Many allergy sufferers are after the Russian Blue cat because it is said to be hypoallergenic. But is this really a fact? Can we really cuddle with this fluff ball without going to the emergency room after?
The Russian Blue cat is among the most hypoallergenic breeds. Its skin produces fewer allergens so it won’t pose harm to allergy sufferers. Moreover, Russian Blue cats are also low-shedders. You don’t have to worry about excess fur in the house that can trigger other allergic reactions.
In this article, I will show you everything you need to know about the hypoallergenic Russian Blue cat.
You’ll also learn how cat allergies work, minimizing cat allergies, grooming a Russian Blue cat, and more. Read along and find out!
Are Russian Blue Cats Good Pets for Allergy Sufferers?
The Russian Blue secretes fewer allergens than most cats, making them suitable pets for homes with cat allergy sufferers.
For cat enthusiasts that suffer from cat allergies, hypoallergenic fur babies are lifesavers. However, no cats are truly hypoallergenic as they all produce Fel d 1, the substance responsible for triggering allergic reactions.
So, why is the demand for hypoallergenic cats high among slightly allergic animal lovers when they also produce allergens? Well, the answer is simple.
Hypoallergenic cats produce fewer allergens compared to other cat breeds, thus causing fewer allergic reactions. This biological phenomenon is what makes Russian Blue cats hypoallergenic.
If you ever decide to own a Russian Blue cat, you should expect occasional mild rashes, swollen eyes, and a runny nose.
However, if you are severely allergic to pets, it would be best to approach an allergist first before taking home hypoallergenic cats. In your case, little exposure to dander can activate allergies in you.
In terms of cat breeds that are considered hypoallergenic, the list is quite short, and Russian Blues are part of that exclusive list. As a matter of fact, Russian Blue cats ranked third among the top hypoallergenic cat breeds.
These felines have lower levels of Fel d 1 in their cat saliva and skin. In addition, Russian Blue cats have short, dense coats that barely shed, which is a consequence of lower levels of cat dander.
Watch this video to get a closer look at a Russian Blue cat!
How Can Russian Blue Cats Cause Allergies?
The most common misconception about hypoallergenic cats is that they don’t trigger allergic reactions at all. Thus, most owners suffer from allergies unprepared.
This is why it’s important to understand how your hypoallergenic cat can cause allergies. In doing so, try to first look at these three aspects and figure out where the reaction would be coming from:
- Fel d 1 production
- Dander levels
Cat allergies are primarily caused by a substance called Fel d 1. It’s a secretoglobin protein present in a cat’s sebaceous glands, anal glands, and saliva.
Fel d 1 is not necessarily harmful. However, the immune system of a person with allergies is oversensitive and recognizes such substances as threatening. And when the body fights it off, you feel it in the form of allergic reactions.
Russian Blue cats generally produce less Fel d 1; thus, it belongs to the hypoallergenic category. They also don’t shed a lot, so they have very little dander that is not enough to activate your allergies.
Running over these three aspects, we can say that Russian Blue cats are pretty safe to have around if you have pet allergies. But let’s not ignore the rare instances where these felines cause allergic reactions.
Here are some reasons people experience allergic reactions to Russian Blue cats:
- They have spread Fel d 1 in their coat. Russian Blue cats lick themselves as a way of grooming. This habit causes the spread of Fel d 1 into their coat. The protein Fel d 1 they produce, no matter how little, can still be threatening, especially if you are severely allergic to pets. Since this cat allergen is small enough to be carried into the air, it easily travels around the corners of your home and into your things, where you might inhale it. You can even carry it outside if it gets stuck on your clothes, possibly causing a reaction to your allergic neighbor.
- Their coat is in bad condition because of a poor diet. Yes, your Russian Blue cat’s diet affects the condition of its coat. You have to maintain it by incorporating protein, carbohydrates, and fats into their diet. If you feed them poor-quality foods, they will have a dull, dry hair coat that will shed excessively, which could trigger long-term reactions.
- Their thick fur causes skin irritation. The thick, double coat of this cat breed is normally not an issue among pet owners as they produce little to no dander. However, if you have severely sensitive skin, their coat will likely irritate you due to its texture. Its undercoat is coarse and can penetrate the top layers of your skin, giving rise to skin hives and other irritations.
Ultimately, Russian Blue cats are among the few cat breeds that cause minimal allergic reactions. Their Fel d 1 produce is relatively fewer compared to other animals, and they don’t shed a lot.
In terms of gender, we recommend that you look for female Russian Blue kittens. This is because the male Russian Blue kitten tends to produce more cat allergens than the female.
However, if you really prefer a male over a female kitten, just be sure to get them neutered, as neutered male kittens tend to produce less dander and Fel d 1 than intact ones.
Are You Allergic to Russian Blue Cats? 3 Signs and Symptoms
Statistics say approximately 10% of the population is allergic to pets. Of this number, twice as many people are allergic to cats than dogs. Are you one of them? Or you’re just suspecting that you might be?
