From its playful, friendly, and loyal nature, the Maine coon cat has a beautiful personality that makes it a superb companion in any home. Because of this, the Maine coon cat has grown to be famous worldwide. If you’re interested in purchasing a Maine Coon, check out the series I put together: The Black Maine Coon, The Orange Maine Coon, The Grey Maine Coon & The White Maine Coon.
However, for most pet enthusiasts who are fascinated by this cat, the first question that pops up in their mind is, are Maine coons hypoallergenic? And is it possible to live with this cat even though you suffer from cat allergies?
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Are Maine Coons Hypoallergenic?
So tell me, are maine coons hypoallergenic? Maine coon cats are not hypoallergenic. The reason being, they produce a considerate amount of the Fel d 1 protein present in the urine, dander, and saliva.
Fun Fact: sebaceous glands present on the skin produce and store this Fel d 1 protein.
However, such an attribute should not make you change your views of the Maine coon cat. The reason being, there can be steps taken to reduce the amount of Fel d 1 proteins that come into contact with our bodies.
What Causes Cat Allergies?
It’s a common misconception that cat hair is what causes most cat allergies. However, most people don’t know it’s not the cat’s fur that makes people have allergic reactions; it’s the Fel d 1 protein present in the cat’s dander, urine, and saliva. For example, saliva contains a high concentration of this protein. And so, anytime the cat grooms itself with its tongue, the saliva will be spread right onto their fur. Consequently, petting your kitten can get these proteins airborne, which can be the reason for your itchy and watery eyes.
Why Do Some People Suffer From Allergic Reactions Whereas Others Don’t?
The truth is, different people react differently to various allergens, as each of our bodies and immune systems are quite different. The immune system fights all invading organelles like bacteria and viruses in our bodies. It’s the first line of defense if such ‘enemies’ attack. However, some people have sensitive immune systems. And their immune systems will produce antibodies if they come into contact with the Fel d 1 proteins.
In these situations, the immune system perceives the allergy stimulants (Fel d 1) as harmful organelles. The release of such antibodies makes people suffer from allergic reactions, ranging from moderate to severe.
Symptoms of Cat Allergies
How can I know I am having an allergic reaction from my cat? The severity will vary from one individual to the other. Additionally, in some individuals, the duration of allergen exposure will determine the severity of the symptoms.
14 Ways to Reduce Cat Allergies
Now that we’ve answered the question “Are Maine Coons Hypoallergenic”, we must seek ways to reduce how often we become exposed to the cat’s Fel d 1 protein. Various measures will help reduce how allergic you are to the Maine coon cat.
1. Wash Your Hands Frequently
It’s hard to resist petting your cat even though you suffer from cat allergies. However, there must be a solution for that. After petting your cat, ensure you have washed your hands. Washing your hands will reduce the potential to spread the protein to your body and around your house.
2. Pet Your Cat Using Gloves
If you must pet your cat, because who doesn’t love to pet cats, then get gloves to keep you away from your cat’s fur and dander. This will help prevent getting the allergens in contact with your skin. This is probably a more extreme measure, but it may help your cat allergies.
3. Keep Your Cat Out Of The Bedroom
Your cat who loves snuggling with you on your bed needs to go. It’s either the cat goes, and you suffer from fewer or no allergic reactions, or your cat stays in your bedroom, and you will have to withstand all the sneezing and itchy eyes that will come after.
This is usually a tough decision especially if you love to cuddle at night with your kitten, but it may completely fix your issue. If you’re like me, you might deal with the majority of your allergies while sleeping. Keeping your bed allergen-free can be a game-changer when it comes to getting in a great night’s rest.
4. Wash Your Cat's Bedding Frequently
Dander, flakes, and fur will be plenty in your Maine Coon cats bed. And such particles flying around your house will make you have that stuffy and runny nose. Minimize how often you encounter the cat’s dander by regularly cleaning the cat’s bedding. Since Maine Coons are not hypoallergenic, this is just another item to add to the list if you want to be allergen free but still own a Maine Coon.
5. Clean the Litter Box Daily
As earlier discussed, the urine of your cat will have plenty of the Fel d 1 proteins. To reduce the Fel d 1 proteins in your house, you need to clean the cat’s litter box daily. Ensure you clean the litter box while wearing gloves and a mask to reduce contact you have with the dust flying around.
If you can’t clean the litter box daily, get an automatic litter box. Some expensive litter boxes have sophisticated technology that will reduce how often you contact the cat’s urine and litter.
6. Vacuum & Clean Often
Not just any vacuum cleaner but one with HEPA filters. Other vacuum cleaners will remove all fur from the ground; however, they will leave tiny particles floating in the air. Such minute particles have plenty of Fel d 1 proteins. A vacuum cleaner with HEPA filters will suck even the tiniest of particles.
7. Hepa Air Filters
8. Brush and Groom Your Cat
Even though we don’t want to come close to our cats, we still need to groom them frequently. Besides making the cat look and feel good, brushing will reduce the amount of dander on your Maine Coon cat’s body. Some of the un-attached furs contain a high concentration of Fel d 1 proteins that will trigger a reaction from your immune system.
Make it a habit to groom your cat regularly using a fine bristled brush. You can even use specialized grooming gloves (if your cat is difficult) that make the cat feel as if you are petting her.
9. Bathe Your Cat
10. Use Special Cat Wipes
11. Don't Allow Your Cat to Lick You
After doing all that, your measures can go down the drain if you allow your cat to lick you. Allowing your Maine Coon cat to lick you enhance the contact you have with the Fel d 1 proteins present in the saliva.
12. Get a Female Cat
Did you know that male cats produce more Fel d 1 proteins than females? Most animal scientists believe that hormones affect the production of these proteins. So if you are adamant about getting a Maine coon cat, and you deal with allergies, your best bet is to get a female.
13. Adopt a Neutered Maine Coon Cat
14. Take Some Allergy Medication
Consider taking an over-the-counter antihistamine to help deal with cat allergies. Some medications like Benadryl and Allegra are available over the counter but be sure to consult your doctor first. There are also some shots that you can also get to fight any allergic reaction that may occur in your body.
Now that we know Maine coon cats are not hypoallergenic, following some of the steps mentioned above will allow you to spend time with your Maine Coon while not living miserably due to your allergies.
Conclusion: Are Maine Coons Hypoallergenic
To sum it up, we’ve learned that Maine coon cats are not hypoallergenic as they have the Fel d 1 protein in their dander, saliva, and urine. It’s this Fel d 1 protein that will make you suffer from the symptoms we have previously highlighted in this article. If your symptoms of cat allergies are extreme, you should consider getting another hypoallergenic breed, like the Bengal or the Sphynx. However, if you are like me and deal with allergies but love everything else about this beautiful and exotic cat, there are several steps you can take to make your life easier.
To keep reading more posts like this, check out my blog The Quintessential Guide.
Frequently Asked Questions
how hypoallergenic are maine coons?
Do Maine Coons Shed?
Yes they do. It’s important to frequently groom your Maine Coons long coat frequently. Start making this a habit at a young age to ensure they get used to it, and so you can somewhat even reduce the cat allergens floating around in your house. Are Maine Coons hypoallergenic? Absolutely not.
What Causes Cat Allergies?
Contrary to popular belief, cat allergies are not caused by cat fur. Cats produce a protein called Feld1, that is present in their saliva and urine. Since cats frequently groom and lick themselves clean, they spread this protein all over their fur.