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Home > Cats > Are Munchkin Cats Hypoallergenic? Vet-Approved Facts & FAQ

Are Munchkin Cats Hypoallergenic? Vet-Approved Facts & FAQ

Munchkin Cat

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Dr. Paola Cuevas

Veterinarian, MVZ

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

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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.

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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.

Munchkin Cat Outdoor
Image By: otsphoto, Shutterstock

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.  Some 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.

young cute munchkin cat sitting on the table
Image By: This road is mine, Shutterstock

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.

  • Brush Your Munchkin Regularly: You can control the amount of shedding by brushing your Munchkin regularly. If your Munchkin is a long-haired variety, it may need to be brushed every day. During the prolific shedding seasons, you can use a de-shedding tool to help get rid of loose dander and fur, which will reduce the amount that is left on the furniture and carpet. It would be better if you can do brushing outdoors to minimize the spread of allergens inside your home.
  • Don’t Bathe Your Munchkin Too Often: Some people with allergies are under the misconception that bathing their cats regularly can help reduce shedding when it can dry out the skin and coat and produce more allergy-triggering dander. If you wish to bathe your Munchkin, don’t do it more than once a month, and use an appropriate, feline-friendly shampoo.
  • Consider Using Cat Wipes: Cat wipes can help reduce the amount of loose hair and dander from your cat’s coat. While these can help, they should be used with grooming and not instead of grooming.
  • Give Them a Balanced Healthy Diet: Malnutrition usually results in poor hair coat. Unhealthy hair means more shedding. High-quality diet improves hair and skin health.
  • Train Your Munchkin: Munchkins are easy to train, which you can use to your advantage. Train your Munchkin to stay off your furniture and out of your bedroom. You can even teach them not to lick you.

Munchkin Cat Playing

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:

  • Vacuum daily with a vacuum designed to pick up cat hair. Vacuum both your floors and furniture.
  • Wash and change your sheets and blankets regularly. Try washing them once a week, and if that doesn’t help, then try every 3 days.
  • A lint roller is a simple and effective tool. It can help remove stubborn hairs from your clothing which is great for allergy sufferers.
  • A HEPA filter will remove even the smallest particles from the air and are essential for allergy sufferers.
  • Be sure to wash your hands with soap and water whenever you touch your cat. Make this a habit since it is one of the most effective ways to reduce allergic reactions.
  • Establish a cat-free zone in your bedroom.
  • If your symptoms are intolerable, consider taking appropriate antihistamine medication.
  • Talk to your doctor about getting allergy shots. You have to take the shots for several months or longer to build up a tolerance, but they may be the only option if you have severe allergies.
cleaning dog bed using vacuum
Image By: LeDarArt, Shutterstock

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Conclusion

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 mildThose 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: MDavidova, Shutterstock

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