Are Maine Coons Hypoallergenic?
What to Know

You may be wondering, "Are Maine Coons hypoallergenic?" when researching cat breeds. Cat allergies can be a big roadblock for pet lovers who want to get a cat. 





beautiful silver and white maine coon laying on rugDexter, from our Feb '22 Album


"Are any cats really hypoallergenic?"

collage of fluffy maine coon catsAre Maine Coons Hypoallergenic?
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Let's talk about hypoallergenic! This word, the way most of us are accustomed to seeing and using it, means "unlikely to cause an allergic reaction."

For example, certain jewelry, foods, skin care products and more may be marked hypoallergenic.

We associate that with the comfort of knowing we won't have an allergic reaction due to their simpler ingredient list.

Allergens can be found everywhere in our natural environment, and folks who are sensitive to allergens choose products that are hypoallergenic - containing fewer allergens.

So, the natural assumption is that this commonly known term carries over to pets in much the same way. Unfortunately, it's more complicated than that!

"What are hypoallergenic cats?"

Mochi the silver tabby maine coonMochi, from our March '22 Album

Breaking down the word hypoallergenic, the prefix "hypo," means "beneath the surface," "low," "below normal," "down," or "under".

It's the opposite of hypo, which means "in excess or exaggeration."

So rather than meaning "unlikely to cause an allergic response" (like in marked products) the term, when applied to cats, can better be read as "containing less allergen."

All cats carry the allergen responsible for cat allergies. It's called FEL D-1, and it is found in cat’s saliva!

It's also found in cat dander. Pet dander is microscopic, invisible skin cells that shed and fall off around the home.

When they groom themselves, the allergen is deposited on a cat’s fur, so it's reasonable to say that long-haired cats will be more allergenic, not less!



The Care and Keeping of Your Maine Coon Cat

It's hard to describe the love between a Maine Coon and their family. I know you understand! With such special family members often come special, breed-specific questions and concerns. Your loving Maine Coon is very unique, both physically and in purrsonality.



Are there any cats that are 100% hypoallergenic?

beautiful calico female maine coon catShirley, from our March '22 Album

Since all cats possess the allergen FEL D-1, and all cats groom themselves, it's safe to say that no cat is hypoallergenic in the same way that a beauty product with carefully curated ingredients is.

There is no guarantee that allergic cat lovers, particularly those with severe allergies, will be able to tolerate even one of the "hypoallergenic cat breeds."

The good news is that although there is no such thing as a non-allergenic cat, there are some breeds that may produce low levels of allergens and less severe symptoms.

A hypoallergenic cat breed is a breed of cat that may be low shedding, have unique fur, or produce less FEL D-1 protein.

Some of these breeds include the Devon Rex, Cornish Rex, Sphynx, Russian Blue, and a few others.

There are some breeds of short-haired cats that are also low-shedding, and mild allergy sufferers may be able to tolerate them.

Low shedding cat breeds include the Sphynx, Siberian, Bengal, Cornish Rex, Siamese cats, and Bombay.

classic brown tabby maine coon cat2yr old Enzo from our Nov '21 Album


"What Is The Most Hypoallergenic Cat Breed?"

ginger maine coon cat on wood floorBones, from our Feb '22 Album

Unsurprisingly, that honor goes to the Sphynx! These lovely cats have a nice disposition and make great pets.

They are almost hairless, and although they do still secrete the allergen, they can be regularly bathed to keep the FEL D1 protein at bay.

Visit our page on hypoallergenic cat breeds to see the rest of the list!




"Are There Hypoallergenic Maine Coon Cats?"

cream colored maine coon cat looking down from cat treeBodhi, from our March '22 Album

From time to time someone will ask, "Are Maine Coon Cats hypoallergenic?"

No, Maine Coon cats are not hypoallergenic. In fact, they don't even make the list of best cat breeds for allergy sufferers.

Because of this, we don't recommend this breed to anyone who is allergic to cats.

Cats breeds with long fur who are also prone to shedding are the worst for cat allergies. This includes the Maine Coon breed.

The last thing any cat lover wants is to have to give up their beloved feline friend.

The Maine Coon temperament is very affectionate. They like to cuddle, and spend as much time on or next to you as you'll allow.

You can expect to be petting their lovely, long fur, and perhaps touch your face. You will have some cat fur on your clothes, furniture, and bed.

