Are Savannah Cats Hypoallergenic: Allergic Reaction to Savannah Cats and How to Lessen Them
No, Savannah cats are not hypoallergenic, but some people with allergies may be less sensitive to them than other cat breeds. Cels’ allergic reactions are caused by a protein called Fel d 1, found in a cat’s saliva, skin, and urine. While no cat is entirely hypoallergenic, some breeds, like Savannah, may produce less of this protein, making them more tolerable for people with allergies.
However, cat allergies differ for everyone, and cat dander (allergen) can still irritate. But that doesn’t mean you should give up on a Savannah cat. There are ways to help manage allergies even with cats in your home, such as keeping surfaces free of their fur and trying allergy medications.
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Savannah Cats and Their Tendency to Cause Allergies
Savannah cats are a low-shedding breed. Some people report that Savannah cats are somewhat hypoallergenic. This means that they do not shed as much hair as other cats. The amount can vary depending on the cat’s coat type and length.
Those with shorter, coarser fur may shed less than those with longer, thicker fur. However, Savannah cats will shed at least some hair throughout the year, and it’s important to note that shedding is a natural process for cats, and it helps to remove dead hair from their coat and keep their skin healthy.
Regular grooming can help reduce shedding and keep your Savannah cat’s coat healthy and shiny. This can include brushing the cat’s fur regularly to remove loose hair, using grooming tools to remove mats and tangles, and bathing the cat to keep its coat clean and free of dirt and debris.
Dander and Saliva Levels
As mentioned, Savannah cats produce dander and saliva that contain the Fel d 1 protein, which is the primary allergen that causes allergic reactions in humans. However, the amount of Fel d 1 protein a Savannah cat produces can vary depending on several factors, including genetics, age, health, and gender.
Savannah cats tend to groom themselves less frequently than other cat breeds, which may result in less saliva being spread on their fur and skin. It’s important to note, however, that Savannah cats can still produce Fel d 1 protein; thus, the dander and saliva of a Savannah cat can cause allergic reactions in some people.
If you have allergies and are considering adopting a Savannah cat, it’s essential to spend time with the cat before deciding to see how your body responds. You should also discuss allergy medications and other symptom management strategies with your doctor.
How to Lessen Daily Allergy Reactions
Keep Your Home Clean
Keeping the home clean and dust-free can help to lessen allergen exposure, as dust mites are the main culprits in triggering allergies. Dust mites cause inflammation in people with allergies by releasing saliva-containing proteins that can cause allergic reactions.
Regularly clean your home, including vacuuming carpets, washing bedding, and wiping down surfaces. Use a HEPA filter in your vacuum and air purifier to help remove allergens.
Groom Your Cat Regularly
Regular grooming is essential if you have allergies and own a cat. It can help reduce the amount of dander and saliva on your cat’s skin and fur, which are the primary sources of allergens that can trigger allergic reactions.
When you groom your cat, you remove loose hair, dirt, and other debris from their coat and distribute natural oils throughout their fur. This can help to keep their coat clean, healthy, and less likely to cause an allergic reaction.
Grooming your cat can also help reduce the amount of hair and dander in your home, accumulating on carpets, furniture, and other surfaces and triggering allergy symptoms. By brushing your cat’s coat and bathing them as needed, you can help to remove allergens from their fur and reduce the amount of hair and dander in your home.
Designate Cat-Free Zones
Cat-free zones are areas of your home where your cat is not allowed to go, such as your bedroom, office, or other areas. By designating these areas as cat-free zones, you can create spaces where you can breathe easier and reduce your exposure to cat allergens.
This is especially important if you have severe allergies or asthma, as exposure to cat allergens can trigger symptoms like coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Consider creating cat-free zones in your home, especially for areas where you spend a lot of time.
Take Allergy Medications
If you have allergies and own a Savannah cat, using allergy medications can help to manage your symptoms and improve your quality of life. Allergy medications reduce the immune system’s response to cat allergens, such as dander and saliva, which can trigger symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes.
Several types of allergy medications can be used to manage cat allergies, including:
- Antihistamines: These medications block the action of histamine, a chemical released by the immune system in response to allergens.
- Nasal sprays: Nasal sprays containing corticosteroids or antihistamines can help to reduce inflammation and congestion in the nasal passages.
- Eye drops: Eye drops containing antihistamines or other medications can help to reduce redness and itching in the eyes.
- Leukotriene inhibitors: These medications block the action of leukotrienes, chemicals released by the immune system in response to allergens.
Consider Allergy Shots
Taking allergy shots, also known as allergen immunotherapy, can be a useful treatment option for those with cat allergies. This involves injecting small amounts of cat allergens under your skin over several months or years to reduce your sensitivity.
Allergy shots work by slowly desensitizing your immune system to cat allergens so that your body becomes less reactive to these allergens, and your symptoms improve over time. They can be a particularly effective option if you cannot avoid exposure to cat allergens due to living with a Savannah cat.
These shots are typically given in two phases: a build-up phase and a maintenance phase. During the build-up phase, you will receive injections of increasing doses of the allergen over several months to reach a target dose. During the maintenance phase, you will continue to receive injections at the target dose, usually every few weeks or months, to maintain your desensitization.
Allergy shots can take several months to a few years to be effective, but they can be a long-term solution for managing cat allergies. They are typically recommended for people with severe allergies or asthma or those who have not responded well to other treatments like medications or environmental controls.
It’s important to talk to your doctor or allergist about whether allergy shots are a good option for you and the potential risks and benefits. They can help you determine whether allergy shots are the right treatment option for your particular case and how to manage your allergies to cats more effectively.