Are Scottish Fold Cats Hypoallergenic? What You Need To Know

If you are an allergy sufferer who loves cats, you may be searching for a hypoallergenic cat breed that won’t trigger your symptoms.

But are Scottish Fold cats hypoallergenic?

Key Takeaways

  • Scottish Fold Cats and Allergies: Scottish Fold cats are not hypoallergenic. They produce the Fel d1 protein in their saliva, fur, and urine, which is responsible for triggering allergic reactions in humans.
  • Managing Shedding: While you can’t control the Fel d1 protein production, you can somewhat manage shedding. Regular brushing and a balanced diet rich in necessary nutrients can reduce excessive shedding, limiting the spread of allergens.
  • Reducing Allergens in the Home: Multiple strategies can help reduce allergens if you’re allergic but still want to keep a cat. These include frequent vacuuming, using air purifiers, and even considering a change from carpet to solid flooring.
  • Alternative Cat Breeds for Allergy Sufferers: Although no cat breed is entirely hypoallergenic, some breeds like the Sphynx, Devon Rex, and Siberian produce fewer allergens than others and might be a better fit for those with mild allergies.

In this article, we’ll cover the basics of what causes cat allergies, how some low-allergy cats differ from other breeds and provide insight into whether Scottish Folds are a good choice for those with allergies.

Why Do Scottish Fold Cats Cause Allergies?

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

Scottish Fold cats are a specific breed with a fur pattern associated with the group of tabby cats (read more about tabby cats here).

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

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 Scottish Fold 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.

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 good amount 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, it 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.

grey scottish fold cat laying on grass

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?

Change clothing and bedding regularly

If your cat sleeps on your bed, then 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.

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 present in the area and prevent them from getting carried through the house.

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 have a chance to 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 Scottish Fold 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.

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 Scottish Fold cats shed and how to minimise it.

Are Any Cat Breeds Hypoallergenic?

No cat breed is completely hypoallergenic, but some breeds, such as Scottish Fold 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 Scottish Fold Cats Hypoallergenic? Final Thoughts

Scottish Fold cats are not hypoallergenic.

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

Scottish Fold cats are a specific breed with a fur pattern associated with the group of tabby cats (read more about tabby cats here). They are no different to other cats in producing this protein.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you be allergic to Scottish Folds?

Yes, Scottish Folds can still cause allergic reactions in some people despite having a low-allergen coat.

What is the best cat for someone with allergies?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as different cats can produce different levels of allergens. However, some cat breeds that produce fewer allergens than others include Sphynx, Devon Rex, and Siberian.

Do Scottish Folds shed a lot?

Scottish Folds are not heavy shedders but shed moderately throughout the year.

Do Scottish Folds like to cuddle?

Yes, Scottish Folds are known for being affectionate and often seek out attention and cuddles from their owners.

Should I get a cat if I’m allergic?

It is not recommended to get a cat if you have severe allergies. Still, some people with mild allergies can manage their symptoms with allergy medication by adopting a less allergenic cat breed.

What is the lifespan of a Scottish Fold?

The average lifespan of a Scottish Fold is around 12-14 years.

Are Scottish Folds clingy?

Scottish Folds are known for being clingy and affectionate towards their owners.

What are the pros of having a Scottish Fold?

Some pros of having a Scottish Fold include their affectionate nature, calm and easy-going personality, and tendency to be good with children and other pets.

Should I bathe my Scottish Fold cat?

Scottish Folds do not need frequent bathing, but occasional baths can help to reduce shedding and maintain their coat’s cleanliness.

Do Scottish Fold cats have a lot of health problems?

Scottish Folds can be prone to specific health issues such as ear infections, joint problems, and heart disease. Choosing a reputable breeder and providing proper care to help minimize the risk of health problems is vital.

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