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Is a Bombay Cat Hypoallergenic? Vet-Reviewed Allergy Facts & Tips

Written by: Kristin Hitchcock

Last Updated on June 4, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

bombay cat

Is a Bombay Cat Hypoallergenic? Vet-Reviewed Allergy Facts & Tips


Dr. Luqman Javed Photo


Dr. Luqman Javed

DVM (Veterinarian)

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Bombay cats are not considered hypoallergenic. While no breed is truly hypoallergenic, some are known to produce fewer allergic reactions in individuals who are sensitive to cat allergens. These reactions are typically caused by a protein called Fel d 1, which is in a cat’s saliva and dander.

However, cats make several proteins that can cause allergic reactions. At least 10 proteins have been identified in a cat’s saliva, urine, skin, and fur.

Although the Bombay cat has a short and glossy coat, which may result in fewer allergens being released into the environment, it does not guarantee that individuals with allergies will not experience a reaction.

Allergies can vary from person to person, and some may still react to the proteins produced by the Bombay cat. If you have allergies, it is recommended to spend time with a Bombay cat or consult a doctor before bringing one into your home to see if you have any allergic reactions.

The type of cat you’re allergic to can also vary. Sometimes, you may react more intensely to a male or female cat. The same can be said for breeds of cats. Even if we don’t completely understand it yet, those with allergies can react strongly to some breeds and hardly at all to others.

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What Makes a Cat Hypoallergenic?

All cats produce proteins that cause allergic reactions. Therefore, all cats can technically cause allergy symptoms in some cases. No cat breed is entirely hypoallergenic. “Hypoallergenic” cats produce lower levels of the protein or have different coat properties that reduce the spread of allergens.

Several breeds may anecdotally produce fewer proteins than other breeds. They can cause milder signs or be more tolerable for individuals with allergies.

However, Bombay cats do not fall into this category.

overweight bombay cat
Image Credit: rodrigocswm, Pixabay

Are Any Cat Breeds Hypoallergenic?

Some breeds are considered hypoallergenic because they aren’t considered to be heavy shedders, or anecdotal evidence suggests they may produce fewer allergens. The breeds that fall into this category are the Balinese, Russian Blue, and Siberian. They may produce fewer allergens than other felines, which can lead to fewer allergy signs for sufferers.

These cats might be worth considering for individuals with allergies, but it’s essential to note that individual reactions can vary. Spending time with the specific breed before bringing one home or consulting an allergist is recommended.

Bombay cats produce about the same number of proteins as other felines. Therefore, they won’t produce fewer allergy signs for those sensitive to them. However, because every person is different, some might do fine with a Bombay cat even though they have allergies. The only way to know is to try one out.

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How Can I Reduce Cat Allergens in My Home?

To minimize cat allergens in your home, consider taking a few measures. Regularly grooming your cat, including brushing their coat to reduce shedding, can help. However, it depends on the breed. Some cats don’t shed much and, therefore, don’t need much brushing.

Bombay cats shed much less overall than most other breeds. Therefore, brushing may help a little bit, but it won’t help as much as it does for other cats. Using high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters in your home, vacuuming frequently with a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner, and keeping surfaces clean can also reduce allergens.

Allergens can stick to all surfaces (but are often found on fabrics, such as on couches, drapes, or upholstery), so cleaning your home frequently can go a long way to reducing the number of allergens in your home. Steam cleaning the fabrics and carpets can help. Although it’s expensive, you can replace your carpet with tile flooring to limit the areas where allergens are most prevalent in a house.

Establishing cat-free zones in the house and using allergen-blocking bedding and covers may also help. We recommend not allowing the cat into your bedroom. You’ll sleep with fewer allergens around, which will make you much less likely to experience allergy signs.

Plus, washing your hands after interacting with your cat and avoiding touching your face can reduce allergic reactions. Your hands are a direct route for allergens to enter your face, so keeping your hands clean is essential.

bombay cat on the grass
Image Credit: Viktor Sergeevich, Shutterstock

What Are Common Signs of Cat Allergies?

Cat allergies typically need a diagnosis by a doctor. Sometimes, you’ll notice a pattern of exposure and signs, which can help you determine what you’re allergic to. For instance, if you always have a reaction a few minutes after petting a cat, you may be allergic to cats.

However, allergy tests are often necessary to truly diagnose allergies. Just because you seem to react whenever you’re around a cat doesn’t necessarily mean you’re allergic to it. However, some people have more serious signs than others. Here are some of the most common signs of cat allergies:

  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Itchy or watery eyes
  • Itching or rash on the skin
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Asthma-like symptoms

These signs occur because the immune system reacts to a protein as dangerous, even when it isn’t. All allergy signs occur due to this underlying cause, which is why the reactions are mostly the same regardless of the allergen.

Bombay Cat
Image Credit: Steven Reynolds, Flickr

Can a Person with Allergies Live with a Bombay Cat?

It depends mainly on the person and the signs. Bombay cats may not trigger any allergies in some people, but they may trigger severe allergies in others. Proteins vary from feline to feline, even within the same breed. Therefore, the only way to determine if you can live with a Bombay cat is to spend time with one.

Often, a breeder will allow you to spend time with a kitten before taking them home. This allows you to determine whether you can live with the kitten. You can also speak to your doctor, who knows the most about your allergies.

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Final Thoughts

Bombay cats, unfortunately, aren’t considered hypoallergenic. While some breeds elicit fewer allergic reactions than others, Bombay cats don’t fall into that category. They produce the same amount of allergies as other cats, though individuals react differently to certain allergens.

The only way to know if you can be around Bombay cats is to spend time with one. It’s best to spend time with the kitten you’re considering adopting, as proteins will vary from cat to cat, even within the same breed and bloodline.

Featured Image Credit: Pickpik

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