Nothing is worse than wanting to cuddle up with a sweet cat and having allergies. Cat allergies can range from mild to severe, and for some people, the love and affection a feline friend brings to their life are worth an extra step or two to manage allergies. Finding a breed that is hypoallergenic or less likely to cause an itchy, sneezy reaction is a route many people take.
Thankfully, several feline breeds are less likely to trigger human allergies. Potential cat owners have many questions about what breeds are hypoallergenic and which ones are not. Is there even such a thing as a totally hypoallergenic cat? What factors play into a cat’s allergy-inducing qualities?
One popular breed that prospective owners often ask about is the elegant Siamese. The wise-looking kitties are more than just pretty faces. They are clever, loyal, affectionate, and talkative and make excellent feline companions. This breed is often categorized as hypoallergenic. Are Siamese cats hypoallergenic? We answer that question and more. Let’s dive into the subject of cat allergies and the regal Siamese cat.
Some people will have severe allergies that make them miserable when a feline is in the same room. Other people have less severe reactions. Understanding what it is about cats that cause these allergies is the first step to managing them.
All cats produce allergens. According to Healthline, about a third of Americans who suffer allergies are allergic to cats and dogs. Allergies in felines are about twice as prevalent as dog allergies.
Cat allergies are often caused by the protein Fel d 1, which is produced by cats and found in saliva, skin, fur, as well as in anal and sebaceous glands. Fel d 1 is the most prevalent allergen but not the only one that causes allergy symptoms. Cats produce several other proteins that trigger allergic reactions in people.
Allergens are spread through saliva when cats groom themselves and through the shedding of fur and dander. Felines pick up a lot of dust and pollen, which can contribute to the allergens humans are exposed to.
Cat Allergy Symptoms Include:
- Nasal congestion and pain
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Itchy, watery, red eyes
- Skin itching and rash
- Facial swelling and pain
Male cats secrete and spread more allergy-producing proteins than females. Intact males spread the most. Kittens are less allergenic than adults as they produce less Fel d 1. Although there is no known explanation, darker-colored cats also produce more allergens than lighter-colored ones. Households with more cats will have more allergens, as well as houses that also have dogs.
Hypoallergenic feline breeds are those that are less likely to trigger an allergic reaction. No feline breeds are totally allergen free, but some are believed to produce and shed lower amounts of proteins like Fel d 1. These cats are often called hypoallergenic. Owners should remember, despite claims otherwise, that no breed is 100% allergen-free. Even breeds touted as hypoallergenic can trigger allergies, though they may be less severe. Hypoallergenic breeds include the Balinese, Siberian, Syphnx, Burmese, Russian Blue, Cornish, and Devon Rex, as well as the Siamese.
The Siamese Cat
Siamese cats are a breed that makes the list of those felines considered hypoallergenic. This low shedding breed is elegant with highly recognizable markings. They are thought to be a breed going back to ancient times. It is believed the breed originated in the area once known as Siam, what we know today as Thailand. The breed was first introduced to the United States in 1878. The cat was a gift to President Rutherford B. Hayes. First Lady Lucy Hayes named this cat Siam, and soon they were being bred around the U.S and in England.
By the 1950s, the Siamese cat was a popular breed for pets and in show business. They started to appear in movies and television, known for their long, elegant builds and piercing blue eyes. Today Siamese cats are known as one of the most vocal, loving, loyal feline companion breeds. They are also called Meezers or Mese as common nicknames.
Are Siamese Cats Hypoallergenic?
Siamese cats are considered to be hypoallergenic. This is because their breed produces lower levels of different allergens, including the Fel d 1 protein. Because they produce less of this protein in their saliva, there is less of it spread around to their hair and other items around the home. Less of these allergens are also shed in their dander and through human contact.
Meezers do not shed as much as some other breeds, another factor in why they are considered hypoallergenic. By producing less allergy-inducing proteins and shedding less, they are not as triggering as some feline breeds.
Personality & Temperament
Siamese kitties are known for being an extremely vocal breed. They do not have any problem letting their opinion be known. Some might even call them chatty. They are very affectionate and like to be the center of attention. This breed is very smart and can be trained to do many things, including walking on a leash. Because they are so intelligent and opinionated, training these kitties can be a challenge.
These kitties are very active, with high levels of energy. They need a lot of entertainment and enjoy various games and toys. They will even learn to chase after balls and play fetch. Meezers like to explore and are always looking for a new adventure. This is not a breed known for sleeping away in the afternoon. They are usually quite active and looking for something to do, even if that just means yowling at their owners or sitting at the window keeping an eye on the world outside.
Siamese kitties love to be around people and will follow owners from room to room all day long. They are also known for acting out to get attention if their owners happen to get sidetracked by something else. This breed gets along well with children but should be supervised when around young kiddos. In addition, they can do well in homes with other pets, including dogs, as long as they are properly socialized and allowed to have their own space.
