The Siberian Cat...hypoallergenic??

First of all is important to highlight the fact that so far there are no official studies about this special property found in Siberian cats. Even though, many breeders are successfully placing siberian kittens with owners that otherwise cannot tolerate other cats. Hypoallergenic means that the Siberians have less allergen levels, not that there would not be any allergen at all. About this, there have only been done a few tests that among other reasons, dued to the small amount of samples, cannot be really considered as a study that we could apply to all the Siberian breed.

Gordey Sant Andre, SIB a 23

 

 

The Test

INDOOR Biotechnologies has received several enquiries concerning cat allergen (Fel d 1) levels in Siberian cats and other cat breeds. In September 2000, a cat lover sent the company four samples from different cat breeds to be tested for Fel d 1 through our INDOOR Allergen Analysis Service. These were hair samples collected by the client and the results have been posted on various web-sites as below:

"Recent News - Results for testing of Fel d1 in fur samples"

These tests were performed in Dec 1999, by an independent lab in Virginia
Indoor Biotechnologies, 1216 Harris St, Charlottesville, VA 22903. The
results are as follows:


Sample #
Breed
Fel d 1 (µg/g)
     
1
1 male neutered, mixed breed
62,813
     
       
2
male neutered, Siberian
2001
     
3
female, Abyssiannian, neutered
385
     
4
female neutered, Siberian
206
     

 

INDOOR Biotechnologies comments:

First, the Fel d 1 results are in micrograms per gram sample (µg/g, not mg/g, as posted on various websites). The results have been interpreted to indicate that the Siberian and Abyssinian cats have considerably less allergen than mixed breed house cats, and that females have less Fel d1 than males.

This web posting is creating lots of interest, though INDOOR Biotechnologies did not carry out research on the samples and was not responsible for collecting the samples or validating the results. The company would not provide recommendations on pet ownership based on the results provided under these circumstances. The results do not provide convincing scientific data that Siberian cats are "hypoallergenic" and it is unfortunate that they have been widely disseminated on the web and used by breeders of Siberian cats to promote the breed.

The levels of allergen found in the Siberian samples (200 - 2000µg/g) are high and indicate that these cats produce significant amounts of allergen. Part of the confusion is created by the fact that the results of the mixed breed cat are exceptionally high, for reasons that are unclear and were not investigated at the time. The samples used for analysis were disposed of and cannot be re-tested. We do know from previous published studies that Fel d 1 is conserved in big cat species (lions, tigers, leopards etc) so it seems unlikely that the gene is lacking in strains of domestic cats.