Are Grey Tabby Cats Hypoallergenic? What You Need To Know

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Grey tabby cats are extremely popular; allergies will concern many would-be owners. But are grey tabby cats hypoallergenic?

No, grey tabby cats are not hypoallergenic.

Key Takeaways

  • Grey tabby cats are not hypoallergenic, as they produce the Fel d1 protein in their saliva, fur, and urine, which triggers allergic reactions in humans.
  • Managing allergies around grey tabby cats involves consistent grooming, regular cleaning of bedding and litter trays, and possibly investing in air purifiers to minimize the spread of allergens in your home.
  • No cat breed is completely hypoallergenic, but some breeds like the Siberian cat produce less of the Fel d1 protein, while hairless breeds like the Sphynx spread fewer allergens due to lack of fur.
  • Dietary and environmental factors, such as stress, can contribute to excessive shedding in cats. Proper nutrition and stress management may help in reducing allergens in your living space.

Table of Contents

Why Do Grey Tabby Cats Cause Allergies?

The beautiful tabby cat is not a breed in its own right.

These cats are often referred to as tabbies for their recognisable coat patterns.

Grey tabby cats have different fur patterns based on the positioning of their stripes, and all of them have distinctive “M” markings on their forehead.

young grey tabby cat

Grey tabby cats, like all cats, produce the Fel d1 protein in their saliva, fur and urine. This protein is what triggers allergic reactions in humans.

As grey tabby cats are not a specific breed, they are no different to other cats in producing this protein. Some breeds will produce more or less than others and may be better suited to allergy sufferers.

When cats shed fur, groom themselves and use the litter tray, they spread the Fel d1 protein around your home, which can cause allergies if you come into contact with it.

How To Own A Cat When You’re Allergic?

You cannot control how much Fel d1 protein your cat produces, but you can limit how much it spreads around your home.

One of the main ways it is spread around is by your cat shedding.

The amount your cat sheds will depend on their breed and factors such as their diet, health, the season and other reasons explained below.

Long-haired cats tend to shed less than short-haired breeds. Grooming longer-haired cats can be more challenging as their fur easily tangles.

Short-haired cats tend to shed more but are much easier to groom.

Some pure-breed cats, such as Himalayan and Bengal, are more likely to have genes that cause hair loss.

Others, such as Sphynx, are bred to be hairless.

There are ways in which you can try to reduce the amount your cat sheds:

Brushing Helps With Shedding

Brushing your cat is one of the best ways to reduce excessive shedding.

Brushing regularly removes longer hairs and ones ready to fall out anyway. This will prevent the fur from falling out on your carpet, furniture and clothing.

Cats will need brushing in different amounts depending on their breed.

Brushes We Recommend

These brushes are very effective and a favourite for cats who dislike brushing. They are the perfect size, remove a lot of fur and leave your cat’s fur soft and fluffy.

For cats that don’t like normal brushes, these gloves can be helpful to get your cat used to being groomed.


Cats should always be fed a quality, balanced diet.

Although the most readily available cat food will have a suitable balance of ingredients, it is still possible for cats to become deficient in specific nutrients. Vitamins A, E and B are necessary to produce and maintain healthy fur; when a cat does not get enough of these, they can shed more than usual.

All cats need plenty of protein to maintain healthy fur. Some dry foods have less protein than wet foods, which often have a higher meat content. If your cat is shedding excessively, switching to a mix of wet and dry food or entirely to wet food could improve this.

Many different food options are available, so experimenting with different ones can help find the right food for your cat to improve their coat and reduce shedding.

Stress and Shedding

If your cat is stressed, they may shed large amounts of fur in clumps.

There are many reasons your cat could be stressed, and it doesn’t always mean something is medically wrong with your cat.

Cats can become stressed from location changes. Bringing a new cat into your home can be a stressful time. Here are tips on introducing a new cat into your home. This is especially true for rescue cats with issues or a troubled past.

Loud noises can be stressful for cats. This can include loud music, excessive traffic noise and thunderstorms. It can be helpful to try and reduce background noise if you notice your cat is shedding lots of fur.

How To Minimise Allergic Reactions?

grey tabby cat being held next to a woman who is sneezing

Change clothing and bedding regularly

If your cat sleeps on your bed, stopping this will make a big difference for allergy sufferers.

Washing and changing the bedding and your clothing often will also help.

Vacuum regularly

Removing cat hair and other particles from your floors and surfaces will help prevent a build-up of allergens for you to come into contact with.

