Cornish Rex lovers, do you want to know if this breed is really hypoallergenic?
Cornish Rexes can have long lifespans and rightfully so, as they are known to be very affectionate companions.
They are also known worldwide as a highly intelligent and active cat that loves playing catch, throwing small toys and fetch. Originally from Cornwall England, Cornish Rex cats have no fur except for down hair, giving them a rather unique, almost bald appearance.
We are committed to allergy prone families to determine if a Cornish Rex can be a great option for your homes. And true to our style, we are determined to find out all the details related to whether this breed is hypoallergenic.
So let’s dig in!
Are Cornish Rex Cats Hypoallergenic?
Yes, Cornish Rex cats are hypoallergenic though not for the reasons most people think! Despite the belief that this breed’s short hair makes it hypoallergenic, it’s the fact that it doesn’t shed much nor does this breed tend to release other allergens such as dander.
Allergies are not caused by fur length. Most allergies are actually affected by the allergy-causing protein in the Cornish Rex’s urine, dander, saliva and other such substances.
Overall Hypoallergenic Score: 3/10
No cat is 100% non-allergenic, and this includes Cornish Rex, which produces Fel d1 (an allergy-triggering protein).
Cats can cause several allergic reactions, with the common ones being breathing and skin reactions. The Cornish Rex has a low to moderate probability of causing either, though it highly depends on your sensitivities.
We’ll get into this in just a moment!
Do Cornish Rex Cats Shed a Lot?
No, Cornish Rex is a low to moderate shedding cat breed. They typically have short coats that are silky and soft with no guard hair. Their lack of fur and almost bald appearance means that they shed less than other breeds and the hair they do shed is soft and fine.
Cornish Rexes are also prone to permanent hair loss, and some will go completely bald while others will just develop a thin coat that sheds minimally.
Shedding Levels: 3/10
Hair Length: 1/10
In general, cats can have up to three different types of fur: down hair, awn hair (middle hair), and guard hairs (outer fur).
Just like their cousins, the Devon Rexes, this breed only has a single layer of fur. Since Cornish Rexes only have down hair, this is why their shedding patterns differ quite significantly from most cats.
Their down hairs are particularly wavy and short, especially on the belly and chest. An interesting fact we uncovered about this breed is that the curl on their hair is actually caused by genetic mutations during the breeding process, giving them an exceptionally unique look.
Cornish Rexes have short hair length fur, so you shouldn’t expect to notice their hair if they do shed.
How to Decide If Cornish Rex Is Hypoallergenic to You
Many kitties have a high likelihood of triggering allergies, especially if your level of sensitivity is also quite high. And as we have mentioned, we will focus mainly on skin and breathing sensitivities.
So we have rated the Cornish Rex for both:
Probability of Causing Skin Allergies: 4/10
Probability of Causing Breathing Allergies: 3/10
The primary issue that allergy sufferers with breathing issues have to worry about is the airborne particles this cat breed produces. Luckily, this breed is not a heavy shedder.
The Cornish Rex’s fine, silky coat is also less prone to trapping other particles like dander, pollen and other outdoor allergens. Usually as cats shed, they release such particles into your home’s atmosphere and you’ve got an airborne allergy delivery system right there.
Now, on the other hand, skin sensitivities and contact dermatitis are usually triggered by direct exposure to substances produced by the cat. Let’s look at these risks next.
Cornish Rex Saliva and Dander Exposure
If you are affected by skin sensitivities around cats, it’s likely the allergy-causing protein Fel d1 which is the culprit. This protein is usually present in the urine, saliva and dander, among other substances your cat produces.
It’s a protein that is vital to any cat’s health so it’s not something that you can simply minimise exposure to if living with a cat. However, you can minimise your exposure to the substances you’re likely to come into contact with which contain this protein.
Dander Levels: 4/10
Saliva Exposure: 6/10
Being medium-sized cats, the Cornish Rex is expected to have a moderate dander production rate.
