ways to reduce them.
Pick Your Breeder Well
If you’ve caught the allergy before picking up your cat, you can find a breeder that has silker coats over fluffier. Sometimes the look of the coat doesn’t matter as much as its effect!
You should also pick a reputable breeder so you know your cat is purebred, and isn’t mixed with another breed that might exacerbate allergies more than a Siberian cat.
Although it might be tempting to purchase a cheaper cat from a backyard breeder, allergies are one of many reasons it might be a disaster.
Cat dander is extremely small and the fur can be almost invisible on some surfaces, so it’s important to vacuum anywhere your cat frequents.
If you vacuum every other day, it can be a pain, but it will be worth it because it should keep your allergies under a decent amount of control.
Add An Air Purifier
Air purifiers for cat allergies can help reduce the airborne dander floating around your house.
While they aren’t a cure for allergies by any means, when coupled with some of the other ideas on this list, there’s a good chance you’ll see a difference.
Wash Bedding And Blankets Frequently
Any bedding and blankets you sit on should be washed in hot water once every two weeks at minimum, especially if your cat sleeps in the bed with you. Even if they don’t, the hair can transfer from you to the sheets and make your bedroom a far less comfortable place to be.
Keep The Bedroom Cat-Free
Even better, if you can stomach it, keep the bedroom cat-free!
Some people feel mean doing this, as their cat often wants to curl up with them. It’s healthy for someone with allergies to set some boundaries, so make sure there are plenty of places for your cat to curl up outside and close the door.
Your allergies will thank you for it.
Bathe Your Cat
Many people think that bathing their cat is the best thing they can do to get rid of that hair, but you shouldn’t actually be bathing your cat unless they’re seriously filthy. Cats are self-cleaning animals who hate baths, and you don’t want to damage your relationship with them.
Instead, get some wipes to wipe them down, or use a damp microfiber cloth that will take the loose fur away.
Antihistamines can be bought over-the-counter in nasal pray or pill form and will reduce the reactions to allergens that you’re having. The effectiveness varies from person to person, but they’re a lifesaver for some.
Clean Your Air Ducts
Air duct cleaning day is a loud nightmare for your cat, but it needs to be done. Cat hair can get trapped in there, which means allergens will be circulating around the house, and then nothing will help you until you get them professionally cleaned.
Having a cat allergy and being a cat lover can be a conflicting nightmare for someone who wants to own one. However, it’s not impossible.
Purchasing a Siberian cat gives you the best shot at success, since they provoke fewer allergic reactions and if you take good care of yours — and yourself — then you might not need to worry at all.