Are you a cat lover but have allergies that refrain you from keeping this loving creature? Abyssinian cats may be your savior!
Are Abyssinian cats hypoallergenic? The truth is that no cat is hypoallergenic. Every cat has a certain degree of allergens produced on its skin and fur. As for Abyssinian cats, in particular, they might be a safer option but are still not 100% hypoallergenic.
Despite the degree of allergens in their fur and skin, Abyssinian cats can still make good pets for allergic people. Here is how you can make that work!
Abyssinian cat allergens
People who are sensitive to dust and pollen tend to be sensitive around cats and dogs too. This is because these animals constantly shed their fur. It becomes a part of the air and when breathed in, the allergic person is attacked by a series of sneezes and constant itching.
According to research conducted by the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, no cat is 100% hypoallergenic. The research concluded that no matter which cat breed you own, your allergies will always be triggered to some extent.
The bottom line is: cat allergies are caused by hair shedding and allergens that are present on the skin, fur or in the saliva of the cat.
Abyssinian cats certainly do shed, but not a lot. Since they have shorter fur than the majority of other cats, their shedding is at a lower scale. This also minimizes the owner’s exposure to allergens.
Minimizing allergen attacks
If you or your partner are allergic to cats but still want to own an Abyssinian beauty, these steps will help you minimize the effects of allergens.
The thing is:
You must keep your environment clean to steer clear from triggering your allergies.
Vacuuming regularly will have a major impact on the outcome. Use a vacuum on your floors, carpets, sofas, chairs, and any other furniture that you might have. If your vacuum comes with tiny fittings, utilize them to clean every nook and corner of the home. This will remove all shed hair along with dust and allergens that may cause irritation for an allergic person.
Any washable pieces in the home that might have come in contact with the cat must be washed in 140 degrees Fahrenheit temperature. Even the things that are out of reach for your cat must be washed in hot water twice a month. Since the allergens are in the air, they might have settled on anything in your home.
Wash your clothes at this temperature, too. Also, use a coat cleaner to remove cat hair from your coats and sweaters. It is also advised that you utilize an anti-bacterial cloth washer to kill any allergens that may have landed on your clothes.
A HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) air filter will be a very useful purchase for allergic people. Paired with a vapor steam cleaner, your atmosphere will remain free of any allergy causing bacteria. The air filter will remove unwanted particles while the steam cleaner will kill the bacteria.
I use the Levoit-LV Purifier and have found it to be quite effective in eliminating allergens in my house. If anyone’s looking for an air purifier that’s cost effective, I’d recommend them to check it out.
Lastly, it is suggested that you assign one area in your home to the cat. This will limit the objects that are coming in contact with the cat and hence its allergens. Therefore, you’ll have lesser cleaning to do and the risk of allergy attacks will also minimize.
What not to do if you’re allergic to cats
A great part of owning a cat while being allergic is preventing steps that will worsen the situation.
Abyssinian cats are somewhat hypoallergenic but if you aren’t careful enough, even these cats will become hard to keep.
Your allergies will not be triggered if:
- You keep your atmosphere clean
- Prevent the spread of allergens
Part of keeping the atmosphere clean is keeping the cat clean.
Do not let your cat get dirty. Give regular baths to the cat so that the fur remains clean. You shouldn’t opt for a regular shampoo as well. Instead, go for one that is specifically designed to kill allergens in Abyssinian furs.
I, personally, use the Sentry tick and fleas shampoo for my cats, one of which HATES to take a bath. This shampoo has proven to be a big savior for curbing my allergies!
If your Abyssinian cat isn’t a fan of baths, you can use allergen killing products and clean them off using a damp towel.
Do not forget to wash your hands after every contact with the cat. Never take the risk of eating without washing your hands, especially after you pet your cat. Also, avoid all contact of your cat’s hair with the eyes. If the cat hair gets in your eye or near the nose, you’ve practically put the allergens inside you.
