No, Shorthair cats are not considered hypoallergenic because their short but thick fur tends to get everywhere. They produce the allergen Fel D1 protein in the same quantities like any other cat. While they may not be a good choice for people with severe cat allergies, they are a good choice for a cat owner who has mild cat allergies.
If you are planning on getting a Shorthair cat as a pet and are wondering how it might affect you or a family member with a cat allergy, then keep on reading.
What are Shorthair cats?
Shorthair cats have a crisp, plush coat that is dense and waterproof, over a compact body. They have a full chest and short to medium legs. The Shorthair is a working cat which is apparent in their power and strength. It is medium to large in size, with a well-knit body and powerful muscles. Their head is massive and round, with wide round eyes on top of a short thick neck.
They are often called the bulldog of the cat world. Their ears are broad and rounded, whisker pads are full, giving the breed a teddy bear appearance with an upturned mouth.
This is a quiet cat and they are initially hesitant, but they will learn to warm up to people once it becomes familiar with them. They are able to bond with human companions and are fiercely loyal. They are great with children because they are able to show patience and affection. They are good-tempered with a stable personality and pattern of behavior. They do not mind being left alone due to their independent nature.
Are Shorthair cats hypoallergenic?
No, unfortunately, they are not a hypoallergenic breed. They do have a reputation for being a low-allergy cat, but according to some cat owners, they are triggered by the shorthair as much as a Maine Coon or a Persian.
The confusion may have arisen from news stories that said that scientists were trying to breed a completely hypoallergenic cat. Apparently, they used Shorthair cats as their original breeding stock, but not because they are naturally hypoallergenic, but because of their great personality. People may have gotten the wrong idea due to these news stories which is why some believe them to be hypoallergenic.
They are not free from allergens and do not produce less allergens. They produce the Fel D1 and other proteins that trigger allergic reactions just like any other cat.
What causes cat allergies?
Cats have a protein, called Fel D1, in their saliva and skin. This protein is the allergen that sticks to a cat’s dander after they have licked it during grooming. The dander will make its way into the air and when inhaled by a person with cat allergies, will trigger an allergic reaction. This can make a susceptible person display symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, swollen eyes, rash, and asthma.
These proteins do not break down easily which is why some cat allergy sufferers still get allergic reactions even when the cat is removed. The protein in a cat’s dander can linger on surfaces all over the house.
How much do Shorthair cats shed?
Despite their short hair, Shorthair cats shed quite a lot and have to be groomed frequently. They do not shed excessively, and if they do, there might be another reason why this is happening. It could be due to their diet, a reaction to a bath product, or your cat is suffering from allergies.
Tips for families with cat allergies
Shorthairs are not considered hypoallergenic, so 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 is to brush them and to bathe them.
Brush your cat’s coat at least twice 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.
In order to keep dander at a minimum, bathe them regularly to wash away the loose, dead hair with the water. Use a good quality shampoo that is safe for your cat. If your cat does not like baths, you can use a damp towel to wipe down your cat to remove excess hair. Make sure to dry your cat thoroughly or else it could get sick.
Make sure that you feed your shorthair cat high-quality cat food. Cat food with fish ingredients can help keep your cat’s skin healthy, and healthy skin keeps dander at a minimum. Omega 3 found in fish will help reduce hair loss.
Discourage your cat from spending time in your room by tiring them out and playing with them before you go to bed. Change your beddings 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.
Shorthair cats are not hypoallergenic because their short thick coats may carry the same amount of the protein allergen just like any other cat. They will shed quite a lot and that is why people with severe cat allergies are not advised to get Shorthairs.
Make sure to groom your cat by brushing their fur twice a week and to give them a bath frequently to remove the loose hair and dander that hold the protein allergen that triggers allergies. Clean your house often to remove dander from the air and surfaces around your house. Invest in an air purifier to help filter out the allergens from the air thoroughly.
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