Lovers of Exotic Shorthairs, do you want to know if this cat breed is hypoallergenic?
Exotic shorthair is a unique cat breed that was developed as a short-haired version of the Persian cat. This breed resembles Persian cats in several ways, from the flat face and nose to its temperament. An interesting fact we uncovered about this breed is that it is a crossbreed between an American Shorthair and a Persian cat.
We are determined to find out if the Exotic Shorthairs are hypoallergenic and whether it is ideal for your home or not.
So, let’s dive right in…
Are Exotic Shorthairs Hypoallergenic?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. Exotic Shorthairs are not considered to be hypoallergenic as they can affect allergy sufferers in a number of ways. Many people believe that short-haired or hairless cats are naturally hypoallergenic. But that is not the case as the hypoallergenic status of a cat is not only determined by its hair length alone. Nor by its shedding levels for that matter.
It is a known fact that no cat is considered to be 100% safe for allergy sufferers. And that is because allergies are triggered by several allergy-causing proteins, like Fel d1, that are produced to some level by all cats. Exotic Shorthairs are no exception!
Overall Hypoallergenic Score: 2/10
Given the Exotic Shorthair is a mixed breed, it stands to reason we should consider each of the parent breeds. Perhaps as no surprise, neither of the parent breeds are considered hypoallergenic either.
Check out the related guides if you’re curious about the details:
Do Exotic Shorthair Cats Shed a Lot?
Exotic Shorthairs are moderate shedding cats with seasonal blowouts. But, unlike most felines, the coats of the Exotic Shorthairs tend to thicken significantly in winter. Therefore, you should expect them to shed more in spring in preparation for the coming hot season.
Shedding Levels: 6/10
Hair Length: 3/10
Sporting a luxurious double coat, the level of shedding can be a lot to manage for some allergic pet owners. Given they also have a short hair length, it’s easy for cat hair to be distributed throughout your home and to become airborne quite easily.
If you have breathing allergies, the last thing you need is yet another airborne allergy delivery system within your home!
That’s why we recommend that you consider a pet that sheds a lot less and also produces fewer allergens naturally. Check out our guide to other hypoallergenic cats if your heart is set on bringing home a feline friend.
How to Know If Exotic Shorthairs Are Hypoallergenic & Safe For You
Like all cats, Exotic Shorthairs can cause numerous types of allergies, with the common ones being breathing and skin allergies. However, your level of risk greatly depends on your unique sensitivities as well.
Sure, no animal is guaranteed to be safe for all allergy sufferers. But all you need is to find the one that is safe for you. So, whether you react to an Exotic Shorthair cat or not depends on your immune system.
Probability of Causing Skin Allergies: 7/10
Probability of Causing Breathing Allergies: 9/10
People with breathing allergies are affected by shedding and the airborne particles produced by this breed. What’s more, many other indoor and outdoor allergens can also be released as your cat sheds. Things like dander, pollen and dust are frequently trapped in a cat’s coat and loosened during shedding cycles.
If you’re more prone to skin allergies, you have numerous other things to consider, which we will explain in the next section. Mostly it comes down to your risk of coming into contact with the proteins produced by the cat, with the Fel d1 protein accounting for over 95% of cat allergies.
Exotic Shorthair Dander and Saliva Exposure
No feline is considered 100% safe for allergy sufferers. And that is because all cats produce Fel d1, among other proteins, that can cause allergies in humans. Fel d1 is the most common cause of cat allergies, and it can be found in your cat’s saliva, urine, and dander, among other substances they produce.
Dander Levels: 7/10
Saliva Exposure: 6/10
The Exotic Shorthair’s dense coat can produce a lot of dander. Long-haired cat breeds have a slight advantage for allergy sufferers as the dander is held close to their skin. With a short-haired breed, dander travels to the surface of the coat much faster.
When it comes to saliva exposure, all felines tend to drool when happy, and this breed is no exception. And, much like all cats, Exotic Shorthairs also love licking themselves clean, and this can result in saliva being trapped on their coats.
Both skin and breathing allergies can easily be triggered as a result of dander and saliva-laden fur being scattered throughout your home. You may notice it is worse during shedding season.
Exotic Shorthair Grooming and Coat Maintenance
Unlike Persian cats that are high maintenance, the Exotic Shorthairs are relatively easy to maintain. Despite having a dense multi-layered coat, this breed should only be brushed twice per week.
If you have a higher level of sensitivity, you could brush more frequently, even daily, to help minimize allergens throughout your home. Make sure to get a gentle brush that won’t irritate your cat’s skin!
Ease of Grooming: 4/10
Risk of Allergen Exposure: 9/10
Since Exotic Shorthairs are generally clean cats, they love taking care of a huge percentage of their grooming needs. Therefore, they don’t require regular baths but they should be washed when they get into something dirty.
More frequent grooming during shedding season can also go a long way!
In Love With the Exotic Shorthair Cat and Want One Despite the Allergies?
Exotic Shorthairs are little cuties! And they’re deemed a great option for people who love Persian cats but who don’t have time to keep up with the upkeep.
Despite requiring lower maintenance than the Persians, this breed is not considered to be safe for allergy sufferers. So, here are some tips to help you manage your allergies when living with an Exotic Shorthair cat, or any other pet for that matter.
Exotic Shorthairs are affectionate and docile creatures that can stay on your laps the whole day. While they are sweet, much like their Persian parents, this breed can also be more adventurous and they’re highly intelligent. So we recommend teaching them the following:
- To stay away out of your bedroom and all wardrobes
- To keep away from your bed, furnished surfaces, and furniture
- To never lick you
- To always stay within your home’s borders
- Proper potty training can also be quite helpful
Fortify Your House
All cats can be mischievous when you are not looking. Therefore, you should fortify your home with the following devices to help trap as many allergens as possible:
- Lint rollers for cleaning your textile areas
- HEPA filters
- High-quality air purifiers
- A vacuum cleaner with pet extensions
- Antihistamines or your regular allergy meds
An Exotic Shorthair is an excellent option for Persian lovers who don’t have time to take care of Persian cats. After all, the Exotic Shorthair is a fairly low maintenance creature.
However, the risk of triggering allergies is still quite great and we recommend you consider a different cat breed.
If you decide to get an Exotic Shorthair anyway, try spending time around them before committing to bringing one home. Also, make sure you upkeep proper cleaning and maintenance habits to minimize the risk of allergies in your own home. And, just to be on the extra-safe side, have your meds handy at all times!