Sphynx cats, along with various other breeds of cat like the Devon Rex, are frequently thought to be hypoallergenic. While you may Google this question, some search engines might deceive you and seemingly give you the answer you might be looking for. However, if you do a little more digging, you’ll quickly come to find that this is simply not the case. Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic cat. But wait—we have good news! If you have mild allergies and are looking for a companion, the Sphynx cat still might be the right fit for you.
Although Sphynx cats are not actually hypoallergenic, their lack of hair can mean that fewer allergens will end up in the environment—your home. Another misconception about the popular Sphynx breed is that they are hairless. No Sphynx cat is totally hairless. The amount of hair developed widely varies from one cat to another. One may be virtually naked, while another might have some hair on their ears, tail, and feet which is very common. But, because Sphynx cats have little hair, this means no shedding. Shedding is the cause of a great number of allergens being introduced into the environment.
The main allergen in which people are sensitive to when referring to cats is a glycoprotein called Fel d1. This is the primary allergen present in the saliva and sebaceous glands in all cats. While Sphynx cats do not shed hair, the allergen is still produced in the saliva, skin oils, and dander. If you’ve read much about the Sphynx cat, you are probably already aware of the excess oil in which they produce on their skin. Sphynx cats must be bathed frequently to maintain optimal skin health and reduce the amount of oil present on their skin due to the lack of hair. Even with regular bathing, however, some allergens will still accumulate on the skin. You can help manage the spread of allergens throughout your home by maintaining a clean environment. Bathe your cat regularly, only allow your cat in certain areas of your home, and clean surfaces frequently. Always wash your hands after handling your cat and do not touch your face. These are just a few ways you can minimize the chances of having an adverse reaction to allergens.
So, what can you do if you think you may be allergic to cats, but would like to have a Sphynx cat as a cuddly companion? How sensitive are your allergies? It is always recommended to talk with your doctor about any health-related concerns. You can also purchase an at-home allergy test kit. One of the easiest ways to tell if you are allergic to a Sphynx cat is to spend some time with one. If you or your family member are concerned your allergies may be too sensitive to own a Sphynx cat, let us know and we can arrange a meet and greet. We have had several clients come visit with our Queens and get a feel for what it’s like to handle a Sphynx cat. In most cases, clients that were worried they might be allergic didn’t have any signs or symptoms of an adverse reaction and went on to purchase their beloved companion.
If you are still unsure if a Sphynx cat is right for you, please visit our Sphynx Care section of our website for more information about caring for a Sphynx cat. If you have any questions, please reach out. We are here to help! If you are interested in purchasing a kitten from one of our future litters, please complete our Kitten Purchase Application and we will be happy to place you on the current waiting list.
Curley, K. (2019, March). What You Need to Know Before Bringing Home a Sphynx Cat. Retrieved from https://www.petmd.com/cat/care/what-you-need-know-bringing-home-sphynx-cat
DeLucia-Bradley, I. (n.d.). Are Hairless Cats Hypoallergenic? Retrieved from https://felineanswers.com/are-hairless-cats-hypoallergenic/