himalayan cat lying on the floor

Himalayan cats are gorgeous longhaired cats known for appearing much larger than they are, thanks to their sturdy bone structure and short limbs. They come in various colors, including tortoiseshell, fawn, silver, lilac, and even blue. They’re essentially a Persian-Siamese mix featuring the best of both breeds: the stunning pointing of Siamese kitties and the gorgeous long hair characteristic of Persian cats.

These adorable felines are excellent family cats, but if you have allergies, Himalayan cats aren’t a great choice. The longhaired cats are far from hypoallergenic.

What Causes Allergies to Cats?

People who are allergic to cats aren’t reacting to the cat’s fur. A series of proteins found in cat saliva, dander, and urine cause the red eyes, wheezing, itching, and sneezing associated with allergic reactions to cats. Longhaired kitties tend to cause allergic reactions because there’s more fur for the dander and saliva to adhere to.

Cat saliva has antimicrobial and antiseptic properties that help keep your feline companion smelling nice, and the substances also benefit wound healing, which explains why cats lick cuts and injuries. Just because cat saliva is suitable for cats doesn’t mean it’s great for humans. It contains bacteria that can cause severe infections in humans, and it’s best to prevent your cat from licking cuts or open wounds, even if you know they’re just attempting to heal their favorite person.

himalayan cat lying on the floor
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What Kind of Cat Is Suitable for Someone With Allergies?

The proteins Fel d 1–Fel d 7 typically cause allergy symptoms in humans. Breeds that produce less of these proteins may be less likely to trigger your allergies, such as Balinese, Russian blue, Javanese, Korat, devon rex, and Sphynx cats. Sphynx cats have down instead of fur, making them one of the best options for cat lovers who sneeze when they come within a few feet of cats. Alternatively, look for a breed that doesn’t tend to shed much, such as Bengal, Cornish Rex, and Oriental shorthair kitties.

Is There Anything You Can Do To Reduce Reactions?

There are a few ways to reduce the frequency and magnitude of reactions you have to cat dander. Most allergies improve with exposure, and as long as your allergies are relatively mild to begin with, you may be able to tolerate your cat’s dander over time.

Grooming your pet and keeping your home clean can reduce dander, but it’s best to enlist another member of your home to vacuum and dust to reduce your exposure to allergens. You can also keep your cat away from your bedroom to improve the room’s air quality and minimize your reaction to dander.

Alternatively, some doctors suggest bathing your pet to reduce the amount of allergy-producing dander on your feline. However, cats are skilled at keeping themselves clean and don’t need help with bathing, and bathing your cat too often can remove essential oils and lead to dry, itchy skin.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock