Nothing is more stressful than when a pet parent has to deal with pesky allergies while trying to show their cat some love! Allergies can be a nuisance for anyone, but if you have a pet and find out you are allergic to their dander, then it just becomes a devastating circumstance. Not to worry, though! There are plenty of cat breeds that are more suitable for allergy sufferers – so you can be a happy and healthy pet parent without the drippy nose, watery eyes, and constant sneezing; woo hoo! Before we dive into the breeds that even allergy suffers can live with, let’s go over a few quick facts about cats and your allergies.
Why do your allergies flare up around cats?
It is a common misconception that a cat’s fur is what causes an allergic reaction for some people, but that is actually not the case. The allergy is a response to a protein found in cat saliva – this is what causes you to sneeze and start itching. The reason many of us are under the misconception that their dander is what causes the allergy is that cats lick their fur. When their saliva on the fur dries, that allergy-packed protein is released into the air. Fortunately, some breeds produce less of this protein than others.
There are a few other factors that contribute to cat allergen production. For example, male cats produce more of the allergen than their female counterparts, and intact males produce more of this protein than neutered males. No one knows why, but cats with dark fur usually produce more allergens than those with light fur, and kittens produce the least overall.
The 7 Best Cat Breeds for Allergy Sufferers
While the Siberian sports quite the long coat, it is still considered hypoallergenic. This is because they produce much lower levels of the allergy-causing enzyme in their saliva. Some reports have claimed that nearly 75% of allergy suffers do not suffer any reaction to Siberian cats. This affectionate and playful breed is sure to fit in with any family! This is a breed that is intelligent and shows the ability to solve problems. They are also fantastic jumpers, so be careful what goes onto your counter tops.
The active and inquisitive felines display a playful disposition and move as gracefully as gazelles. Rexes are typically sociable and affectionate towards their pet parents and show particular displays of affection to their favorite humans. While these kitties don’t cause allergies, they do have to be washed quite frequently as their skin tends to experience oil-buildups. The Cornish Rex, along with the Devon, are the best cats for allergy suffers. So, if you have an incredibly sensitive allergy, one of these two brands may be the best option
The hairless Sphynx has long been considered a hypoallergenic cat. They may not have fur, but they do require some grooming. Your little sphynx can be quite the magnet for germs. Their fur must be washed frequently to ensure they do not suffer from an oil buildup – it is also important to clean their ears regularly. Despite having nearly no fur, this breed is actually hypoallergenic because they produce much fewer allergy-inducing proteins than most other breeds.
A slightly different breed than their Cornish brothers and sisters, the Devon Rex is a breed that has shorter and less fur than the other Rex. While these little furries won’t cause you to sniffle and sneeze, you will have to wash their paw pads and ears frequently to ensure that there is no oil buildup. These cuties have been compared to aliens thanks to their larger-than-life ears and mischievous but knowing eyes. These cuddly kittens shed less than other breeds so that you can snuggle in peace.
You may have heard this breed referred to as the longhaired Siamese, which may cause some to assume that the Balinese is not a likely candidate for a hypoallergenic pet. Because this breed produces less of the protein that causes symptoms in allergy suffers, they cause much fewer unwanted reactions. This smart, fun and sweet breed are known for the ability to communicate very vocally – so be ready to chat! This highly sociable and sensitive breed is sure to give you extra attention when you are in a bad mood.
While Oriental Shorthairs are considered to be a hypoallergenic cat species, it is still a good idea to practice regular grooming standards in order to keep dander to an all-time minimum. These natural entertainers are brimming with enthusiasm and get a great deal of joy from being the center of attention. This highly curious cat is likely to go to great lengths to be included in what you are doing. If you are looking for a cat that will give you a good laugh, then look no further.
The Javanese boats a medium to long single coat that is not susceptible to matting – a win for pet parents everywhere! These cats lack an undercoat, which means less fur and fewer allergens being released into the air. Janevese cats are known for being intelligent, devoted, and demonstrating fantastic communication skills. If you are looking for a responsive cat that is not too hard to train, then look no further! The Javanese have a fascination with food and playful antics.
The Bottom Line
Sure, there is no way to completely cure a pet allergy but adopting one of the breeds of hypoallergenic cats may be able to greatly reduce the strength and severity of your allergic reaction. This allows you to get back to the most important thing – being a fantastic pet parent! Whether you are taking home your first cat or choosing a new companion, these hypoallergenic cats are one of the best options for allergy sufferers that want to keep a pet.