Life With a Cat…and Allergies

Photo of cat sleeping on a cat bed

May 2021

Cats and apartments just seem to go well together. Cats don’t need a lot of space or activity and can provide plenty of love and companionship. That’s one of the reasons Elmwood Manor allows cats. If you’re a cat lover but have allergies, take heart. From breed selection to cleaning to allergen-reducing cat food, there are things you can do to significantly your situation.

The first thing you should understand is what causes problems for cat allergy sufferers. It all comes from a protein called Fel D1 that cats have in their saliva. When your cat licks her coat, the protein is transferred to her fur where it dries and can become airborne.

Males produce more allergenic secretions than females. Intact males produce more than neutered males. And dark cats tend to produce more than light-colored ones. That means a light-colored, female cat might work out better for people with cat allergies.

While no breed of cat is 100% hypoallergenic, your choice of breed can help. The Balinese, Oriental Shorthair, and Javanese are three oriental breeds to consider. The Devon Rex and Cornish Rex both shed very little, which helps minimize allergens. And if you don’t mind a hairless cat, the Sphynx is option. 

Beyond the type of cat and breed you choose, there are other ways to reduce the allergens in your apartment. Bathing your cat 2-3 times per week can remove as much as 80 percent of the existing allergens and reduce the production of future allergens. Washing cat toys and bedding weekly also helps. And frequently brushing your cat (assuming you’re not the one with allergies) is also important.

More recently, science has come to the rescue with new allergen-reducing cat foods. If you’ve never heard of it, check out Purina Pro Plan LiveClear. This innovative product promises to safely reduce the allergen levels in any cat, bringing relief and cuddles to allergy suffering cat owners.