Are Maine Coon cats hypoallergenic or is it a fable?

Maine coon kitten hypoallergenic

Unfortunately for those that are allergic to cats, Maine Coon cats are not hypoallergenic. We can imagine that even if you are allergic, you would like to have a furry friend. There are some cats that are hypoallergenic and therefore do not or barely cause an allergic reaction. In those cases, even if one is allergic, they are able to have a cat or other animal in their house.

However, not all cats or animals are hypoallergenic. A Maine Coon cat is an example of a non-hypoallergenic cat. So, if you want to know more about hypoallergenic cats and why a Maine Coon cat is not seen as such a cat, please read this article. Below, you will find all the information that you need!


Hypoallergenic cats – what does it mean?

In short, hypoallergenic cats are cats that do not or barely cause an allergic reaction for people that are sensitive to cats. Although people generally assume that having a cat allergy has to do with the fur of a cat, this is often not the case. Rather, people with cat allergies tend to be more sensitive towards a cat’s urine, (dead) skin or saliva.

There is a little substance, called Fel d 1 or Fel d 2, which causes people to receive an allergic reaction. This substance can, amongst others, be spread through a cat urinating and licking their fur during a grooming session. If an allergic person comes into contact with Fel d 1 or Fel d 2, in example through petting a cat or getting licked, they will get an allergic reaction.

There are a few cats that produce little Fel d 1 or Fel d 2, which is when a cat is considered to be a hypoallergenic cat. Examples of these kinds of cats are the Siberian cat and the Balinese one.

It is worth noting that although fur is not the primary reason for people having an allergic reaction, it can contribute to people having a different type or more severe reaction. So, if you are sensitive to fur or it causes you to have a more intense allergic reaction, you should be careful around cats that tend to shed a lot of fur.


Why are Maine-Coon cats not deemed hypoallergenic?

There is actually a quite simple explanation as to why Maine Coon cats are not considered to be hypoallergenic. The reason for this is that they do not produce low quantities of the substance Fel d 1 and/or Fel d 2. They also have long fur which tends to shed, which can lead to a severe allergic reaction. The combination of these two factors lead to the fact that Maine Coon cats are unfortunately not hypoallergenic, and therefore not deemed suitable for people with cat allergies.

Maine Coon

How to deal with cat allergies

Although cat allergies will most likely not disappear, there are ways in which you can prevent yourself from having severe reactions. So, if you truly are set on having a Maine Coon cat, even though you are allergic, these are things that you can try:


If you do tend to get severe reactions, it is always helpful to consult your doctor or general practitioner. They can sometimes give you medication which will prevent or lower your allergic reactions.

Placing the litterbox in a separate area of the house.

If you have a litterbox placed in the living room or kitchen, allergens and Fel d 1 or Fel d 2 can more easily spread throughout the house and air. However, if you place the litterbox in a separate room or space within the house, most of the allergens will stay within that area. An allergic person can, in that case, easily prevent that area and keep contact with allergens to a minimum.

Maine coon kitten hypoallergenic

Cleaning and dusting regularly.

Through cleaning and dusting your house regularly, allergens cannot pile up. Therefore, if you do have a cat and an allergic person comes over, the reaction will be less severe, as the space is clean and free of any leftover allergens.

Trying to keep the cat away from the space that you sleep or spend a lot of time in.

We highly advise you to always keep your bedroom free from your cat if you allergic. Clean the room thoroughly every week. After that, prevent your cat from coming into that room. This way you will have a space in which allergens are always kept to a minimum.

Washing your hands and face thoroughly after being in contact with a cat.

Through washing both your hands and face, you prevent any allergens from getting into contact with your face and sinuses. This can in turn help with preventing a severe allergic reaction.

Grooming a cat daily.

If you do have a cat that has a lot of fur and tends to shed throughout the year, it is recommended to groom them daily. Especially if you or people around you are allergic. If your allergies are too severe, try to see if someone else can help you with it. Through regular grooming you can keep control of the (dead) skin, fur and other allergens that may cause a reaction.

Maine Coon outside

Summary of hypoallergenic cats, Maine Coon cats and preventing allergic reactions

In this article we have discussed what hypoallergenic cats are and the fact that a Main Coon cat cannot be considered one. We have also noted some measures one might take to prevent allergic reactions from occurring.

Maine Coon laying down

To briefly summarize, hypoallergenic cats are cats that produce a low level of F el d 1 or F el d 2. These substances tend to spread through licking, (dead) skin and urinating. A Maine Coon cat cannot be considered as such, as they do produce high(er) levels of the above-mentioned substances. However, if you do decide on a Maine Coon cat, even though you are allergic, we advise you to try the following:

  1. Medication which prevents allergic reactions.
  2. Placing the litterbox in a separate room or area within the house.
  3. Cleaning and dusting your house regularly, to prevent allergens from spreading.
  4. Keeping your cat away from your bedroom or other space that you spend a lot of time in.
  5. Washing both your hands and face, after petting or being in contact with a cat.
  6. Grooming a cat daily or regularly.

Now that you know more about hypoallergenic cats and the fact that Maine Coon cats cannot be defined as them, we are curious to hear more from your experiences and opinions. Please let us know in the comments how you have experienced contact with a Maine Coon cat, while being allergic. And, if you have any suggestions on other things people can try for minimizing an allergic reaction, please do let us know! This way we can help each other out.

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