LaPerm cats are famous for their curly, textured fur and wide-set ears. Their coats range from wavy to tight ringlets; some even have long corkscrew curls. This breed is considered one of the rarest cat breeds in the world according to the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA). Read on for more information about these adorable cats and whether they are ideal companions for people with allergies.
Are LaPerm cats hypoallergenic?
No, LaPerm cats are not hypoallergenic, although they shed less and produce lower amounts of allergens than some other breeds. No cat can be considered 100% hypoallergenic because all cats produce the Fel d 1 protein, the allergen found in cat saliva and skin oils. The American College of Allergy, Asthma ,and Immunology attests that there is no truly hypoallergenic cat breed since all cats, whether they are shorthaired, longhaired, or hairless, produce allergens.
As mentioned before, the Fel d 1 protein is the culprit for cat allergies. The allergen thrives in a cat’s saliva, urine, dander, and secretions on a cat’s skin. It is spread on a cat’s body when she licks her fur and may stick to surfaces and stay in the air. People with allergies have sensitive immune systems.
The common signs of cat allergy include the following:
- rashes on the chest and face
- eye irritation
- skin redness
- red and itchy eyes
- runny, stuffy, and itchy nose
If you have a cat allergy, you can still live with a LaPerm cat and enjoy her company, although there will be certain restrictions. Some people with mild symptoms take antihistamines. Those with moderate allergies should consult the doctor for the proper prescription. Practice precautions like washing your hands after handling the cat and not allowing her to stay with you in your bedroom. Regular vacuuming at home should also be practiced.
LaPerm Cats: Things to Know
Height : 6 to 10 inches
Weight: 8 to 10 pounds
Lifespan: 10 to 15 years
Coat colors: cinnamon, chocolate/brown, lavender/silver, fawn, blue/gray, black ebony, cream/beige, lilac, white, red/orange
Coat patterns: bi-color, solid, tabby, calico/tri-color, colorpoint
Origin/History: The LaPerm cat breed came about in the early ‘80s as a result of the spontaneous mutation of barn cats bred for pest control. The breed founders are Linda and Richard Koehl from The Dalles, Oregon. Their cat Speedy gave birth to a curly-coated kitten, Curly. She was born bald and with tabby stripes on her skin.
Curly had a long body and big ears. All LaPerm cats descended from her. Linda Koehl later named the breed “LaPerm” because of its distinctive wavy fur. The breed was recognized by The International Cat Association (TICA) in 2003. The Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) recognized the breed in 2008.
The breed’s distinctive feature is its curly coat which is a blend of soft waves and springy curls. It looks very similar to the human perm hairstyle. Most of the cats have tight ringlets of fur in the neck, stomach, and ears and relaxed waves on the rest of their bodies. Their unique fur is the result of a genetic mutation found in rex breeds. However, it is not related to any of the rex cat breeds.
These cats are sometimes born bald, but kittens may be covered in straight or wavy fur. When kittens reach two weeks old, they lose their coats starting with a patch on the top of their heads. They remain hairless for a while and will eventually grow a new coat that imitates the original texture.
LaPerm cats have a medium build; a wedge-shaped face; large, flared ears; long legs; and long, plumed tails. Their mixed-texture coats can be short or long, but they are easy to groom. It takes about two to three years for this breed to reach physical maturity with the females maturing slower than the males.
This cat breed loves to interact with its owners and has a clownish sense of humor. It has dog-like qualities and sometimes tends to be mischievous. These cats like to follow their humans around. They enjoy sitting on your shoulder or lap and the top of your computer. They are also curious, moderately active, and enjoy playtime with their humans.
LaPerm cats are gentle, affectionate, and patient with people. They rarely use their voices and do not shy away from visitors, especially if they were well-socialized when they were kittens. They use their paws to get your attention and have excellent hunting instincts which allow them to thrive in an indoor-outdoor setting. Most of all, they are intelligent, easily trained, and get along well with kids, other cats, and dogs.
LaPerm cats are affectionate and intelligent and have a clownish sense of humor. They have curly, wavy fur that resembles the human perm hairstyle. They are not hypoallergenic since all cats produce the Fel d 1 protein, the allergen that triggers allergic reactions.
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