Are you wondering if Maine Coon cats are hypoallergenic or not? This article will explain everything you need to know.
Maine Coon cats are one of the most popular domesticated cats in the world. They are well-known because of their size, delicate features, and charming personality.
Maine Coon cats are amazing with other animals and humans. If you have seen a Maine Coon cat in your friend’s house, you probably know that they can be a great addition to your household.
However, you have to consider several conditions before bringing a Maine Coon to your family. If anyone in your family has breathing-related issues or allergy problems, you might need to reconsider your choice.
So, we often come across the question; Whether Maine Coon cats are hypoallergenic or not. A cat can never be completely hypoallergenic.
All cats produce some number of allergens that can trigger your allergy or breathing issues. In this article, we are going to cover the topic of allergy due to Maine Coon cats, and we will answer a few of the burning questions in this regard.
Are Maine Coon cats Hypoallergenic?
No matter how loving Maine Coon cats are in a beautiful household, we can not consider them to be hypoallergenic.
Some breeders claim to possess hypoallergenic Maine Coon cats, but they are costly and not 100% hypoallergenic.
All cats produce a number of allergens. Few breeds have less, but Maine Coon cats make a regular amount of Fel d1 protein that causes allergy in humans.
So, we can ensure that Maine Coon cats are not Hypoallergenic. Let us look at the reasons in the following section.
Reasons why Maine Coons are not considered to be hypoallergenic?
By now, you are well-aware that Maine Coon cats are not hypoallergenic. Before we go into the reasons, let us discuss the term ‘hypoallergenic.’
Hypoallergenic means something that produces less allergy-related problems in our bodies. All cats make some amount of allergens, and there is no way we can get rid of those.
Fel d1 is a protein that we can find in the cat’s saliva, urine, and other glands. It is one of the prime reasons why some people are allergic to cats.
When a cat grooms itself, it transfers this protein to the coat. As cats shed skin continuously, these allergens get airborne.
When we inhale it, it triggers allergy or breathing problems. This is a natural tendency of cats to groom themselves. As a result, we can say that no cat is 100% hypoallergenic.
Now, let us come to the breed we are concerned about, and figure out why we cannot consider Maine Coon cats to be hypoallergenic. We came up with the following reasons –
- Maine Coon cats produce the regular amount of Fel d1 proteins. Hence, it is more likely that the people around this breed will be affected by it. Some species have the protein at a lesser rate, but all the species have it.
- Maine Coon cats have coats, and they like to groom themselves more often in comparison to other breeds. So, they are more likely to make the allergen airborne.
- The long hair of the Maine Coon can hold the Fel d1 protein for a lengthier period.
Hence, you will not have any benefits if you adopt a Maine Coon cat. You can find other similar-looking breeds that produce less allergen in comparison to Maine Coons.
Some of the popular breeds that can be suitable for you are Siberian, Abyssinian, Devon Rex, Balinese, and Cornish Rex.
If you are determined to adopt a Maine Coon, you should spend some time with a friend who owns a Maine Coon.
It will ensure that you are comfortable with the Maine Coons. If you want clarity, you can visit a pathological clinic to have an allergy test. It will leave no doubt in your mind.
Another useful method to avoid allergy-related problems is adopting a female or neutered male Maine Coon cat.
Scientists have stated that the secretion of the Fel d1 protein is related to the hormones of the cats.
As females produce fewer hormones than their male counterparts, it will help in avoiding the issue. Spayed male cats also have the fewer allergen in comparison to non-spayed cats.
What Are Some Of The Cat Allergy Symptoms?
The compound called FelD1 causes cat allergy, and almost every cat in the world secretes it. So, if you have any predisposed condition of reacting to this compound, you will have an allergic reaction to the cat no matter what.
It is highly unlikely that you will not understand whether you have this condition until you interact with a cat. So, you must know about the allergic symptoms early on. They are as follows:
- Rashes or hives on the back and hands.
- Watery eyes. It can turn red as well.
- Runny nose
- Coughing and wheezing.
- Hives breakout at any place where the cat scratches, bites, or licks.
If you observe any of these symptoms after interacting with a cat, leave the cat’s vicinity. Washing the infected areas should also be a must thing to do.
It is for your safety that you should not go in the vicinity of a cat if you have allergic asthma. According to a study, around 20-30% of all allergic asthma patients have the chance of developing severe flare-ups when they are in contact with a cat.
How Do You Reduce The Cat Allergies?
