Are Munchkin Cats Hypoallergenic? (Scientific Studies)

Are Munchkin Cats Hypoallergenic

Just when you think cats couldn’t possibly get any cuter, the Munchkin cat has been exploding all over social media! With their short statures and all the spunk of a regular sized cat, it’s easy to see why munchkin cats have seen such a spike in recent popularity.

However, munchkin cats are not just another trend. While every cat’s individual needs vary, you may be wondering if a munchkin cat is right for you based on a variety of factors. While we know some cats can be better for those with allergies, it’s safe to wonder if munchkin cats are hypoallergenic. Here’s everything you need to know.

White Munchkin kitten on white carpet
Who can resist this little Munchkin kitty?

So, Are Munchkin Cats Hypoallergenic?

Simply put, no cat is 100 percent hypoallergenic. Hypoallergenic cats, and hypoallergenic kittens, are a myth. Beware of claims that certain breeds are fully hypoallergenic. Hairless cats and short haired cats are often categorized this way, but munchkin cats are no more or less hypoallergenic than your standard house cat.

If you’re a cat lover that suffers through allergies to give your kitty the world, you’re not alone! According to Blue Cross, cats are categorized by allergy safety based on how much saliva they secrete or hair they shed. While some cats are more friendly for allergy sufferers – like Sphynxes and Russian Whites – there is no cat breed that is entirely hypoallergenic.

The protein that cats secrete is called the Fel d 1 protein. It’s found in their saliva, hair, and urine. Since cats groom themselves with their mouths, they secrete this protein onto their hair, which can amplify the protein and results in allergy sufferers getting hives, runny noses, or watery eyes. Munchkin cats secrete a normal amount of the Fel d 1 protein, meaning they’re not exactly allergy friendly.

Depending on the severity of one’s allergies, one may be able to tolerate a munchkin cat’s shedding and grooming. Just because they’re smaller, doesn’t mean there’s less hair and grooming!

The Most Allergy-Friendly Cat Breeds

Just because cats aren’t 100 percent hypoallergenic, doesn’t mean that you can’t own one with relative ease. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America , around 10 to 20 percent of the world’s population are allergic to cats, dogs, or both. It’s not just dogs and cats though. Hamsters, horses, rats, and ferrets can all exacerbate underlying or existing allergies.

That being said, here are some of the best cat breeds if you suffer from allergies, according Prrrs & Wags:

Sphynx

Also known as the ‘hairless’ breed, it’s often assumed that they’re completely hypoallergenic. However, that’s not entirely the case. Due to lack of hair, this breed secretes much more oil and dander on their skin, which requires frequent bathing. If you keep up with their bathing, care, and hygiene, they can be good picks for the standard allergy sufferer.

Burmese

A darling and vocal breed that loves to socialize, the Burmese is another good pick for those who suffer from cat allergies. While they do shed, it can be easily managed by brushing them regularly.

Russian Blue

Beautiful, timeless, and elegant, it’s easy to spot these blue beauties from across the way. Gentle and bashful in nature, Russian Blues take their hygiene seriously and are adamant and rigorous about cleaning themselves. Their short coats make brushing fairly easy to upkeep.

Devon Rex

Similar to the Sphynx, the Devon Rex has a striking appearance due to their very short coats. While they do still have hair and shed, they secrete a similar amount of oil to a Sphynx. While you can bathe this breed, they’re usually good at keeping themselves clean.

Cornish Rex

This short-haired breed has personality plus! True charmers, the Cornish Rex is also a viable option for allergy sufferers. Much like the Devon Rex and Sphynx, they have very short coats but secrete a fair amount of oil.

Balinese

This stunning Siamese, unlike any other breed on this list, has longer hair, which may surprise some that they earned a spot on this list. However, they produce less of the Fel d 1 protein, making them great options for those who are allergic to cats.

Signs That You Might Be Allergic to Cats

It should be fairly easy to tell if you’re allergic to cats. Cat allergies can range in severity, from mild to sometimes requiring urgent medical care. Chances are, you’ve been exposed to cats at least once in your life. If you’ve ever had a cat, or had a loved one with a cat, then you probably know if you’re allergic. 

If you’re obsessed with munchkin cats and are considering adopting or buying one, here are some signs and symptoms to look out for when it comes to cat allergies:

  • Hives
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Sniffles
  • Nasal congestion
  • Itchy eyes
  • Inflamed eyes
  • Coughing
  • Asthma

Cat allergies usually develop upon contact through petting, licking, or even sitting in an area with cat hair or dander. Allergies vary from person to person. If you suspect a cat is triggering allergy-like symptoms, talk to your doctor. Additionally, taking an over the counter antihistamine, applying topical itch ointments (like hydrocortisone), and showering after contact can help minimize symptoms. Minimizing your cat’s contact with the outdoors also virtually eliminates their risk of bringing pollen and other allergens inside. Most cat allergies are mild. In fact, there are tons of cat owners who are either mildly or moderately allergic to their cat and still thrive! 

Munchkin Cats Are Wonderful Pets

If you’re concerned about your allergies, be sure to consult with your doctor before committing to a munchkin cat. Breeders and rescues can also provide more intel about a munchkin cat’s health and history. Whether you choose the route of adoption or buy from a breeder, be sure to mention if you or a loved one has mild to moderate cat allergies.

Potential allergies aside, munchkin cats make wonderful pets. Not only are they absolutely darling, but their spunky, intelligent, and playful natures make them the perfect addition to any family! While they are not considered to be hypoallergenic, they still have so much love to give. With frequent cleaning and grooming, you can still happily have a munchkin cat while minimizing your allergies!

Finding Munchkins Near You

If you want to buy a precious little Munchkin kitten, we’ve put together lists of breeders organized by state. Check them out.

AlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansas
CaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelaware
FloridaGeorgiaHawaiiIdaho
IllinoisIndianaIowaKansas
KentuckyLouisianaMaineMaryland
MassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippi
MissouriMontanaNebraskaNevada
New HampshireNew JerseyNew MexicoNew York
North CarolinaNorth DakotaOhioOklahoma
OregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth Carolina
South DakotaTennesseeTexasUtah
VermontVirginiaWashingtonWest Virginia
WisconsinWyoming

Photo by Ayşenur: https://www.pexels.com/photo/cat-lying-on-carpet-13253798/

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