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Home > Cats > Are Abyssinian Cats Hypoallergenic? Vet Approved Facts & Tips to Manage Allergies

Are Abyssinian Cats Hypoallergenic? Vet Approved Facts & Tips to Manage Allergies

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Dr. Lauren Demos

Veterinarian, DVM

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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If you’re an allergy sufferer and cat lover, you’re probably hunting high and low for a cat breed that you can live with. If you love the Abyssinian, you might be hoping that they are hypoallergenic.

Unfortunately, Abyssinians are not considered hypoallergenic. However, there are a few ways that an allergy sufferer might be able to live with an Abyssinian. If you’re interested in finding out how, keep reading!


What Causes Cat Allergies?

One factor that makes a cat more or less hypoallergenic is how much they shed. That said, there is no such thing as a cat that’s completely hypoallergenic because the allergen is primarily found in the dander and any other particles on the cat’s skin, not the hair itself.

It all comes down to the protein Fel d 1, found in the cat’s saliva, which is transferred to the cat’s coat and dander. When a cat sheds, the dander sticks to the hair and becomes airborne, and since it’s so tiny, it can stay in the air for hours!

Once the dander is inhaled by an allergy sufferer, all of that annoying sneezing and itching is triggered. So, it’s not an allergy to the hair, but rather the saliva found in the cat’s dander on the hair.

Abyssinian cat on sofa
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

Do Abyssinians Shed?

While Abyssinians do shed, they don’t shed quite as much as most other cats. Abyssinian cats have short hair and only a single coat. Without an undercoat, which is a significant component of shedding, this breed doesn’t shed as much.

So, you might be able to live with an Abyssinian if you have mild allergies. If you have severe allergies, living with a cat is likely not advisable, but talk to your doctor.

Is the Answer in the Cat’s Diet?

Research has shown that changing a cat’s diet can help relieve the allergies of many cat allergy sufferers.1 A 2019 study found anti-Fel d 1 antibodies in chicken eggs that could neutralize the allergy protein found in a cat’s saliva.2 They are called polyclonal egg IgY antibodies. When cats were fed a diet that included this egg product, there was an average reduction of 47% of the active Fel d 1 protein. Certain proprietary cat foods take advantage of this research, and can help reduce Fel d1 in the household.

woman buying dog food
Image Credit: Caftor, Shutterstock


Living With an Abyssinian and Allergies

Speak to your doctor first, but there are a few things that you can do to make living with an Abyssinian quite possible. But know that it will involve a great deal of cleaning!


Most cats don’t need baths because they are so good at grooming themselves. Many cats can go their entire lives without a bath. However, a weekly wipe with a pet-safe wipe can help minimize allergens on your cat’s haircoat.

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Brushing is quite easy for a short-haired cat like the Abyssinian. You can use a de-shedder on your cat, something that you should do daily during the spring and fall shedding seasons, anyway.

If possible, confine any de-shedding and brushing sessions to a porch (weather permitting) or a small room that is easy to clean. You can also have someone else do the grooming who doesn’t have allergies or consider wearing a mask.

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No Bedroom Allowed

Since you need a good night’s sleep, it’s best to keep your cat out of the bedroom. This also means talking to your family about always keeping the bedroom door closed with no exceptions. This will help keep cleaning down to a minimum in your bedroom.

HEPA Air Filters

You’ll definitely want to invest in HEPA air filters. These are designed to remove about 99.7% of air particles, which include dander. But you’ll need more than one purifier to place in the most used rooms in the home.


You should invest in a vacuum with a HEPA filter, and one that’s been made for pet owners is best. You’ll need to vacuum several times a week or as often as you can and cover as many areas as possible.

Don’t forget to vacuum the furniture and curtains. You should also use a damp cloth to clean the walls and other surfaces to remove dust and dander.

cleaning dog bed using vacuum
Image Credit: LeDarArt, Shutterstock


You’ll need to regularly clean your cat’s bedding and blankets and your family’s clothing. Use anti-allergen detergent, and consider throwing a few wet microfiber cloths into the dryer, which should attract the excess hair.

Don’t forget to clean the lint trap inside the washer and dryer when finished. You don’t want leftover hair to attach to your clothing the next time that you do laundry.

Good Diet

Ensuring that your Abyssinian eats a high-quality diet can keep their coat healthy and their skin hydrated, which means less shedding of dander.

With the approval of your vet, it can also help to add supplements like omega-3 and -6, which are fatty acids found naturally in foods like fish oil, flaxseed oil, and animal fats. They contribute to healthy skin and a shiny coat.

pouring dog food in food bowl
Image Credit:, Shutterstock

Special Assistance

If you haven’t already done so, see an allergy specialist. In some cases, people have found out that they aren’t actually allergic to cats, but rather to something else in their environment. It could be something associated with the cat, like the litter or something on their coat that they bring in from outside.

You can also consider taking allergy shots, which should lessen allergic reactions for several months. Beyond this, you can also try antihistamines and nasal sprays.


What Cat Breeds Are Considered Hypoallergenic?

While no cat is 100% hypoallergenic, several cat breeds are a little closer to what we consider to be hypoallergenic. Bear in mind that all these cats carry the FEL d 1 protein and shed to a certain degree.

  • Balinese: Essentially a long-haired Siamese, they are affectionate, beautiful, and known to be low shedders. It’s also thought they have less of the Fel d 1 protein.
  • Cornish Rex: Their unique wavy and short coat is actually the undercoat, and they don’t have a top coat, so they shed less. They are quite active and intelligent.
  • Devon Rex: These cats have short, wavy coats that don’t shed much, and they are also social and playful.
  • Javanese: This breed is a cross between a Siamese and a color-point Shorthair. They don’t have an undercoat, so they don’t shed much.
  • Oriental: These gorgeous cats only shed moderately and are athletic, intelligent, and playful.
  • Russian Blue: This low-shedding breed is quite calm and gentle and usually enjoys being brushed.
  • Selkirk Rex: Like the other two Rex cats, the Selkirk has a wavy coat that doesn’t shed too much.
  • Sphynx: This famous hairless cat is friendly, playful, and affectionate.



To avoid allergic reactions if you have cat allergies, you must diligently clean the house and always wash your hands and face after handling your Abyssinian. Invest in HEPA air purifiers and vacuum, and stay on top of brushing your cat often.

Speak to your doctor before you attempt to bring home a cat. Having allergies and owning a cat is not the easiest thing to do, but for some people, it is totally worth the work!

Featured Image Credit: Darya Lavinskaya, Shutterstock

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