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Norwegian Forest cats are large, fluffy, and loveable cats. Cat lovers adore having these beauties as pets because of their personalities. Norwegian Forest cats tend to be playful, gentle towards other cats and children, affectionate to their loved ones, and very intelligent.
Overall, these cats are wonderful additions to your home. But their long fur can raise concerns if you or someone you live with has allergies to cats. So before you adopt a Norwegian Forest cat, take a look at whether this breed is hypoallergenic and how you can limit the allergy attacks you’ll experience.
So, Are Norwegian Forest Cats Hypoallergenic?
If you’re allergic to cats, I hate to be the bearer of bad news. Unfortunately, Norwegian Forest cats are not hypoallergenic.
These cats have thick, heavy coats that provided them with the protection they needed when they were living in Norway and hunting mice in the forest. Their fur is not only thick, but it’s also quite long. Longer hair on a cat means they’re more prone to shedding. And as you probably know, the more your cat sheds, the more likely someone is to have allergy symptoms. Do Norwegian Forest Cats shed? Find out here.
Norwegian Forest cats have three coats, like many other cat breeds. They have a topcoat, which helps to protect their fur and their skin from irritation and scratches. The intermediate coat is responsible for insulation and regulating body temperature. And lastly, the undercoat is the thickest coat they have. This area helps keep your furry friend warm. The warmth of an undercoat was especially important when these cats were living in the icy temperatures in Norway.
The undercoat is the thickest fur a cat can have. These hairs tend to be wavy or curly, making them much more prone to matting. With so much fur flowing from your beautiful Norwegian Forest cat, allergens are highly likely. If you’re very allergic, these may not be the best cats for you.
How Does Your Norwegian Forest Cat Trigger Your Allergies?
Many people have cat allergies. Some have more severe allergies than others, though. So why do so many people have allergies to cats? All cats produce the Fel D1 protein. The Fel D1 protein is found on a cat’s fur, skin, saliva, and anal glands. This protein can make its way into your home’s air and furniture as you cat roams your home.
Norwegian Forest cats produce the average amount of Fel D1 protein. Still, their longer fur tends to make people assume they’re more allergenic than other cat breeds. Surprisingly, the Norwegian Forest cat is not any more allergenic than a traditional short-haired house cat.
All cats produce this protein, but some breeds produce less of this than others. For example, male cats tend to have more Fel D1 protein than female cats. They tend to have more than female cats because of hormone production. Studies show that un-neutered male cats have more of the Fel D1 protein than neutered male cats. These studies suggest that if you adopt a female cat or get your male cat fixed, you may experience fewer allergy symptoms than if you have an un-neutered male cat.
How to Decrease Your Allergy Symptoms When You Have a Norwegian Forest Cat
Suppose your heart is set on keeping or adopting a Norwegian Forest cat despite your allergies. In that case, there are some things you can do to help reduce your allergy symptoms from your furry friend.
Keep Them Off Your Furniture
If you’re getting ready to adopt a Norwegian Forest cat, keeping them off your furniture from the start will help them learn to stay off as they get older. Keeping your Norwegian Forest cat off your furniture may be difficult if you’ve had them for a while and have previously let them lay next to you on the couch. But, keeping your cat off of your furniture such as the couch, bed, or chairs can help limit your allergy symptoms.
If you love having your furry friend cuddled up next to you after a long day, you can try to limit the amount of furniture they’re allowed on. For example, you can allow them only on the couch, but not anywhere on your bed. This way, you can still enjoy cuddling your cat, but they won’t be getting their fur all over your pillow on your bed.
You may find it challenging to train your cat to know they’re only allowed on particular furniture. Still, Norwegian Forest cats are very intelligent and catch on quickly. If you have to, just keep your bedroom door closed so they cannot access it.
Clean Your Home and Furniture Often
It can be challenging to keep your furry friend off your furniture. If you know you won’t be able to keep them off or simply don’t want to, cleaning off your furniture regularly can reduce allergies.
A lint roller can be your new best friend for getting any fur off your couch or fabric chairs. There are specific lint rollers that are perfect for removing pet dander from furniture. Vacuuming your home often can help too. This way, even if your cat doesn’t shed too much, you’re picking up tiny dust and dander particles that can cause itchy eyes and sneezing.
For those who have a cat that is on their bed, washing your sheets, pillowcases, and comforter often will be beneficial in reducing the allergy symptoms you experience.
Brush Them Often
These beautiful cats need to be brushed often due to their long and thick fur. Brushing your Norwegian Forest cat every few days not only will keep them happy because you’re limiting the possibility of mats forming, but it can help remove loose fur. Removing the loose fur when brushing will reduce the amount of shedding and hair that ends up all over your home.
Shedding is a common allergy trigger for many people. If you see that your cat is shedding more than usual, brushing out their fur can help. You may want to take an allergy pill before brushing them out since you’ll be up close and personal with their hair. Brushing your Norwegian Forest cat can also be a fantastic bonding experience for both you and your cat.
If you’re interested, have a read of our article with the best brushes for Norwegian Forest Cats.
Get Them Professionally Groomed
While brushing your cat yourself is free, once you purchase a great brush, of course, getting them groomed by a professional every once in a while may help with your allergy symptoms.
A professional will brush your cat’s fur very well, trim their nails, and even give them a bath. Bath time can be a traumatic experience for you and your cat, so having a professional handle the task and make it a much more pleasant experience. Groomers are trained to handle bathing with care and tact so that your cat doesn’t come out terrified of them in the future.
Another plus to having a professional handle bath time is, if your cat does get upset, they’re not upset with you. Cat’s don’t need a bath as often as humans do, so this isn’t something that needs to be taken often. But, a bath can help clean out allergens in your cat’s fur and on their skin.
Purchase an Air Purifier
A popular way to help limit allergy symptoms is to purchase an air purifier. Air purifiers help to remove any potentially harmful particles in the air. These are great for your cat too. Cats can have allergies just like humans. If your cat is having allergy symptoms, it may be shedding and sneezing more. This is not only unpleasant for them, but that releases even more allergens into the air that can affect you. Not only will these devices help with your cat allergies, but they can also help with any other allergens that may be floating around your home.
Adjust Your Cat’s Diet
Shedding contributes to a lot of allergies in humans. If your Norwegian Forest cat is shedding more than usual, it could signify their food isn’t sitting well with them. You can look at the ingredients in your cat’s food and then start them on a very plain diet to see if their shedding improves. Once you potentially identify the issue, you can feed them food that doesn’t contain that ingredient.
A faster way to identify if your cat has an intolerance or allergy to their food is to have their vet do an allergy test. Having your cat allergy-tested is going to cost more than trying our plain foods at home, but it will uncover any issues quickly rather than through trial and error over time. Adjusting your cat’s diet accordingly can limit the amount they’re shedding and improve your allergy symptoms in return.
Norwegian Forest cats are beautiful, intelligent, and affectionate cats that make a great furry companion for people of all ages. While this breed is not a hypoallergenic cat, there are several ways to help reduce your allergy symptoms from your furry friend.
Keeping your pet off furniture, using an air purifier, and grooming them often can help you live with fewer allergies, all while still having your furry friend by your side.