Maine Coons are glorious and majestic looking cats and it is well-liked by many cat lovers around the world.
But what if you suffer from cat allergies? Are you still able to keep a Maine Coon cat as a pet?
Before we go any further, let’s dive a little more into this cat breed.
Does A Maine Coon Cat Make A Good Pet?
Maine coon cats are also known as ‘gentle giants’ amongst the cat breeds and for good reason. They are one of the largest cat breeds and can grow up to a whopping 25lbs.
Carrying a cat of this size is enough to make your muscles burn after a few minutes.
Despite their large size, Maine Coon cats are very gentle and docile in nature hence the nickname. They socialize well with humans and other pets.
Aside from this, they are also very playful and intelligent cats. Many Maine Coons are very dog-like in behavior and enjoy playing fetch and going for walks with their owners.
They are also known for being affectionate cats that love to cuddle and hang out with their owners.
This brings us to the most important question.
Are Maine Coon Cats Hypoallergenic?
Unfortunately, they are not. Therefore, if you are someone with severe cat allergies and sensitivities, the Maine Coon is not the right cat for you.
Maine Coon cats are not hypoallergenic due to these reasons:
They Have A Triple Coat
Maine Coons are hardy cats that can withstand the cold due to their thick fur coat and it consists of three layers.
The outer layer is water-resistant and helps keep the Maine Coon dry. The inner two layers help to keep the cat warm during cold weather periods.
Long-haired cats like the Maine Coon tend to shed more than short-haired cat breeds. And coupled with the fact that Maine Coons come equipped with three layers of cat fur, that’s quite a lot of fur to be shed.
Maine Coons also shed more during the winter and summer months to help regulate their body temperature according to the seasons.
Greater Dander and Allergen Exposure
Many cat allergy sufferers think that it is cat fur that is causing their allergic reactions and sensitivities.
The main culprit or allergen responsible for cat allergies is the protein ‘Fel d1’. Cats produce this protein in their saliva, oil glands and urine.
When a cat grooms itself, this protein is passed on to the fur and sticks to it. And when the cat starts to shed its fur all over the house, the allergen gets distributed as well.
The Fel d1 protein is also secreted by a cat’s oil glands in its skin. When a cat sheds off its dead skin or dander, it can also start to cause an allergic reaction if you inhale it.
If you have a pet allergy, it is important to know how to get rid of pet dander at home.
Maine Coons Are High Maintenance Cats
Take one look at a Maine Coon cat and you can tell it will be a high maintenance cat. The rule of thumb is the shorter or lesser fur a cat has, the lesser grooming it requires.
Maine Coon cats require daily grooming due to the heavy and thick fur coat. The cat grooms itself by licking the outer coat but a lot of dust is trapped in the inner layers.
This can be solved by brushing your Maine Coon cat daily to remove dust and loose fur. However the more you brush your cat, the more dander and Fel d1 you will breathe in.
Therefore it would be better to use a mask or groom your Maine Coon in a well-ventilated area to prevent any allergic reactions.
Cat Allergies Symptoms
The Fel d1 can trigger allergic reactions almost instantly without any warning.
Here are some symptoms that you can experience during a flare up:
- Chest Tightness
- Running Nose
- Short Of Breath
- Watery Eyes
As you can see, having an allergy attack is no fun at all and can be rather debilitating. It is always good to keep some antihistamines on standby to alleviate the symptoms.
Still Keen On Keeping A Maine Coon?
If you are still dead bent on having a Maine Coon even after knowing that they aren’t hypoallergenic cats, here’s what you can do.
Give You Main Coon A Wipe Down
It is not feasible to give you Maine Coon a bath every day just to get rid of the allergens. It will cause a lot of distress to your cat and dry out its coat.
What you can do is to give your Maine Coon a good wipe down with a wet towel. Don’t use any scented wet wipes that can cause irritation and more shedding.
Just a wet towel or baby wipes will do.
This can help keep your cat allergies at bay if you towel wipe your Maine Coon daily.
Use A Mask When Clearing The Litter Box
When clearing the litter box of your cat, make sure to use a mask that can filter out the Fel d1 protein. This allergen is also found in a cat’s urine and can cause an allergic reaction.
It is also good to place the Maine Coon’s litter box in a well-ventilated area which can help disperse the allergens properly.
Train It Well
Maine Coons are very easy to train and can be used to your advantage when trying to reduce your cat allergies.
Train them to not enter your bedroom as you don’t want the cat leaving the protein in your sleeping area.
Some cats enjoy suckling or licking their owners which is bad for someone suffering from cat allergies as the Fel d1 concentration in cat saliva is very high.
You should train your Maine Coon to not lick you if possible.
Keep Your Main Coon’s Fur Neat And Trimmed
Besides daily grooming for your Maine Coon, it would be a good idea to bring your cat to a professional groomer once a month for them to do a proper job.
A good groomer will give your Maine Coon a shower and remove its dead fur and skin. They will also trim the fur if it’s getting out of hand.
One thing that you should not be doing is to shave your Maine Coon just to reduce shedding. Maine Coon cats use their fur to regulate body temperature and the lack of it can cause issues.
Can Maine Coons Be Hypoallergenic?
Not out of the blue unless it is genetically modified. There are some Maine Coon mix breeds that are supposedly more hypoallergenic. However, these breeds are rare and hard to find.
By using the methods above, you can reduce the allergens in your home to a great extend.
What Is The Best Cat For Someone With Allergies?
You should know by now that there are no special traits that make Maine Coon cats hypoallergenic. However, there are some cat breeds that are known to not induce allergic reactions as often as other breeds.
The Siberian is known for producing way less Fel d1 protein which makes it a good candidate for allergy sufferers.
Cats with very short hair like the Bengal, Devon Rex and Cornish Rex shed and groom less as well.
Are Maine Coons Expensive?
Maine Coons are one of the most expensive cat breeds to own due to their popularity. Maine Coon kittens can easily cost $1000 and more depending on the grade of the breeder.
It takes time and effort to breed a healthy bloodline of Maine Coons hence the higher asking price.
Do note that female Maine Coons produce less Fel d1 than male cats so it is better to get a female if you have cat allergies.
As amazing as Maine Coons are, you should think thrice about owning a cat if you have severe cat allergies or sensitivities.
It can be torturous dealing with an allergic reaction on a daily basis because of your cat.
If your allergy symptoms aren’t that serious then you can help manage the situation with the above suggestions.