Abyssinian cat lovers, are you curious if this breed is allergy-friendly?
Abyssinian cats are highly intelligent creatures. They are believed to be one of the world’s oldest living animals that are still in existence. Archaeologists have even found mummified cats similar to the modern Abyssinian dating back as far as Ancient Egyptian times!
An interesting fact we uncovered about this breed is that it was named after Abyssinia, currently known as Ethiopia, where this breed is believed to have originated from. Currently, the Abyssinian cat breed is ranked as one of the most popular cat breeds.
So if you’re interested in Abyssinian cats, we are committed to confirming if they can be a great pet for allergy sufferers. And true to our style, we are committed to determining if Abyssinians are hypoallergenic.
For answers to all your questions, please read on!
Are Abyssinian Cats Hypoallergenic?
Although Abyssinian cats aren’t typically considered hypoallergenic, they may be ok for people with milder cat allergies. They have lower dander production, low shedding levels and also lower Fel d1 production levels.
It’s a known fact that no cat is 100% allergy-friendly. All cats produce a certain amount of allergens, and the Abyssinian is no exception. However, Abyssinian cats might be a better option for allergy sufferers since they have a lower probability of triggering allergies.
Overall Hypoallergenic Score: 4/10
Cats can cause a wide range of allergies, with the common ones being breathing and skin reactions. Luckily, Abyssinian cats have a low probability of triggering both. Need more details on this? Please read on!
How to Decide If Abyssinian Cats Are Hypoallergenic to You
As we have just mentioned, the most common allergies caused by cats are breathing and skin allergies. Even with their low Fel d1 and shedding levels, Abyssinians can affect some highly sensitive allergy sufferers. So, we have rated Abyssinians for both:
Probability of Causing Skin Allergies: 5/10
Probability of Causing Breathing Allergies: 4/10
Really, a lot of this has to do with your unique sensitivities as well. So consider your cat allergy symptoms and the degree of severity of these. Also factor in your past experiences around cats and note whether there were certain breeds that triggered you allergies more.
If you tend to experience sneezing, coughing or other signs of respiratory distress, you’ll want to pay attention to the section below about shedding. Breathing allergies are about more than just the levels of shedding, which you’ll soon come to realise.
If, on the other hand, you find that your skin tend to break out around pets, you’ll want to pay close attention to the section about saliva and dander exposure levels. It comes down to the risks of touching the Fel d1 protein a cat produces.
Overall, Abyssinians are one of those breeds many allergy sufferers with milder symptoms find they are ok with. This is anecdotal so there’s no guarantee you’ll find the same experience.
Do Abyssinian Cats Shed a Lot?
No, Abyssinian cats have a shorter coat than most cats; therefore, their shedding level is quite low. And the fact that it sheds less means that the probability of being exposed to allergens is also quite low.
Shedding Levels: 3/10
Hair Length: 1/10
The main cause of breathing allergies is shedding. It’s not just about fur being released but also all the allergens that usually get trapped in the fur as well. Typically these can include dander, dust, pollen and other outdoor allergens.
Abyssinians tend to release all the outdoor allergens and dander trapped on their coats when they shed. Therefore, proper grooming and brushing can help you manage both their shedding level and your risk of allergic reactions.
Given that they also have a short to medium hair length, you should expect to notice their fur when they start shedding.
Abyssinian Saliva and Dander Exposure
All cats have numerous allergy-causing proteins, particularly Fel d1. Fel d1 is one of the main causes of cat allergies in individuals with skin allergies. These proteins can be found in the cat’s urine, saliva or dander, among other substances they secrete.
Saliva Exposure: 4/10
Dander Levels: 4/10
Cats release dander into the environment when they shed. But, many Abyssinians produce lower levels of dander. This of course is assisted by your level of care and proper maintenance. Any cat with underlying health issues is likely to produce more dander or develop irritation on their skin.
Bad for their health and bad for your allergies!
When it comes to saliva exposure, most felines tend to salivate a little when relaxed and happy. Thankfully, they aren’t big slobberers like some dogs can be!
Now, the main risk of exposure to saliva comes down to your cat’s self-grooming habits. Most cats lick themselves clean and their saliva gets trapped in their fur.
You could be on the safe side since Abyssinian has a low Fel d1 level anyway. Even if you did come into contact with the saliva on their fur, you might not really notice a reaction. It really just depends on your sensitivities and the end of the day.
Abyssinian Grooming and Coat Maintenance
As mentioned above, proper care and grooming can help minimise your exposure to allergens from your cat. Also, Abyssinian cats love licking themselves clean; however, over-grooming can result in your cat injuring itself. Therefore, your best line of defence is to not allow your cat to get dirty. Regular baths can help you keep your cat’s coat clean.
Make sure you always wash him with the right shampoo that won’t leave his coat dry or irritate its skin!
If your cat hates baths, you can clean them using a damp towel and/or dry shampoo. Works a charm for cats that hate bath time but still need a wash.
Ease of Grooming: 7/10
Risk of Allergen Exposure: 4/10
Abyssinian cats are low maintenance creatures. Thanks to their short coats, you only need to brush them once per week, and you are good to go.
Tips for Managing Allergies
Abyssinian cats are not 100% allergy-free. Therefore make sure you look for better ways to protect yourself, regardless of your feline pal’s hypoallergenic status. Remember, even hypoallergenic pets produce some levels of dander, Fel d1 and other substances that trigger allergies.
So, here are some tips to help you stay safe.
Abyssinian cats are intelligent pets that need to be stimulated mentally and entertained. You can teach these cats numerous simple tricks like walking on a leash. You can also challenge them by setting up an agility course. Proper training can help you manage allergies, so teach your Abyssinian cat the following:
- To use the litter box
- To never lick you if you are affected by their saliva
- To stay out of your bedroom
- To keep off your textile surfaces and furniture
- To never go beyond your home’s boundaries
Fortify your Home
Keep yourself and your space safe using the following allergy-combatting devices:
- HEPA filters
- A high-quality air purifier
- Remove some of your textile surfaces
- Get a vacuum cleaner with pet attachments
- Always have your allergy meds near you
Maintain your Cat’s Nutrition and Health Care
If your Abyssinian is experiencing some underlying health issue, this may make them more prone to exposing you to more allergens.
For example, some conditions can irritate your cat’s skin, causing them to shed more often than usual and also to produce more dander. Make sure you feed your cat good food. Keep up your vet appointments and also make sure your cat’s health is well maintained at all times.
Get an Abyssinian Hypoallergenic Mix
Other than the above tips, adopting an Abyssinian hypoallergenic hybrid can be a great way to reduce allergies. The common Abyssinian cross breeds are typically hypoallergenic as both parents are hypoallergenic.
The hybrids may produce fewer allergens than an Abyssinian though this greatly depends on the individual cat. Some of the most common Abyssinian hybrids include:
- Abyssinian Bengal mix
- Abyssinian Siamese mix
This regal and elegant breed is among the most popular cat breeds and with good reason! For allergic families, the Abyssinian may be the perfect hypoallergenic cat to bring into your home.
With it’s low levels of shedding, low dander production and lower levels of Fel d1 allergy-causing protein, it sure is a breed worth checking out!
Keep in mind that it’s best you test out your level of sensitivity to this breed before committing to bring one home. Better safe than sorry at the end of the day.