domestic shorthair cats hypoallergenic

Are Domestic Shorthair Hypoallergenic? Details for Our Allergic Families

Interested to know whether domestic shorthairs are hypoallergenic? In this post we uncover all the details allergy sufferers need to know!
Interested to know whether domestic shorthairs are hypoallergenic? In this post we uncover all the details allergy sufferers need to know!

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Domestic shorthair lovers, would you like to find out if this breed is hypoallergenic?

Domestic Shorthair, commonly referred to as DSH cats, are one of the world’s most popular cat breeds. DSH cats are some of the smartest cats on the planet. They have a very sharp memory and love having their name called. However, they are of mixed ancestry, meaning that they don’t belong to any specific cat breed.

For allergic families, we are determined to find out if the Domestic Shorthair is hypoallergenic and help you decide if it’s an ideal cat for your home. And true to our style, we have done thorough research on whether this cat can affect allergy sufferers or not and why that is the case.

For answers to all your questions, please read on!

Are Domestic Shorthair Hypoallergenic?

Well, the answer to this question is both yes and no. The term domestic shorthair is used to refer to any local shorthaired feline of mixed ancestry. Therefore, the ability to trigger allergic reactions will depend on the parent breed. Some DSH cats have a higher probability of triggering allergic reactions than others.

However, no domestic shorthair cat is 100% hypoallergenic, here is why:

  • Even short haired cats can still shed
  • They have varied dander production levels
  • They all produce proteins that trigger allergies

Overall Hypoallergenic Score: 5/10


Just like all pets, cats do cause several allergies in people with pet sensitivities. And the most common ones include breathing and skin sensitivities. Need more details on this? Please read on!

Does Domestic Shorthair Shed a Lot?

No, Domestic Shorthair cats are low shedding cats. However, just like most cats, their coats thicken during winter. Therefore you should expect them to shed moderately during spring and still retain their slimmer and lighter coat.

Shedding Levels: 6/10


Hair Length: 2/10


As their name suggests, these cats have a short hair length, which you might not notice when they start shedding.

Domestic Shorthair cats tend to release all the dander and outdoor allergens that are trapped on their coat when they shed.

Therefore, regular brushing and grooming can help you manage their shedding level and the release of other allergens that are also trapped in their fur.

How to Decide If the Domestic Shorthair Is Hypoallergenic to You

Many cats have a low probability of triggering specific types of allergies. And as mentioned, the most common ones that we will consider are breathing and skin sensitivities. Whether you’ll react to a domestic shorthair or not really depends on which of these allergy types you’re more prone too.

We have rated the Domestic Shorthair for both:

Probability of Causing Breathing Allergies: 3/10


Probability of Causing Skin Allergies: 7.5/10


The main thing individuals with breathing sensitivities have to worry about is shedding and the amount of airborne particles the cat produces. Many short haired cats are also low shedders though it really does depend on their ancestry. If your DSH sheds a lot, produces much dander or easily traps outdoor allergens in its fur, this will likely trigger breathing allergies, especially in children.

For people with skin sensitivities, you have other factors to consider which we unpack in the next section.

Domestic Shorthair Dander and Saliva Exposure

No cat is 100% hypoallergenic. This is because all cats naturally produce a certain amount allergens that can trigger reactions.

In particular, they produce proteins such as Fel d1 which are the most common contributor to cat allergies that people with skin sensitivities experience. These proteins can be found in anything from dander, saliva, urine and other substances the cat produces.

Saliva Exposure: 6/10


Dander Levels: 6/10


Dander is usually released into the environment every time these cats shed. And this will increase when they shed their thick winter hair in preparation for the summer. Though, depending on their parent breeds, some DSH cats may produce less dander naturally if both parents are hypoallergenic breeds.

Check out our guide to all hypoallergenic cat breeds for more info.

When it comes to saliva exposure, all cats drool when they are happy and relaxed, so you should also expect this breed to slobber at least little. However, the main risk of saliva exposure with most cats comes down to how much they lick themselves to stay clean. Again, it depends on their parent breeds but it can also depend on any skin irritations or conditions they may have.

If you are in love with this breed and want to know how to lower your chances of getting an allergic reaction, please read to the end! We have some unique tips for you.

Domestic Shorthair Grooming and Coat Maintenance


Domestic shorthair cats tend to groom themselves thoroughly. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about washing them regularly. You should only wash them when they get into something nasty.

Make sure you wash them using the right shampoo to keep their coat and skin healthy and shiny.

Maintenance: 4/10


Ease of Grooming: 7/10


Risk of Allergen Exposure: 7/10


Being shorthaired cats, you don’t have to worry about their fur getting tangled or matted. However, you should be ready to brush them at least once a week, if you want their coat to remain soft and healthy.

It is crucial that you brush them with either a stainless steel or rubber brush every week.

In Love With the Domestic Shorthair Cats and Need One? Tips for Managing Allergies

Well, we understand!

If you are in love with a Domestic Shorthair cat and don’t want to bring any other breed home, we have some tips. These tips will help you live with this breed peacefully, but the fact still remains, living with this breed under the same roof, is still a risk for anyone with allergies.

Your sensitivities are the biggest factor to consider, though you can definitely do the following things to assist with minimizing allergic reactions.


Due to natural breeding, the Domestic Shorthair cats are among the smartest cats on the planet. They are highly intelligent and quick learners. Plus, they have a sharp memory, so you should be able to easily teach them the following:

  • To stay away from your bedroom
  • Not to lick you, especially if you are allergic to pet saliva
  • To always play in your compound
  • To minimise outdoor roaming, especially if you’re allergic to outdoor allergens
  • To use the kitty litter
  • To stay off soft furnishings as much as possible

Fortify the House

Let’s be honest though, all pets break rules, especially when if you’re not looknig! You can add some additional protection to your home with these allergy combating devices. Install as many or as little as you feel you need in your home. We recommend that you start with the following:

  • An air purifier
  • HEPA filters
  • A vacuum cleaner + pet attachment
  • Extra allergy friendly cleaning products
  • Make sure you always have allergy meds around

We also typically find that homes with minimal textile surfaces are easier to keep clean from trapped pet allergens. If you can eliminate rugs, excessive cushions, throws and other such covers in areas your cat will frequent, that will help keep the spread of their proteins and fur to a minimum.

Final Thoughts

One of the best ways to fight allergies is by getting a hypoallergenic Domestic Shorthair mix. However, that is not always possible with this breed since they have usually undergone natural breeding with no intervention.

Therefore, the ability to trigger allergies in human beings vary with every cat and highly depend on your sensitivities. It ultimately will come down to finding the right balance. If you can safely spend some time around the cat you want before committing to bringing her home, this may help you dodge a commitment that doesn’t work for your allergies!

If you would prefer a bit more certainty on your side, make sure you check out our ultimate guide on all hypoallergenic cat breeds.

Either way, we hope you find the perfect breed for you!

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Hypoallergenic Homes

The Hypoallergenic Homes group of writers include qualified professionals in the fields of medicine and science. Articles are compiled and edited by our team of writers, then cross-checked and verified by our qualified professionals.

Hypoallergenic Homes is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other affiliate programs. We may earn income when you click on a link. Thank you for helping us deliver the best possible content for our readers.

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