Cornish Rex cats are athletic and sociable. If you want to take care of a unique-looking feline that loves to jump and play, this breed is for you. However, if you suffer from a cat allergy, take the necessary precautions. This breed is considered by some to be hypoallergenic, but it is better to be safe than sorry.
Are Cornish Rex cats hypoallergenic?
No, Cornish Rex cats are not hypoallergenic as no cats are truly hypoallergenic. This breed is considered by some to be hypoallergenic because it has an unusually short coat that does not shed much. These cats reportedly do not aggravate allergies compared to other breeds but they can still cause symptoms. All felines produce the Fel d 1 protein, an allergen that causes allergic reactions and is found in their skin, urine and saliva.
Cornish Rex breed: Physical features and personality
This breed is small to medium in size and has slender boning. These cats weigh more or less eight pounds and their age can range between nine to 13 years. They look like large cats until you pick them up and look from the side. The underside of their body follows the upward curve of the backbone.
Cornish Rex cats have a small, narrow and egg-shaped head, a strong chin, a Roman nose, eyes that look large for the head, prominent ears and long, slender legs. Their eye color includes aqua, blue, copper, amber, green, hazel, gold, orange, odd-eyed and yellow. They have short, wavy and crimped coats with colors that include red, brown, black, cream, white, blue, fawn, frost, platinum, chestnut, cinnamon, chocolate, lavender, champagne and seal. The coat patterns include solid color, bicolor, tricolor or calico, tabby, tortoiseshell, smoke, ticked, shaded and points.
Cornish Rex cats are sociable, athletic and always willing to play anytime and anywhere. They are often called the “greyhound of the cat fancy” because of their slim appearance and energetic personality. These felines are highly intelligent, have a sense of humor, love to climb to high areas in your home, are easily trained and can be assertive when they want to get your attention. They make excellent therapy cats and get along well with kids, other pets and frequent visitors.
What to do if you are allergic, but want to keep or get a Cornish Rex
Each person has a different allergy threshold and some people that are prone to allergies might not be affected by cats like the Cornish Rex. However, other people could be allergic to this breed if they are sensitive enough. Cat experts note that female cats tend to produce less Fel d 1 compared to males, and neutered cats produce less of the allergen compared to intact males. The best thing to do is to ask your vet is to test a Cornish Rex’ Fel d 1 protein on you before bringing them home.
Common cat allergy symptoms
These are the common cat allergy symptoms:
- Facial pain due to nasal congestion
- Runny and stuffy nose
- chest tightness
- shortness of breath
- watery, red and itchy eyes
- skin rashes or hives
Symptoms of cat allergies vary from mild to severe and this will depend on a person’s sensitivity and level of exposure to the allergens. Highly sensitive people could develop symptoms like breathing problems or rashes as quickly as within minutes of touching a cat or going inside a house with cats.
Cat allergy management and treatment
The best way to manage a cat allergy is to avoid or remove the cat from your home. If you don’t want to find your cat a new home because you already consider them to be part of your family, there are ways to manage the situation.
Here are some ways to manage a cat allergy:
- Do not pet, hug or kiss your cat. However if you do, always wash your hands with soap and water afterward and be careful not to touch your face before you do.
- Restrict your cat from your bedroom and only allow them into a few rooms.
- Place air cleaners with high-efficiency particulate air or HEPA filters in your bedroom and living room.
- Bathe your cat at least once a month to reduce airborne cat allergens. If your cat does not like bathing, cat wipes or a wet towel might also do the trick.
The treatment of allergic reactions will depend on the symptoms. Nasal symptoms are treated with oral antihistamines or nasal sprays. Bronchodilators can prevent or relieve respiratory symptoms and allergy shots build tolerance over time. Consult your allergist so they can determine what treatment will best treat your cat allergy.
Cornish Rex cats are considered by some to be hypoallergenic because of their short, wavy and crimped down coats. However, just like all cats, they are not truly hypoallergenic because they produce the Fel d 1 protein, the allergen that causes allergic reactions. All cats regardless of breed produce this particular allergen. However, you can still own and care for these cats as long as you take the necessary measures like washing your hands after handling the cat, vacuuming your home with a HEPA vacuum and bathing your cat regularly.
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