It’s quite difficult for a person who loves cats to live a life without one in their home. Unfortunately, cat allergies can often keep cat lovers and the perfect kitty separated. Luckily, for both cat lovers and felines in need of good homes, cat allergies are no longer the obstacle everyone thinks they are.
Take a look at the Devon Rex. This lovable cat breed is known for being social, intelligent, easy to train, and great with all members of the family. They are also referred to as a hypoallergenic cat breed. Let’s learn more about cat allergies, whether the Devon Rex is the right cat for you, and a few tips for loving kitties even if you suffer from cat allergies.
Understanding Cat Allergies
Before we discuss the Devon Rex and how it’s considered a hypoallergenic cat, let’s take a deeper look at what cat allergies are and what triggers them. Of course, if you suffer from allergies, you know what happens when you’re around cats. You could have severe allergic reactions when cats are around or a mild reaction. This is different for every person.
What isn’t different, however, is what causes the reactions. Cat allergies are triggered by proteins found on a cat’s skin, saliva, feces, and urine. These proteins can be carried by a cat’s hair or its dander. Dander are tiny scales produced by your cat’s skin and fur. The proteins are so lightweight that they can attach to the hair and dander, then find themselves circulating through the air in your home until they eventually land on your carpet, on your furniture, and even on your clothes.
There isn’t a lot a cat lover can do about their kitty’s saliva, feces, and urine. However, when it comes to hair and dander, allergy sufferers have a chance. While no cat is considered 100% hypoallergenic, some breeds are labeled as such due to their low shedding qualities. These cats will still produce the proteins that trigger allergies. However, thanks to less cat hair and dander flowing through the air, the distribution of these proteins is far less, making it possible for people with milder allergies to have a cat in their home.
Is a Devon Rex Hypoallergenic?
As we mentioned, no cat is 100% hypoallergenic, but the Devon Rex is one of the cat breeds out there that produce fewer allergens. This is due to their low-shedding coat. The Devon Rex, often called a “Poodle cat” has a wavy coat that’s quite unique. The coat can be short to medium in length and has a very distinctive texture. This breed’s special coat doesn’t even require a lot of grooming from owners other than an occasional bath. The Devon Rex does an excellent job of grooming themselves which is beneficial since brushing can harm the fur and strip it from the skin.
While the Devon Rex doesn’t shed much, it will still produce allergy-inducing proteins in its saliva, feces, and urine. Due to this breed frequently grooming themselves, the proteins in their saliva can easily become trapped on their skin and fur. For allergy sufferers, this can be an issue. Purchasing kitty wipes is the best way to keep proteins in the saliva at bay. Simply wipe the Devon Rex down a few times a day, especially after a grooming session. You should also be careful when scooping or cleaning litter boxes. Wear gloves and masks if you must do it yourself or ask a family member to deal with that part of kitty care.
Will a Devon Rex Trigger My Allergies?
Cat lovers often want to know if a particular breed will affect their allergies before they bring a new pet into the home. This is understandable, but it’s impossible to know whether a Devon Rex will trigger your allergies unless you spend time around one. You can reach out to friends who may have this breed and ask if you can come for a visit. This would put you in a home where the Devon Rex lives so you can see how you function. If that isn’t possible, speak to the breeder you’re considering. Ask if you can visit the cattery or the specific cat in question to see what happens.
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Tips for Living with Cats and Allergies
Keeping allergy-inducing proteins at a minimum is a must for anyone with a cat in their home. Here are a few tips to help make living with a Devon Rex, or any cat, easier for everyone in the household.
Clean Surfaces Regularly
It’s most likely a normal part of your house cleaning routine, but wiping down the surfaces in your home is a must if you have a cat and suffer from allergies. Your cat’s dander can attach to almost anything. Make sure you wipe all main surfaces in your home often, but keep more obscure ones in mind as well. Cats love to rub against chairs, table legs, and walls. They’ll leave a bit of dander behind each time. If you routinely clean these areas, you can significantly reduce the allergens in your home.
Vacuum Your Floors
Instead of sweeping your floors, use a vacuum with a HEPA filter and an anti-allergy seal. Sweeping stirs up the hair, dander, and allergens into the air. With a vacuum, these allergens are sucked into the filter which keeps you from breathing them. This vacuuming needs to be done often and should include floors, carpets, rugs, upholstery, and curtains.
Have a Cat-Free Space
If your allergies flare easily, it will help to have a cat-free area in your home. Your bedroom is the perfect spot. Allergy sufferers shouldn’t try to sleep in bedding or linens where their cat, even a Devon Rex, has slept. Even if the hair and dander left behind are slight, it could still make your eyes water or affect your breathing at night while you sleep.
Wash Linens Often
Cats enjoy having warm blankets and soft places to lie. To help reduce the allergens in your home, keep your kitty’s blankets and beds washed frequently. While a Devon Rex doesn’t shed much, the places where they lay the most will have dander either way. You should also wash your personal linens, bedding, and blankets often as well. You may want your kitty to stay off your items, but you never know when a cat will decide they want to cuddle up in a new spot.
Consider a Few Changes
Fabrics will hold onto pet dander, hair, and the proteins attached that stir up your allergies. If you truly want to keep your home allergy-free, consider changing out a few fabrics throughout the house. Curtains can be replaced with blinds and fabric furniture can be replaced with leather. This isn’t a necessity, but it is another option.
It may not be possible for you to do all the things to care for your Devon Rex due to your allergies. When that’s the case, reach out for help. Ask a family member to help when it comes to wiping down your Devon Rex with kitty wipes, changing and scooping cat litter, and bathing your kitty when the time comes. This can make life easier for you while still ensuring your kitty is cared for properly.
If you’re one of the many people in the world that suffers from cat allergies but can’t resist having a kitty in your home, the Devon Rex is an excellent choice. While no cat is considered 100% allergen-free, the Devon Rex is one of the few that are labeled as hypoallergenic. By following a few tips to make your life easier, you and a Devon Rex can form a long-lasting relationship where sneezing, watery eyes, and breathing issues don’t have to intrude.
Featured Image Credit: Veera, Shutterstock