General Question

keobooks's avatar

Would shaving a cat do anything at all to curb someone's pet allergy?

Asked by keobooks (14296points) July 17th, 2015

I just found out that my neighbor shaves her cat bald on a regular basis. She says she does this because she’s allergic to cats. I think that’s totally ridiculous. The cat will still lick himself and I hear that a protein in the saliva is what causes allergies in the first place.

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18 Answers

Mimishu1995's avatar

I agree it’s ridiculous. The cat’s fur serves him in a lot of ways. What can he do without fur? If she is allegic to cat she shouldn’t have a cat in the first place.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
ragingloli's avatar

Could also be fleas.
She should first test herself to find out which is her actual allergen before she shaves her pussycat.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

It would work better if she bathed the cat, most people are allergic to the cats dander and bathing it helps reduce that.

majorrich's avatar

A lot of people are allergic to pet dander. The skin cells we mammals all shed all the time. Shaving the cat might make it easier to bathe and groom the cat minimizing the amount of airborne cat dander. We used to shave our Maine Coon cat in the summer not because of allergies but because he suffered terribly in the heat. We styled him with a lion cut and he was extra handsome with it.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I can’t speak for the allergen aspect, but I can’t help but think that this is not good for the cat.

Cats have hair for a reason – protection, warmth, etc. For her to shave the cat seems to be very selfish in her part – she’s essentially taking the cat’s identity and getting rid of it. Worse, this could be endangering the cat in terms of disease and safety.

This is very disturbing to me.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, if shaving her cat seems to help her, then maybe her “allergy” is all in her head.

Coloma's avatar

I shave my large and mega fluffy Ragdoll kitty for summer to lessen his grooming needs and to allow him out without bringing in the entire great outdoors on his body. Shaving does not make a difference with allergies, and darker cats are more allergenic than lighter colored cats. Black cats especially. There a re products available and air purifiers that may help but if someone is deathly allergic to cats and really wants one they just need to be prepared to suffer a little.

canidmajor's avatar

@Dutchess_III: Not necessarily, as the coat itself, although not the cause of the allergy, can trap and hold the dander in greater quantities, and release more on stroking. A shorter coat catches and holds less of the dander.

Dutchess_III's avatar

So doesn’t that mean that the dander the coat isn’t catching is flying wild and loose in the air, right off the cat’s skin?
Now, if longer hair created more dander, I could understand the argument. But I don’t think anyone is saying that.

canidmajor's avatar

It’s not so concentrated. If one cc is in the hair, then it transfers to the hands and the immediate area when the cat is stroked. If the same cc disperses into the air, it falls to the ground, gets vacuumed up, gets carried outside on shoes and clothing and such.
My sister is allergic, found that her long-haired cat was much less distressing for her when its hair was very short.

jaytkay's avatar

I am amazed she can shave her cat.

I bought electric clippers to shave my longhair cat, because I thought she would be happier in hot weather.

I could not get within 5 feet of her with those clippers buzzing. Worse than the vacuum cleaner.

Response moderated
Here2_4's avatar

I can’t believe nobody here knows about hairless cats. They come that way naturaly. People with allergies can’t or shouldn’t have them. For the same reason, they should not shave them one which has hair.

wildpotato's avatar

There are two types of allergies involved here – some people are allergic to a cat’s dander, and some to the saliva. Either way, shaving the cat seems to be a terrible solution that would not eliminate either alkergen particularly well.

Coloma's avatar

Yep, @wildpotato nailed it, it is a combo plate of saliva/dander so shaving most likely won’t make much difference. I shave my cat only for summer grooming ease but I am also not allergic. I see no harm in shaving, with my guy his fur is so long he actually gags on it trying to groom his chest. I shave him in May/June and by late fall he is in full bloom again for winter.

He likes his haircuts, it is obvious, you can tell he feels really good being relieved of his heavy coat and he is very easy going about the process, I do it myself with high end horse clippers. After his summer cut he rolls around and stretches and you can just tell he feels great!

Stacey74's avatar

Hi, I am an experienced vet tech & live happily with a severely allergic husband & a mitered huge male cat. I am sorry to tell all of you you are dead wrong. I take my cat to a cat groomer once a month. Cat & dog groomers are different. A cat groomer has to have special sheers & training to groom cats. Yes, washing shaving & keeping your cat well will not only help allergies it STOPS them.

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