Allergies

There exists a great deal of disparity in the individual allergic response, and this disparity does not end when dealing with cats in general and sphynx in specific.  The feline species as a whole produces at least six antigens (geographic protein sites recognized by the immune surveillance system) known to cause sensitivity to human beings--the most allergenic and best defined antigens are the feline d 1 protein and feline albumin.  These antigens are secreted by all types of cats, so no cat can be said to be non-allergenic.  The term hypoallergenic, however, has been attached to some breeds of cat including the sphynx, and this is a topic of much debate among cat breeders.

In the strictest sense of the word, "hypoallergenic" means producing a lower amount of allergic response.  There are some other definitions of this word including that used by the allergy community which affixes this term to substances that have been tested and shown to yield a decreased allergenicity to test volunteers as compared to a standardized comparison substance.  It is well known that some breeds of cat have much greater allergenicity than do other breeds, and sphynx have been noted by allergists to be one of the breeds with relatively less allergenicity.  This, however, does not guarantee that a susceptible individual will not suffer an allergic response when encountering a sphynx.  This does mean that a population of allergy sufferers will report less effects as a group after contact with the sphynxas compared to effects on the group after contact to a more allergenic breed.

Recent studies by allergists have shown that one of the most effective manners in which to decrease feline allergen levels in the air of household's with cats is by washing the cat on a weekly basis--doing so reduced airborne Fel d 1 levels by 40-80% in one study with the range of levels dependent on the length and thoroughness of the baths given.   Sphynx need to be bathed with this regularity in order to remove the sebum which accumulates on their skin, and this may be one reason why many feline allergy sensitive sphynx owners that take appropriate care of their sphynx report little or no allergy symptoms when living in the same environment.  Of course, the sphynx may also produce less of the fel d 1, feline albumin and other proteins which elicit such responses; however, these studies have never been done making it impossible to make this statement with surety.  One can, however, make a strong statement regarding the sphynx's paucity of hair relating to a decrease in the cat's ability to concentrate and store allergens secreted by the skin.

At Beeblebrox, we encourage feline allergy sufferers that still wish to have a cat to go to a show or visit our cattery in order to see if they can tolerate living with a sphynx.  Beeblebrox does offer an allergy guarantee that for the first seven days after placing we will take back a sphynx that causes its new owner allergies (documented by the owner's physician) with a refund of 75% of the initial price of the cat less fees for shipping and veterinary charges if applicable.