Are Siberians Hypoallergenic

Are Siberians Hypoallergenic?
In 2005, in a joint non-published study with UC Davis, we found roughly half of Siberians produced considerably less Fel-d1 allergen than other domestic cats and cat breeds. No other breed was found to have consistent changes in allergen levels. In connection with KittenTesting, we have now tested over 600 Siberian cats and kittens. Only 15% of Siberians are suitable for homes with moderate to acute cat allergies.  

What is Cat Allergen #1
Fel d1 is the first allergen discovered in house cats. It is a very small protein that seems to be a scent marker – possibly identifying self & group.  Each allergen in plants and animals is given a number when it is identified.  At least eight other cat allergens have been registered.

Do little kittens produce Fel d1?
Cat allergies begins to show when kittens are 11 weeks old, and levels can increase for several months.  Families with allergies should never purchase or agree to purchase kittens less than 12 weeks old.

Do low allergen matings always produce low kittens?
No. There are many allergen mutations in Siberians, and most are additive in effect. Mating a low-allergen sire and dam has the best chance of producing lower allergen kittens, but normal allergen kittens can be found in most matings. Mating cats with normal Fel d1 levels always produces normal allergen kittens.

Does fur length affect allergens?
Fur length does not increase or decrease the amount of allergen.  Cats remove a large amount of allergen from the hair through grooming, but allergen in the saliva becomes airborne. Siberians can have very fine undercoat hair that can cause eye irritation and mild itching.

Does color affect allergen
Coat color is not directly related to allergen levels in Siberians, with one exception.  Silver, Smoke, & Bi-Metalic Siberians are all high allergen.  These colors were produced by outcrossing with Persians and other breeds.  Why these colors produce higher allergen is unknown at this time.

What about Neva (Colorpoint) Siberians
Early colorpoint Siberians from the St. Petersburg region tended to be much lower allergen than Traditional (Black Amber Tabby), but various low allergen mutations are found throughout the breed.  In US registries colorpoints are registered as Siberian, but in several foreign registries Neva are considered a separate Russian breed.  

Do males produce more allergen?
Cat allergen is hormonally controlled, with non-neutered males producing the highest levels. After neutering, allergen levels in males and females are similar. Allergen levels of exceptionally low allergen Siberian males do not seem to change with neutering.

Where is Fel d1 produced?
Fel-d1 is produced in the saliva, oil glands in the skin, and the perianal glands. During grooming, Fel-d1 from saliva becomes airborne. Allergen on the fur is oily and easily is transferred to clothing, carpet, and upholstery. Litter boxes contain the highest amount of cat allergens.

Detailed articles about cat allergies: