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Are British Shorthair cats hypoallergenic? All cat allergy sufferers need to know

Life is a series of compromises for cat allergy sufferers who dream of a feline companion. Either you don’t get a cat at all, or you have to find ways to survive with a perpetually runny nose, itchy eyes, and constant sneezing.

If you intend to adopt an adorable kitten, and their very presence implies a sneeze fest for you, it can be pretty disheartening. Then you hear that some felines have acquired a reputation for being hypoallergenic. British Shorthairs are on the list, and since they are adorable and incredible companions for any family, you prepare for a quirky celebratory dance.

Before you get into the celebration mode, it pays to do some research. Are British Shorthair cats hypoallergenic? Untamed delves deep into the matter and explains if life with this breed is possible for cat allergy sufferers and how.

Is a British Shorthair cat hypoallergenic?

I’m worth a few sneezes, aren’t I?

Source: John D

Sadly, you won't get the answer you have been hoping for. British Shorthairs are many things:

What these felines aren't is hypoallergenic. British Shorthair cats produce allergens in the same quantities as most other cats, and they will trigger the same allergic reactions as other breeds. 

It's uncertain how these felines got a reputation for being hypoallergenic. It could be because of their shorter fur, as people tend to believe that long-haired cats cause more problems to allergy sufferers. Unfortunately, the length of the coat has nothing to do with it. Another reason might be that British Shorthairs don't shed excessively, but their hairs still get on every surface in your home.

Why do British Shorthairs cause allergic reactions in some people?

Allergies are caused by airborne protein particles that can trigger an immune response in allergy sufferers, causing symptoms such as:

  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Congestion
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Itchy, red, and swollen eyes
  • Skin rash

Cat allergies are caused by Fel d 1 protein, and all cats, including British Shorthairs, produce it. This protein is present in felines' dander, urine, and saliva. As your cat cleans themselves, they leave their saliva on the fur, and as they shed, this protein gets transported everywhere.

For this reason, there are no hypoallergenic cats, but there are felines that can better suit allergy sufferers. When deciding if a cat breed is a good choice for people who struggle with cat allergies, you need to consider:

  1. The Fel d 1 protein production—Some cat breeds, including Siamese, Russian Blues, Bengals, and Siberians, produce lower amounts of this protein. British Shorthairs are not on the list because they produce the regular amount of Fel d 1 in secretions
  2. Shedding intensity—Fur and dander carry this protein, so cats who shed less trigger fewer allergic reactions. Even so, Fel d 1 particles can travel far even without the fur, and even hairless cats can cause allergies. Since British Shorthairs shed moderately and have a relatively high dander production, they are highly likely to cause such issues. Given that they are a short-haired breed, their fur doesn't trap dander closer to their skin, so the particles move to the end of their hair and becomes airborne easily

In addition, Fel d 1 is a stable protein and can linger in your upholstery and carpets long after the cat has been removed. Still, it doesn't mean you are doomed to a catless life—living with a kitty even if you suffer from cat allergies is quite doable. 

How to prevent a British Shorthair from triggering your allergies

See… I knew we could find a compromise. All I needed was a box, and your sofa is free. 

Source: John D

If you struggle with cat allergies, you will experience some discomfort for as long as you live with a cat—there's no way around it. What you can do is reduce the symptoms, so they don't bother you much. Your body might also get used to the Fel d 1, diminishing your allergies, or you may get allergy medication, but that shouldn't be your long-term solution. Your safest bet is to take some preventive measures, such as:

  1. Fortifying your home
  2. Training your cat
  3. Grooming your British Shorthair
  4. Changing your feline's diet

Fortifying your home

There are a few allergy-combating devices you can invest in to help you manage your cat allergies:

  • HEPA filters—A high-efficiency particulate absorbing filter in your HVAC system can help reduce allergy symptoms, as it can capture 99.5% of particles and prevent them from going back into your home
  • High-quality vacuum cleaner—A good vacuum cleaner, preferably with a HEPA filter, can help you maintain the cleanliness of your home better. You should also dust your home regularly and wipe all surfaces with a damp cloth
  • Air purifiers—You should have one in your bedroom, keep it running throughout the night, and consider getting an additional one in another place in your home

Training your British Shorthair

Hey! It’s not my fault you left the bedroom door open!

