Are Savannah Cats Hypoallergenic?

According to Wikipedia: “Hypoallergenic, meaning “below normal” or “slightly” allergenic, was a term first used in a cosmetics campaign in 1953. It is used to describe items (especially cosmetics and textiles) that cause or are claimed to cause fewer allergic reactions. Hypoallergenic pets still produce allergens, but because of their coat type, absence of fur, or absence of a gene that produces a certain protein, they typically produce fewer allergens than others of the same species. People with severe allergies and asthma may still be affected by a hypoallergenic pet.”

So are Savannah cats hypoallergenic? This is a question that I get often.  There are some breeders that claim that the breed is hypoallergenic.  In terms of what the actual definition of hypoallergenic is I could agree that Savannahs cats hypoallergenic.  However, I believe that most people seeking the answer to this question interpret the definition as meaning that they will not have any allergic reaction to Savannah cats.  This is not always the case, as some people are still highly affected by the Savannahs.

What is it that people are allergic to?

There are a number of contributing factors towards cat allergies.  There is the fur/hair, skin cells, saliva, and urine, all of which contain a specific protein, Fel d 1.  It is this protein that some people are allergic to. Research says that all cats have this protein so any being completely hypoallergenic is not possible.

How to Lessen Daily Allergy Reactions

There are plenty of people coexisting with pets that have allergies.  Some things that have proven beneficial include pet hygiene and good housekeeping practices.
Much of the allergy reaction is caused by the saliva that has dried on the cat’s coat from self-grooming.
Wet wiping the cat daily to remove the dried saliva greatly reduces allergic reactions.
Also brushing the cat to remove shedding hair that would otherwise be deposited around the home.
Vacuuming furniture is the other game changer.
We regularly vacuum our carpets and sweep, but we vacuum our furniture much less often.
Cats are known to camp out on the furniture so there is no question that there will be a build up of danders left behind.

Varying Degrees of ‘Allergic’

In regard to a typical domestic cat, we know that there are varying degrees with which people are allergic.
Some people may have a minor watery eye or sniffle after rubbing their face all over a cat.
While the next person will puff up like a cabbage patch doll minutes after walking into a home where a cat resides.

Are Savannah Cats Hypoallergenic?
Some people have very minor or no reaction to the Savannahs.
Others experience the same reaction that they do to a typical domestic.
My brother-in-law is a good example of this.
He is very allergic to cats.
When he visits my parents, who have two F3 Savannahs, he starts to develop running eyes/nose.
On the flip side, I have had people with cat allergies.
They visit and intentionally rub a Savannah kitten all over their face in order to solicit a reaction and have not had one.
Unfortunately, these scenarios make it very difficult for me to guide prospective buyers on the hypoallergenic qualities of the Savannah.

Does the Generation of the Savannah Effect its Hypoallergenic Properties? Are Savannah Cats Hypoallergenic

I do believe that the dander/protein in the higher generation Savannahs is somehow different than that of a domestic cat.  I can say that in my years of breeding few people react to the F1 and F2 Savannahs.  Something to take into consideration if you have cat allergies and are looking to add a Savannah to your family.

Are Savannah Cats Hypoallergenic

Savannah Cats HypoallergenicSavannah Cats Hypoallergenic

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