Now don't get me wrong! They are very clean cats. It's not a lot of fur. But if you look for it, it's there. And if you or a loved one is allergic, there will be cat allergens present.

They are very desirable cats, and we quickly get attached to them.

So it's heartbreaking when the itchy eyes, stuffy nose, shortness of breath, and other cat allergy symptoms become too much to bear and a furry family member has to be re-homed.

It has been noted that for some people, cat allergies can get better with time and exposure, essentially building a natural immunity.

But, it's also possible for cat allergies to get worse over time, so this is definitely not a risk worth taking!

Why is there a common misconception that Maine Coons are hypoallergenic?

This is actually a somewhat popular belief! Perhaps pet lovers ask this question because poodles and doodles (a doodle is a poodle mixed with another breed), who are also long-haired, are considered hypoallergenic.

They do have long fur in common. But, poodles don't shed, are low-drool, and don't have FEL D-1!

Or, perhaps it's their somewhat similar appearance to the Siberian, which is lower shedding. (Although they do indeed shed, and require grooming!)


"What Are The Worst Cats For Allergies?"

Cats with long coats and cats that are high-shed make the worst combination for the amount of allergens encountered.

This includes the Norwegian Forest Cat, Himalayan, Persian, and yes, our beloved Maine Coon breed.


"Do Maine Coons Shed Much?"

brown tabby maine coon cat with white pawsKatori, from our Jan '22 Album

Maine Coon owners note that their Coonie requires regular grooming to stay on top of shedding.

They are also large cats which means even more thick fur, shaggy coats, and they do shed. I wouldn't say they shed a lot, but yes they definitely do shed.

Many of us have heard of "shedding season" - usually in the springtime.

It makes sense that during this time Mother Nature would help relieve our fluffy friends from some of that warm heft.

Even indoor cats will shed extra at this time, since their bodies know it's spring by the changes in sunlight.

With that said, expect your Maine Coon to also shed year round! It's not hard to stay on top of their grooming needs though.

Coonies are pretty easy going and most tolerate a gentle brushing, especially for a short time while they are relaxed. No need to try to do a thorough grooming session all at once! You can always do more later.

I got used to scooping up dust bunnies and doing a bit of extra vacuuming when I had multiple long-haired pets in the home.

Personally, I always found short-haired pets to shed more! Perhaps it's because their short silky coat doesn't "hold onto" excess cat hair.


"Do Air Purifiers Help?"

If you find yourself in a situation where you are having an allergic houseguest, or visiting an allergic loved one and bringing your Coonie, you may be wondering what steps you can take.

sepia photo of maine coon cat sleepingJeronimo, from our Jan '15 Album

Perhaps you are moving in with someone who has cat allergies and they are willing to give it a try.

Yes, using an air purifier can help. You'll want to make sure you are using a purifier with a HEPA filter to help remove cat dander from the air.

Also, consider doing a little extra cleaning such as vacuuming areas your cat frequents to get some of that loose fur and excess dander that we normally don't notice.

So if you are wondering "Are Maine Coons hypoallergenic?" now you know! They are not among the cats that are less likely to cause an allergic reaction.

But it's also good to note that they aren't any more likely to cause a reaction than any other cat (except for the shedding!)


"Can I Just Make Him or Her an Outdoor Cat?"

No, Maine Coons are meant to be indoor kitties only, and your breeder will make sure you agree to that.

They can walk on a leash, and enjoy a catio or other enclosed area, but they will spend most of their time in the house and close to their human family.


"So Are Maine Coons Hypoallergenic?"

Did you skip to the end? Here's the TLDR summary!

playful maine coon kitten reaching forwardAzran, from our Feb '13 Album

Maine Coons are not hypoallergenic. The protein Fel D-1, which is found in cat saliva and also in cat dander is the allergen responsible for reactions.

Maine Coons, like other cats, love to groom themselves, and in the process they deposit lots of this protein on their fur.

These cats love to cuddle, be petted, and spend a lot of time on the same furniture we do, so there will be plenty of contact with this allergen.

There are a few cat breeds that may be better tolerated, but the Maine Coon isn't one of them, so regrettably it's likely not a good choice for cat allergy sufferers.

Fortunately they are very photogenic, and Maine Coon admirers can always come online to enjoy the latest cat pictures! After all, cat pictures are one of the best things about the internet!



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