Are American Wirehair cats hypoallergenic?

American Wirehair
American Wirehair. I think the photo was taken by Helmi Flick and the background changed later in Photoshop by someone else as Helmi never uses black backgrounds like this.
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

I am sorry to say that the American Wirehair is not hypoallergenic. ‘Hypoallergenic’ in respect of cat breeds means a breed that has a reduced effect on people who are allergic to cats. There is nothing in the reference books or anecdotally which encourages me to say that they are. This is a pretty rare cat breed judging by the sparsity of good photos of the cat.

The sad truth is that all domestic cats have the allergen in their saliva and sebaceous glands. In fact, a study called: ‘Fel d I allergen: skin and or saliva?’ found that the cat’s sebaceous glands are the main source of the cat allergen that affects around 10% to 20% of the human population (National Institutes of Health). Here is a quote from the study referred to:

The amount of Fel d I was significantly higher at the base than the tip of the hair. Further, it was strongly correlated with the density of sebaceous glands. This study demonstrated that the most abundant source of Fel d I allergen is cat skin.

Some experts classify the American Wirehair with the American Shorthair. Their appearance is similar except for the wiry coat. Although one cat show judge and breeder believes that the Wirehair is “not as robust as the American Shorthair. And the breed does not have the pronounced square muzzle of the better known and more popular Shorthair.

American Wirehair
American Wirehair. Photo by L. Johnson for the CFA.

The American Wirehair is separated from all other cat breeds by their coat caused by a spontaneous dominant genetic mutation. The coat has all three types of hair strand:

  • guard hairs
  • awn hairs and
  • down hairs.
I have a page of facts about the American Wirehair which may interest you:
Facts about the American Wirehair

The temperament of this breed is the same as the American Shorthair’s: playful, affectionate and loving. Anecdotally it is said that this is a muscular breed, independent, agile and active.

This cat rules the roost taking no nonsense from other cats

Gloria Stephens

Study: Mata P, Charpin D, Charpin C, Lucciani P, Vervloet D. Fel d I allergen: skin and or saliva? Ann Allergy. 1992 Oct;69(4):321-2. PMID: 1416268.

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