Well, here are three signs and symptoms associated with allergic reactions caused by Russian Blue cats:
- You have rashes or skin irritation. Allergy symptoms vary dramatically from person to person. However, the most typical sign of cat allergy is itching of the skin, which may be either localized or affecting your whole body.
- You experience a runny nose and nasal congestion. Allergic reactions cause the inflammation of nasal passages. Thus, if you’re allergic to the Russian Blue cat, you will have either a runny or congested nose. This may also be accompanied by frequent sneezing, wheezing, and coughing.
- Your pre-existing health conditions are triggered. You may be allergic to Russian Blue cats if your pre-existing conditions, like asthma, are aggravated after an interaction with one. This is often manifested through shortness of breath and tightness in the chest.
Be careful in evaluating common symptoms of cat allergies by observing your condition. Do these symptoms occur right after an interaction with a Russian Blue cat? If so, then it might be cat allergies from Russian Blue cats.
In most cases, symptoms occur soon after exposure. However, there are instances where symptoms appear only after many days of cumulative exposure. It all depends on how severe your allergies are.
In any case, don’t rely on self-diagnosis alone, especially if your symptoms are severe. These are only general symptoms and may not always be accurate. It’s best to visit a doctor when you start noticing these signs.
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How to Make Your Russian Blue Cat More Hypoallergenic
Yes, Russian Blue cats are one of the most hypoallergenic cats. But for people with allergies, it’s better to take extra caution to avoid any possible risks to your health.
Luckily for you, it’s relatively easy to make your Russian Blue cat more hypoallergenic. The key is to keep your feline friend clean at all times.
Here are some ways to make your Russian Blue cat more hypoallergenic:
- Maintain a regular grooming routine for your Russian Blue cat. Occasional baths and regular brushing can minimize your Russian Blue cat’s shedding. However, if you’re scared to catch cat allergens while grooming your Russian Blue cat, you can always count on grooming services to help you out.
- Use wet cloth or pet wipes for some quick cleaning. Bathing frequently is not good for cats like the Russian Blue, so cleaning them using wet wipes is a great alternative to that. You may give your cat a quick rub of pet wipes to remove allergens from cat saliva smeared on its coat. Make sure you’re using pet-safe wipes and not the regular wet wipes for humans because those may throw off your Russian Blue cat’s skin’s pH balance.
- Watch your Russian Blue cat’s diet. If you are determined to lessen your Russian Blue cat’s shedding, consider tweaking its diet. Protein should be present in your Russian Blue cat’s meals. Around 45% of the protein in dry cat food is required for a healthy coat. Healthy fats can also lessen shedding in your Russian Blue cat. Look for cat food containing omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Your Russian Blue cat needs about 25% to 35% of these fats in their daily food intake.
We highly recommend that you seek veterinary advice to make sure you’re taking the right steps for your Russian Blue cat. Your vet can share some more tips on how to make your Russian Blue more hypoallergenic.
These days, there are ointments and medications designed to make your pets more hypoallergenic. You also have the option to see an allergist to help minimize your allergic reactions toward your pet.
6 Ways to Minimize Allergies Brought About by a Russian Blue Cat
If you’re determined to take home a cat despite having allergies, you should be ready to go the extra mile for your health. No matter how hypoallergenic a Russian Blue cat is, an occasional reaction is still possible.
Here are some ways to boost your protection and minimize allergies brought about by a Russian Blue cat:
1. Vacuum and dust off your surroundings often
Clean, spotless surroundings will make sure you are not at risk of inhaling your Russian Blue cat’s loose fur. Vacuum your floors, carpets, furniture, walls, countertops, and your cat’s favorite spots.
Invest in a high-efficiency vacuum with microfiltration to ensure that it cleans even microscopic particles. Wipe away dust regularly on sofas and furniture to reduce airborne particles by 95%.
Try applying furniture polish on surfaces to make sure you’re eliminating dust particles.
2. Use an air purifier
Studies show that a HEPA purifier or HEPA vacuum can eliminate 99.97% of mold, pollen, bacteria, dust mites, and any airborne particles. We suggest that you use handheld air purifiers so you stay protected anywhere you go.
It is best to use in rooms with lots of textiles, like the bedroom, laundry area, or rooms with carpet.
3. Don’t let your Russian Blue cat get into your bedroom
It can be difficult not to cuddle or sleep with your cat in your bedroom if you have allergies. However, the bedroom is full of textiles, which traps cat fur easily.
Teach your Russian Blue early that the bedroom is off-limits by shutting the door at all times, ignoring door scratching, or using barriers to the door. You can also place their litter box outside your room.
4. Wash and replace your beddings regularly
In case you can’t resist cuddling with your Russian Blue cat in bed, just make sure you wash your covers at least every three to four days. Do this more frequently as needed.
