Siamese cats have an unmistakable beauty and grace. With their sleek bodies and striking blue eyes, it is easy to understand why people have been drawn to these unique felines for millennia.
And in fact, Siamese cats are one of the oldest cat breeds in the world, according to St. Vital Veterinary Hospital.
But one of the reasons that continue to make Siamese cats so popular today has nothing to do with their breed history. Rather, it is their so-called hypoallergenic coat.
Do Siamese cats shed? The most correct answer is more complicated than popular media would have you believe. Let’s dive into this topic together now!
Do Siamese Cats Shed?
According to Bond Veterinary Clinic, Siamese cats have a low-shedding coat. This means that Siamese cats shed less than most other cat breeds. But they still do shed. In fact, all cats shed somewhat – even so-called “hairless” cat breeds!
Read on to learn more about how the myth of the hypoallergenic at first arose.
Learn About Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds
In this YouTube video, you can learn from an experienced cat owner how the myth of hypoallergenic cat breeds arose in the first place.
It is a short step from saying a cat is “non-shedding” to saying that a cat is “hypo-allergenic,” but it is a very important step if you have cat allergies!
As the video points out, if you do run across any Siamese cat breeder claiming that their kittens or cats are “hypoallergenic,” this is a breeder that is being less than truthful just to sell their cats!
What Causes Cat Allergies?
The real cause of cat allergies isn’t actual cat hair. Rather, it is a protein that is secreted through a cat’s saliva, skin, and urine.
Not surprisingly, since Siamese cats (and all cats) spend a lot of time grooming themselves, they are spreading this protein allergen all over their fur every time they lick or groom themselves.
People with allergies to this protein will come into contact with it in several ways. The most common is by cleaning up shed-out cat hair, which is why cats that shed less visibly, like the Siamese cat, are said to be “non-shedding” breeds.
As Cat Care of Vinings explains, the reason some cats shed less visibly has to do with a number of factors, including hair length, coat thickness, overall health, diet, a lack of regular brushing and grooming, seasonal shifts, and more.
Let’s take a look at each of these factors in more detail now.
When a cat has longer fur, it is easy to assume that the cat sheds more. But in most cases, that cat is not actually shedding out more hair. It just looks like more hair because the cat has long hair.
Some cat breeds have double layer coats while other cat breeds have single layer coats. Siamese cats, thankfully, have the latter coat type.
But when you have a cat that has a dual-layer coat – a protective outer layer and an insulating inner layer – you are going to see twice as much shed hair.
Just like people can, cats can suffer from a range of health issues including skin allergies, auto-immune function problems, food sensitivities, and more.
Sometimes these issues can cause hair loss in cats.
Another problem that can cause hair loss is pest or flea infestation.
Anxiety or stress
Cats are very sensitive animals. They crave routine and familiarity. Some cats are more highly strung than other breeds. The Siamese cat is a particularly sensitive and intelligent cat breed.
Any type of stressor can cause hair loss in cats, from a change of home to the loss of a family member (or another pet) to even a simple change of cat food brands.
When a Siamese cat isn’t enough the right food for their age and stage of life, this can cause excessive hair loss and poor regrowth.
Brushing and grooming
Cats need regular brushing and grooming to keep their skin and coat healthy. But what many cat owners don’t realize at first is that brushing your cat regularly can also pull out dead hair to keep it off your floors, furniture, and clothing.
For people who have cat protein allergies, regular brushing is one of the best ways to minimize your contact with the dead, shed hair.
Not only do cats need to shed out old hair and grow new hair all year long, but seasonal weather shifts will trigger hair loss in many cats.
While this is more common in double-coated cats rather than single-coated cats like the Siamese, it will happen to some extent in all cats.
Learn About the Siamese Cat Coat
Did you know there is a National Siamese Cat Day each year?
According to NC State University College of Veterinary Medicine, every April 5th is National Siamese Cat Day.
These cats take their name from the country that is now Thailand and used to be called Siam.
Thailand is temperate all year long. The climate is tropical and tends to stay warm all year long. So a cat breed that comes from this area of the world would not have any need to develop a thick, double-layer coat for warmth.
In fact, the Siamese cat’s coat type is also short and fine, which is also in keeping with life year-round in a warm tropical climate.
So even though the Siamese, like all cats, has to shed hair from time to time to replenish their coat, when they shed it won’t create a lot of mess to clean up.
Why Are Siamese Cats Said to Be Good Cats for Pet Allergy Sufferers?
The main reason why Siamese cats seem to be on everybody’s list of the best cat breeds for people with pet allergies is due to their thin, fine, single layer coat.
As you now know, a cat that has a thinner, finer, single-layer coat is not going to shed as often or as much hair.
Since the aggravating protein that causes pet allergies can be contacted through shed hair, this means you will have less shed hair to clean up and will suffer less exposure to the protein.
However, it is important to know that you can also contact the protein by cleaning out the kitty litter box and by handling your cat.
What to Do If You Want a Siamese and Have Cat Allergies
As WebMD points out, approximately 10 percent of people will have an allergy to pet dander.
For up to 30 percent of those, the allergic reaction can be severe.
If you want to get a Siamese cat but you have a cat allergy, the first step is to visit your doctor and confirm that your symptoms are actually linked to cat protein allergens. Your doctor can do a test to determine what is causing your symptoms.
If the test confirms that the allergy symptoms arise due to contact with cat dander, you do have some options, including allergy medications, allergy shots, and indoor air filters.
The best next step is to spend some time around a friend’s Siamese cat and see how you feel after. Then you can decide if your health will be able to tolerate having a Siamese cat of your own at home.