Siamese Cat Appearance
The purebred Mese has vibrant blue eyes. Along with these deep blue eyes, they have a very distinct color point pattern. Both color variations are controlled by the same gene. Almond-shaped eyes, wedge-shaped faces, long muscular bodies, and large ears are some of the breed’s more notable physical characteristics.
Siamese kitties have a very noticeable color pattern with lighter-colored fur along their bodies, darker faces, ears, and paws. This is what is referred to as a color point pattern. Meezers can come in many different colors. However, there are four recognized by the CFA. These are seal point, chocolate point, blue point, and lilac point.
Siamese kitties are what is known as a low shed breed. Though they shed substantially less than many other breeds, Meezers shed hair regularly. Their hair is smaller and finer, so it often is less noticeable than large piles of hair left behind. That does not mean this breed does not do its fair share of shedding.
Along with shedding daily, they will have periods of higher shedding that correspond with the change in seasons. This happens typically two times a year, once when temperatures warm up from winter to spring and again when they change from fall to winter. Just like no breeds of feline exist that are truly allergen free, there are no breeds that do not shed, except for true hairless.
Along with regular shedding, Mese may shed more when they are stressed out or get scared. These are triggers for a kitty, and when startled, they can shed as a natural response. Indoor cats shed less than outdoor animals, which also lessens their exposure to other potential environmental allergens.
Potential cat owners who suffer from allergies and are considering adopting a Siamese cat may want to spend time with a few different kitties of the same breed. This can help them determine if this breed or particular cats have higher or lower allergen triggers for them. One thing to remember is that even though this breed is often built as both hypoallergenic and no shed, neither of those statements are exactly accurate.
Factors That Affect Shedding
There are a few different factors that will affect how much a cat sheds. This goes for any breed, including those that shed less like this Siamese. Many of these factors are environmental. Others have to do specifically with the cat’s health and living situation.
A cat’s health plays a significant role in the amount they shed. Cats suffering from allergies can have skin irritation and excess hair loss. Infections, both bacterial and fungal, can also trigger hair loss. Stress and anxiety can cause a cat to lose hair, as can parasites and other pests. Owners who suspect their kitty may be shedding excessively due to an underlying health condition should contact their veterinarian for an exam to rule out any underlying health issues.
Cats of all breeds will shed more as the seasons change. They shed their heavy coats from the winter when temperatures warm up in spring and summer. Towards the end of autumn, as temperatures start to drop down again, felines will again lose excess fur, making way for heavier, fresh winter coats to grow in. Kitties that are exposed to more extreme temperature changes may shed more than others, regardless of breed.
Nutrition is a building block of a cat’s overall health, and poor nutrition can be reflected in skin and coat health. Cats who are sick or poorly fed and not receiving all the vital nutrients they need may have unhealthy skin and shed more than usual. Felines experiencing nutritional deficiencies can have bald patches, scaly skin, cuts, and even sores. It is crucial that they are eating food that supports whole body health. Foods should include fats, proteins, and fatty acids like omega-3 and Omega 6, which are known for supporting coat health. High protein diets are essential for skin and coat health. Felines need to eat animal proteins, which play a significant role in their physical health and appearance.
Owners who notice excess shedding of hair or extra skin or see a cat with irritated skin or skin with open cuts and sores should consult a veterinarian for advice. This can be a sign of disease, emotional distress, or other condition that may be triggering excess hair loss. This is not something owners should ignore.
The environment a feline lives in will impact how much they shed. Cats who are kept in moderate temperatures without much change may shed less than those who experience more frequent shifts. Indoor cats may shed more regularly than those that are kept outdoors as they have less exposure to sunlight and temperature changes. Keeping a kitty’s environment at a stable temperature can help control their shedding. Felines shed more when they are stressed or in a living situation where they feel scared or threatened. Make sure your pets feel safe when left home alone. They shed more as a reaction to stress, being frightened, or other sources of emotional distress.
Some feline breeds are simply more prone to shedding than others. Purebred Siamese will likely shed less than many other breeds. Siamese cats that are mixed will often shed more than their purebred kin. This breed is known for having allergies which can cause a skin or hair shedding response. They will also shed more if they are not receiving a proper diet.
Grooming A Siamese
On average, Siamese cats will need regular grooming at least once a week. Some owners will choose to do it more than those two to three times a week will keep a Meezer in excellent shape. This will help clear their bodies of excess hair, skin, dust, and other allergens. Long-haired Mese may need grooming every other day. Brushing should always be done along the natural flow of the kitty’s hair and should be done slowly. Be very careful with any mats or tangles. Very gently, try to work those out with a wire comb or slicker brush.
Part of grooming a Siamese will be to brush their teeth and clip their nails regularly. Ideally, teeth should be cleaned every day. Realistically, that may not be possible. Owners should aim for once or twice a week, with the goal being daily brushing. Nails should be trimmed once every two or three weeks. This helps prevent injury to other pets and humans, as well as prevents pets from causing scratching damage throughout the home.
Ear cleaning is another big part of keeping a kitty clean and reducing the chance of an allergic reaction from owners. Ears often pick up dust and debris, along with pests. Feline ears are very sensitive, and owners should inspect them regularly and use appropriate products to clean out any kind of wax or discharge.
