Many people will claim that although they are allergic to cats in general, they can tolerate Ragdoll cats just fine! In fact, some cat owners that previously couldn’t own a domestic cat found that they could own and snuggle up to their very own Ragdoll without any issues. However, the truth remains that Ragdolls are NOT hypoallergenic, but it is likely that if you are allergic to cats, you might just be less allergic to Ragdolls, and here is why.
Why People are Allergic to Cats
About 60-90% of allergic reactions to cats are caused by a protein called Fel d-1. This protein is produced only in cats, either in their saliva or sebaceous glands (glands in the skin). When the Fel d-1 soaked saliva dries out in a cat’s fur (left from grooming itself), it can break off and become airborne, essentially creating an allergy-ridden indoor space.
So Why Can Some People Tolerate Ragdolls?
Unlike most longhair cat breeds, the Ragdoll does not have an undercoat and they do not shed as intensely. The Fel d-1 protein is spread largely through cat hair particles that get left all over a home, and because the Ragdoll doesn’t leave as much hair everywhere you’re less likely to come in contact with the allergen protein. At least this is the best theory we have; in reality many people seem to tolerate the Ragdoll just fine, which is the best observational study we have!
Is a Ragdoll Right for You?
If you’re allergic to cats and wondering if a Ragdoll is right for you, there are a few things you can do to figure out if this breed is right for you.
Breeders will sometimes send you a sample of Ragdoll hair in the mail upon request, and you can see how you respond to handling that patch of hair. Even better, some breeders will let you take a visit of their cattery and hang around the Ragdolls for a while to see how you react. This is probably the best option if you can do it as the Ragdoll hair articles will truly be everywhere and will give you an accurate idea of what it’ll be like to have one in your home.