Source: Ani Adigyozalyan

British Shorthairs are highly intelligent, so training them won't be an issue. They also love being cognitively engaged, so you will kill two birds with one stone by:

  1. Keeping your kitty happy while spending quality time with them
  2. Curbing the spread of allergies by teaching them where they can't go and what they can't do

Here is what you should teach your British Shorthair:

  • Not to lick you
  • To stay away from your bedroom
  • Not to get on the upholstered furniture
  • To use the litter tray

Grooming your British Shorthair

Even if you don't suffer from cat allergies, you should brush your British Shorthair at least once a week. It will help reduce shedding and remove dander caught in dead hair.

The best way to go about it is to brush your kitty outside while wearing a face mask. After you have finished brushing, wipe your kitty with a damp cloth. You should also take off and wash all the clothes you wore for the occasion. 

Besides brushing, you should also bathe your cat at least once a month. Although more frequent bathing would be even more beneficial for your allergies, it wouldn't do any favours to your British Shorthair. 

Switching to high-quality cat food

Quality nutrition can help control shedding and automatically reduce the allergens in your home, as many skin and coat issues in indoor British Shorthairs are caused by the food they eat.

Check out the table below to see the most common culprits for increased shedding and skin problems in felines:


Ingredients to avoid

Low-quality dry or wet food with non-nutritive filler ingredients

Food that contains common allergens

Food that can be toxic for felines

To prevent your British Shorthair from shedding excessively, you must feed them a well-balanced diet containing:

  1. Animal proteinYour kitty's meals should have at least 50% of animal proteins from whole meat and fish, such as chicken, turkey, duck, tuna, salmon, and prawns. These ingredients are rich in essential amino acids (specifically taurine and cysteine) crucial for strong hair roots and oxidative stress reduction
  2. Animal fat—Up to 20% of animal fat is necessary for a healthy feline diet. It ensures your kitty gets healthy fatty acids that will help with shedding and skin dryness, making your British Shorthair's fur soft and shiny. The best sources are tuna, salmon, mackerel, and sardines, but pork, bacon, and ham are also acceptable as occasional treats
  3. Vitamins and minerals—Vitamin E, selenium, and iron are crucial for good blood circulation and hair follicle cell membrane protection

Keep your British Shorthair's coat in top condition with Untamed

Untamed offers all you need to keep your British Shorthair shedding minimal and your allergies under control. 

Image (c) Untamed

Choosing Untamed wet meals for your British Shorthair can make your cat allergies much more manageable. Our food promotes feline health and minimises shedding and dander production. 

All our jelly and gravy products are free from:

Here is what Untamed wet cat food is:

You should also know that we are an ethically conscious brand, so our:

  • Packaging is fully recyclable
  • Meat and fish are sourced from cruelty-free, dolphin-safe, and sustainable suppliers
  • Operations are carbon neutral

Take our Try Now quiz and pick the products your British Shorthair will like. We can help you create a perfect meal plan for your cat and have the best cat food delivered to your doorstep with no additional shipping fees! 

Order Untamed now

Want to keep your kitty's fur where it belongs—on your cat? Order Untamed today! 

Here's how to get your trial pack:

  1. Complete the Try Now quiz
  2. Select the products
  3. Complete the order

Our services include:

  • Free shipping (for the trial pack and every subsequent delivery)
  • Monthly cat food delivery service
  • Easy order cancellation or modification

And if all this hasn't convinced you yet, you can see what numerous happy cat parents who have already switched their feline friends to Untamed say you can expect in the table below:


What Untamed can do

Week 1

  • Tidy litter tray
  • Easy digestion
  • Good mood

Week 8

  • Reduced shedding
  • Nicer fur

Month 4

  • Less frequent hairballs
  • No digestive problems
  • Levelled energy