If you are an allergy sufferer looking for a pet, then the answer is “yes.” Cockatiels are generally hypoallergenic.
There are many factors that go into determining just how allergic someone might be to any particular animal. The size of the animal, where it lives in your house, and what other pets are present are all major players in whether or not you will have an allergic reaction.
But if your only concern is allergies themselves there is some good news about cockatiels.
People are allergic to animals for different reasons. Some are allergic to fur, feathers, or pollen in the air. Others are sensitive to pet dander and its effect on their respiratory system.
If you are looking for a smaller bird that will have less of an impact on your allergies than a larger one, then cockatiels are perfect for you
What Does Hypoallergenic Mean?
To answer the question, “Are Cockatiels Hypoallergenic?” entirely we need to understand what hypoallergenic means.
Hypoallergenic means that the item causes less of an allergic reaction. It does not mean there are no allergens. When talking about pet birds, it is generally accepted that small birds are the least likely to cause a reaction.
Why Smaller Birds Are Better for Allergy Sufferers
Cockatiels are small birds, and are less likely to cause allergic reactions than are larger birds. They are often hypoallergenic, or at least less likely to cause allergic reactions than are other kinds of pets.
This is because the dander that causes people problems are usually found in large quantities on big animals- like dogs and cats!
Smaller animals will shed less fur, which means you have a smaller mess to clean up. They are also less likely to leave pollen in your house, which can cause respiratory problems for you and/or other family members with allergies.
How common is feather allergy?
Feather allergy is an allergy that specifically happens when following exposure to feathers.
It’s estimated that 5-10% of people in North America have a feather allergy.
Some symptoms will be experienced by everyone, such as sneezing and wheezing, but with all allergies there can be large variations with each person. Sometimes the severity of one’s symptoms will also depend on their immune system or sensitivities.
While many people experience mild symptoms at worst, some report experiencing substantial discomfort and even asthma attacks from a feather contact alone!
And if they don’t know they’re allergic until they accidentally touch a bird for the first time, it could get pretty bad for someone who thinks it’s just mucus from their nose typical of colds.
How Would You Know If You Are Allergic To Birds?
If you are allergic to feathers, you may experience one or multiple unpleasant symptoms from breathing in the powder that comes off of feathers such as;
- worsening of asthma symptoms
- sinus congestion
- itchy eyes, nose, or throat are some other common reactions.
An allergy test can help you determine if you are sensitive to feathers and are not experiencing a cold! A blood test may be helpful in verifying what allergen triggers your reaction.
Although they are not 100% accurate, they are a good place to start when trying to figure out what is causing your symptoms.
Managing Cockatiel Dander
How do you get rid of bird dander?
Bird dander is the particles from feathers that cause allergies. In order to manage it, you need to reduce the amount of dust in your home and make sure you are cleaning regularly.
There are some other ways to help reduce exposure as well, like installing a HEPA filter, but those are less feasible for people who live with multiple birds at once.
It’s also important to keep birds out of bedrooms during sleeping hours if possible- even when the door is open, birds are still likely to leave dander behind.
Can Cockatiels Trigger Allergies?
It’s a possibility.
However, many allergies are caused by environmental triggers and can be avoided by avoiding contact with said trigger. Cockatiels only carry the potential to trigger your allergies but not cause them.
If you have severe dust mite or bird allergy, however, this may mean that cockatiels could potentiate those issues as inciting factors for an allergic reaction due to airborne proteins from both of those common allergens.
In the right setting, cockatiels could potentially be part of an allergen which then causes a reaction in someone who is otherwise not sensitive to birds – but only if a person is already sensitive to a inciting agent such as dust mites.
What Are The Best Options For Someone With A Feather Allergy?
If you are allergic to feathers and are looking for an alternative pet that will not cause the same reactions in yourself and others, then there are many options!
A pet with low or no dander is a great option, as are those who are less likely to shed.
People are often surprised that they find it easier to own small animals with no fur at all- like reptiles, amphibians, and fish!
If you need someone cuddlier than those pets provide there are also options for people allergic to feathers such as furless cats, guinea pigs, and rabbits.
If you are looking for a pet that is easy to find at most places, then an African Pygmy Hedgehog may be your best bet! They are hypoallergenic and do not shed their fur- just like guinea pigs and rabbits, but they can also curl up in your lap!