Also, you might want to invest in cotton or linen beddings. These fabrics are considered hypoallergenic, so they will add protection against allergens. Using other types of bed covers can cause more hairs to get stuck and trigger allergies.
5. Wash your hands frequently
Wash your hands every time you play with your Russian Blue cat or after touching something your cat often uses. Allergens can stick to anything, so it’s better to be safe by having clean hands at all times.
Be careful not to bring your hand to your face after touching your cat, its toys or things, or any surface with fur. Your eyes, nose, and mouth are extremely sensitive to allergens, so watch out!
6. Wear pajamas or long-sleeved shirts when playing with your Russian Blue cat
There are times when you need to go to extreme lengths to avoid triggering allergies, especially during your Russian Blue cat’s shedding season. Long-sleeved shirts or pajamas will help minimize contact with allergens.
It’s highly suggested that you change immediately after playing with your feline friend to avoid shaking dust or fur on your exposed skin.
Tips for Grooming Your Russian Blue Cat at Home
Another advantage of choosing a Russian Blue Cat as a pet is their low-maintenance coat. These hypoallergenic furries don’t require a complex grooming routine, so they’re perfect for busy cat owners.
Yes, the Russian Blue cat is covered in a thick, dense, double-layered coat. But thanks to their undercoats, these hypoallergenic cats are light shedders. Thus, grooming will not be a challenging feat.
In fact, you can maintain your hypoallergenic feline friend at home! With that being said, here are some tips for grooming your Russian Blue cat:
- Brush your Russian Blue cat’s coat once to twice per week using a slicker brush. This will keep its coat clean and shiny by distributing natural oils all over its body. Spring is when your hypoallergenic Russian Blue cat sheds more than usual. Aside from taking extra caution, you should also remember to brush them more often. We recommend that you wear a mask and some gloves while doing this. The last thing you want is to inhale excess hair while grooming your Russian Blue cat.
- Bathe your Russian Blue cats only every four to six weeks. It’s never a good idea to bathe these cat breeds frequently. This will strip their silky coats of natural oils, resulting in dryness and other skin-related health problems. Keep their water warm, and use a cat-safe shampoo that contains essential oils to moisturize your Russian Blue cat’s coat and skin.
- Brush your Russian Blue cat’s teeth at least two times every week. Spend time brushing your cat’s teeth to make sure their breath smells good and there is no food residue stuck between their teeth. This will cause severe dental issues if left uncleaned.
- Clean other parts of your Russian Blue cat whenever necessary. Don’t forget to clean their ears and check for mites regularly. Wipe the corners of their eyes whenever they get dirty as well. It’s also important to trim their nails regularly. If this is hard for you, you can take your Russian Blue cat to the grooming salon for professional service. It’s a good idea to have a scratching post at home as this will help clean your cat’s nails.
These are only some of the tips for maintaining the Russian Blue cat at home. See, these felines aren’t demanding at all when it comes to their grooming routine. Make sure you introduce them to grooming early for the best results.
Remember that no matter how hypoallergenic the Russian Blues are, they will leave your home unsafe for people with allergies if left ungroomed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do Russian Blue Cats Shed a Lot?
No. Thanks to their double-layered coats, these cats are indeed light shedders. In fact, Russian Blue cats are one of the lowest shedding cats.
The Russian Blue cat has many hairs, which are angled at 45 degrees from the cat’s skin, so it’s attached stably enough not to shed when scratched or patted.
Are Russian Blue Mixes Hypoallergenic?
Yes. Russian Blue cats are actually one of the most hypoallergenic breeds. It’s not just because they have low shedding fur but because they produce less pet dander and Fel d1.
These are the other allergens responsible for triggering allergies in people.
What Is the Most Hypoallergenic Cat?
To be clear, no cat is completely allergen-free. Most cats just produce more allergens, like dander and Fel d 1, than hypoallergenic cats.
Some of the most hypoallergenic cats are Balinese, Siberian, Oriental Shorthair, Bengal, Sphynx, Russian Blue cats, and more. Among other breeds, these cats are generally safe for pet owners with moderate allergies.
Unlike other cats, Russian Blues are perfect for allergy sufferers. With this grey cat around, you don’t have to fear for your health thanks to its hypoallergenic, low-shedding coat.
Of course, protecting yourself from any possible allergens should still be a priority. Hopefully, you’ve picked up a thing or two on how to reduce allergies caused by Russian Blue cats.
If you can’t wait to take a Russian Blue cat home, read our guide on Russian Blue cat costs and expenses. After all, a cat is not just a family member but also a financial responsibility!
After that, once you’re ready to get a Russian Blue, try the 11 ways to get free kittens in your area. Who knows, maybe you’ll get lucky and find one for free.
Aside from their hypoallergenic qualities, what is the best thing about Russian Blue cats? Comment down below!