The Siberian cat, also known as the Siberian Forest Cat, is the national cat of Russia. This ancient breed has a dense, medium, or large coat which grows thicker in cold weather. While there’s entirely no allergy-free cat, the Siberian has been found to have fewer levels of Fel d 1, which are primary protein allergens present in cats’ saliva.
Due to these low quantities, Siberian Cats are often considered hypoallergenic. Despite this, small amounts of Fel d1 can spark up allergies. Allergies can be severe and life-threatening or cause puffy eyes and nasal congestion.
Siberian Cats Physical Attributes
In terms of size, Siberian cats are medium to large cats. They are well-muscled and appear in excellent physical condition. Their eyes differ in color from blue, gold to green, with some having a set of differently colored eyes. Their legs are medium in length, with the hind legs slightly longer than the front legs.
Due to the climatic conditions of their country of origin, they have a water-repellent triple coat. The coat thickens in cold weather and varies in texture from soft to coarse.
Siberian cats come in different color variations, from whites to off-whites. These cats take up to 5 years to fully mature, with males being slightly bigger than females.
What Causes Cat Allergies?
Is a member of your family experiencing allergies around your Siberian? The cat’s hair, saliva, or dander may be causing this to occur. When a cat licks its fur while grooming itself, the saliva will dry up to create dander which most people are allergic to.
Due to their heavy fur coats, the Siberians shed heavily after the winter season and molt lightly at the end of summer. For allergy sufferers, these hairs can trigger reactions, especially if the protein content is high. Most cats will spend their time in spaces where humans hang around, like the bed, which can retain the fur.
How to Know If You Are Allegic to a Siberian Cat
1. Have a test done
Before getting the Siberian in your home, you can have the breeder or vet test your cat’s allergen levels. Having this done early helps you determine what is specifically causing the allergic reaction. This procedure is highly recommended for people who have severe allergies and therefore need to know before putting their health at risk.
2. Spend time with the cat
Some breeders will allow you to hang around with the Siberian cat for a couple of hours before you fully commit to taking it home. This process enables you to know if the cat is healthy, what triggers the hypersensitivity, and whether the cat is a good fit.
Tips to Reduce the Allergies
While the Siberian is a low-allergy cat, there are several ways that you can also incorporate in your daily cat care routine to reduce the occurrence of allergic reactions. Some of these preventive methods can go a long way in making the reactions mild.
1. Regular bath and grooming
Siberian cats molt twice a year. During the other periods, they may have loose hairs which eventually shed on your floor or carpet.
Ensure that you bath your cat at least once a week and occasionally brush them to keep the loose strands to a minimum. Regular baths also get rid of dander which is one of the most common allergens.
2. Regular housecleaning
A thorough vacuum and sweeping session will get rid of fur and dander in your home. It also clears up the air in your home, so there are no floating fur hairs. It’s best to invest in a good vacuum cleaner specifically meant for pet hair found in major stores.
3. Limit interaction between pet and affected individuals
This method can present quite a challenge if you live in the same house with your partner or family members. However, if you can, try and reduce the interaction or cuddles between your Siberian cat and the person experiencing the allergies. Having this implemented in your household will keep their sensitivity to mild levels.
4. Proper handwashing
Immediately after handling or cuddling your cat, wash your hands to reduce the infection from you to another person in your family. If you are hypersensitive to the fur or saliva, scrub up periodically in the day to prevent allergens from coming into contact with your nose or eyes.
5. Get medication
If all the natural methods listed above fail, you can contact your physician to give you recommendations on the best anti-histamine medications to use for your allergies. Your doctor will be able to advise on the most suitable long-term treatment or allergy shots for your condition.
6. Proper research
There are so many breeds of cats worldwide. Each new day, breeders come up with improved varieties which have become so popular with families.
Before getting a cat for your home, find out if you or anyone in the family is allergic. You can visit breeders or vets to source information on the best pets to keep, especially if you get allergic reactions to make your life easier.
Siberian Cats as Pets
These breeds of cats are very favorable for children. They are naturally calm and easygoing and enjoy the company of their owners, dogs, and other animals.
Siberian cats are a very affectionate breed; they are playful in nature. As low-allergy cats, they are easier to manage than other varieties and will be suitable for your entire family.
Cats are one of the most popular furry pets kept by humans. However, if you are looking to add one of these fun animals to your home, you should consider whether your family members or partner have any pet allergies. You might need to go for breeds that shed less such as the Siberian.
Siberian cats make great companions and have a lower Fed d 1 level in their saliva, making them a suitable choice. However, suppose an individual is hypersensitive to even these small amounts; in that case, it’s advisable to take allergy tests to determine whether they can co-exist with the pet without any allergic reactions. Be sure to check for all these issues before choosing to get a Siberian cat.
Featured Image: Massimo Cattaneo, Shutterstock
- Siberian Cats Physical Attributes
- What Causes Cat Allergies?
- How to Know If You Are Allegic to a Siberian Cat
- Tips to Reduce the Allergies
- Siberian Cats as Pets