Are Abyssinian Cats Hypoallergenic?
The Abyssinian cat is a very affectionate cat which is one of the main reasons to adopt one for many. However, as there are many allergics in the population, it is also good to know whether the Abyssinian cat is hypoallergenic.
To be precise, there isn't a single cat breed that is hypoallergenic by definition since they all have allergens on their skin and inside their fur. But the amount of allergens varies from breed to breed, and the Abyssinian cat belongs to the cats that don't produce as many allergens as the average house cat.
If you're allergic to cats but still want to get yourself one, I've summarized a few solutions that might help handle and prevent allergy attacks.
Where Do Allergens Come From?
If you want to prevent allergy attacks, you have to understand where the allergens come from first.
Allergies against animals, such as Abyssinian cats, account for the most common allergies in the world. One might think that the cat hair is causing the allergy symptoms, but allergies against cat hair do not exist. What triggers the sneeze attacks and itchings are the allergens the Abyssinian cat mainly produces in its saliva. But because cats groom themselves a lot, their saliva then sticks to the fur and triggers allergies.
Because the Sphynx doesn't have a thick coat that requires grooming, there is nearly no saliva on their body. If there aren't many allergens on the cat's body, there aren't a lot of allergic reactions to potentially trigger due to cat hair. Nevertheless, this cat breed isn't hypoallergenic.
As of now, no cat in the world is hypoallergenic.
Abyssinian Cats Are Suited for Allergics
The Abyssinian isn't the most hypoallergenic cat breed - this place belongs to the famous Sphynx. However, if you want a lovely cat breed that does not shed a lot, the Abyssinian cat is definitely worth to be considered. Their fur tends to grow shorter than most other cats, making shedding - and spreading allergens - less of an occurrence.
Abyssinian Cat Hair Allergy Countermeasures
You can't live without an Abyssinian cat - I can fully understand you. This feline is one of the more friendly and affectionate breeds. In order to be able to live with this highly loveable feline, you have to reduce the potential for allergy attacks. Therefore, you should introduce a set of habits that lower the chance for allergy attacks to occur.
In the following, I am going to point out different ways to achieve this.
Keep Your Home Clean
The allergens of an Abyssinian cat are very light and travel through the air effortlessly. Therefore, keeping the air clean of allergens is essential. A straightforward way of doing this is by acquiring an air purifier. The good thing about air purifiers is that the particles that cause the allergy attacks, the allergens, will be sanitized instead of merely filtered out.
This method ensures that the allergens of your Abyssinian cat won't cause any repeated problems if you are exposed to them again. It is also a good idea to regularly ventilate your home, so there's always enough fresh air. On top of that, your air purifier doesn't have to be on all the time.
Avoid Spreading the Allergens
Because Abyssinian cat allergens spread so effortlessly, you might want to adjust your habits regarding interacting with your Abyssinian. One of these adjustments could be to wash your hands after you've had a playing or petting session with your Abyssinian. Doing so will help you keep the allergens from spreading any further around your home and avoid unnecessary allergy attacks.
However, as this may be taxing on your skin, you should be sure to have some hand cream ready.
Brush Your Abyssinian Cat
Another habit that is worth implementing in your routine is regularly brushing the coat of your Abyssinian cat. By taking the time to groom your feline's fur several times a week, you significantly decrease the amount of cat hair inside your home.
Because the saliva is full of allergens and sticks so well onto the coat of your Abyssinian, making sure that there is less hair lying around brings you a big step closer to fewer allergy attacks.
Allergen Safe Space
In addition to these habits, it is a good idea to have at least one space inside your home that you can safely retreat to, which is usually the bedroom. You will have to be especially vigilant regarding keeping that place as clean and free of allergens as possible.
Therefore, this may mean that your Abyssinian cat isn't allowed to enter your bedroom anymore, for example. Try to establish such boundaries as early as possible so that you won't have a hard time making your feline understand coming with you is no option anymore.
You should also keep that safe space well-ventilated and maybe even have an air purifier running inside.
However, this has not to be a permanent solution. Perhaps, your immune system will get used to the allergens your Abyssinian cat produces, and you can grant access to your room and let your furry friend sleep by your side.
Vacuum Clean Regularly
Although this seems like a no-brainer, vacuuming often helps with keeping your home clean of allergens that your Abyssinian cat might spread. It will not only reduce the amount of loose hair in your home significantly, but it will also make sneeze attacks and other symptoms of your allergy less likely.
Regarding vacuuming, you should not forget about furniture such as sofas and chairs to avoid further spreading of the allergens when using them.
Cleaning your clothes with a coat cleaner is another way to reduce the spreading of allergens of your Abyssinian cat. By not having the cat hair all over the place, you decrease the exposure to allergens significantly.
Bathe Your Abyssinian Cat
Bathing your Abyssinian once in a while will help you decrease the number of allergens even further. According to the National Cat Groomers Institute, you should wash your cat once every 4-6 weeks. Because we want to have as few allergens as possible flying around, bathing your Abyssinian cat once every four weeks is preferable.
To make the whole process for you and your cat as trouble-free as possible, accomodating your feline to being washed at a young age is a good start.
Last but not least, you should make use of hypoallergenic cat shampoo when bathing your cat to ensure greater effectiveness.
Wash Your Clothes Properly
Allergens in clothes need to be taken care of in a specific way. If you want to be sure that there are no more allergens on your clothes after taking them out of the washing machine, wash them at 140° F (60° C) while using an anti-bacterial detergent.
You should also toss clothes and similar items such as plushies in your safe space into your washing machine to get them free of allergens.
Cat Allergy Tolerance
You might have heard that people develop a tolerance towards allergens if the exposure is high enough. Unlike cows or dogs, this is not necessarily true for cat allergies, and many factors make this kind of approach too unreliable and even risky.
For example, if a kid was raised on a farm with many different animals, it has probably developed a tolerance towards the allergens of animals such as cows or dogs.
However, if a kid grew up with many cats around, the opposite case may be present. With high exposure to cat allergens, the person may develop an allergy to these.
Because the data is inconsistent, you cannot know whether or not your immune system will adapt. Therefore, you shouldn't expect a specific outcome when exposing yourself to a high amount of cat allergens over time if you want to get yourself an Abyssinian cat.
No cat is hypoallergenic, but the Abyssinian cat is a good call due to its relatively short fur. If you want to decrease exposure to your cat's allergens, you could try to:
- Use air purifiers and regularly ventilate your home
- Wash your hands more often, but keep them moisturized
- Brush your Abyssinian cat several times a week
- Establish a safe space that's mostly free of allergens
- Vacuum clean more regularly, especially furniture
- Use a coat cleaner for your clothes
- Bathe your Abyssinian cat every four weeks, using a hypoallergenic cat shampoo
- Wash your clothes at 140° F with an anti-bacterial detergent
If you're pondering about strengthening your immune system regarding your cat allergy, it's not guaranteed it'll work, and it could even backfire.