If you develop the symptoms of any cat-induced allergy, then there are a bunch of way-outs. If you do not have a severe allergy history, none of the allergy symptoms can be life-threatening. If you have a severe allergy, it is best if you do not contact any cat or dog.
One of the first ways to treat cat allergies is by ingesting antihistamines. These drugs are over-the-counter and easy to get. So, finding a medicine won’t be a big deal. Cetirizine (Zyrtec), diphenhydramine (Benadryl), and fexofenadine (Allegra) are some of the names.
The other way of mitigating this situation is another drug called Decongestants. You can also find drugs like Pseudoephedrine (Sudafed), Allegra-D as over-the-counter medicine.
Allergy shots are also another way of reducing cat allergies in severe cases. If you have breathing issues after contacting the cat, various nasal steroid sprays can help the person in need.
Sadly, there is no way someone can avoid developing allergy symptoms if they have a prior history of regular allergies.
Causes Of Cat Allergy?
It is a common misconception that cat allergy results from the loose fur they dispose of daily. When almost 20% of the United States population has a pet allergy, cat allergies are more common than dog allergies. So, it is not the fur or hair that causes allergies to the people in the vicinity. There is a special compound in the cat’s saliva, urine, and dander that causes allergic reactions in humans.
Humans have an immune system that attacks any harmful foreign particle in the blood. Sometimes, if the immune system is too active, it starts attacking the harmless particles as well. The allergic reaction is just the side effect of your body attacking that compound.
As a result, people with an extremely active immune system get symptoms when they contact any cat, and we perceive it as an allergy.
It is not always the sole factor that causes an allergy from the cat. If you have an outdoor cat, it plays in nature for hours. So, cats can drag in pollen, mold, or other allergens from outside. Even if you don’t have a problem with a cat’s FelD1, these allergens can also cause some reactions.
Maine Coon Food Allergies:
Cats are not very susceptible to developing food allergies. However, there are some exceptions, and in some odd cases, they can develop allergies to the following items:
Gluten is one such food item that cats should not eat as it can induce allergies in them. If you wonder where a cat can get the gluten to eat, you may not know about some cat food manufacturers that use gluten in their products.
The symptoms of gluten allergy can vary. However, skin rashes, upset stomach, and wheezing are some of the most common gluten allergy symptoms. As a result, you must always check for gluten in the ingredient list.
It is a misconception that cats can have dairy products or even milk. They do not produce lactase in their digestive system, and as a result, all cats are essentially lactose intolerant.
So, you should never give milk to a cat as it will most definitely trigger an upset stomach, and in some cases, diarrhea. You must stop feeding cow milk to your cat. There are other forms of milk available in the market, which might not harm the cat. However, these milk products have no nutritional value. So, it is best if you can stick to their natural cat food.
Can You Become Allergic To Maine Coon?
There is no proof that Maine Coons produce a lesser amount of allergens in their bodies. So, the idea of Maine Coons being hypoallergenic is false. If you are allergic to any other cat, you would likely be allergic to Maine Coon cats as well.
If you are wondering whether you could become allergic to only Maine Coons, then that’s a no either. Maine Coons do not produce any different kinds of allergen that can specifically target you. So, you cannot become allergic to specifically Maine Coon. If you are prone to allergies, Maine Coon won’t help you much on that.
Due to the long hair characteristics of the Maine Coons, they shed a lot during changing seasons. As a result, the chances of the FelD1 compound reaching you become all the more probable. So, a Maine Coon can trigger a much worse allergic reaction than other shorthair cats.
In conclusion, we can say that Maine Coon cats are not hypoallergenic, and they will not be suitable for you if you have any allergy or breathing-related ailments.
There are less lucrative choices like adopting a breed similar to Maine Coons or taking cat allergy shots.
You can make sure that you do not have any allergy before adopting a Maine Coon, because you can’t go back after you have completed the adoption process. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Other Maine Coon related resource:
Hi There, AJ Oren here. I am the founder of this amazing pet blog & a passionate writer who loves helping pet owners to learn more about their pets through my articles. I am also the content manager of this blog. I have experience in pet training and behavior, sheltering, and currently working for a veterinary clinic.
- 1 Are Maine Coon cats Hypoallergenic?
- 2 Reasons why Maine Coons are not considered to be hypoallergenic?
- 3 What Are Some Of The Cat Allergy Symptoms?
- 4 How Do You Reduce The Cat Allergies?
- 5 Causes Of Cat Allergy?
- 6 Maine Coon Food Allergies:
- 7 Can You Become Allergic To Maine Coon?