SIBERIAN CATS AND ALLERGIES
Sensitivity to animals, especially to cats, is one of the most frequently seen allergies. In fact, millions of North Americans suffer from cat allergies. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, chronic sore throat and / or scratchy throat, coughing, wheezing, itchy skin, red, itchy, watery eyes, nasal congestion, itchy nose and sneezing.
Research has revealed that Fel D1, a small protein found only in cats, is produced in the sebaceous glands of their skin and saliva and is responsible for 60 to 90% of allergic responses to felines. The biological function of this protein is completely unknown at this time, Cats groom themselves constantly and spread their saliva across their fur in the process. There, the saliva ladened with Fel D1 dries, sheds and floats off throughout the cat’s natural environment. The Siberian cat produces lower levels of Fel D1 and therefore provokes less allergic reactions than do most other cats and can be said to have hypo-allergenic qualities (having a decreased tendency to provoke an allergic reaction). The only definitive testing, knowing if your allergies will tolerate this wonderful breed, is to spend some time in a home with an adult Siberian or to obtain samples of fur from adult Siberians.
Multiple factors cause variations in Fel D1 levels in cats. The highest levels are found in breeding males followed by breeding females. Neuters of both sexes have considerably lower levels, as do kittens. Early sterilization is highly recommended to prevent the rapid increase of the allergen as the cat approaches maturity.