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Do Munchkin Cats Shed? [Is This A Hypoallergenic Breed?]

If you are looking to add a feline companion to your home, then a Munchkin cat will likely be near the top of your list. Their spirited personalities and adorable appearance make them rather appealing. But what about shedding? And could this be a problem should you decide to get one? Here is all you need to know.

So, do Munchkin Cats shed? Munchkin cats are considered to be moderate shedders, on the whole. Although, the amount of shedding depends on coat length as these cats come in both short-haired and semi-long-haired varieties. Longer-haired Munchkins will shed more than short-haired munchkins and require more frequent grooming to get rid of loose hairs and dander.

It is estimated that around 10% of the US population has an animal allergy.

So, if you are part of this unfortunate number, you will need to put precautions in place to keep your reactions to a minimum.

Deciding on a lower shedding breed (or variety in the case of Munchkins) is always a good idea, but there are other things you can do to minimize allergens in your home.  

So read on to find out how much munchkin cats shed compared to other breeds and what you can do to proactively reduce the amount of hair in your home – should you proceed to get one!

How Much Do Munchkin Cats Shed?

Munchkin cats generally shed a medium amount compared to other breeds. However, longer-haired munchkin cats will shed more than shorter-haired ones. 

So, ensure you know which type your potential new kitty is before you bring him into your home.

Especially if you suffer from allergies.

Saying that the coat type also differs between the two varieties.

Short-haired munchkin cats have a relatively thick, plush coat that lies close to the body, whereas longer-haired munchkin cats have a coat that is silkier to the touch.

For this reason, you should expect any munchkin cat to shed to some degree.

Short-haired munchkins are generally considered to be good options for people with low-level allergies but are not best suited to those who suffer from severe cat allergies.  

Aside from the general shedding that occurs throughout the year, all cat breeds go through two prolific shedding periods; one in the Spring and one in the Autumn.

In the Spring, cats will shed their thick winter coats in order to grow their thinner summer coats and vice versa in Autumn.

During these times, you may find that you will need to groom your cat more regularly.

Factors That Can Influence Shedding In Munchkin Cats

As a cat owner, you need to be aware that there are numerous other factors that can influence how much your feline companion sheds, so let’s run through the main ones now:

Stress

This is a big one! When cats are stressed, they push out the telegon hairs, which are the hairs in the resting phase of the growth cycle.

This makes them much more prone to being pulled out when your cat grooms himself or rubs against something.

Having loose hair is a perfectly normal part of the psychological response that occurs during stressful periods or when a cat is afraid.

However, prolonged stress can lead to alopecia, where fur can begin to fall out in clumps. If you think your cat may be stressed, you will need to investigate to find the potential triggers.

Remember that cats are creatures of habit, so any changes to their territory will cause some sort of stress.  

Environmental Temperature

A cat’s shedding season is dependent on the amount of natural light available as well as the surrounding temperature.

The warmer the temperature, the more your cat will shed. Indoor-only cats are often exposed to constant artificial light as well as continuous air conditioning or central heating.

This can mess up the natural shedding process and cause them to shed more regularly throughout the year.

Some indoor cats may even skip the main shedding seasons altogether.

Health Conditions

The most common ailment that causes shedding in cats is the presence of ectoparasites such as mites or fleas.

These tiny creatures survive by feeding off the blood of their hosts, which can cause a lot of irritation.

Furthermore, many cats are allergic to the saliva of parasites which can cause painful skin issues such as hair loss, inflammation, and thickened or oozing skin.

Other medical conditions such as hyperthyroidism or diabetes can also cause hair loss.  

Diet

Cats are obligate carnivores which means they need to eat meat to survive, as this is where most of their nutrients come from.

Cats fed on a low-quality kibble diet may lack some of these essential nutrients, which can affect the condition of their coats.

All commercial cat food must adhere to the guidelines set out by the Association of American Feed Control Officials.

These state that adult cat food must contain at least 26% crude protein. However, many vets claim that cats need a higher level of protein, closer to 45%.

To keep your cat in good health, it is best to opt for high-quality food that contains high levels of essential amino acids, especially taurine.

If a cat’s diet is lacking in taurine, it can lead to retinal degeneration and heart disease, as cats cannot synthesize it in sufficient quantities on their own.

