Are you suffering from allergies? Despite their size, they are very agile and excellent jumpers, capable of leaping tall bookcases in a single bound. You’re not by yourself. People are twice as likely to have cat allergies as they are to have dog allergies. Nonetheless, furry felines are usually difficult to resist.
If you still want a cat, some “hypoallergenic” breeds are known to produce fewer allergens than other cats. Keep in mind that no breed is completely non-allergenic, but a different breed choice may reduce adverse reactions.
What causes allergies to cats?
Have you ever wondered what causes your allergies? It’s not the cat’s fur that makes you sneeze and itchy; it’s a protein called Fel D1 found in cat saliva. When a cat licks its coat, the allergen-laden saliva dries and becomes airborne, increasing the likelihood of an allergic reaction.
Some breeds produce less of this protein than others, making them ideal for allergy sufferers. Aside from the Fel D1 protein, other factors influence a cat’s allergen production:
Factors that affect allergen production in cats
- Males secrete more allergenic substances than females.
- Males who are not neutered produce more than intact males.
- Dark cats produce more than light-colored cats (no-one knows why)
- Adults produce more allergens than kittens.
Ideal cats for allergy sufferers – Top 7 breeds
There are some cats that produce fewer allergens, making pet parenting a little easier. This “hypoallergenic” cat list should not be your only consideration when deciding which breed of cat to adopt.
The best way to find out if you are sensitive to cats is to meet them. Before making a decision, we recommend contacting an animal shelter or rescue group and arranging to meet the pet.
The Balinese, also known as the “longhaired Siamese,” appears to be an unlikely candidate for a hypoallergenic cat breed. Despite this, it is one of the few breeds that produces less Fel D1 protein than other cats, resulting in fewer allergic reactions in allergy sufferers.
Balinese cats are intelligent, sweet, and entertaining. They, like the Siamese, are known for their vocal communication abilities. Balinese are highly social people who are sensitive to your mood and will gladly cheer you up with some happy chatter if you’re feeling down.
2. Oriental Shorthair
Although they are considered non-allergenic cats, it is still a good idea to groom your Oriental on a regular basis to keep dander to a minimum.
The Oriental’s personality is as distinct as their coat. They are natural entertainers who thrive on being the center of attention. One minute conceived, the next animated and inquisitive. They are extremely inquisitive and will go to great lengths to participate in your activities.
The Javanese, like the Balinese, has a medium-length single coat that does not mat. They have less fur because they lack an undercoat, which translates to fewer allergens.
Javanese cats are devoted, intelligent, and well-known for their communication abilities. They are obsessed with food and tend to burn off excess calories through playful antics. If you want a responsive cat that is easy to train and enjoys showing affection by purring in your ear and following you around, this breed is ideal.
4. Devon Rex
Devon has shorter fur and less fur than the other Rex cats. Your Devon Rex will require frequent cleaning of her paw pads and ears to remove oil buildup, but she will not require frequent full baths like the Sphynx or Cornish Rex.
Devons’ jumbo satellite-dish ears, large, mischievous ‘window-to-the-soul’ eyes, and ethereal appearance have led to comparisons to elves and space aliens. They’ve been known to cuddle up with you at night and wake you up with kisses and purrs of affection in the morning. And, because the Devon sheds less than other breeds, you can cuddle up without worrying about getting covered in cat hair.
5. Cornish Rex
The Cornish Rex requires more care than the Devon due to the oil buildup on their skin, which requires frequent baths.
Cornish Rexes are active, inquisitive, gazelle-like cats with a playful personality. The Cornish Rex sees everything as a game, and they can be difficult to ignore when they’re in a sociable mood, which is most of the time. Rexes are outgoing and affectionate toward their favorite humans. They also heat up the perfect winter lap with their warm suede feel.
Both the Devon and Cornish Rex are good allergy cats; choose one that fits your personality.
The balding Sphynx cats are the most commonly associated with being hypoallergenic cat breeds. However, being hairless does not imply that they are carefree. Your Sphynx will require frequent baths to remove the gummy buildup of oils on her skin, as well as cleanings of their large ears.
The Sphynx personality traits are frequently compared to dog children, according to the French breed standard, due to its animated nature. Sphynxes are lively, to say the least; they’ll keep you entertained by performing aerialist feats from the tops of doorways and bookshelves.
They are very devoted and loyal to their humans, wagging their tails and purring with affection.
The Siberian, like the Balinese, has a moderately long coat but is hypoallergenic due to lower-than-average enzyme levels in their saliva. According to some, 75% of cat allergy sufferers have no reaction to the Siberian.
Siberians are affectionate cats with lots of personality and fun. They’re friendly and curious about water, frequently dropping toys into their water dishes or splashing in bathtubs before they’re dry.
Siberians are intelligent people who can solve problems to get what they want. Constant sneezing and itching can deter you from giving cats the affection they deserve.
Quick tips for new pet parents
Adopting a “hypothellergenic” cat may not be a cure-all, but it will allow you to relax and breathe a little easier. Spend some time with a cat of the same breed you’re interested in to see if your allergies improve.
If you have a cat, whether it is a hypoallergenic breed or not, there are steps you can take to reduce allergens:
- Bathing and brushing: If you are allergic to cats, leave the process to a groomer or a family member. Bathing your cat on a regular basis can help remove up to 84 percent of existing allergens and reduce future allergen production. Some people believe that bathing in distilled water reduces allergen levels.
- Wash Cat Toys and Bedding: Washing toys and bedding reduces the number of allergens in your home. This should be done at least once a week.
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