When it comes to finding a cat that is compatible with your cat allergies, there are a lot of common misconceptions. Here is a list from our animal clinic that uncovers the myths and helps you decide which cat is right for you and your allergies.
Myth 1: Find a Non-Allergenic Cat Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a non-allergenic cat. All cats have allergens. Fortunately, there are breeds that are hypoallergenic. The prefix “hypo” means “low” or “below normal.” In reality, you are looking for a cat that is less allergenic. There are many types available that were bred specifically for that purpose. Myth 2: Get a Hairless Cat As funny as this may sound, it’s not the hair that causes allergies. The actual problem starts with a tiny natural cat protein or oil called Fel d 1, which is found in the saliva and skin glands. But even if hair doesn’t cause the problem, it definitely contributes. The oil that causes all the problems uses the hair as a vehicle. When the hair comes off the body, it takes the oil with it, spreading to wherever the cat goes. Some breeds actually have a lot of hair, but make very little of the oily allergen. These breeds are your safest bet. Myth 3: Just Bathe Your Cat a Lot No matter how much you bathe some cats, you’ll never be able to get those oils completely off. The oils attach to the skin and hair of the cat and will always come back no matter how much you soap and scrub. The problem comes when the cat is not in the bath. Cats shed hair and skin cells throughout the entire day, and the allergen goes with it, spreading throughout the entire house and wherever the cat frequents. Remember that bathing your cat will help and there are shampoos and soaps that are specifically engineered to target the cat allergens, but it won’t and can’t eliminate the problem completely. Myth 4: Just Don’t Pet the Cat Perhaps you may be getting a cat for a family member despite your allergies. If that’s the case, keep in mind that refraining from touching your cat might not stop the troubles. Cats, like humans, slough off a large amount of dead skin cells throughout the day. This contributes to your house dust, which carries the oily allergen with it. The best way to address this is to use an air purifier to put those allergens in their place. Not a Myth: Always Take Care of Your Cat Debunking these myths will help you in finding the cat that is right for you and will help you know how to take care of your cat. Make sure that you bathe your cat regularly, and if problems like dandruff or balding occur, save yourself and your cat by bringing them into the Brimley-Lawrence Animal Clinic or Bellamy-Lawrence Animal Hospital for a healthier pet and a healthier you.