If you are looking at the Russian Blue cat but have pet allergies, then you may be wondering whether they shed. And if so, how much. Besides, the shedding of hair can be a real stumbling block as to whether or not you can get a cat. I therefore decided to spend some time researching this particular breed to find out for sure.
So, do Russian Blue cats shed? Russian Blue cats do shed, although minimally and less compared to other breeds of cat. This is despite having relatively thick coats. However, they do go through periods of increased shedding, known as seasonal shedding, where they prepare their coats for the upcoming changes of weather. You can expect this twice per year, in the spring and the fall.
Russian Blue cats are hence a great option for those will allergies, and those of you whom are not looking for a pet that will dispense their fur around the home.
There is nothing worse than a home filled with pet hair, it is not comfortable and worst yet, its not hygienic either!
But that does not have to be the case with this particular breed, you’ll be pleased to hear.
Let us now take a closer look at the coat of the Russian Blue, before delving deeper into their shedding tendencies.
We’ll be looking closer at whether or not they can be classified as hypoallergenic.
So, be sure to keep on reading for all the information you need on this majestic looking feline!
Russian Blue Cat Coat
Russian Blue cats possess a thick double-fur coat, multi-layered with the undercoat being the same length as the topcoat (otherwise known as guard hairs).
This breed is renowned for their striking appearance, due in part to their equally elegant coat color.
They are commonly found in and described as a light grey, but it has even been described as shade of blue with silver-tipped hairs.
However, it is absolutely possible to find this cat breed in shades of white and black too.
Either way, while this coat is thick, it is comprised and made up of hundreds of vary short hairs.
In fact, these hairs are angled 45 degrees away from the skin.
Both of these factors give the Russian Blue a dense coat that has a plush texture, where it looks bigger than it actually is, and where running your fingers through would leave visible traces of where they had been.
In fact, this breed is known to have hairs per square inch than any other cat breed.
This is one of the reasons why the hairs often remain intact whenever they decide to scratch themselves.
Russian Blues are also keen groomers; very particular in keeping themselves clean.
So if you do decide to take in one of these cats, do not be surprised to see them licking themselves!
Its very beneficial too; from spreading natural oils throughout the coat, to keeping it smooth and in good condition!
How Much Do Russian Blue Cats Shed?
Russian Blue cats are not considered to be high shedders. In fact, quite the opposite. You’ll often see them listed as some of the lowest shedding cat breeds.
The truth is, all cats will shed to some extent, but for the Russian Blue it is no considered severe.
This is primarily due to their short-haired coat, and the structure of the hairs that make it up.
Nevertheless, Russian Blues do go through what is known as seasonal shedding.
This is experienced by many cats, dogs and other animals with a coat.
It is essentially where they instinctively prepare their coat for the upcoming change in weather/climate that a new season brings.
So, if you decide to own a Russian Blue; you can expect them to drop more fur during the Fall and the Spring.
Like with any cat, it comes strongly advised to support their natural grooming tedencies.
This will mean some brushing or combing; although for this particular breed you will not have to do so as often.
At a minimum, you should be looking to brush their coat once per week to remove any excess hair that may collect on the coat.
This also helps to distribute natural skin oils which will also help their coat to remain in optimal condition, and support future growth of hair.
During the fall and spring, come seasonal shedding time, you may want to consider brushing them more frequently; although 2-3x per week is usually enough.
Are Russian Blue Cats Hypoallergenic?
Russian Blue cats are not hypoallergenic, despite being sometimes described as such.
The reason for this is multi-factoral.
First and foremost, it must be stated that they are a better breed of cat for those whom suffer with allergies. These people generally do much better around them.
This is due to the fact that this breed is:
- Lower shedding,
- Produce less dander,
- Their saliva and hair produce less Fel d1 – a protein that is known to trigger allergic reactions (such as itching and wheezing)
That being said, Russian Blues do still produce Fel d1 and dander.
Even if it is in lower amounts, the potential is still there.
Why there is some confusion around the topic is that not all allergy sufferers notice issues around them.
For the most part, the reduced dander and allergens are not enough to activate allergies to a noticeable amount in most people.