There are several steps that owners can take to manage their cat allergies. Once a feline allergy is confirmed as the problem, there are several choices of daily as well as individual use only medications available. These medications work differently for everyone, and there is no guarantee they will solve the problem. However, for many people, they are a great solution. Medication is not always the answer, and there are some everyday things cat owners can do to manage the number of allergens they spread and try to keep the triggers to a minimum.
That being said, there are many things owners can do not to let pet hair and allergies control their lives. Regular brushing and grooming are among the most significant ways to control how much hair a cat sheds. Grooming a kitty every couple of days and using tools like deshedding brushes, slicker brushes, and combs will help eliminate unwanted piles of pet hair shed about the house.
Ensuring a cat has proper nutrition to support coat health is another big step. Also, owners should be very observant and regularly inspect their kitty’s coat for any irritants, debris, or excess hair loss. Staying on top of a kitty’s health can prevent and treat issues that may trigger shedding before they become a problem.
Vacuuming & Lint Roller
Investing in a higher quality vacuum and then regularly using it to clean up carpets and furniture of pet hair is a substantial investment pet owners with allergies will need to make. Though this will take some time, it is a significant way to manage the amount of hair left about a house. There are many options for vacuums that specialize in cleaning up after pets. Owners can also look at investing in a hand vacuum to vacuum off furniture and clothing.
In addition to vacuums, lint rollers are a good investment, especially for people who suffer from cat allergies. Keeping these around homes and cars will prevent hair and dander from spreading to other places. While there is no way to fully prevent shedding and the spread of pet hair, it is very manageable with the use of these basic tools.
HEPA Air Purifier
Air purifiers are another excellent investment for feline owners who know they suffer from allergies. These can be placed in rooms where owners sleep and where kitties hang out to help clear the air of those bothersome allergens. Along with using air purifiers, owners can also designate certain areas of their homes as kitty free. For example, bedrooms, where they sleep and keep their clothing, may need to be off limits to their feline friends. With proper training, this can be a very workable solution for cat owners and felines to cohabitate.
HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filtration systems are designed to remove 99.97% of airborne particles like dust, mold, bacteria, and small proteins like Fel d 1.
The Filtrete Air PurifierFAP-C03BA-G2 claims to capture 99.97% of airborne particles (as small as 0.3 microns), including dust, lint, dust mite debris, and mold spores, pollen, pet dander, smoke, smog, bacteria, viruses, exhaust particles, and ultrafine particles.
Keeping a home clean, especially in places where kitties hang out regularly, is a big part of preventing allergies from acting up. Regularly wiping down furniture, floors, and other surfaces will reduce the number of allergens that gather there and trigger reactions. Owners can also invest in pet-resistant furniture covers to help repel hair, dust, and microscopic allergen proteins.
Clean Litter Box
Though it may not seem as obvious as some of the other suggestions, a clean litter box can be a highly impactful factor in preventing allergic reactions. Family members known to have feline allergies should not be tasked with changing or cleaning the litter box. Litter boxes should be cleaned every day, at least twice a day. Allergens are spread through urine and dander, and felines often shed hair in the litter box. Keeping this allergy-inducing area clean and keeping allergy sufferers away from it will help prevent allergy episodes. The litter box is another area that might benefit from an air purifier nearby.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are mixed breed Siamese cats hypoallergenic?
Mixed breed kitties may or may not be low-allergen producing. A lot of this will depend on genetics. It is important to remember that even purebred kitties produce allergens. The severity of a human’s allergic response depends on the specific cat, specific human, and factors like nutrition, care, and health.
Why are Siamese cats called hypoallergenic?
Siamese kitties are often referred to as hypoallergenic because they produce less allergy-inducing proteins. No cat breed is 100% allergen free. Allergen levels vary within the breed.
Do Siamese cats molt?
Meezers shed, as do every other feline breed. They, like most other breeds, will experience at least two periods a year of higher shedding. These times correspond with significant shifts in seasonal temperatures. This can also be referred to as molting. However, felines do not shed their skin or all their hair like a snake. They release excess hair and dead skin to make way for thicker, softer coats to grow in.
Siamese cats are wonderful and popular all over the world as pets. Fortunately for many, they are considered a hypoallergenic breed due to their low shedding and producing less allergy-inducing proteins. This is terrific news for people who adore this breed but might have cat allergies. With proper management and care, humans with allergies and cats can happily coexist.
Prospective owners should always spend time with cats before adopting one, especially if owners know they might have allergies. A cat cannot help or change its body chemistry, so owners must be responsible both for managing allergy symptoms and taking good care of their cat. Siamese cats are an amazing breed that makes fantastic companions, and it is an added bonus that they might be a good match for allergy sufferers. Prospective owners can consult with allergy specialists to manage symptoms and check with breeders regarding allergen levels of specific kittens and bloodlines. Our information is meant to be a general guide, not a substitute for advice from a veterinarian, allergy specialist, or doctor.