If you are allergic to cats , you know that allergies affect your life and you try to avoid them, so you should know the best 9 hypoallergenic cat breeds.
The main cause of allergies to cats is a glycoprotein known as Fel D1 , which is produced by the sebaceous glands under the skin and, to a lesser extent, is present in cat saliva.
Fel D 1 protein is quite sticky , so it easily sticks to clothing and skin, and can even be transferred quite easily to public places where cats are not present.
A cat constantly sheds tiny particles of dander (fur flakes) into the environment, and when groomed, they transfer saliva to the hair, which then falls off around the house, causing allergies in susceptible people.
People with allergies have a more sensitive immune system. Their bodies mistake harmless things, like cat dander, for dangerous invaders and attack them just as they would bacteria or viruses. Allergy symptoms are the side effects of how your body acts on the allergen or trigger.
What are the symptoms of cat allergies?
Symptoms of a cat allergy can develop in just a few minutes or take hours to appear and include:
- Hives or a rash on the chest and face
- Red eyes
- Redness of the skin where a cat scratched, bit, or licked you
- Itchy nasal congestion
If you are not sure if you have a cat allergy, you can request an allergy test. This involves a skin or blood patch test.
What if you are allergic to a cat?
If you conclude that cats are the cause of your red eyes, itching, and sneezing, it doesn’t mean that you can’t get close to one again. However, it does mean that if you bring a cat into your own home, it should be a hypoallergenic cat .
Hypoallergenic cats are known to produce fewer allergens than “normal” cats. Keep in mind that the word I use is “less”: no cat is 100% hypoallergenic.
Hypoallergenic cats produce less Fel D1 protein , making an allergic reaction less likely. Among hypoallergenic kittens, the light-colored ones produce the least amount.
Are there hypoallergenic cats?
Sorry to put an end to your illusion: there is no 100% hypoallergenic cat; however, there are some felines that are less allergenic than others. But to understand that, we must first know what is the cause of cat allergy.
There are some animals that are less allergenic, but all of them produce the allergen that can cause problems. It is a question of how much they produce.
That problem-causing allergen is a protein called Felix Domesticus 1 (Fel D 1). Many people mistakenly believe that this allergen depends on a cat having a lot of hair. That misconception may lead you to think that hairless cats are non-allergenic. Not at all! Know that the allergen is found in dandruff, urine and saliva.
In reality, even hairless cat breeds have the potential to cause a severe allergic reaction in some cases. In the case of “fluffier” felines, the fur can even absorb additional allergens, such as mold and pollen.
That said, it is important to note that all allergies affect each person differently. While some may have a life-threatening reaction, such as an asthma attack that prevents them from being around cats, others simply suffer from mild allergies .
How to have a pet cat if you have allergies
Cat allergies are almost twice as common as dog allergies. While the absolute best treatment for cat allergies is to avoid cats, as well as the places where these animals live, some people who already own pets have a hard time getting rid of them even after learning of their allergy. After all, many people consider cats part of the family.
If your allergies are not severe, you may be considering keeping your pet. If so, keep in mind that you may have to make some sacrifices to make that happen.
Keep in mind that you should probably be more concerned with cleaning your home if you decide to keep the cat. This may involve removing some of the cat’s favorite furniture, scrubbing all the walls and wood, steam cleaning the carpets in the house, and even wearing a dust mask.
It may also be worth trying medical treatments to reduce allergy symptoms, which may include allergy shots, antihistamine nasal sprays, and antihistamine pills. Always speak with a trusted allergist before trying any new allergy treatment.
Less allergenic cat breeds
1. Balinese cat
The Balinese cat is very similar to the Siamese cat but its hair is longer and slightly softer. These cats are also not as vocal as Siamese.
The coloring of the Balinese cat is similar to that of the Siamese and includes beige, chocolate, blue and lilac and they have striking blue eyes.
The Balinese is a friendly and calm cat. They are not as strong as Siamese and not as vocal. These cats enjoy the company of people and do not like to be left alone for long periods of time. They will often follow you from room to room enjoying your company.
2. Javanese cat
Like the Cornish Rex and Devon Rex, Javanese cats only have one of the three layers of fur that most cats have. The difference is that Javanese cats have a thin top coat rather than a bottom coat. Having just one coat means less hair, thus less shedding, which means less dandruff floating around your home.
The Javanese cat is a breed in the line of Siamese style cats that includes the Balinese, Colorpoint Shorthair, Oriental Shorthair and Oriental Longhair. They like to be “useful” and follow you wherever you go and are likely to sneak into your bed at the minimum. Although not as “talkative” as the Siamese, the Javanese is still just as stubborn and will tell you exactly what he thinks.
