Sneeze No More!
It’s every cat lover’s worst nightmare; not being able to snuggle up with a cute kitty because of the sneezing, itching, and watery eyes brought on by your cat allergies.
If you’re allergic to cats, I feel your pain! While it may seem unfair that you have to suffer every time you're around a cat, there is hope!
Some cat breeds are less likely to trigger your allergy. Although there are no "hypoallergenic cat breeds" these breeds do produce fewer allergens.
Of course, everyone is different and it can all depend on the severity of your allergy. If you have a mild cat allergy, these breeds might not trigger any symptoms at all, opening up the possibility that you too could share your home with a feline.
So What Actually Causes Cat Allergies?
Many people believe it’s a cat’s fur that causes allergic reactions, so they steer clear of long-haired kitties. However, it’s not necessarily the fur that causes the problem, but a protein that all cats produce.
The protein, known as Fel D1, is present in cat saliva, which gets onto a cat’s fur during their grooming process. Fel D1 comes into contact with our skin, eyes, or is inhaled, which triggers those common allergy symptoms such as sneezing, itching, hives, and watery eyes.
Why Are Some Cats ‘Hypoallergenic’?
Some breeds produce less Fel D1 than others, which makes them a better match for people with allergies. That being said, everyone has a different allergy threshold. A mildly affected person may be okay with a particular cat, while a more sensitive person could have an adverse reaction.
It’s not just the breed that makes a difference. Male kitties tend to produce more Fel D1 than females, and intact males create more than neutered ones. Additionally, kittens are known to have fewer allergens than adult cats do.
The Top 8 Cat Breeds For Those With Allergies
Being a long-haired cat, you wouldn’t expect a Balinese kitty to be the ideal fur baby for those with allergies. However, despite their long fluffy fur and full tail, they tend to produce less of the Fel D1 protein than other felines and have a single layer coat.
Similar to the Siamese, Balinese kitties are smart, playful, and very vocal! It’s easy to forgive their loudness though, as they’re super affectionate and sensitive to your mood. If you’re feeling down, your Balinese furry friend is bound to perk you back up.
Like Balinese cats, Javanese kitties lack an undercoat, which means they have less fur. Their medium-long single coat also doesn’t mat so they require very little grooming, which means less shedding. These cute kitties are playful, affectionate, and very easy to train.
These hairless cats are the most obvious feline choice for allergies and the most hypoallergenic breed because no fur means no shedding! Even so, Sphynx kitties do require a fair amount of maintenance. Their suede-like skin is prone to oil build-up, so you will need to keep this under control with regular towel rubs and occasional baths.
Sphynx cats are one of the most loved breeds, mainly due to their animated nature and unconventional appearance. Your alternative kitty will keep you entertained with their lively antics. Moreover, the Sphynx is extremely devoted and loyal and will follow you around just like a dog!
A Cornish Rex cat looks like a Sphynx with a bit of fur. They sport a short, wavy topcoat that hardly sheds, and they have no undercoat either. This makes them a top choice for those who love furry creatures but struggle with their allergens.
Cornish Rexes are just as active and sociable as Sphynx cats. In fact, it’s hard to ignore their vocal communications, which are usually just their way of showing their love and affection. Like a Sphynx, a Cornish Rex will need frequent baths to prevent oil from building up.
As you would expect, the Devon Rex is another ideal cat for allergy sufferers. They have a shorter coat and even less fur than the Cornish, so they tend to shed very little.
Surprisingly Devon Rexes do not require as much maintenance. Only their paw pads and ears seem to get oil build-up, so you don’t need to give them full baths. They are mischievous, playful, and love to snuggle!
The beautiful Russian Blue feline boasts an attractive, shimmering coat. Although their fur is dense, they don’t shed much at all, and they produce less Fel D1 than other breeds.
Russian Blues are quiet, gentle, and calmer than most other breeds on this list. If you have mild allergies and are looking for an easygoing furry friend, a Russian Blue is perfect for you.
The short-haired Oriental is well known to be one of the best cat breeds for allergies. Their coat feels silky smooth and tends to shed very little if you brush it once or twice a week. They are enthusiastic, entertaining, and curious kitties and love to be the center of attention.
Siberian cats possess one of the thickest, longest coats out of all the domestic felines. Their lengthy, glamorous fur does shed more than some other breeds and requires regular brushing.
Even so, their saliva contains minimal Fel D1 allergen, and many cat allergy sufferers claim they don’t experience any symptoms at all while around them. These affectionate cats love to cuddle and have a unique and funny obsession with water!
Choosing a hypoallergenic cat is not the only thing you can do to keep your annoying allergy at bay. Adjusting your felines diet and grooming regime can also help. Giving your kitty fish oil or omega-3 supplements will keep their fur healthy and shiny and contribute to reducing allergen levels in their body too.
You can remove dander from your cat’s fur by combing them; just remember to do so outside if possible. Another way to minimize the Fel D1 protein is to give regular baths if your feline is up for it!
Lastly, if you own a cat and are allergic, always have a sufficient supply of antihistamines, and other allergy remedies on hand should symptoms crop up.