Read More: Tips To Manage Cat Hair

Clean out litter tray often

Outdoor cats may not use a litter tray, but if they do, or your cat is an indoor cat, cleaning out their litter tray often will reduce the allergens in the area and prevent them from getting carried through the house.

Read More: How Often To Change Cat Litter

Wash hands regularly

Cleaning hands often will reduce the spread of allergens onto your household items.

Use an air filter

Air purifiers remove harmful particles and flying loose hair from the air before they can settle on your clothes, furniture, or bedding.

In our view, Philips make the best air filters. The Philips 3000i continuously detects and removes allergens from the air and is highly effective with high-grade HEPA filters to remove 99.97% of airborne allergens, pollen, dust and other particles.

Philips air filters are expensive, and a more budget-friendly option would be this model from Levoit.

Change carpets to solid flooring

If you have a grey tabby cat, you’ll know that a lot of the hair they shed ends up on the floor. Carpets can hold and build up hair and other particles much quicker than solid floors.

Even vacuuming often doesn’t remove all of this from the carpet easily, so while an extreme step, changing for solid floors could be an option for an allergy sufferer that wants to keep cats.

cat hair collected in carpet

If you have carpets in your home, it will seem like no matter how much you vacuum, the hair doesn’t go away!

That’s where a handheld carpet scraper comes in handy. This little tool will easily brush all the cat hair out of your carpet so you can vacuum it up. You will be amazed at how easy it is and how much hair appears when you use it.

Read this article for more about why grey tabby cats shed and how to minimise it.

Are Any Cat Breeds Hypoallergenic?

No cat breed is completely hypoallergenic, but some breeds, such as Siberian cats, produce less Fel d1 protein and can be better for people with cat allergies.

There are also some breeds of cats which shed less fur than others. These can be better choices for people with allergies.

Cat Breeds Which Shed Less

Are Hairless Cats Hypoallergenic?

Some breeds of cat such as the Sphynx, have been selectively bred to be hairless. But are these cats hypoallergenic?

sphynx cat

Like all other cats, Sphynx cats produce Fel d1 protein, but because they are hairless, they do not spread it by shedding fur.

It is still present on their skin and saliva, so there is still a risk of allergies, but Sphynx cats can cause fewer allergic reactions than other breeds.  

Despite this, Sphynx cats are not considered to be hypoallergenic.

Final Thoughts

Grey tabby cats are not hypoallergenic.

Grey tabby cats, like all cats, produce the Fel d1 protein in their saliva, fur and urine. This protein is what triggers allergic reactions in humans.

As tabby cats are not a specific breed, they are no different to other cats in producing this protein.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are grey tabby cats rare?

No, grey tabby cats are not particularly rare. Tabby is a coat pattern rather than a breed, and this pattern is one of the most common among domestic cats. The grey tabby pattern can be found in many different breeds and is quite prevalent.

Are grey tabby cats friendly?

The friendliness of a grey tabby cat is more dependent on socialization, upbringing, and individual personality than on coat color or pattern. Tabby cats generally come in a range of temperaments, from friendly and outgoing to more reserved or independent. Interaction with a cat before adopting is crucial to gauge its friendliness.

What is the personality of a grey tabby cat?

The personality of a grey tabby cat can vary widely since “tabby” describes a coat pattern and not a breed. However, many owners of grey tabby cats describe them as intelligent, playful, and often affectionate. Each cat’s personality will differ, so spending time with a particular cat is essential to understanding its unique character traits.

What is the rarest tabby color?

While tabby cats come in various colors, the rarest is probably the “cinnamon” or “fawn” tabby, which has a warm, reddish-brown color. These are less commonly seen than typical grey, brown, or orange tabbies.

What are grey cats known for?

Grey cats, like all cats, can vary in temperament and personality. However, many people believe that grey cats tend to be more reserved and dignified, although this is more of a generalization than a rule. Grey cats can be found in various breeds, each with unique characteristics.

What is the lifespan of a grey tabby cat?

The lifespan of a grey tabby cat is generally the same as other domestic cats and will depend more on factors such as health, care, and genetics rather than coat color. On average, domestic cats live between 13-17 years, although many can live well into their early 20s or longer with proper care.

Are grey tabbies clingy?

The clinginess of a grey tabby cat will depend on its personality and experiences. Some may be more independent, while others might prefer constant human interaction. Tabby cats come in all temperaments, so it’s difficult to generalize whether or not they will be clingy.

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