If you are a certified cat lover but tend to have allergic reactions, you are not alone. Many people have mild to severe allergic reactions but still own cats. The best you can do is to opt for a cat breed that is hypoallergenic meaning that it has fewer allergens compared to most breeds.
Are Russian Blue cats hypoallergenic?
Yes, Russian Blue cats are hypoallergenic. However, this does not mean that they will not trigger allergies since no cat is 100 % hypoallergenic. This cat breed produces less Fel d 1 glycoprotein, a secretoglobin protein that is produced in a cat’s sebaceous glands and saliva and is the primary allergen in cats and kittens.
We can also recommend this breed if you are prone to allergies because they have low shedding fur. Russian Blues have double fur coats that have a 45-degree angle which makes them look bigger. They have dense, lush and silky coats since they have more hairs per square inch but they actually shed less.
These cats also produce less dander which also decreases the chance or severity of allergies. Here are the common causes of cat dander:
- It may be diet-related and due to poor quality food resulting in poor coat condition.
- It may be due to environmental factors such as lack of moisture which leads to skin flaking.
- It may be due to parasites like fleas that damage the skin and increase dander.
- It may be due to fungal parasites like ringworm that invades the skin resulting in dryness and flaking.
- Your cat may be grooming less due to arthritis or dental problems which may lead to dry fur and the probability of dander.
- Your cat may have health issues like diabetes mellitus or overactive thyroid glands which may result in a low immune system and bacterial infections that cause flakiness and dander.
If you prefer male Russian Blues rather than female ones, be sure to neuter them since unneutered male cats generally produce more allergens compared to females.
How to reduce allergies if you have a cat?
Despite having a Russian Blue cat that is hypoallergenic, it is not an assurance that you will not have allergic reactions. No cat is entirely allergen-free but there are measures that you can take to reduce your chance of having allergic reactions:
1. Vacuum your home regularly.
Make sure to vacuum your home at least once a week, especially your furniture, flooring, walls, countertops and areas where your cat usually hangs out.
2. Wash beddings at least twice or more every month.
Always wash your beddings at least twice or more each month to get rid of allergens and dust mites. You may also opt to use anti-allergy detergents or laundry rinse to help get rid of dander.
3. Make your bedroom an off-limits area for your cat.
Having allergies means you may have to sacrifice some things that cat owners enjoy doing with their cats such as cuddling and sleeping alongside them. Keeping your cat away from your bed helps in avoiding allergies.
4. Practice regular handwashing.
Make sure to wash your hands after every petting session with your cat or after you’ve touched her toys or any items that your cat recently came in contact with.
5. Install a HEPA filter in your home.
Using a high-efficiency particulate air or HEPA filter is also advisable as it traps pollutants such as pollen, dander and other allergens.
6. Brush your cat regularly.
Although your cat loves to groom itself, you should also brush her regularly. This will make her coat remain healthy and smooth and reduce the build-up of dander and allergens in her coat.
7. Wipe your cat regularly with a wet cloth or cat wipes.
One way to reduce allergens is by wiping your cat with a wet cloth or cat wipes. This is a good alternative since most cats do not like the idea of a full bath but that you can still wash her without water with the use of a cloth or cleaning wipes.
8. Bathe your cat if wiping her seems not good enough in removing allergens.
You may opt to bathe your cat if the wiping did little to address the allergen problem but this should only be considered as the last resort.
Why is the Russian Blue among the world’s popular cat breeds?
Pet owners choose Russian Blues because of their gentle temperament and striking physical features aside from being hypoallergenic.
It is among the world’s popular cat breeds because of the following reasons:
- Russian Blues have good looks because of their elegant and slender bodies and elegant features.
- They have a unique coloring due to their blue and silvery grey coat that shimmers in the light.
- These cats have mesmerizing and soulful green eyes.
- They are well-behaved, calm, easily trained and have a sweet nature.
- They have a gentle temperament and get along well with children and dogs.
- These cats shed less, are not prone to matting and do not need to be brushed often compared to long-haired cats.
- They love the company of humans and are loyal to their owners.
- These cats are playful, curious and affectionate.
Russian Blue cats are a joy to have as pets because of their gentle and sweet nature as well as striking features. They make good companions and get along well with kids and other pets. Most importantly, they are hypoallergenic since they produce fewer allergens but it is always best to take the necessary precautions like vacuuming your home and brushing your cat regularly.
Image: istockphoto.com / Liudmila Anufrieva