Birman cats are absolutely adorable! If you’re prone to allergies and absolutely love this breed, this article is for you.
We’re diving deep into whether Birman cats are hypoallergenic!
Birman cats also referred to as the “Sacred Cats of Burma” or “Sacred Birmans”, are known worldwide as loyal cats with a loving personality. Interesting side note, the breed’s name was derived from the term ’’Birmanie’’ which means ‘’Burma’’ in French.
Birmans are long-haired cats with distinctive white socks on each paw and deep, gorgeous blue eyes. They sure are little cuties!
For our allergic families, we are determined to find out if Birmans are an excellent option for your households. We have gone straight to the deets on whether this breed can affect your allergies and if Brimans are hypoallergenic.
So, for answers to all your questions, please read on!
Are Birmans Hypoallergenic?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. Birman cats are not considered to be hypoallergenic since they can affect both breathing and skin allergies in people with cat allergies. One of the main reasons they are not regarded as hypoallergenic is that they are moderate shedding cats. Though there’s more to the story.
Birman’s also produce dander like most other cat breeds along with several allergy causing proteins, including Fel d1.
Overall Hypoallergenic Score: 3/10
The leading cause of cat allergies is the Feline d1 protein that can be found in any cat’s saliva, urine, and skin, among other bodily fluids. Therefore, no breeder can guarantee you that their cats are hypoallergenic.
There are some cats that naturally produce less of this protein, and if this is important to you, perhaps you can check out our list of hypoallergenic cats for a safer breed to bring home.
Do Birman Cats Shed a Lot?
Birmans are moderate shedding cats that tend to shed more when the season changes to warmer weather or when stressed. They also shed more when expecting company.
Given Birmans have long-haired coats, you could also expect to find their fur all over your furniture and surfaces when they do start shedding.
Shedding Levels: 5/10
Hair Length: 8/10
As Birmans shed, they also tend to release all the dander and outdoor allergens trapped in their coats. Luckily, these little cuties have a silky soft coat that is quite easy to groom.
Therefore, regular grooming and brushing can help you reduce their shedding levels and the release of all the allergens trapped on their coats. Two in one benefit for only a little extra effort on your part!
How to Know If Birmans Are Allergy-Friendly to You
Most cat breeds have a high likelihood of affecting people with high sensitivities to cat allergens. All breeds produce a wide range of allergens that can trigger many allergies, with the most common ones being skin and breathing sensitivities. Below, we have rated Birmans for both.
Keep in mind, your unique sensitivities play a big role here as well. If you only suffer mild allergies, you might find that Birmans are ok for you to be around despite them not “technically” being hypoallergenic.
Probability of Causing Skin Allergies: 6/10
Probability of Causing Breathing Allergies: 7/10
Breathing allergies are quite common among allergic pet owners. The main things people with breathing allergies have to worry about when it comes to Birmans are airborne particles released while shedding. These include the fur as well as any trapped dander and outdoor allergens.
People with skin allergies have more things to consider as their sensitivities are related to exposure to numerous allergy-causing proteins including Fel d1. For more on this, check out the next section.
Birman Saliva and Dander Exposure
No cat is 100% hypoallergenic. And that is because all felines can produce allergy-causing proteins and Birmans are no exception. These beauties produce proteins that can cause skin sensitivities.
Fel d1 is the major one as it accounts for up to 95% of reactions that people with cat allergies react to. Fel d1 can be found in Birman’s urine, saliva, and dander, among other substances they produce.
Saliva Exposure: 9/10
Dander Levels: 7/10
When it comes to saliva exposure, your biggest risk is the saliva trapped in your Birman’s fur from their self-grooming habits. When you pat your cat, you may feel a sense of itching and it’s likely for this reason.
However, with the risk of your Birman’s fur spreading throughout your home as they shed, you may also come into contact with the saliva at any time without realising it.
Your risk of exposure to dander is lessened somewhat due to the fact that Birman cats are long-haired breeds. Most long-haired cats keep dander close to their bodies. It’s only released into your home when they shed.
In either situation, being medium-sized cats Birmans can easily access all the corners in your home and spread allergens.
If your heart is still settled on a Birman and you still want to bring one home (allergies be damned!) you’ll need to upkeep proper grooming and maintenance habits.
Birman Grooming and Coat Maintenance
Birmans are generally clean cats that love licking themselves clean. They won’t need regular baths unless they get into something dirty.
Make sure you wash them using the right shampoo. Anything that irritates your Birman’s skin will cause them the shed more and develop patches of dried skin or produce more dander. Same goes for any other underlying health condition that may be affecting your Birman.
In short, looking after their health can help prevent more allergens throughout your home!
Ease of Grooming: 7/10
Risk of Allergen Exposure: 9/10
Normally, cats hardly need any grooming, but with Birman being long-haired, its coat should be groomed regularly. Birmans have a soft, silky coat that requires moderate maintenance and frequent brushing to avoid matting.
Interesting to note, however, Birmans are less prone to matting than Himalayans and Persian cats.
Regular grooming can help keep this cat’s coat in shape. And regular massages can help stimulate circulation and remove loose hair and debris. In an ideal world, Birmans really should be groomed at least once every week.
It might be worth getting someone else to handle this on your behalf if you want to minimise your risk of allergic reactions. You can also use protective gear like face masks, glasses and gloves if you plan on grooming your Birman yourself.
Allergies Be Damned, I Want a Birman Anyway! Tips for Reducing Allergies
As mentioned earlier, no feline is 100% hypoallergenic. So, even if you find that Birmans are safe for you to be around or if your sensitivities are mild, you should still be combatting the risk of cat allergies in other ways.
If you’re like most of our readers, you might always be on the lookout for a better way to reduce allergies throughout your home. So, we have prepared some of the best tips for staying on top of things even when living with a Birman cat.
Birmans are appealing to thousands of families on the planet for their loyal and loving personality. They are known for having dog-like characteristics such as their playfulness with kids and other animals.
Being highly intelligent creatures, Birmans can also be taught numerous tricks. So, we recommend that you also teach them the following:
- To never lick you if you are affected by Birman’s saliva
- To stay off your bed, furniture, and textile surfaces
- To stay within your households boundaries
- Proper potty training can come in handy
- Minimize outdoor movement
- Stay out of bedrooms and wardrobes
Fortify Your Home
All cats tend to be mischievous in your absence. So we recommend that you also fortify your home with the following:
- An air purifier
- A high-quality vacuum cleaner
- Reduce the number of textile surfaces in your home
- Install HEPA filters
- Use lint rollers to help you spot clean your textile surfaces
Considering a Hypoallergenic Breed Instead?
If it is important to you that you find a hypoallergenic cat, here are some worth checking out that are similar to Birmans:
- Balinese cats are hypoallergenic, long-haired and some even have gorgeous blue eyes!
- Siberian cats are also hypoallergenic and long-haired though have more of a lion-like appearance.
If you want a Birman despite the allergies, we understand! Who can go past their gorgeous blue eyes, long hair and white tipped feet?
There is something to be said about managing your risks though. You should definitely keep your allergy meds near you anytime your Birman is around. You might also benefit from spending time around Birmans before committing to bringing one home!