Hypoallergenic cats could be an interesting solution to your cat allergy problems. The allergic reaction triggered by cats is often believed to be caused by the cat’s hair.
In reality, it is triggered by a glycoprotein that is secreted by the cat’s saliva and skin. The cat therefore transfers the protein in question onto its hair during grooming which is why it is often believed to be the culprit. It is also deposited on any surface which the cat rubs against in its environment. The Fel d 1 glycoprotein is responsible for allergy symptoms such as runny nose, watery eyes, hives or even asthma in certain individuals.
Hypoallergenic cats have been developed by the company Allerca Lifestyle Pets by isolating the gene that produces the Fel d 1 protein.
Through accelerated genetic divergence, they have been able to minimize and even eliminate the gene without causing any issues with the cat. They sell a short-haired breed of kittens, derived from the British Shorthair. A two year waiting period is currently in place, but can be reduced for an additional fee.
Another option for individuals that are allergic to cats, but would still like to adopt one is either over the counter medication for allergies, or immunotherapy which consists or a series of injection that are aiming to desensitize the patient towards the allergen.
It is also a good idea to look into cat breeds that are less allergenic and may, as a result, cause less allergic reactions. The reason for this is because different breeds have different levels of Fel d 1 glycoprotein which in turn lessens or aggravates the immune response.
For instance, Russian Blue cats have low levels of Fel d 1, while Siberian cats have the lowest levels of all breeds. This means that an allergy sufferer may react less severely when exposed to these breeds.
Cats with less hair may also decrease the immune response because of the reduced surface available to collect the allergen during the cat’s grooming.
Such breeds include Devon, Cornish Rex as well as the Sphinx which is almost hairless. These breeds could be considered as hypoallergenic cats and are an interesting and affordable option for individuals that have allergies.
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