Can You Be Allergic To Maine Coon Cats?

Maine Coon cats are well known for having thick, impressive coats of fur which help them survive even the coldest of New England Winters.

But, with all that fluffy fur and daily shedding, many people naturally worry that the fur will trigger their allergies. So, can you be allergic to Maine Coon cats?

Long-haired cats like the Maine Coon are not hypoallergenic, though their lower levels of the protein Fel d1 present in a cat’s dander, saliva, and urine do make them more suited to allergy sufferers. Maine Coon cats shed less hair than other cat breeds so owners are less likely to come into contact with the protein they are allergic to.

It is their long hair that sets them apart from other cat breeds and has helped them attain a reputation for being very hardy.

Keep reading, to find out why Maine Coons are more hypoallergenic than you would naturally assume.

Can You Be Allergic To Maine Coon Cats?

For those of you that have suffered from an allergic reaction, you will be well-versed in what an allergy is.

However, for the lucky few that have not, it is simply your body’s natural immune system’s reaction to a harmless substance i.e. cat allergens, or pollen. 

Allergic reactions are most common in individuals with over-sensitive immune systems.

In situations where these individuals come into contact with an allergen, their bodies naturally start producing Immunoglobulin E (IgE), an antibody known to protect humans from viruses.

The downside to this antibody is that it causes symptoms within a person’s lungs, stomach lining, nose, etc.

In some cases, certain people are so allergic to these harmless allergens that their bodies go into anaphylaxis shock.

It is important in cases such as this that emergency services are called immediately.

Cats And Allergies

Have you just bought an adorable new Maine Coon kitten home, but quickly discovered that you are allergic to them?

If this sounds familiar, then you might be interested to learn that many people in modern society are allergic to cats.

In fact, if you have an over-sensitive immune system, then you will likely experience unwanted allergy symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing, itchy red eyes, or sneezing.

The level to which you suffer from cat allergens is also thought to increase, the more cats you have.

If you are keen to lessen your symptoms, make sure you groom your Maine Coon cat regularly to remove excess dander from your cat’s fur.

I personally find these grooming brushes to be particularly effective in reducing my husband’s cat allergy symptoms.

Additionally, pay particular attention to the cleanliness of your home since pet allergens will stick to all surfaces, like (source 1):

  • Floor
  • Sofa
  • Walls

Maine Coon cats are not hypoallergenic, therefore owners suffering from severe cat allergies i.e. respiratory issues, or severe asthma, are advised not to buy or adopt a Maine Coon cat.

However, if your allergy to cats is less severe i.e. a runny nose or sneezing, living with a Maine Coon cat is not fully out of the question.

There are also some ways to reduce your Maine Coons allergens, so keep reading to discover the secret tricks to managing cat allergies later on in this article!

Ultimately, you must decide if your cat allergy symptoms are manageable. Individuals considering buying a Maine Coon kitten need to determine the severity of their cat allergy.

If you have been wondering, do Maine Coon cats cause allergies, you might be surprised to learn that all cats produce allergens.

Therefore, it likely comes as no surprise that a Maine Coon can cause allergies in their humans, too!

What Causes Cat Allergies?

A common misconception about cat allergies is that people are allergic to the cat’s fur.

Though in some cases this might be true, it is more likely that the individual suffering from allergies is actually allergic to a particular protein known as Fel d 1.

All cats secrete this Fel d 1 protein from their sebaceous glands. If a human happens to be allergic to this particular protein, they will experience allergies.

This protein exists within a cat’s dander, saliva, or urine.

The three main cat allergens are:

  • Dander (cat skin secretions)
  • Saliva
  • Urine

The Fel d 1 protein can also be found in the following locations, but is more easily avoidable for cat allergy sufferers:

  • Feces
  • Mucous
  • Tears

The spread of these cat allergens across a cat’s body is unavoidable since cats are inherently clean creatures who like to groom themselves on a regular basis.

Whilst grooming is known to keep a cat clean, the process of licking their fur inevitably spreads these allergens yet further across the cat’s entire body.

Consequently, if an individual with an over-sensitive immune system strokes a cat, they are likely to come into contact with the Fel d 1 protein and experience a reaction.