However, that isn’t the case as they have a relatively low dander production rate. Coupled with the fact that they also have low shedding levels, there tends to be a lower risk of dander being released all throughout your home.
When it comes to your risk of saliva exposure, cats typically aren’t big droolers. At least not in the way that some dog breeds are!
However, they tend to lick themselves clean on a daily basis and the Cornish Rex is no different. You might even find your Cornish may lick themselves more often than other breeds and this is because they have more sensitive skin due to their super fine coat. They have to keep it extra clean in order to avoid irritation.
Let’s get into proper grooming practices as you’ll find that you can not only help your Cornish avoid irritation, but you can also minimise your risk of allergies too. That’s what we call a win-win!
Cornish Rex Grooming and Coat Maintenance
Even though they are clean cats, Cornish Rexes should be bathed regularly. These cats only have one layer of coat. They don’t have the outer coat, which would usually absorb their natural oils.
So, like the Sphynx breed, Cornish Rexes must be washed regularly to eliminate the excess natural oil and to keep their skin clean. Especially all those skin folds!
Make sure you wash them with the right shampoo that will leave their coats shiny and healthy without drying out their skin. You should also pay attention to ensuring that any saliva buildup and trapped dander are cleared away.
Ease of Grooming: 6/10
Risk of Allergen Exposure: 8/10
When it comes to coat maintenance, Cornish Rex requires less brushing than most other cats. This breed has delicate short hair that can easily be damaged by combing or brushing too much.
As mentioned above, they do require more frequent baths instead so you’ll still have your work cut out for you.
Since they are low shedding cats, proper grooming and regular baths can help control the spread of allergens in your home. You can also take extra precautions like wearing protective gear while bathing your cat so that you don’t come in contact with anything you might be allergic to.
Since a person’s individual sensitivities determine allergies, you might also find that you’re safe and unaffected by exposure to Cornish Rex’s saliva, dander or urine. It’s more common than you might realise for people to be allergic to only a specific type of cat breed instead of all cats, and you might be the same!
Either way, keep your allergy meds handy just to be on the safe side or ask someone else to take care of bathing your cat so you can steer clear completely.
In Love With the Cornish Rex Cat and Want One Anyway? Tips for Allergy Sufferers
Well, we understand! With their unique wavy curls and naturally soft coats, these babies are hard to look past when choosing a feline friend to bring home!
If you only want to adopt a Cornish Rex and don’t want any other breed, we have a few extra tips to help keep your allergies at bay. These tips can not only help you manage allergies while living with a Cornish Rex, they’ll also help make your home an allergy-free haven.
Keep in mind, living with any kind of pet is still risky so by wise about this decision before bringing home a Cornish Rex.
Cornish Rexes are highly intelligent cats that love being around people. These cats demand companionship and attention. They are playful and active; therefore, you can teach them just about anything. Their intelligence and curiosity are the key characteristics that make it easy for them to adapt. So, you should teach them the following:
- Never to lick you
- To always stay within the house
- Proper potty training
- To keep off your textile surfaces and out of bedrooms
Fortify your Home
All cats can become mischievous when alone, so we recommend that you fortify your home with the following:
- A high-quality air purifier
- Reduce the number of textile surfaces
- A vacuum cleaner plus a pet hair attachment
- HEPA filters
- Invest in some good lint rollers for clothing and throws
Due to their light, thin coat, Cornish Rex cats are sensitive to very low temperatures and best suited for indoor living as a companion pet. While they sport a number of allergy-friendly features, your unique sensitivities will play a role in whether they are safe in your household or not.
For most people with mild sensitivities, Cornish Rex cats are hypoallergenic and pose a reduced risk of triggering either breathing or skin allergies.
However, it’s still wise to play it safe. Keep allergy meds handy and if you can, make sure you spend some time with a Cornish Rex before bringing one home!