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Are Munchkin Cats Hypoallergenic? Vet Approved Facts & FAQ

Bynewsmagzines

May 12, 2023
Big Eye Munchkin Cat

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Big Eye Munchkin Cat

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 shed hair all year, confirming that they are not considered hypoallergenic. The severity of one’s allergies will also determine how much Munchkin cats grooming and shedding can be tolerated.

Munchkin Cat Outdoor
Image Credit: otsphoto, Shutterstock

Do Munchkin Cats Shed?

Numerous factors determine the amount a cat sheds, but Munchkin cats are typically moderate shedders. 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.

Munchkins will also 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, which may 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 Credit: 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 with allergies and make living with a Munchkin 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 balanced healthy diet: Malnutrition usually results in poor haircoat. 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 can still enjoy and tolerate a feline companion while managing your allergies and the environment to live in harmony together.

If you can spend time with a Munchkin cat elsewhere, it can give you an idea of how you will react. If your friend or colleague owns one, ask if you can spend some time with it for a few hours. This opportunity will act as a trial run to see how severely you react and help you make a final decision. If your mind’s made up and you want to add a Munchkin cat to your home, here are some things you can do to make it work:

  • 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.
  • Incorporating an egg product ingredient containing anti-Fel d1 IgY antibodies into the cat’s diet
  • 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 Credit: LeDarArt, Shutterstock

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Conclusion

Munchkin cats are not considered hypoallergenic because they shed and carry a normal amount of protein responsible for allergy flare-ups. While they may not shed as much as other breeds, they will still leave allergy-triggering dander and fur on your furniture, clothes, and skin. Nonetheless, researchers found out that adult cats ages 11-15 years had 80-fold lower allergen in their saliva. When planning to adopt, you may want to consider the cat’s age to reduce the risk of allergic reactions.

Just because a Munchkin is not hypoallergenic doesn’t 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, but pet parents with manageable symptoms can modify their homes and routine 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 can happily live with a Munchkin cat.


Featured Image Credit: Dasha Parfenova, Shutterstock

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