Is the Russian Blue Cat Hypoallergenic?

Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

The answer is No, sorry. The same question is asked about the Maine Coon and the answer is the same. The Siberian cat has a reputation for being hypoallergenic but I have said it is not strictly true. However, it is the only cat breed other than the Savannah which may have some hypoallergenic qualities and some Siberian owners swear by their hypoallergenic qualities.

Photo copyright Helmi Flick
Photo copyright Helmi Flick

Returning to the Russian Blue, there is an interesting note on the Russian Blue Breeders Association (“the association”) website on the subject of whether this breed is hypoallergenic.

Firstly, they make the important point that the prefix “hypo” means “below or slightly below normal”. In other words even if a cat is supposedly hypoallergenic it does not mean the cat does not cause an allergic reaction. It simply means that the reaction is less severe or there may be only a slight reaction.

The association says that there is no hard scientific evidence that the Russian Blue is hypoallergenic. What evidence there is, is anecdotal. This means it is just people saying what they believe based on their experience; not very accurate because some Russian Blue breeders have latched onto this to promote the breed and bump up sales.

You can see how anecdotal evidence can be very unreliable and gradually evolve into factious hard fact. The association has responded online to requests from prospective Russian Blue owners for clarification regarding claims that the breed is hypoallergenic.

The association admits that there are references in books and online making this claim leading, as mentioned, to breeders promoting their cats as hypoallergenic.

Search results on this site for the word “hypoallergenic”

The hypoallergenic cat is Holy Grail of some cat breeders because about 10% of the human population are allergic to cats. There is a market out there. But no cat is hypoallergenic. It would unnatural it a cat was because their saliva contains the Fel D1 allergen. This is part of their anatomy. You can’t get around that.

Apparently some purchasers of Russian Blue kittens from breeders have hidden the fact that they are allergic to cats from the breeder perhaps in the belief that they were under the impression that the cat would not set off an allergic reaction.

As it happened, they were allergic to their new kitten and returned the cat to the breeder. This is unfortunate for all three parties: the kitten, the customer and the breeder.

As a consequence, the association has requested that all their breeders ask their clients if they or a family member is allergic.

They recite a sad story regarding one kitten:

“I had one kitten returned twice due to allergies. The first people came every two weeks and spent a couple of hours with the cats and kittens from when the kittens were tiny without any reaction at all, then they took her home both mother and daughter suffered reactions so bad it took mum 3 months before she could breath again properly!! The second people despite being told why the kitten was now available again did not admit to their allergies and only managed 3 hours before they realised they couldn’t keep her”

There is a page on this site about hypoallergenic cat breeds.


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