Ragdoll cats are one of the coolest, loveable, social, and laid-back cats around. They are also one of the most sought-after cat breeds due to their extraordinary personalities. They are true to their name; when you pick them up, they go limp, and their soft fur makes for a cozy bundle to snuggle up with on a cold winter’s day.
Some people suffer from allergies, and some people are allergic to cats as a whole. Since the Ragdoll’s fur is soft and cuddly, you may wonder if they are hypoallergenic. Unfortunately, Ragdoll cats are not hypoallergenic. While they don’t shed as much as other cats, if you’re looking for a hypoallergenic cat, the Ragdoll cat is not the one for you.
What Makes Ragdoll Cats Non-Hypoallergenic?
Ragdolls have no undercoat, so they shed less than other breeds, but this doesn’t mean they are hypoallergenic. Allergies develop from the cat’s saliva, skin, and urine. When cats lick themselves, saliva gets on their fur, and fur gets on anywhere your cat lays, such as your bed, furniture, carpet, and so on. Their skin can produce dander, which can cause allergic reactions for allergy sufferers.
Do Hypoallergenic Cats Exist?
Honestly, there’s no such thing as a hypoallergenic cat. Certain breeds are on the low allergy list and may be considered hypoallergenic, but keep in mind that all breeds give off allergens, whether from the saliva, skin, or urine, as mentioned above. If you are allergic, be prepared to have allergic reactions. Even hairless cats can cause allergies.
Do Ragdoll Cats Have Less Dander?
No, they don’t. Ragdolls are no different from other breeds when it comes to producing dander. Ragdolls contain the Fel d 1 protein in their dander and saliva, which causes allergic reactions in allergy sufferers.
How Can I Keep Shedding Down?
Keeping a regular grooming schedule for your Ragdoll is essential in keeping shedding down to a minimum. Ragdolls should be groomed at least twice a week. As we’ve stated, they don’t shed too much but do shed more during the spring and fall.
While their fur is soft, it’s also thick, so using the right kind of brush is also important. Good pin and bristle brushes work well for Ragdolls due to their long, thick fur. You can also try bathing your Ragdoll once a month if it’ll let you. If you acclimate your Ragdoll to bathing early on, the better the experience will be for both of you.
How Will I Know If I’m Allergic to Ragdoll Cats?
Before considering bringing home a Ragdoll, it’s wise to be around the cat beforehand. Try holding the cat, and then monitor any allergy symptoms. Some common symptoms are runny nose, sneezing, coughing or wheezing, itchy eyes, or redness of the skin from contact with the cat. If you develop any of these symptoms, you may want to reconsider adding a Ragdoll to your family.
How Can I Treat My Cat Allergies?
Let’s say you already own a Ragdoll and have gotten so attached that giving it up is absolutely out of the question, even if your allergies say otherwise. Now what?
This scenario happens, but if you’re in this boat, don’t give up just yet. While these steps may not be enough to eradicate your allergies, they may help some.
Try using a vacuum with a HEPA filter. These types of vacuums trap any pet allergens in the air. HEPA air filters are also good to have in any room your cat hangs out. If you have carpet, consider replacing it with hard floors. Dusting often may help, too. You can also limit the areas your Ragdoll is allowed; the bedroom is wise to keep off-limits. Antihistamines and decongestants may also help relieve your symptoms.
As much as we want it to be true, Ragdolls are not hypoallergenic. Having no undercoat does help in keeping shedding down, but it does not eliminate allergens. If you follow the tips above, you may still be able to live with a Ragdoll.
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Featured Image Credit: Tatyana Vyc, Shutterstock