While not the most common pet cats, Sphynx cats are curious, smart, energetic, have a sense of humor and are favored by people who are prone to allergies.
Are Sphynx cats hypoallergenic?
Yes, Sphynx cats may be considered hypoallergenic although no cat is 100% hypoallergenic. This breed produces less Fel D1 protein allergens and they do not distribute it around the house by shedding. This is because they have no fur to trap the allergens from their saliva during grooming. Allergens are usually spread through a cat’s saliva or dander and the fur itself.
The downside of this is that allergens are concentrated in the cat’s skin and once an allergic person touches the cat it may cause a major allergic reaction. This can be resolved by bathing your Sphynx cat every week to remove the oils from its skin.
How to minimize allergic reactions if you have a Sphynx cat?
Here are some measures that you can do to cut down allergic reactions from a Sphynx cat:
- Bathe your Sphynx cat once a well with an allergy-reducing shampoo and make it a fun experience with treats and affection.
- Give your cat Omega 3 fatty acid supplements to prevent dry skin.
- You may opt to add a very low dose of Acepromazine to your cat’s food to lower your risk of having an allergic reaction but it is best to consult your vet first before using it
- Do not allow your Sphynx cat in your bedroom to avoid transferring the oils on her skin to bed linens and pillows.
- Place washable blankets on your cat’s favorite napping spots to avoid the build-up of allergens.
- Dust surfaces often.
- Opt for a HEPA vacuum as it is designed to deal with pet dander and hair effectively.
- Use a HEPA air purifier to catch allergens in the air especially in areas of your home with lots of textiles like the bedroom.
- Practice regular hand washing after playtime and petting sessions with your cat and after you have touched any items that your cat came in contact with.
Some essential facts about Sphynx cats
Here are some vital facts about Sphynx cats:
- This medium-sized breed with a sleek and muscular body is well-known for its hairless and wrinkled skin, dour expression and large ears. They usually weigh around 12 pounds and the lifespan is 8 to 14 years.
- Sphynx cats have triangular heads, wide-set eyes and prominent cheekbones.
- It is originally named Canadian hairless as its place of origin is Canada.
- This breed is known for its energetic and unexpected sense of humor and they are also friendly, loving, loyal, intelligent and get along well with kids and other pets.
- This breed is not hairless because they have a fine layer of downy fuzz.
- Despite being referred to as naked cats, this breed also has colors like white, blue, black, red, cream, golden, silver, cameo, blue-cream, brown and tortoiseshell while its patterns include solid color, tortoiseshell, bicolor, calico, tabby, shaded, ticking and smoke.
- This breed is four degrees warmer than other cats.
- These cats need a weekly bath and their skin is more sensitive than most felines.
- It is included in the list of the most popular cat breeds in the world.
- This breed does not have genetic disease predispositions but some health conditions that may affect them may include the following: Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or HCM, a disease that causes thickening of the heart muscle and may be detected with an echocardiogram. Hereditary myopathy, a condition that affects muscle function. urticaria pigmentosa, a condition that causes crusty sores to form in the body. Periodontal disease. Skin problems like blackheads due to this breed’s oily skin
Other cat breeds that cause fewer allergy symptoms than others
Aside from the Sphynx, these are the other cat breeds that produce fewer allergens compared to other breeds:
- Bengal – this breed has a fine coat, sheds less than most and requires less maintenance
- Balinese – this breed produces fewer allergens although they are known as longhaired Siamese cats
- Cornish Rex – these cats only have soft undercoats which means that they shed less and carry less dander
- Devon Rex – this breed has a soft and short undercoat compared to the Cornish Rex and they also shed less compared to other breeds
- Javanese – these cats only have a fine and medium-length topcoat, thus, they shed less than most cats
- LaPerm – these cats have unique curly coats that hold loose fur and dander from spreading and helps reduce allergic reactions
- Oriental Shorthair – this breed has short and fine coats and rarely shed but they should be groomed regularly to control dander
- Russian Blue – these cats produce fewer allergens and have dense double coats that trap allergens close to their skin, thus, there is a lesser chance of allergens floating in the air
- Siberian – this breed produces less Fel D1 protein allergens found in saliva and skin
If you are prone to allergic reactions but you always wanted a cat, a Sphynx cat is a good choice for you. This breed is considered hypoallergenic because they produce fewer allergens and do not shed around the home. To better protect yourself, make sure to bathe your cat weekly, use a HEPA vacuum and air purifier and wash your hands after every petting session with your feline.
Image: istockphoto.com / Nils Jacobi