Siberians are often called hypoallergenic, but placement failures in homes with allergies are quite common. Kittens begin to produce  Fel d1 around 11 weeks of age, and levels will increase for several months.   Cattery practices that temporarily decrease Fel d1 or mask allergic reactions are a concern, as these can delay reactions in placements. Some of these concerns are addresed below.

Purina Liveclear temporarily reduce Fel d1 allergen levels in saliva, and soapy baths and Allerpet grooming solution reduce allergen in the fur.  These are very helpful aids for pet owners - 
--- but catteries should not try to reduce allergen levels in kittens before kitten placement.

1.  Kittens should be older than 12 weeks at the time of sale, as the most severe reactions to Fel d1 will be noticable by that time. Snuggle with the kitten for a few minutes (face in the fur).  If there is any allergic reaction, do not purchase the kitten. 

2.  Pickup your kitten in person whenever possible.  Spend several minutes snuggling, and then wait 15 minutes to monitor reactions.

3.  Discuss the allergy return policy of the cattery.  A reasonable return policy for low-allergen kittens a full refund for 30 days.  (less shipping fees, vet fees, flight certifiates).  

4.  If a kitten is shipped to you, make a decision as quickly as possible. Allergen levels will continue to rise in the home for weeks to months.

5.  Do not attempt to mask symptoms with antihistamines, either when testing with a kitten or when you get a new kitten.  This is a temporary measure, and not a long term solution.

5.  Ask the cattery if they have used Purina Liveclear food or use sedatives, as they reduce or mask allergic reactions for weeks to months.  These alter test results and are red flags for kittens sold as low allergen.

     ~ Liveclear cat food by Purina.    (contains anti-Fel d1 antibodies).
     ~ Treated the cats with sedatives of any form    (reduces Fel d1 production) 

6.  Ask the cattery if the kitten has been washed within the last three weeks.  Bathing reduces allergies and grooming solutions can lower the results for an extended period of time.  This does not affect saliva test results, but will make it more difficult for new owners to know if they will react to their kitten.

      ~ Soap baths remove allergen from the fur
      ~ Allerpet solution deactivates allergens in the fur

© Meredith Lundberg 2005 - Lundberg Siberians