Additionally, when a cat licks their fur to groom itself, this Fel d 1 protein can become airborne.

They easily stick to all types of surfaces, and can even become suspended within the air individuals breathe, if they have been around whilst an owner brushes their cat.

Avoiding these three allergens might not be as easy as you would first assume though, since allergens are extremely sticky and light.

Humans sensitive to this protein are then at risk of inhaling the microscopic particles, even if they do not stroke or go near the cat.

Those who are severely sensitive to cat allergies may even experience unwanted cat allergies when entering a household where a cat resides since they will unknowingly be inhaling the airborne Fel d 1 protein.

Who Is Allergic To Fel d 1 Protein?

The World Health Organization and the International Union Of Immunological Studies state that eight cat allergies exist.

Of the eight cat allergies, Fel d 1 is considered to be the only major antigen. It is considered the most important, and potent allergen (source 1).

The study detailed on the Natural Library Of Medicine website found that 90 – 96% of cat-allergic individuals are sensitive to the Fel d 1 protein, which is a particularly important finding.

Additionally, the same study also found that Fel d 1 was responsible for causing between 60-90% of the total allergic reactivity witnessed in affected individuals.

Cat Allergy Symptoms

If you are wondering whether you are allergic to your cat, or not, check out the following list of common cat allergy symptoms:

  • Sneezing
  • Rash on the chest and face
  • Red, itchy eyes
  • Itchy Skin
  • Hives
  • The skin turns red, where the cat has licked, scratched, or bitten you.
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Itchy, runny, stuffy nose.
  • Irritation of the mouth and/or throat

The speed at which an allergic reaction starts will ultimately depend upon the severity of the allergy.

Highly sensitive individuals will immediately react if they come into contact with the Fel d 1 protein, and may become dizzy, or even lose consciousness.

Whereas an individual less sensitive to cat allergens might not notice any signs of reaction until 4-8 hours, after being exposed.

Cat allergy symptoms will persist for a few minutes, to a few hours.

Individuals with allergic asthma are at particular risk of experiencing an allergic reaction to cat allergens.

According to WebMD, 20-30% of these individuals will experience severe flare-ups (source 1).

Are Maine Coons Hypoallergenic?

So, the short answer to can you be allergic to Maine Coon cats is YES!

Before you rush off to find a different cat breed though, it is important to understand that no cats are hypoallergenic.

In fact, individuals prone to cat allergies are just as likely to be allergic to other cat breeds, even the hairless sphynx!

Research does indicate, however, that in general female cats produce less of the Fel d 1 protein, than male cats.

This is particularly important to those with cat allergies since it means that the female Maine Coon is more hypoallergenic than the male.

Additionally, studies also suggest that the Maine Coons long fur may limit the amount of protein that is able to spread across a cat’s fur.

This makes the Maine Coon cat more hypoallergenic than other cat breeds (source 1).

Ultimately, if you suffer from cat allergies, but are still desperate to own a Maine Coon cat, you might be interested to learn that some people do build up a tolerance to cat allergies over the years.

Although statistically, this is hard to prove, I have personally found that my husband’s cat allergies have lessened over the years.

In fact, he puts this improvement down to cuddling our Maine Coon cat every day, and sniffing the cat’s fur!

As bizarre as this daily ritual might sound, it may potentially be the reason his immunity to our cat has improved.

For more fascinating reading on this subject, check out my article Are Maine Coon Cats Hypoallergenic?.

How To Minimize Cat Allergies

Are you allergic to Maine Coon cats, but would still love to own one? Or, are you worried your cat allergens will be too much to handle?

If so, take a look at the table below which shows you some simple ways to reduce your cat allergies:

