Turkish Van cats have a single layer of fur with no undercoat that is water resistant. Because Turkish Vancats do not have an undercoat, they shed surprisingly little given their long silky fur.
When Do Turkish Van Cats Shed?
Cats in the wild usually shed twice a year. They shed once in the spring to get rid of their heavy winter coat and in the fall to get ready to put on their winter coat. Cats shed to get rid of dead fur. Dead fur causes skin irritation, if it is not removed.
Domestic cats, such as the Turkish Vancat, live in air conditioning in the summer and central heating in the winter, which confuses their bodies and results in them shedding all year long, unless the hair is removed by combing and grooming.
Best Comb for Shedding Cats
Since combing it essential to cutting down on shedding, I was wondering if their was a comb that was better for reducing shedding. Based on my research the best comb for shedding is the Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker Brush.
Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker Brush
This brush has a large number of fine metal tines that are slightly bent at the end. This allows the brush to get deep into your cat’s fur without irritating the skin. A button causes the bristles to retract, making clean up the fur easy. This brush works well on both short hair cats and long hair cats. This brush has over eleven thousand reviews on Amazon.com and has a 4.5 out of 5 stars rating. Many customers also mentioned that the brush is durable and the handle is anti-slip.
Are Turkish Van Cats Hypoallergenic?
Many people are interested in whether a cat sheds, because they are allergic to cats. Technically, you are not allergic to the cat’s fur, but to proteins in cat’s dander (Fel d1 protein) and saliva (Fel d4 protein). However, cats that shed less seem to spread fewer of these allergenic proteins, which can reduce your allergic symptoms. Turkish Vancats are not hypoallergenic.
What is the Best Vacuum for Allergy Sufferers and Pet Hair?
Besides combing your Turkish Van cat regularly, using a vacuum with a HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter designed with pet hair in mind on carpets, floors, couches, chairs can help to significantly reduce the allergens in your house. Most normal vacuums are not designed to effectively pick up pet fur. According to my research the best vacuum to pick up your Turkish Van cat’s hair and eliminate allergens, is the Dyson Ball Animal 2.
Dyson Upright Vacuum Cleaner, Ball Animal 2
This vacuum cleaner is specifically designed with animal fur in mind. Dyson claims that it has the strongest suction of any vacuum at 270 air watts. In addition, Dyson’s patented cyclone technology removes more particles from the air stream. This is how Dyson explains this technology:
Dyson's patented Two Tier Radial Cyclone Technology works similarly to its predecessor, except smaller cyclones are stacked across two tiers for increased suction. By making the cyclones smaller, air travels faster, which makes the centrifugal forces responsible for separating dirt and debris from the air stream even more powerful. A two-tier vacuum cleaner can detect the tiniest of particles 0.5 microns in size.
Another feature many people like is the self adjusting cleaner base plate that ensures close contact with the carpet (floor) that gets deeper into the piles of the carpet and ensures that the suction does not leak out the sides.
Finally, the Dyson Animal 2 comes with a number of useful attachments, such as the tangle free turbine tool. This tool use heads that rotate in opposite directions making it perfect for removing fur on couches, chairs, bedding, and even clothes.
Best Lint Roller for Cat Hair
While vacuums are great for reducing cat hair, sometimes they are not enough. A lint roller can remove stubborn hair from furniture and clothing. According to the reviews the best lint roller for your Turkish Vancat is PetLovers Extra Sticky Lint Roller Mega Value Set 450 Sheets for Pet Hair Removal.
Hot Water Removes Allergens Best
Experts suggest washing blankets, covers, clothing and anything your Turkish Van cat comes into contact with or where its dander can land at 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 C) twice a month. According to PetMD
, a study showed that washing in 140 degrees F (60 C) killed 100% of the dust mites. In addition, washing at this temperature removed 90% of dog dander and 97% of pollen. While washing in 36 C (104 F) only killed 60% of the dust mites. This milder temperature also only removed 60% of dog dander and 69% of pollen.
Best Air Purifier for Pet Allergies and Asthma
Many people also suggest a HEPA room air purifier to relieve allergies caused by your Turkish Van cat. Interestingly, one study showed in a double blind test conducted over a month that HEPA room air purifiers had little or no effect on the subjects’ allergy symptoms. If you want to read the study, CLICK HERE
This result seems counter intuitive. If you doubt the results of this study and you want to know what air purifier is best for cat allergies. According to my research, the best air purifier for cat and dog families is Alen BreatheSmart Classic Fur Family SmartBundle with Allergen-Reducing Air Purifier
(Amazon Link), however this Air Purifier is very expensive and given the questionable effectiveness of air purifiers for allergies, I personally would choose the Winix HR900, Ultimate Pet.
Winix HR900, Ultimate Pet 5 Stage True HEPA Filtration Air Purifier, 300 Sq. Ft
This air purifier uses a five stage filtration system that includes:
True HEPA Filter
Activated Carbon Filter
According to Winix, this air purifier“captures 99. 97percent of airborne pollutants, pet dander and allergens as small as 0.3 microns.”
The activated carbon filter and the “PlasmaWave Technology” also reduce pet odors. The PlasmaWave technology is essentially an ionizer that creates both negative and positive ions to break apart odor causing molecules. In addition, when the ions attach to dander and other particles it allows them to be filtered out with a simple electrical gradient.
