Despite many reports from allergy sufferers who claim that hypoallergenic pets are the real deal, most scientists agree that there is no such thing as a dog or cat that is completely free of dander. The reasoning behind this statement lies in the origin of the allergens themselves. Pets that barely shed or don’t shed at all still get the allergens from the saliva and urine on their fur and bring those allergens into contact with their owners.
Do Hypoallergenic Cats Exist? - Pets WebMD
Experts say there is no such thing as a truly allergen-free cat or dog, though many claims have been made about bald-looking sphynx cats, curly-coated terriers and other breeds. “While no dog is 100% hypoallergenic, there are some breeds that people with allergies may do better with,” says Lisa Peterson, a spokeswoman for the American Kennel Club. What distinguishes these dogs, she says, is that they have a single coat of hair that grows much like human hair; it has to be trimmed but it won’t shed, leaving allergen-laden dander behind.
WebMD talks to experts about the quest for a hypoallergenic cat.
These facts point to the absurdity of any claim for a cat with no dander or even a low dander breed. The poor cat would have to have no skin at all to be a dander free cat. Either that or our dander free cats would have to never renew their birthday suits at any time in their lives. Cats, whatever the breed, all have essentially the same skin growth cycle with any exception being a faster cycle that would result in higher than normal dander levels. It should also be pointed out that older cats are considered to be higher producers of dander than younger cats. This is explained as a result of a tendency to drier skin on older cats.
Top Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds for People with Allergies - Catster
Vacuuming your carpet daily can also help reduce the dander in the house. Vacuums with HEPA filters will help to keep the carpet and furniture dander free and help to reduce the allergens. Cat dander settles onto carpets and soft furnishings, which act as a reservoir for the allergen, releasing it back into the air when touched.Â I highly recommend the Dyson Pet Vacuum. You can also use a "microfilter" bag in the vacuum cleaner to effectively catch all the allergens. Carpet can accumulate up to 100 times the amount of cat allergens as hard flooring, so replacing the wall-to-wall carpet with wood, ceramic tile, laminate, vinyl or linoleum will keep allergens from accumulating as much. The less carpet in your home, the better for allergy sufferers. If ripping up the carpet is not an option, have it steam cleaned as often as needed. Also, avoid heavy drapes that trap the allergens and dust. Keep the house as clean as possible by washing floors with hot water to eliminate the allergens. The best way to so this is with a steamer cleaner, which can also be used on walls and soft furniture.
As problematic as the cat's dander is, it's not the root of the allergic problem. The dander is merely the free ride that the cat allergen hitchhikes on. Research has uncovered a total of 12 separate allergy-causing proteins in cats. The most significant one is termed Fel D 1 (Felis domesticus allergen 1). This is the allergen that afflicts some 80% of all cat allergic individuals. Though it has been extensively studied, perhaps more than any other animal allergen, its actual biological function in cats is completely unknown. What is known is that tip to tail every fiber of the cats being seems glued together by the stuff. It is found in their sebaceous glands where it secretes onto the skin and hair follicles.