No, Manx cats are not a hypoallergenic cat breed. Though they shed less than other breeds, they do tend to shed a lot during the spring and fall. They produce less dander as well as the protein allergen Fel d 1 than most breeds.
They are not a good option for families with severe cat allergies, but they can be an option for people with mild cat allergies.
If you are looking to add a Manx cat into your home and want to know more about how it may cause allergic reactions, keep on reading.
What are Manx cats?
The Manx cat is best known for its lack of a tail. The breed is native to the Isle of Man, which is in between Ireland and England. They are round and plump but have a compact body with solid muscles. Their stub of a tail can be categorized as either rumpy, rumpy-riser, stumpy, or longy. A rumpy manx cat does not have a tail; instead it has a dimple in place of a tail. The stumpy has a short, curved tail, while longies have a normal tail.
Manx cats come in many different colors such as white, black, brown spotted, silver tabby, and black tipped.
The breed has a distinctive rabbit-like gait, so they appear to hop around rather than walk.
Manx cats are fun-loving companions who adjust to and bond well with other pets. They enjoy playing fetch and jumping onto high perches.
Why are Manx cats not considered hypoallergenic?
Let’s review what hypoallergenic actually means. A hypoallergenic cat breed is one that does not release allergens into the air in your home easily. These breeds tend to shed very little or not all. There is no such thing as a completely hypoallergenic cat because they all produce the Fel d 1 protein which can be found in their skin and saliva, as well as the Fel D4 protein that can be found in cat urine.
Cats that do not shed as much and who produce significantly less of the protein allergens are considered hypoallergenic. This means that having them in your home creates a lesser possibility of irritants spreading and affecting the people in your home. People with mild cat allergies often do not need to take medication if their cat is hypoallergenic.
Manx cats are not considered hypoallergenic because of their thick coats. They have a thick, double-layered coat with short hair underneath. They will shed mostly in the spring to get ready for the warm summer, and in fall to produce a thicker new coat to keep warm in the fall and winter seasons. They may not shed as much as other cats, but their shedding will produce dander carrying the allergens. Those are enough to be an issue for anyone with cat allergies.
How much do Manx cats shed?
Manx cats shed quite a lot during spring and fall. Their thick, double coat may create a significant amount of dander that can easily elicit an allergic reaction in people who have cat allergies. Despite this, Manx cats should not shed excessively; when they do, they need to be looked at by a professional in case there is a medical issue. Poor diet, incorrect grooming, and allergies can also cause excessive shedding.
Tips for Families with Cat Allergies
Because Manx cats are not considered hypoallergenic, here are some precautionary steps you can take to further lessen the possibility of an allergic reaction:
Grooming is important in preventing dander from accumulating around your house. The two major ways to groom your cat are to brush them daily and to bathe them often.
Brush your cat’s coat daily, or at least three times a week. Make sure to brush their fur following the direction of the hair growth and not against it, as this may be painful for your cat.
Bathing your cat more than once a month will leave their skin dry. Dry, flaky skin promotes further production of dander, which will not do anyone any good. In order to keep dander at a minimum, bathe them correctly to wash away the loose, dead hair with the water. Use a good quality shampoo that is safe for your cat.
Make sure that you feed your Manx cat high-quality cat food. They may use their talkative nature to persuade you into giving them more treats than they need. Do not give in because too many treats are not healthy. Cat food with fish ingredients can help keep your cat’s skin healthy, and healthy skin keeps dander at a minimum.
Discourage your cat from spending time in your room by tiring them out and playing with them before you go to bed. Change your bedding frequently and do not play with your cat after you have changed into your night clothes.
Clean surfaces and fabric furniture
Vacuum the floor and wipe down surfaces all over your house to make sure no dander is able to settle on tables, chairs, and the floor.
Buy an air purifier
If your budget allows it, invest in an air purifier to filter out all the allergens in the air around your house.
Wash your hands after touching your cat
Make sure to wash your hands after any kind of physical interaction with your cat because the protein allergen is on their saliva and fur. If you do not wash your hands, you might touch your face and inhale the allergen.
Manx cats are not hypoallergenic, though they are observed to shed less and produce less Fel d 1 protein than some breeds. They are not ideal for families with severe cat allergies, but they can work with those that have mild cat allergies.
Make sure to groom your cat weekly and give it baths to help remove the dander and loose hair on its body (thus lessening the presence of dander in your home). Wash your hands after every physical interaction with the cat and wipe down all the surfaces in your house frequently to remove dander that has settled. If you can afford to, buy an air purifier to filter the allergens present in the air around your home.
Image: istockphoto.com / Svetlana Popova