Another thing to avoid is giving your cat access to your room. If your cat sleeps with you on the bed, you must immediately stop. Keep the cat away from your bed at all cost.
It is preferred that the cat stays out of the bedroom completely. This is the place that should be completely allergen-free. In case your allergies get worse, you’ll have your room to go to. Once you start developing a tolerance over time, you can always invite your cat back inside.
You might be wondering:
What if the allergens have attacked already?
If that’s the case, you’ll need some allergy relief tips.
Medication is the quickest way to treat allergies. You can take medicines that are for preventative measures before coming in contact with a cat. If the damage has already been done, you can take medicines that will fight against the attacking allergens.
If prescription medication isn’t working for you, you can go for the next step. Immunotherapy involves a couple of shots that make your immune system stronger against allergies. This will be an effective and long-lasting solution.
Do consider a professional before opting for any of these relief methods.
Strengthen your immune system
This is crazy:
Sometimes you only discover your allergy after you’ve bought a cat because that is the first time you’re being exposed to such allergens.
Chances are that your body wasn’t used to being around cats and that is why it is reacting so extremely.
You can try to make your immune system used to the idea of having a cat around. Instead of abruptly adding a cat in your life, start by getting used to being around them. Not only will this make you better at understanding them, but your immune system will also start developing a tolerance.
You can do so by visiting cats often. Go to a friend’s house who owns a cat. You can also visit pet shelters. You’ll get to be around all sorts of cats in these places and it’ll be for a social cause as well. Lastly, attend cat shows.
There is a high chance that these activities will help you find a cat that will not trigger your allergy. Since you’ll be spending time with different breeds, you will get to figure out which cat breeds are okay for you and which aren’t.
Abyssinian 101 (Video)
Once you’ve passed all these phases, you’ll finally have an Abyssinian cat. Do not forget to take proper care of the cat’s health while you’re busy ensuring your allergy-free experience.
Here’s what to keep in mind:
- Cats need healthy food
- You’ll have to setup a corner that will be their personal space
- They’ll need to be groomed and trained
Abyssinian cats, or any cat for that matter, requires healthy food to survive. The most prominent issue with Abyssinian cats is dehydration. You can feed them wet food and provide a lot of water to tackle that. However, depending solely on wet food won’t be a good idea. Dry food is needed to keep their teeth strong.
Grown-up Abyssinian cats can weigh between 6 and 10 pounds. The males are usually bigger than females. Whichever area in the house you assign to the cat, it must be big enough for it to walk around in. This place must be well set with a food bowl, a water bowl, and a lot of things to play with.
Abyssinian cats aren’t high maintenance when it comes to grooming. Their short hair only needs to be groomed once a week. Get a good cat hair brush for grooming purposes.
As mentioned above, one of my cats hates taking baths and grooming herself. Combing her hair is a big no-no as she won’t even come close to a hairbrush. Well, recently I discovered this pet grooming glove and it has done the trick for me! You can wear this hairbrush like a glove and brush your cat’s hair while you pet it; I know, it’s pretty darn cool!
Are Abyssinian cats friendly? These cats love to play. In fact, they can hardly sit and relax. Abyssinian cats are always playing and looking for a source of entertainment. Their playful nature makes them very active, social, and friendly.
Is it easy to keep an Abyssinian cat? In terms of nature, Abyssinian cats are naughty. They won’t sit in one place and play with their toys only. They require a new source of entertainment every few minutes. If you can handle that, the cats will be good enough for you. Health-wise, Abyssinian cats must be taken care of a they are very vulnerable to common illnesses.
How long do Abyssinian cats live? Abyssinian cats can live for 12 to 15 years. However, that is only if they have been given proper care over the years. Poor health can lead to a number of fatal diseases. Abyssinian cats are prone to loss of vision, dysfunctional kidneys, kneecap dislocation, and much worse sicknesses.