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Are Ragdoll cats hypoallergenic? Read this first

Who doesn’t love a Ragdoll? These big cats have a winning personality that captivates more than one. They are ultra friendly with people and animals, gentle, patient, and very loving. They are also a unique combination of a calm cat that enjoys playing and cuddling. Not to mention their physical attributes, for the muscular and elegant Ragdoll has such soft, silky long hair, adorned with a set of big, bright, blue eyes. But are ragdoll cats hypoallergenic?

Just found your favorite cat breed? Not so fast! First, I’ll tell you something you should consider before deciding to adopt any pet, especially a cat as furry as the Raggies: allergies.

Wait a minute. Aren’t ragdoll cats hypoallergenic?

That’s right. Such perfection could not be possible. These beautiful cats are not considered hypoallergenic because their dander and saliva can trigger allergies in certain people. Don’t be so sad. Let me tell you that absolutely all cat breeds can provoke allergies, although yes, some to a greater or lesser extent than others.

Even hairless cats, such as the Sphynx or the Bambino, because their saliva is still a risk factor for the unfortunate allergic ones.

Why do Ragdoll cats cause allergies?

Well, there is some good news, and that is that Raggies are considered to be one of the minor allergy-provoking types of cats! And this is because, unlike most cats, the Ragdoll doesn’t have an undercoat, which considerably decreases the severity of the allergic reactions that their fur or dander could cause.

Here’s exactly what might cause that annoying itching and sneezing.

Fel D1

Fel D1 is a protein produced by various animals, including almost all breeds of cats, and is secreted through saliva, urine, and sebaceous glands. Female and neutered male cats produce this protein to a lesser extent, but it is still present.

This protein is an allergen that affects Fel D1-sensitive individuals and asthmatics, causing itchy eyes, nasal congestion, and, in severe cases, respiratory obstruction. Cats have about 8 or 9 proteins that act as allergens in humans. However, this particular one is the one that causes the most discomfort.

a) Hair and dandruff

The layer of hair that causes problems is the undercoat because it is where annoying dandruff forms. As I just mentioned, these cats have no undercoat, only their top coat, which is that layer of hair that gives them warmth, protects them from wind and water, and defines their visible color.

are ragdoll cats hypoallergenic - hair and dandruff

But even if they only have a top coat, dander forms here, too (although much less). Just like cat hair, which, being so thin and light, can fly and stick to any piece of furniture and clothing you own, these microscopic white, flaky bits of dead skin fall back wherever the cat passes by.

The problem here is that 3 factors increase the likelihood of an allergic reaction: hair, dander, and Fel D1 protein. Hair and dander by themselves can irritate people susceptible to allergies. But the two, combined with the Fel D1 secreted by the cat’s many oil glands plus the Fel D1 that the cat smears on his fur every time he grooms and fixes his hair, creates a sort of allergy magic bomb.

b) Saliva

Cats use their saliva-soaked tongue as their number one tool for various activities, including the famous grooming, which they do for more than half of their active day. Do the math.

When a cat licks you to show affection, gives you a love bite, or thinks you need a good bath and professional grooming, it will leave saliva on your body, which, if you are sensitive to Fel D1, will provoke a reaction.

are ragdoll cats hypoallergenic - saliva

But this is not all. As we have already said, if a cat licks a piece of furniture or clothing or even its fur, you can be sure that you will have Fel D1 all over your house, or you will tell me that you haven’t seen how your cat’s hair flies away, filling even the smallest corner of your home.

I am still want a Ragdoll. How can I reduce the risk of allergies?

Okay, if you’ve already found that cats cause you a mild and tolerable allergy, there are several things you can do to reduce the risk. Still, if your allergy is extreme and dangerous to your health, we recommend you look for another pet before falling in love with a Ragdoll.

Here are my top tips for dealing with cat allergies:

1. Extra Grooming Time

Yes, Ragdolls are very clean and groom themselves, but you can help them by brushing them daily or every other day to remove dead hair and dander. The more hair you pull with the brush, the less hair will fall out with the day-to-day and shedding season. If doing this causes you allergies, you can do it with gloves or have this task done by a lucky person who is not allergic.

are ragdoll cats hypoallergenic - cleaning

2. Teach your cat not to lick you

Teaching your cat not to lick you will be challenging because for a cat to lick, bite and groom its owner is very natural, but with patience and consistency, you can redirect these behaviors. For example, every time he does it, you can get up and walk away, so he will associate the licking with you ignoring him, and you will see that he will stop doing it, or you can also use a laser toy to distract him and prevent him from doing it again.

3. Deep cleaning

Pets are a tremendous responsibility. You have to clean up after them, and if you have allergies, even what you can’t see, you have to clean up. Cat hair and dander are difficult to remove from carpets and clothes, so buying a unique vacuum cleaner for pet hair is recommended. The less hair in your home, the less sneezing and red eyes you will have.

Are ragdoll cats hypoallergenic? Final words

Now you need to analyze these issues and decide if a Ragdoll is your best option. Remember that you don’t want to bring a kitten home only to find out later that you can’t tolerate the allergy. There are many solutions, but only you know how much you can handle.

Other hypoallergenic cat breeds don’t shed as much as Ragdolls, for example, the Sphynx, a bald cat, or the Devon Rex and the Cornish Rex, which have short hair.

If you decide on a Raggie, you will have a faithful companion that will fill your days with fur and lots of love. Do you have allergies? How do you handle them? Let us know in the comments.

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