3. Devon Rex cat
The Devon Rex has oversized ears and an elven face with big mischievous eyes. Fun loving, laid back, social and a bit devilish. Intensely loyal, Devon Rex possesses almost doggy qualities and will want to be with you whenever he can.
He has an eccentric and extremely sensitive character . It requires having some experience and sensitivity in dealing with cats and having time to dedicate it, because the Devon Rex needs a lot of company and special attention .
Although he has a mischievous, playful, intelligent and friendly temperament , he also loves the cozy lap of his owner.
4. Cornish Rex cat
Due to a genetic mutation it has a very unusual characteristic in cats: wavy hair.
Cornish Rex have soft, wavy coats of fur that lack protective fur, therefore they do not shed like other cats. Hair is the most common characteristic of the Cornish Rex cat breed: it is curly or wavy and can be any color or combination.
If you are looking for a playful, affectionate, sociable and cuddly cat , the Cornish Rex is for you! He is very intelligent and independent, affectionate, sociable and tender. He loves to feel part of a home and spend hours playing and being pampered.
His relationship with children and with other pets is great.
The care is simple, his hair is quite grateful, you must brush it often and, from time to time, bathe it every so often.
5. Siberian cat
It is a sweet and silent cat, large and with abundant semi-long hair . Agile, fast and skilled hunter, it can jump great distances and heights.
They are sociable , get along well with other cats and even other pets, and are very affectionate and loyal to their owner .
It does not require much experience with cats, as it is not a particularly complicated breed. The Siberian cat can live happily with active people who like to play with their cat, families and also people who live alone.
6. Sphynx cat
The Sphynx has long been an ideal cat for people with allergies, however it is not strictly “hypoallergenic.”
It is characterized by a thin, slender appearance and the absence of fur, although they have very fine hair. Their very sweet temperament, they are friendly, peaceful, intelligent and curious.
They are very dependent and love that we take care of them, they show good relationship with other cats and even dogs.
As a peculiarity of this breed, they need to be bathed with some frequency , since as they do not have hair, they give off fat and sweat , which must be removed so as not to stain the house.
7. Russian Blue Cat
Its shiny, silvery coat and green eyes of the Russian Blue cat immediately catch your eye.
The Russian Blues are intelligent, elegant, calm cats , somewhat shy with strangers, but at the same time they are lovers of games. They love to run, jump, climb, climb to the highest places in the house where you can observe closely and also have fun with both humans and other pets.The Russian blue cat breed is great if you are looking for a calm and gentle cat .
They love quiet, quiet homes, in general, live without frights . He is not the most playful of cats and does not usually like to be provoked.
8. LaPerm Cat
The LaPerm sheds much less than most cat breeds due to its textured curly coat.
They are gentle and affectionate cats but also very active. They adore human company and are well suited to indoor or apartment life as long as they have their time for games and pampering.
Like most cats, LaPerms develop the closest bond with their human friends when they get regular human interaction and affection. LaPerms are agile and active .
Inquisitive by nature, they always want to stick their nose in all household activities. Unlike many active breeds, the LaPerm will be very happy to sit on your lap to enjoy some petting and cuddling once it is done running around the house.
Vocally quiet, the LaPerms cat speaks only when they have something of extreme importance to say, like drawing attention to their empty food plates. However, they do enjoy the occasional quiet chat with their favorite people, especially if their human companions are chatting.
9. Bengal or Bengali cat
the Bengali is a very intelligent and active breed . Although this makes them very fun companions, it also makes them quite challenging at times, so they are probably not suitable for a first-time cat or pet.
Unlike other breeds, Bengals love water . A Bengali cat will happily jump into a pond or shower with its owners.
They are cats that enjoy being outdoors , as they have a strong hunting instinct, a trait transmitted by their wild antecedents.
They get along well with other pets, including dogs, and love to play with children who they are very friendly towards.
Precautions you can add to avoid allergies
In addition to choosing a hypoallergenic breed, you can:
- Limit your cat’s access and keep him out of bedrooms.
- Clean your house regularly, be sure to vacuum every few days.
- Keep the air fresh by leaving the windows open.
- Keep your cat healthy. The healthier your cat is, the less it will shed and produce dander.
- Bathe your cat every 15 days. Regular baths can dry out your cat’s skin, but baths remove significant amounts of allergens from the fur. Have someone else do the bathing.
- Ask someone else to brush your cat regularly and get rid of the hair right away.
- Play carefully. Keep in mind that your cat scratches, licks or rubs against you, wash your hands well after playing.
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