Cats Without Undercoats Are Not Hypoallergenic
by Kate Stryker
Siberian male, Jorrah Karat
There are many misconceptions about allergies and cats. Clearly FALSE, and not scientifically validated is the comment by Dr. Fulvio Bresciani on the York Chocolate page about York Chocolates being hypoallergenic due to lack of undercoat ("the lack of undercoat is an important element in producing a hypoallergenic cat as it is the undercoat that is the main source of human allergies of cats."). The creator of PoC (this site) also disagrees with him.
In fact, cats produce 7 distinct allergens. Most allergic people react to cat allergen # 1. It is named Feld-1.
Feld-1 is produced in both saliva and in oil glands. Lack or presence of any of the coats is inconsequential.
Unneutered cats produce more feld-1 as it is testosterone mediated. Adults produce more than kittens. Pregnant cats more than non pregnant cats. And the winter months are the months of highest expression. This is likely due to winter being a prime mating period for cats living naturally.
Cats deposit the allergen on their coats when grooming, and spread it around the house via dander and hair that has dried saliva on it. They also rub on objects and deposit the oil from their scent glands found at the neck and base of tail. Additionally, the allergen is expressed from the anal glands during toileting.
Siberian cats are the only breed of hypoallergenic cats. They are Lab tested, and currently UC Davis in California is researching the exact genetic mechanism for the reduced FELD-1 production in Siberian cats. For more information, please go here.
I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have, as we both test our cats, and participate in the authentic University based research project.
Hi Kate.... thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience.
When I wrote a page on hypoallergenic cats a little while ago I had decided that there were no such cats (including the Siberian) - see post here: Hypoallergenic cat breeds but your comments have made me think again. Thanks for that.
Jorrah Karat looks fabulous by the way. I like Siberian cats.
I will also link to this page from the Siberian cat page and my hypoallergenic cat breed page so people get the full picture and read what you say.
I changed the title. I hope you are OK with that.