No, Munchkin cats are not considered hypoallergenic. They are moderate shedders, which means that there are breeds that shed significantly more than they do but they still carry the Fel d 1 protein which is the main cause of cat allergies. They are not ideal for people with severe cat allergies, but may be a good option for people with mild cat allergies.
If you are thinking about adding a Munchkin cat to your household, keep on reading.
What is a Munchkin cat?
The Munchkin cat breed is a medium sized cat with extremely short legs and a long spine. Their short legs are the result of a genetic mutation. The Munchkin cat’s movements are described as being like that of a ferret, so it does not have the typical feline grace of longer legged cats. They have a thick body with a well-rounded chest.
They can come in any color or coat pattern and their walnut shaped eyes can also be any color.
Munchkin cats are sweet and outgoing. Their curiosity and playfulness continue well into adulthood. They are sociable and enjoy company. They can be taught to play fetch and to obey voice commands. While Munchkin cats can leap onto counter tops, many prefer to intelligently find an easier way up. They can also run fast, despite their short legs.
Are Munchkin cats hypoallergenic?
No, Munchkin cats are not considered hypoallergenic. However, they do come with a coat that is short or long and produces less dander when compared to some cat breeds. They are not advisable for families with severe cat allergies, but they can be for people with only a mild cat allergy.
What makes Munchkin cats not hypoallergenic?
Because the cat’s presence is going to cause allergies to anyone who may be triggered, Munchkin cats are not hypoallergenic. They also shed a fair amount, unlike hypoallergenic cats that shed very little or not at all.
How much do Munchkin cats shed?
Domestic cats such as the Munchkin cat now live in air conditioning in the summer and central heating in the winter, which confuses their bodies and results in them shedding all year long, unless the hair is removed by combing and grooming.
They will shed, particularly if they have a longer coat. They are considered moderate shedders when compared to other cat breeds.
Should you get a Munchkin cat?
Munchkin cats shed moderately, which will leave dander behind on the floor, on your clothes, and even on your food. Though they are not considered hypoallergenic, they do not shed as much as other cat breeds. So, if you only have mild allergies, this might be the right cat for you.
However, remember that dander is still present. It is best to do your research before adopting a Munchkin cat, even if you need to see an allergist. If everything works out in the end, you can enjoy their personality and playful nature.
What do I do if I want a munchkin cat but have cat allergies?
Before getting your own Munchkin cat, try to spend time with the breed and see how you react. Ask your friend who owns a Munchkin if you can hang out with their cat for a few hours. If you have a family member that you live with who also has a cat allergy, take them with you. This way you can have a trial run of sorts to find out what life will be like with a Munchkin cat of your own.
This step is important because you could risk having to rehome a cat if you get one and then realize that it may not be a good fit.
Tips for reducing dander and allergens
If, despite having mild allergies, you still want to get a Munchkin cat, there are some steps you can take to make getting one as a pet work:
Bathing your cat can help reduce dander by washing away the loose hairs on your cat’s fur. But bathing them too often can dry out and even irritate your cat’s skin. This could end up producing more dander which you do not want in your home. Bathing once a month using a gentle cat shampoo should be enough.
If your cat is not a fan of baths, try using a damp towel to wipe down their bodies. This is a less traumatizing alternative to a bath.
Brush out your cat’s fur at least twice a week to remove loose fur. Munchkins have a hard time grooming themselves due to their body structure, so they will appreciate your help in keeping them clean.
Wash your hands after handling your cat
Immediately after, make sure that you wash your hands and any other part of your body that touched your cat. This way you avoid touching your face and inhaling the allergens that got on your palms.
Feed your cat a breed-appropriate diet to make sure they are getting all the nutrients that they need. Cheap low-quality cat food can give your cat skin problems and may even increase dander production if they get a rash and they scratch themselves more than usual. Give them cat food with fish once in a while to replenish their Omega 3, which helps keep skin healthy.
Clean your house
Be sure to vacuum your floor and fabric surfaces daily, if possible, to get rid of dander and fur that may have settled. Use microfiber cloth to effectively pick up dander. If you can afford to, invest in an air purifier that filters out dander, fur, pollen, and any other allergens in the air in your home.
Bedroom is off limits
Keep your bedroom cat-free to ensure that you have a space in your house where you can rest assured you will not get an allergic reaction.
If you have done all of the above but still find yourself exhibiting symptoms of cat allergies, you could perhaps take medication. There are different methods of applying antihistamine medication, so ask your physician which one works the best for you.
Munchkin cats are not hypoallergenic because they are moderate shedders. They shed less than some cats but more than other cats. They are not recommended for families with severe cat allergies, but may work for a person who only has mild cat allergies.
In order to keep dander and allergens at a minimum, make sure that you bathe and brush your cat properly, feed them a breed-appropriate diet, clean your house often, wash your hands after touching your cat, possibly buy an air filter, and take antihistamine medication if absolutely necessary.
Image: istockphoto.com / TAO EDGE