This filter also has three sensors that detect if there is a large amount of pet dander or pollen in the air. When a high concentration of these contaminates is detected, it automatically switches the air purifier into a high volume cleaning stage, which quickly removes these contaminates.
I have owned air purifiers to cut down on allergens and my personal opinion is that the study sited above is correct. However, I do suggest having an air purifier in modern office buildings.
These buildings recycle the air and do not allow you to open a window for fresh air. I chastised an architect about this once and she told me that this was a building code requirement. Supposedly, this is for fire protection. The likelihood of a fire in a modern office building is very low, perhaps less than a once in 30 year possibly, but the desire and I would say need for fresh air is at least 20% of the days in a year. Anyway, because these buildings just recycle the air, they spread virus and other germs throughout the building. A good air purifier should reduce these and also any smells from other parts of the building.
Should You Give Your Cat a Bath?
You may be tempted to give your Turkish Van cat a bath, especially if you have cat allergies. A good combing will suffice in most cases. However, there may be times when you need to give your Turkish Van, such as when they have soiled themselves, or if they have a flea problem.
If you need to give your Turkish Van cat a bath, you are in luck because they are known as the “swimming cat”. When you are giving your Turkish Van cat a bath, these tips may be helpful:
1) Make sure the bath water is warm. This will make the process less shocking for both of you. However, be sure the water is not too hot.
2) Place a rubber mat in the tub or sink so that your Turkish Vancat does not slide around. This scares the cat.
3) Use sturdy rubber gloves. If your Turkish Van cat decides it does not like the bath, which is unlikely, the gloves will protect your hands from being scratched.
5) Have pitcher or a spray nozzle to rinse your Turkish Van cat off.
6) Have a large towel ready to dry off your cat.
You may also want to have some cotton balls around to clean your Turkish Van cat’s ears.
Bathing Your Turkish Van Cat to Reduce Your Cat Allergy Symptoms
There seems to be some disagreement on whether you should give your cat a bath to help with your cat allergies. One problem is that bathing a cat can result in upsetting the natural PH of their skin. This will cause your cat to release more pet dander and cause them to scratch at their skin more.
If you decide to try bathing your Turkish Van cat, pick a shampoo designed for this purpose. Such a shampoo should be gentle and not disturb your cat’s skins PH level.
Best Cat Shampoo for Human Allergy Sufferers
From my research the best cat “shampoo” is:
Pro Pet Works All Natural Organic Oatmeal Pet Shampoo Plus Conditioner
This product is highly rated by reviewers on Amazon. It contains oatmeal and aloe that are proven to be gentle on the skin and to moisturize skin, which reduces dander.
What is the Best Antihistamine for Cat Allergies?
While the above measures should help with your allergic reaction to your Turkish Van cat, there may be times when you need additional help. Based on my personal experience with allergies the best antihistamine for general use is Zyrtec CLICK HERE to view on Amazon
) I found Zyrtec the most effective antihistamine without making me drowsy.
If you have a severe allergic reaction, then Benedryl (CLICK HERE to view on Amazon
) is what most doctors suggest. However, be aware that Benedryl is likely to make you tired and can impair your motor skills.
Another common suggestion is steroid nasal sprays such as Flonase (CLICK HERE to view on Amazon
). My personal experience with Flonase and similar products is that they provided very little additional relief, however everyone will react differently.
When none of these provide enough relief, most experts suggest getting a skin prick test. This will identify the allergens that are affecting you. With this information, your doctor can prepare allergy shots to desensitize you to these allergens, which can include cats.
I had this done and tested to be allergic to almost everything. I took allergy shots for four years. I found some relief after the first six months of the allergy shots, but very little effect after that. So I personally, cannot recommend this path.
Cat Diet to Reduce Your Allergy Symptoms
Since it is the dander and the saliva that are causing your allergic reactions, it may make sense to feed your Turkish Van cat food that reduces the amount dander she produces.
Fortunately, this is essentially the same diet that is best for your Turkish Van cat’s health. I have written an extensive article on what to feed your cat in my article, What Should I Feed My Cat?
The essence is that your Turkish Van cat needs plenty of good animal proteins and fats. In addition, supplementing with fish oil or other omega 3 oils can help. Also avoid feeding yourTurkish Vansuch dry food, which can dehydrate her.
Best Human Diet to Reduce Your Cat Allergies
There is a hypothesis that allergies and a number of autoimmune diseases are caused by a ‘leaky gut’. The ‘leaky gut’ idea is a bit controversial. Despite this a number of doctors are reporting good results treating allergy issues and autoimmune disease with ketogenic diets and even carnivore diets. Both are very similar to the best diet for your Turkish Vancat as I describe in my article, What Should I Feed My Cat?
One potential issue, with the Standard American Diet (SAD), is that many people do not react well to modern strains of wheat, which have proteins not found in older varieties of wheat. In addition, too many carbohydrates cause metabolic syndrome, which seems to increase allergic reactions. Of course everyone is unique.
In my case, I think my allergies have gotten much better from eating a more ketogenic diet. It may be worth a try, if standard measures are unable to control your cat allergies.