Cosy cuddles or a nasty sneeze fest—is the Maine Coon hypoallergenic?
If you’ve had cat or dog allergies in the past, it’s crucial you remain fully aware of the Maine Coon’s hypoallergenic status before adopting this breed.
We’ll be upfront about it—this breed isn’t hypoallergenic, but that doesn’t mean you can’t hang out around them. This might come as a surprise to many cat parents, but no kitty is 100% hypoallergenic. Whether a cat is long-haired, short-haired, or even hairless like Sphynx, they will all secrete allergens to some degree! It’s all about knowing the right care regime that helps minimise the airborne allergens released by them.
In this guide, we’ll answer the following questions:
- What kind of allergens do cats like Maine Coons produce?
- Should people allergic to cats avoid contact with this breed?
- What strategies/remedies can help deal with Maine Coon cat allergies?
When your loser hooman keeps begging you to hide because some rando had sneezed and said, “It’s me or the cat.”
The allergen problem—why are Maine Coon cats not hypoallergenic?
It’s a common misconception that a kitty’s fur is the allergy trigger for humans allergic to cats when the real culprit is Fel d 1, a protein complex. Fel d 1 is secreted by the sebaceous glands of all cats and is found in their:
- Urine and poo
- Skin, fur, and dander (dead skin)
According to studies, Fel d 1 is the dominant feline allergen, as around 80%–95% of patients dealing with cat allergies have antigens related to this protein in their bodies. A small percentage of patients are sensitive to Fel d 2 and Fel d 4 proteins, also secreted by sebaceous glands. That is why all cats, irrespective of breed, age, and coat length, produce allergens. If you’re allergic to cats, the primary allergy management strategy is to limit your exposure to the five allergen sources we mentioned above.
When people analyse the hypoallergenic status of Maine Coons or other cats, they usually refer to the:
- Fel d 1 concentration in secretions—People with allergies prefer certain breeds (like Siamese, Russian Blues, Bengals, and Siberians) that may produce low levels of Fel d 1. Maine Coons secrete a regular amount of the protein, similar to other cats
- Shedding intensity—Since fur and dander are carriers of Fel d 1, breeds who shed less automatically trigger fewer reactions in allergy-prone humans. Maine Coons living outdoors in cold climates usually shed twice a year, but kittens and healthy adults living indoors don’t shed that much
So, what’s the verdict—are Maine Coon cats for allergy sufferers?
According to feline experts, living or engaging with Maine Coons shouldn’t be a problem if you have mild allergies. It’s common for allergic cat parents to depend on non-drowsy antihistamines like cetirizine and loratadine to put a lid on low-intensity symptoms, including:
- Runny nose
- Irritation of the throat and mouth
- Watery eyes
- Itchy skin
Many allergy-prone cat parents don’t even need meds if they take suitable precautions and follow a meticulous care regimen for their Maine Coons.
Horror show or go with the flow—What could go wrong?
Doctors don’t recommend living with any cat if your symptoms are too unpleasant or cause anaphylaxis. The critical symptoms include:
- Hives with swelling
- Vomiting and diarrhoea
- Disorientation or dizziness
- Difficulty swallowing
- Loss of consciousness
If you have severe allergies, it’s good practice to keep adrenaline auto-injectors handy to prevent an anaphylaxis episode due to unpredictable exposures. In case you want to adopt a cat despite having unmanageable symptoms, consult your allergy doctor for precise solutions.
Living with Maine Coon cats and allergies—handy tips
There are three strategies to control your exposure to the allergens produced by your pet:
- Self-level precautions
- Environment-level protection
- Feline-level care
Self-hygiene and precautions explained
Caring for a Maine Coon while suffering from a cat allergy requires some basic hygiene and precaution exercises. Here’s are some essential tips you can follow:
- Don’t let your Maine Coon lick you
- Avoid stroking your pet’s hair strands, especially when they’re sweaty
- Don’t touch your face, eyes, and nose after petting, hugging, or kissing your kitty
- Wash your hands religiously after touching or playing with them
- Use gloves while gardening if your Maine Coon litters outside
- Get help from family members who aren't allergic for chores like grooming or cleaning the litter box
If you are going to visit someone with a cat, you can:
- Take allergy medications (preferably those prescribed by your doc)
- Wear a face mask around their pet (it’s not an extreme move if your allergies are bad)
- Use dander-removing over-the-counter cat sprays and wipes
Your clothes may collect allergens during the visit, so make sure you wash them well before wearing them again.
So, hooman, about the no-climbing-on-bed rule—I disapprove.
Source: Kate Stone Matheson
Environment management for cat allergy sufferers
Environment management is an important part of minimising allergen deposits—in this case, cat fur, dander, and saliva—in your living space. Consult the table for more details:
Allergen deposits (Area)
Floor and surfaces
Furniture and beds
If your new roommate or significant other has a cat, talk to them about executing the necessary environmental precautions for managing allergies.
Feline care to minimise airborne allergens
Looking after your Maine Coon’s health makes all the difference in reducing the amount of fur and dander they release. You can reduce cat allergens by:
- Grooming your Maine Coon
- Investing in quality cat food products
Easy there, mum.
