Savannah cat lovers, would you like to know if this breed can affect allergy sufferers? There’s been much hype and controversy around the net on this very topic!
Savannah cats are known worldwide as highly intelligent cats that are suited for active cat owners. They are a cross between a domestic cat and the wild African Serval and are considered to be among the world’s largest domestic cat breeds. This unusual cross became famous among breeders during the 1990s.
For allergy sufferers, we plan on finding out if this breed is ideal for your homes. And true to our style, we have done thorough research on whether this breed is hypoallergenic or not.
So let’s dive right in…
Are Savannah Cats Hypoallergenic?
It’s a bit of a mixed bag, but it also largely depends on the domestic cat used during breeding. Savannah cats are often considered to be hypoallergenic since they have a low probability of causing allergies. However, no cat is 100% guaranteed not to cause allergies, and even though this breed produces less allergens than other cats, it’s not safe for every allergy sufferer out there.
However, the typical reasons why savannah cats are considered to be hypoallergenic include:
- Single, short coat
- Low shedding level
- Low dander production rate
- Less allergens produced by Servals
Overall Hypoallergenic Score: 5/10
Remember, the ability to cause allergies also depends on which domestic cat was used during the breeding process. If a hypoallergenic domestic breed was used, then this helps ensure the lower risk of allergies triggered by the Savannah cat.
Need more details on this? Please read on.
How to Test If A Savannah Cat Is Hypoallergenic to You
All cats, despite their shedding levels, can trigger either skin or breathing allergies. And the Savannah usually has a moderately low probability of causing either.
Probability of Causing Breathing Allergies: 4/10
Probability of Causing Skin Allergies: 3/10
Individuals with asthma or breathing allergies must consider the shedding level of this breed, while people with skin sensitivities have other factors to worry about. We will explain how different elements of this cat’s features can affect allergies in a moment.
To know whether it’s safe to bring a Savannah cat into your home, it’s best you take a road trip out to the nearest breeder and spend some time around them. Different breeders have different experiences with their cats and how they affect allergies.
Some breeders have also noticed that fewer people react to the F1 and F2 Savannahs (the ones with a higher percentage of Serval genes) as the dander is different to most domestic breeds. Though it really depends on your level of sensitivities too.
Do Savannah Cats Shed a Lot?
No, Savannah cats are among the world’s lowest shedding cat breeds. They only shed more during spring when they lose their winter coats, or anytime the temperature inside your home changes significantly. However, they are also prone to shedding when they are bored, stressed or as they are growing. They have a long growth period so you can expect shedding during the first two years and on occasion after that, depending on their levels of stress or boredom within the home environment.
Shedding Levels: 4/10
Hair Length: 4/10
Savannahs have short to medium hair length; therefore, you might not even see their hair when they start shedding! Fortunately, Savannah hair is fairly easy to clean up since it is smoother and less likely to cling to furniture and cleaning tools. It’s easier to wipe off flat surfaces too.
Lastly, since they are a relatively larger cat breed, they can’t access all the corners in your house like a small domestic cat would. This can also help reduce the spread allergens throughout your home.
Savannah’s Dander and Saliva Levels
Individuals with skin allergies are usually affected by the allergy-causing protein in dander or saliva. Allergies depend on someone’s unique sensitivities; therefore, you can be safe if you are not affected by a Savannah’s dander. This is what many others with cat allergies report and why they find Savannah cats to be more tolerable for their allergies than many other domestic breeds.
It also comes down to the Serval parent. African Serval’s dander is way different than your average domestic cat. They also seem to shed much less which further helps prevent the spread of dander throughout your home.
Saliva Exposure: 4/10
Dander Levels: 3/10
When it comes to saliva exposure, a little drooling is normal in all cats when they feel relaxed. The biggest risk you face, however, is the dried saliva on their coats that results from their self-grooming practices. It might be worth investing in cat wipes to clean the saliva from their fur before handling your cat!
Grooming and Coat Maintenance
Savannahs are generally clean cats that should not be washed regularly. Excessive washing can end up irritating your cat’s skin and lead to higher levels of shedding and dander production. Having said that, definitely give them a wash ahead of time if they get into something nasty!
Ease of Grooming: 7/10
Risk of Allergen Exposure: 4/10
Grooming a partially wild cat can seem overwhelming to some people, but don’t fret! Savannah is a low maintenance cat breed. Just make sure you brush Savannah’s coat at least three times per week using the right brush.
Savannahs are not lap cats; therefore, you will have to chase them around for the weekly brushing!
Remember, brushing is your first line of defense against allergies. And you can pick all the excess hair on your Savannah using the StarRoad 2 gloves. These gloves are designed to collect all the excess hair. Hertzko brush is also a great brush that can assist you with brushing your Savannah.
Tips for reducing allergies
Even though Savannahs are considered to be hypoallergenic, these cats still produce allergens. Savannah cats have still been known to affect people with severe allergies. Therefore, make sure you spend time with them before bringing one home and find out if it can affect you. The allergen production rate of the Savannah varies on a case to case basis. So here are some tips to help you keep allergies at bay within your home’s sanctuary:
Savannah is the best breed for pushing cat training limits. And in as much as they are independent, they do love attention. Savannahs are very food-oriented. Therefore, with proper reinforcement, treats, and verbal praises, you can teach them just about anything.
However, we recommend you teach them the following:
- Not to lick you if you are allergic cat saliva
- Stay within your compound’s borders
- Stay away from your bedroom
- Get comfortable being wiped down and groomed
Fortify the House
It is always great to install allergy-combating devices all over your home if you are allergic to pets or even if you just want to promote safer indoor air quality. So, we recommend that you start with the following:
- Install a high-quality air purifier
- Install HEPA filters
- Get a pet vacuum cleaner
- Get rid of unnecessary textile surfaces in the house
Maintain Your Cat’s Health
Anytime there is an underlying condition with your cat’s health, especially things affecting their skin, this can be troublesome. Skin conditions can lead to increased dander production and shedding in many cat breeds.
In addition to keeping up your vet appointments, make sure that your home environment isn’t contributing to these issues as well. Wipe down your cat frequently, especially after being outdoors to minimise their exposure to things they are allergic to. Also, make sure the temperature in your home isn’t drying out their skin.
Savannah cats are generally considered hypoallergenic in the sense that they are less likely to cause allergies. Since Savannahs are a crossbreed between a Serval and any domestic cat, the amount of allergy-causing proteins they produce varies. So, if you want a cat that produces a meager amount of allergens, you should look for a mix between a Serval and a hypoallergenic domestic cat or simply choose a more hypoallergenic cat breed.