Hypoallergenic?

While some will tell you that breeds like Siberians are not truly "hypoallergenic" because they still produce a small amount of the allergy-causing protein Fel d 1, this is untrue. The word "hypoallergenic" indicates a low likelihood of causing an allergic response, which is the case for Siberians -- and by FDA standards, Siberians are just as "hypoallergenic" as cats from a certain Delaware-based company.

The majority of cat allergies are caused by the glycoprotein called Fel d 1, secreted by a cat's sebaceous glands and present in its saliva. While the company maintains that they have genetically bred out the tendency to produce Fel d 1, their cats simply produce a version of Fel d 1 whose small molecular difference reduces the rate of allergies*.

Though cat allergy studies targeting Siberians are, at best, difficult to find (one study from a Virginia biomedical research firm does indicate that Siberians produce as little as 1/300 the amount of Fel d 1 produced by an ordinary mixed-breed cat), empirical data abounds. Many of my family members (including me) are allergic to cats, and thus far even those whose symptoms are severe have shown no reaction to my cats. Other Siberian breeders similarly provide testimonials to the fact that this breed can provide companion animals to allergy sufferers with no need for medication of any sort.

The fact that Fel d 1 is the primary source of cat allergies does not mean that it is the only source of cat allergies. Because of this, it is important to remember that you could be allergic to any cat, be it from Lil Marvels or from any other breeder. For us, Siberians represented the best possible choice, eliminating the need for medical allergy treatment and saving us a great deal of money compared to alternatives (cats bred for genetic divergence will soon set you back more than $8,000, including a hefty shipping fee).

Ultimately, the only way to determine if you will have an allergic reaction to a cat is to spend time with it; we are amenable to house visits, so please contact us if you'd like to come by. Even though making time for a visit can be difficult, an investment of even an hour could save you thousands of dollars. If you are unable to visit, we can send you a fur sample, but such a method of testing is much less effective than visiting the cat's habitat. Please see the Contact page to get in touch with us.