Brush cat
Helps to remove cat dander
from cat fur
Bathe your
Bathing cats will ensure that
excess dander and protein
Fel d 1 is removed. This option
is particularly effective if you
are allergic to Maine Coon cats,
since this breed loves water and
bathing will remove the majority
of cat allergens from their fur
Wash hands
after stroking
a cat
Washing removes saliva
(and protein Fel d 1) from your
Stop stroking
your cat!
A little unrealistic for cat lovers,
but a valid method of reducing
contact with cat allergens
Wear gloves
Bathing cats will ensure that
excess dander and protein
Fel d 1 is removed. This option
is particularly effective if you
are allergic to Maine Coon cats,
since this breed, loves water and
bathing will remove the majority
of cat allergens from their fur
Don’t let your
cat lick you!
Cats often urinate in the soil.
Wearing gloves limits exposure
to cat urine
Clean your
Regularly cleaning your home
significantly reduces the number
of cat allergens attached to
Off LimitsCat wipes help to remove cat
allergens from cats’ fur
MedicationAsk a medical professional to
prescribe medication that limits
your cat allergy symptoms
Cat cleaning
Cats love to groom their owners,
yet this process increases an
individual’s chances of reacting
to cat allergens
Anti-allergen sprays may help
to reduce your allergy symptoms
HEPA air filterAir filters help to collect airborne
allergen particles
Changing heating and air filters
regularly reduces the spread of
cat allergens
Wash sofa throws regularly, to
remove cat allergens
Can You Be Allergic To Maine Coon Cats? Allergy Sufferer Tips

In order to reduce cat allergies, aim to implement as many of the tips listed above as possible. If certain methods are unrealistic, or simply not possible, move on to the next suggestion.

Ultimately, the more methods you implement, the less exposure you will have to cat allergens within your home.

For those of you that are allergic to Maine Coon cats, keep in mind that just a few changes will make a significant impact on your daily lives, and enable you to own one of these magnificent large cats.

Should People With Cat Allergies Avoid Maine Coon Cats?

It is understandable that many individuals would love to own a Maine Coon cat, however, if you suffer from cat allergies this might not be a viable option for you.

Read this cat guide to determine if your allergies will stop you from living with a Maine Coon.

Should People With Cat Allergies Avoid Maine Coon Cats?
Should People With Cat Allergies Avoid Maine Coon Cats?

Which Cat Breeds Are Hypoallergenic?

As I alluded to earlier, no cat will ever be truly hypoallergenic, despite what a breeder claims.

This is because all cats secrete the Fel d 1 protein from their sebaceous glands and in their saliva.

As a cat groom themselves, this protein becomes caught in the cat’s fur, saliva, and urine. It is thought that up to 10% of humans are allergic to this protein.

It is safe to say, however, that there are cats that are more hypoallergenic than others.

This is because certain cat breeds are known to secrete lower levels of the Fel d 1 protein, making them more hypoallergenic, than others.

Below is a list of cats thought to be more hypoallergenic (source 1):

Click on the link above if you wish to find out more about how these ‘hypoallergenic cats’ compare to the Maine Coon cat breed.

Black Cats And Allergies

Cat allergy sufferers of this world might be interested to learn that black cats are more likely than any other colored cat, to cause moderate to severe allergic reactions.

In fact, research indicates that owners of black cats are four times as likely to suffer from cat allergies than owners of cats that have lighter fur.

The reason for this scientific result is yet unknown.

However, researchers are investigating whether the higher levels of melanin within a black cat’s skin are responsible for producing higher levels of the protein Fel d 1.

Maybe there is some truth in the myth that black cats are bad luck after all!

For more information on the black Maine Coon, click here to read my complete guide on the black Maine Coon cat. 


Can you be allergic to Maine Coon cats?

The simple answer is yes, you can be allergic to Maine Coon cats.

In fact, all cat breeds produce the protein most commonly associated with cat allergies, therefore no cat breed can ever be considered to be truly hypoallergenic.

However, before excluding Maine Coons from your cat breed selection, it is vital to remember that each owner can take a number of steps to limit their exposure to cat allergies.

Ultimately though, the extent to which each individual is willing to adapt their life to enable a Maine Coon to live with them will obviously come down to personal preference.

Maine Coon Central

Hello! My name is Katrina Stewardson, and I’m a CRAZY CAT LADY! I've been in love with the Maine Coon cat breed ever since we welcomed an adorable male Maine Coon kitten into our home 10 years ago. We called him 'Pippin', but he also goes by the name ‘Pipsteroo’! Our enormous, kind-hearted cat genuinely thinks he's a dog and has convinced me that cats are Man's True Best Friend! UPDATE: We recently adopted two 4-year-old male Maine Coon cats. They are named Mika and Bali.

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