Do Dark Cats Cause More Allergies?

More on PawNation: allergies, allergy, cat, dander, fur, sphynx

Dark Cats Cause More Allergiesmiss pupik, Flickr

Is it possible that dark-colored cats cause more allergies than their paler counterparts, or is that just black-cat superstition talking? The New York Times recently took a hard look at this dark question.

This is what we do know. According to the Times, the proteins that cause sneezing, drippy nose and runny eyes are found in cat dander, urine and saliva. And cat allergies, they report, plague twice as many Americans as dog allergies do.

But are all cats created equal where allergies are concerned? In 2000, a small study found that cats with dark-colored fur were more likely to set off an allergic reaction. But the conclusion isn't as clear as black and white. A later study found no effect of fur color on allergies but that hasn't ended the questioning. Scientists at Allergy and Asthma Care of New York are now planning a larger study in hopes of settling the matter once and for all.

What scientists have determined is that a cat's gender does make a difference for allergy sufferers. Male cats produce more allergens than females, the Times explains.

Whether your feline friend is black, white or something beautifully calico in between, one thing is clear: Allergies are no fun. But if you're allergic to animals, there are steps you can take to minimize the irritation. Check out this article on Paw Nation for more ideas.

If you're considering a hairless cat to get around the concern altogether, think again. According to the Cat Fanciers' Association, the hairless sphynx cat still causes allergies in many people. And to that, we have only one thing to say. Gesundheit!

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