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Are Tabby Cats Hypoallergenic Or Likely To Trigger Allergies?

Are Tabby Cats Hypoallergenic Or Likely To Trigger Allergies?

Tabby cats have a truly unique appearance that resembles a miniature tiger.

Tabby isn’t a distinctive cat breed, but rather just an expression of their coat pattern which can be seen in the form of stripes, spots, blotches, or swirls.

Therefore, many different felines can have this type of coat, and I think you’ll all agree with me that each one of these cats looks so good!

However, cat fanciers who are also allergy sufferers don’t solely consider a kitten’s appearance when choosing their furry companion.

The question every person with a tendency for allergic reaction will ask is certainly: Are tabby cats hypoallergenic?

Let’s explore this issue thoroughly.

Do Tabby Cats Cause Allergies In Humans?

tabby cat lying on the bed

Are tabby cats hypoallergenic? No, not really.

But, before you automatically give up on having a tabby kitten in your home, you should note that there isn’t a 100% certain guarantee that any cat will be completely safe from causing an allergic reaction in you.

Yes, it’s true that some breeds shed less and spread less dander, but, even shorthair felines shed their hair to some extent. Therefore, there is always a possibility that a cat might cause allergy symptoms in you.

Still, some cats are considered better options than others for allergy sufferers.

Tabby cats might cause allergic reactions in humans, so people with allergies might need to use some of the tips mentioned further in the text if they plan to live with a tabby.

It’s even more difficult to answer this question easily since tabby cats aren’t a separate breed, but only a description of a cat’s fur pattern.

So, you’ll also need to be aware of which cats can have a tabby coat.

What Breeds Can Be Tabby?

I’ve already mentioned how tabbies can have different patterns of their characteristic markings – stripes are the most common ones, but you might also see tabbies with spots, swirls, or blotches.

That’s not all: Tabbies can also come in different coat colors, such as gray, orange, and brown.

You can see one of these amazing cats in the video below.

According to the Spruce Pets, there are many breeds that can be seen with the tabby pattern, such as the following:

• Abyssinian 

• American Curl

• American shorthair 

• Egyptian Mau

• LaPerm 

• Maine coon 

• Persian

• Ragdoll

• Siberian 

• Turkish Van

There are also some tabby mixes, such as the Maine Coon Tabby hybrid, and the Bengal Tabby mix.

Here it’s important to understand that there are differences in the tendency for causing allergic reactions in humans among these breeds.

For example, the Siberian breed is considered as a good choice for allergy sufferers, since this cat’s fur contains less Fel d 1 protein, which is the protein responsible for triggering allergy symptoms in humans.

On the other hand, Persian, another breed that might have a tabby coat pattern, isn’t considered as desirable for people with allergies

Therefore, the coat pattern isn’t exactly the crucial factor when determining whether a cat is hypoallergenic or not. The cat breed has a far more important role here.

How Is A Cat’s Coat Pattern Connected With Humans’ Allergic Reactions?

Robert Siebers and his associates [1] investigated the connection between Fel d 1 level and the cat’s coat color.

The Fel d 1 protein is produced by the cat’s sebaceous glands and deposited on her fur, from where it’s dispersed into her surroundings.

The study included 42 households with one resident cat which was regularly allowed into their living rooms

The study results showed that there aren’t significant differences in Fel d 1 level based on a cat’s principal fur color.

Once again, it can be concluded that the coat pattern isn’t a relevant factor for determining whether a cat is hypoallergenic or not – it’s more necessary to investigate the cat’s breed and her likelihood to cause an allergic reaction.

Can Allergy Sufferers Live With A Tabby Cat?

ginger tabby cat in woman's lap

If there is a possibility that sharing a living space with a tabby cat might cause an allergic reaction in you or your family member, should you definitely give up on having this pet?

Not so fast! There are still some ways to live with a tabby without having to deal with a lot of sneezing, coughing, and breathing difficulties.

Let’s check them out.

1. Bathing The Tabby More Often

Bathing a cat too often isn’t necessary, not even recommended, especially if your cat is always indoors.

However, there are some situations that require frequent bathing, and a tabby cat that’s causing allergy symptoms in you is one of them.

Washing your cat regularly will reduce the dander and hair spreading, meaning that will decrease the possibility of her causing an allergic reaction in you.

Since frequent bathing can disturb the natural oils in your cat’s coat, it’s very important to use the right shampoo and conditioner on her.

You should never use a human shampoo, or even a baby shampoo, since they aren’t safe for a cat’s sensitive skin.

If you’re unsure of which shampoo will be the best option for your tabby, you can always consult your veterinarian.

2. A Lot Of Cleaning

Having a tabby in your house will mean having to vacuum regularly.

You’ll not easily see this cat’s dander and hair all around your place, but, they will be there. Regular cleaning can significantly decrease allergy symptoms in humans.

Another thing to bear in mind is to always wash your hands thoroughly after petting your cat, as to avoid any of her hair getting on your face or eyes.

3. Keeping The Tabby Off Your Bed

Your tabby probably loves to cuddle up on your bed, and this is the most adorable thing to see. However, this is something any allergy sufferer should prevent from happening.

When a tabby lies on your bed, she leaves all the dander and hair behind her, which later on causes allergy symptoms in you.

Therefore, the best thing to do is not let her get on your bed. Buy your kitten a bed that will be so comfortable she won’t have any desire to look for another place to sleep!

If you have problems with your tabby still getting near your place for sleeping, you can read our advice on how to keep your cat off your bed.


If you’re fond of tabby cats, you might feel disappointed to learn that they are not hypoallergenic.

However, this answer is not absolute, and it doesn’t mean you must completely give up on having a tabby cat if you experience allergy symptoms.

Tabby cats are not a specific breed, therefore, it is quite difficult to say something definitive about them. Their tendency to cause allergic symptoms will depend much more on their breed.

However, even if there is a chance of allergies causing, with lots of vacuuming and regular grooming, a tabby cat can still bring joy to you and your family.

[1] Siebers R, Fel d 1 levels in domestic living rooms are not related to cat color or hair length. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, VOLUME 108, ISSUE 4, P652-653, DOI, Retrieved July 25, 2023.

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