Are Munchkin Cats Hypoallergenic?

Munchkin cats are not considered to be hypoallergenic as they are moderate shedders. These cats are also known to carry the Fel D1 protein, which is the main cause of cat allergies. 

Some breeds are known to carry less of this protein, such as Devon Rex cats, but unfortunately, the Munchkin is not one of them.

If your allergies are mild, it may be possible for you to successfully live with a munchkin cat.

However, severe allergy sufferers should steer clear of this breed.

It is worth noting that the word ‘hypoallergenic’ simply means a cat sheds very little.

The truth is, there is no cat breed that doesn’t shed at all.

Munchkin Cats And Types Of Cat Allergies

There are generally two types of cat allergies that differ greatly in severity and the type of symptoms that arise:

Breathing Allergies

These are caused by the microscopic particles of dander that are released into their air when your cat sheds or grooms himself.

Munchkin cats are known to produce a moderate amount of the Fel D1 protein found in dander and fur, which means they are not ideal for breathing allergy sufferers.

Skin Allergies

Skin allergies are triggered when your bare skin comes into direct contact with an allergen, such as your cat’s fur.

This may cause symptoms such as inflammation and eczema. It is worth bearing in mind that the Fel D1 protein can also be present in a cat’s urine, saliva, and other body fluids, so good hygiene is essential.  

With all cat allergies, reactions will differ from person to person.

So, it is always best to spend time with the cat you wish to adopt before bringing him home.

If you do not suffer any adverse effects, then you will know you are safe with that particular feline.

How To Reduce Shedding In Munchkin Cats

Reducing the amount your Munchkin sheds can be achieved in several different ways. Let us now look at the most practical below.

Regular Brushing

The amount of fur shed by your munchkin cat can be controlled with regular brushing, using a wide-tooth comb.

Daily brushing may be required for longer-haired varieties.

During the shedding seasons, you can also groom your cat with a de-shedding tool which will help to get rid of any loose fur and dander that would otherwise find its way onto your carpet or furniture.

Luckily, these interactive cats love to get attention from their owners, so they will enjoy the bonding time.

Consider Cat Wipes

You can also consider using cat wipes which work to remove dander and other debris from your cat’s coat.

However, wipes should only be used in addition to a strict grooming schedule, not instead of.

Stay Clear Of Too Much Bathing

Many people believe that bathing your cat regularly will help to reduce shedding.

However, this is a common misconception.

Bathing your cat frequently is actually likely to cause more dander to be released as the process can dry out the skin and coat.

If you wish to bathe your munchkin cat, you should refrain from doing it more than once a month.

You will also need to ensure you use a sensitive, cat-appropriate shampoo that will not irritate the skin.

Leverage Their Intelligence

The benefit of munchkin cats above many other breeds is their high intelligence.

These cats are easy to train, so if you are an allergy sufferer, you can use this to your advantage!

Munchkin cats can be taught to stay off furniture, avoid going in rooms that are off-limits (such as your bedroom), and can be trained not to lick you. They are also very easy to potty train.  

How To Minimize The Effects Of Shedding In Your Home

In addition, you will need to keep up a regular cleaning routine in your home if you suffer from cat allergies. Here are a few tips:

Vacuum Daily

This may sound like a lot of work, but it really does help to keep allergens at bay!

Ensure you purchase a hoover that is specifically designed to pick up cat hair, and don’t forget to hoover your furniture too!

Purchase A Lint Roller

These simple devices are great for allergy sufferers. Simply roll the device over your clothes or fabric furniture to remove any stubborn hairs.  

Consider Purchasing A HEPA Filter

These smart contraptions work to remove minute particles from the air, so they are essential for breathing allergy sufferers.  

Handwashing

If you suffer from allergies, it is best to wash your hands with soap and water directly after interacting with your cat.

This is one of the simplest but most effective ways to reduce the risk of allergic reactions arising.

If your cat allergies are more severe, it may be worth considering changing your clothing too.

Finally

Munchkin cats are loved for their unique size and appearance and playful natures, which makes them the perfect family pet.

However, they are not the best option for allergy sufferers.

This is not to say that they should be avoided altogether, but you should ensure you keep up a regular grooming and cleaning routine to keep any reactions to a minimum.