Tame that mane—how to groom your Maine Coon
Regular grooming can help get rid of dead fur and dander in an orderly manner. You need to tweak the way you groom your cat to prevent allergens from spreading across the room or collecting on surfaces. Here are some tricks you can follow:
- Brush your cat outside—This helps keep the loose fur and dander out of the household. You should brush Maine Coons every two or three days and use deshedding tools, if necessary. It’s better if a non-allergic person does the brushing in your stead, which shouldn’t be a problem as this is a sweet-tempered breed
- Use a damp cloth to wipe their coat—If you have to do the grooming by yourself, using a damp washcloth will ensure the fur and dander stick to the fabric and don’t drift away in the air
- Bathe your kitty often—Bathe your kitty with a gentle and degreasing shampoo at least once every week
Why nutrition plays a key role in managing cat allergies
Providing quality nutrition to your kitty is an underrated hack to control shedding, which automatically reduces the allergens you’re exposed to. Indoor Maine Coons often shed excessively because of what they eat, which can be:
- Commercial dry or wet food packed with non-nutritive filler ingredients
- Food that triggers allergies (dairy, beef, grains, etc.)
- Toxic food (such as contaminated raw eggs or meat)
If you want to prevent unnatural shedding in your Maine Coon, you must feed them a balanced diet containing:
- Suitable proteins—Your kitty’s meals should have adequate portions of proteins (specifically amino acids taurine and cysteine) that strengthen fur roots and reduce oxidative stress. In general, cat food should have over 50% proteins from whole meats like chicken, turkey, tuna, and salmon, which are naturally rich in these micronutrients
- Healthy fats—Cats need a small quantity of healthy fatty acids like omega-3 to have a shiny and supple coat with less shedding. This nutrient also prevents skin dryness and adds the signature lustre to a Maine Coon’s coat. Seafood like tuna, salmon, mackerel, and sardine are some of the best sources of healthy fats for cats
- Vitamins and minerals—Micronutrients like vitamin E, selenium, and iron are necessary for multiple functions like boosting blood circulation to the skin and protecting the cell membranes of hair follicles. You don’t have to worry about vitamin or mineral deficiencies if your kitty is on a quality whole meat diet
What’s better for a Maine Coon kitty’s skin—wet, dry, or raw food?
- Denting of epidermis and accumulation of dead skin due to loss of elasticity
- Sparse coat and loss of fur in patches
It’s risky to feed raw food to Maine Coons as such products have a high chance of getting contaminated with pathogens during storage and handling. A raw diet can lead to food poisoning and infections, which in turn cause skin peeling and shedding.
Feel-good food for fluffy felines—let Untamed’s electrifying whole meat proteins strengthen your kitty’s coat!
Image (c) Untamed
Keep your kitty’s coat condition in check with Untamed
Choosing Untamed wet food for your kitty can make living with cat allergies easier. We offer meals that promote overall feline health and minimise dander production. Our gravy and jelly canned products are prepared with top-quality human-grade whole meat and fish, free from meat derivatives, grains, plant proteins, and sugar.
Our food will boost your kitty’s health inside and out. We improve feline skin and coat condition by offering:
- Healthy proteins—Our meals are 60%–63% whole meat, and that’s about two times more than what average products offer!
- Balanced nutrition—We use vet-designed formulas that include correct ratios of all essential micronutrients like vitamin E and taurine
- Allergen-free meals—Our recipes are free from common allergens like dairy, taste enhancers, and preservatives. If your pet has food allergies or stomach sensitivities, give them our single-protein Chocka Chicken and Tuck-in Tuna in Jelly meals
- High digestibility—We use a gentle steaming method to make our dishes aromatic, delicious, and easy to digest. Cats can absorb nutrients much better from gently steamed food (as compared to overly processed products)
If your kitty has refused wet food before, Untamed is here to bewitch them! Our tasty chicken, duck, ham, tuna, salmon, sardine, mackerel, and shrimp meals are made to impress fussy kitties. Take our TRY NOW quiz to see which products your kitty would like—you can order a taster pack at a bargain price!
Cat allergies and kitties—coexisting is easier with Untamed!
Untamed is not a mere shedding management food for Maine Coons. Our moisture-rich and grain-free food supports lifetime health irrespective of your kitty’s breed or life stage. You can also go for Untamed to:
- Help kittens gain healthy weight (with suitable serving sizes and meal plans)
- Keep adults fit with controlled calorie intake
- Boost weight and appetite in senior cats
Here’s what our happy pawrents have noticed after switching to regular Untamed meals:
The Untamed bliss!
Cat dander may stay yonder—you and your kitty can live in harmony with Untamed cat food!
Image (c) Untamed
Let your kitty sample our meals!
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- Take our TRY NOW quiz
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Our services include many awesome perks, such as:
- Free cat food shipping
- Delivery of Untamed supplies every month
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We’re an ethically conscious brand and go out of our way to keep our carbon footprint neutral. Our packaging is fully recyclable, and the meat and seafood we use are sourced from cruelty-free and sustainable suppliers.