But, it still can, especially for those with more extreme allergies.
So, if you suffer from pet allergies and are interested in this particular breed; its a good idea to check in advance and spend some time around them.
See how you respond and if you can realistically take one home without issues.
Bear in mind, that there are different causes of allergies in cats.
Some people are allergic to the hair, whereas others to dust that can be collected on the hair.
Nevertheless, the main allergen is the Fel d1 proteins that reside in the hair, skin, saliva and dander (flakes of dead skin).
All cats will produce this protein to some extent and males are known to produce more than females.
So, if you see Russian Blues being described as hypoallergenic, it is mostly a myth. Although with a caveat.
How To Manage Shedding In Russian Blue Cats
If you decide to own a Russian Blue, you’ll be pleased to hear that the management of shedding will not take up too much of your time.
These are clean cats, and are keen groomers.
Nevertheless, there will be periods of increased shedding (those seasonal months), so its good to be aware of how to manage your cats coat during this time.
Equally, its good practice to get help minimize shedding throughout the year with the following strategies:
It is advised that your brush your cats coat 1-3x per week.
Using a soft-bristled brush will help you to collect and remove any matted hair and collected dander.
Grooming mitts, like this on Amazon, are equally effective, and are sometimes preferred due to their practically and your ability to massage your cat simultaneously.
Wiping Your Cats Coat
Cats are not the most fond of the water, and as such, bathing may be a challenge.
Besides, a cat like the Russian Blue does not really require bathing due to their own grooming regimen.
The only real time to consider it is if they contract parasites, such as fleas, which will be noticeable via an increase in scratching and shedding.
Instead, you can use a clean cloth, or cat wipes, to gently wipe down your cat and remove any dander or allergens that are collecting on the tips of their hairs.
Diet and Nutrition
Feeding your cat the highest quality food you can afford, and providing them with all the nutrients they need, will help them to maintain their coat.
Equally, some foods can cause your cat to suffer from allergies, which may increase scratching and thus itching.
The most common offenders include wheat and eggs; but you will need to find out with your own cat.
Reduce Their Accessibility
One easy way to prevent a cats hairs being everywhere is to simply stop, or prevent them from accessing certain areas of your home. Such as your bedroom.
Close doors and ensure they cannot access certain places through windows.
Cats are very intelligent and can squeeze through small openings so you need to be careful.
Ensuring your cat does not sleep on your pillow is generally advised, and you’ll also want to change your bed sheets if they do manage to lay in them.
Its important when owning a cat to vacuum frequently. You’ll also need to consider that their hairs can drop wherever they can go.
So, this includes all furniture, flooring and even countertops.
Consider that allergens are microscopic so you need a decent vacuum and a regular schedule to keen your home clean.
Are also another effective approach to consider. These ‘clean the air’ collecting allergens and preventing them from circulating.
HEPA air purifiers, like this Amazon best seller, are considered the best option, especially for those with more severe cat allergies.
Consider your personal hygiene when and after interacting with your Russian Blue.
For example, if you have just cuddled with or held them, be sure to wash your hands after.
Be careful not to rub your eyes, or touch your mouth, as this is an easy way to transfer allergens to these sensitive areas.
Also consider your cats items, such as toys, as these will naturally collect hairs and allergens too.
Russian Cats do shed, albeit minimally. In fact, they are one of the lowest shedding cat breeds that you could consider.
While they are sometimes described as hypoallergenic, the truth is, they can still set off allergies in the most vulnerable or those most susceptible to allergies.
It is rare, but it can happen.
For this reason if you are seriously considering this gorgeous breed; it is advised to visit a few breeders or do what you can to spend some time around them.
See how you respond and whether it will be realistic for you to take them home.
While there are certainly things you can do to lower the shedding and remove the allergens, its not practical all the time.
Living with a pet that causes you allergies is just not fun.
Besides, these cats do not come cheap, and you do not ever want to have to drop a cat off at the shelter because it didn’t work out.
Nevertheless, these are all just points to consider.
Many people take in a Russian and report that it is one of the best decisions they made. Even for those who do normally suffer with allergies.
They are a great breed to own; calm, affectionate but not clingy, and very intelligent.
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.