Munchkin cats are cute and petite and are usually distinguished by their short legs. While they may be short in height, they are not short in personality, making them a popular choice as feline companions.
If you suffer from allergies, the cat’s appearance may not be the deciding factor on which breed to breed or adopt. Instead, you may be more concerned about whether it is hypoallergenic. Munchkin cats are not considered hypoallergenic, but neither is any other cat if you want to be technical.
We’ll discuss the Munchin’s coat and how you can still adopt a Munchkin cat and live in harmony with your allergies with appropriate grooming and environmental adjustments.
Are Munchkin Cats Hypoallergenic?
No cat is 100% hypoallergenic. While hairless cats may be more suitable for an allergy sufferer, they are not necessarily hypoallergenic. Cats secrete a protein known as Fel d 1 which is found in their sebaceous glands, skin, saliva, hair, and urine. The protein is spread when they groom themselves, which amps up the amount of protein that is distributed and results in the symptoms that allergy sufferers usually battle, such as itchy and runny noses, watery eyes, and hives.
Munchkin cats secrete an average amount of Fel d 1 protein, and with the exception of hairless mixes like the Bambino, Delf, and Sphynx mix, they shed hair all year, which means they are not considered hypoallergenic. The severity of one’s allergies will also determine how much of the Munchkin cat’s grooming and shedding can be tolerated.
Do Munchkin Cats Shed?
Numerous factors determine the amount that a cat sheds, and a Munchkin cat can vary from very little to very heavy shedding, depending on the kind of hair that they have, especially if they’re a mixed breed. Munchkins have thick coats with long- and short-haired varieties, which will also affect how much they shed. A long-haired Munchkin will generally shed more and will therefore require more grooming.
Like other cats, Munchkins will go through two profuse shedding periods yearly, along with their general shedding. This happens in spring and autumn when they shed one coat in preparation for the next season. During this time, they will need more frequent grooming and are more likely to trigger allergies.
Although the length of hair doesn’t make much of a difference allergy-wise, a short-haired coat will have less hair to brush and is generally the better option for allergy sufferers. Either way, a person with mild allergies may tolerate a Munchkin if they can keep up with regular grooming and cleaning.
How to Reduce Shedding in Munchkin Cats?
You can help reduce the amount of shedding in a Munchkin in a few ways, which will help reduce the number of allergens in the house and might make living with this breed more tolerable.
Image Credit: otsphoto, Shutterstock
What to Do If I Want a Munchkin Cat But Have Allergies?
If your heart is set on a Munchkin cat, don’t let your allergies convince you otherwise. You may still be able to enjoy and tolerate a feline companion while managing your allergies and environment to live in harmony together. However, it will be necessary to consult with your doctor, as some severe allergy sufferers cannot tolerate being around a cat for any length of time.
If you can spend time with a Munchkin cat elsewhere, it can give you an idea of how you will react. That said, this is not a set rule because each individual cat’s Fel d 1 production will vary. Adopting a cat that you love only to find out that you cannot share a living space with them can be devastating for both parties.
What to Do If I Already Have a Munchkin Cat and Have Allergies?
If you already have a Munchkin cat at home and you have started presenting allergy symptoms, here are a few tips that might help minimize them:
Munchkin cats are not considered hypoallergenic because they shed and carry a normal amount of the protein responsible for allergy flare-ups. While some Munchkin cats may not shed as much as other breeds, they will still leave allergy-triggering dander and fur on your furniture, clothes, and skin.
However, just because a Munchkin is not hypoallergenic doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t have one as a pet, especially if your allergies are mild. Those with severe allergies should visit their physicians before adopting a cat, as this might not be a suitable pet option for them. But pet parents with manageable symptoms can modify their homes and routines to reduce allergens. By grooming a Munchkin regularly, sticking to a cleaning routine, washing your hands, and keeping your kitty out of your room, you could perhaps happily live with a Munchkin cat.
Please make sure you speak to your vet, as new immunization treatments are available, and specialized cat diets currently being researched might be just what you need to live happily ever after with your kitty.
Featured Image Credit: Dasha Parfenova, Shutterstock