Domestic Shorthair cats are common in the United States both as house cats or alley cats (feral cats). These cats come in various color patterns with the tabby considered the most common one. They are playful and affectionate, and make great companions for families with kids and other pets. However, if you suffer from cat allergies, you will need to take precautionary measures.
Are Domestic Shorthair cats hypoallergenic?
No, Domestic Shorthair cats are not hypoallergenic; no cat truly is. All cats produce the Fel d 1 protein, the allergen responsible for allergic reactions. The allergen is found in a cat’s saliva, skin, and urine. Some Domestic Shorthair cats have a higher probability of triggering allergic reactions than others depending on their parent breed.
Cat allergies and symptoms
Cat allergies affect around 12 percent of Americans. The symptoms vary from mild to moderate, and some cat allergy-prone people can still live with cats if they take the right precautionary measures. The severity of cat allergy symptoms depends on the extent of a person’s exposure to the allergens.
Here are the common symptoms of cat allergy:
- runny nose
- asthma attack in people who have asthma
- irritated or red eyes
- itchy skin
- rashes on areas of the body that come into contact with allergens
Some people with a cat allergy may succumb to anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction. Its symptoms include difficulty in breathing and very low blood pressure that can send the body into shock. This is a life-threatening situation and immediate emergency care should be given. Also, people who are allergic to cats can still experience symptoms when the cat is not around since allergens can stay in rugs, linens, and unwashed clothes.
How to manage cat allergy symptoms
There are several ways to manage you cat allergy symptoms so you can still own a Domestic Shorthair cat:
- Avoid using carpets or rugs since they trap allergens.
- Restrict your cat from your bed and furniture like the sofa.
- Ask someone who is not allergic to cats to regularly groom and brush your cat.
- Use an air purifier with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) air cleaners.
- Consider immunotherapy or allergy shots to desensitize your immune system to allergens.
- Consult your doctor about the right allergy treatment for you. He may recommend antihistamines or nasal sprays to ease the symptoms.
- Avoid hugging and kissing your cat. Practice regular hand washing after handling your cat.
- Bathe your cat at least once a month to minimize the buildup of allergens.
- Vacuum your furniture and floor regularly and use a microfilter bag in the vacuum. This chore should be done by someone who is not allergic to cats.
- If you suffer from severe reactions, consult your doctor to see if an epinephrine injection pen is an option.
Fun Facts About the Domestic Shorthair Cat
- It is also called a “moggie” or “mutt” and does not refer to an actual breed. These cats have mixed ancestry that can vary from one cat to another. The resemblance to a particular feline breed is more a coincidence rather than a genetic identification.
- These cats come in various colors and patterns. Their coats can be brown, tan, white, red, black, and orange. They are mostly solid color, bicolor, tricolor, and tabby. Their eye colors include blue, green, brown, hazel, or odd-eye. They weigh between 6 and 16 pounds with males typically larger than the female cats.
- Domestic Shorthair cats share general similarities like a muscular body type, rounded head and paws, and a medium-length tail.
- The Domestic Shorthair is different from the American Shorthair cat, although they have similar physical features. The latter is a recognized breed and has a different genetic composition.
- These cats are classified as Domestic Shorthair, house cat Shorthair and Shorthair household pet.
- These cats have a wide range of coloring and physical characteristics. Domestic Shorthair cats in various countries look different in body shape and size. The Asian cats look similar to the Siamese or Tonkinese, while the European and American Domestic Shorthair cats have a heavier build.
- The Domestic Shorthair cat is playful, vocal, affectionate, calm and sociable. It is not aggressive and makes a good companion for seniors and children.
- Its most common health problems include hyperthyroidism, skin disorder, kidney disease, cancer, upper respiratory infection, diabetes, respiratory issues, vomiting, and urinary conditions.
- These cats were originally domesticated in Egypt. It is believed that they were brought to the United States aboard the Mayflower ship to help control the rodent population. They were considered hard workers and good at catching mice, so they were kept as barnyard cats by the Pilgrims.
Do Domestic Shorthair cats shed a lot?
No, Domestic Shorthair cats do not shed a lot. Like most felines, their coat thickens during the winter. They shed moderately during springtime but will still retain their slimmer and lighter coat. They tend to release allergens and dander on their coat when they shed. Brush and groom them regularly to manage the shedding level and release of allergens that are trapped in their fur.
Domestic Shorthair cats are commonly called house cats, moogies, or mutts and do not refer to an actual breed. Although they are low-shedding cats, they are not hypoallergenic since all cats produce the Fel d 1 protein, the allergen responsible for cat allergy. You can still care for and have quality time with your Domestic Shorthair cat as long as you take extra precautions like vacuuming your home, using air purifiers, and restricting your cat from your bedroom.
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