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10 Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds for Allergic Families

 
By Janhvi Johorey, Psychologist specialized in animal therapy. Updated: March 3, 2019
10 Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds for Allergic Families

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If you want to adopt a cat but suffer from allergies, and using an HEPA air filter or taking antihistamines is not working, choose a hypoallergenic breed and watch all your problems disappear. Hypoallergenic breeds are less likely to start in an allergic reaction as they produce fewer allergens than other cats.

People with allergy to cats are particularly affected by cats' dander or the protein Fel d 1 present in cat saliva. Completely non-allergenic cats are tough to find, low allergy or hypoallergenic cats are not. Here's how you too can have a pet cat that does not trigger an allergic reaction.

Stay with us at AnimalWised to learn all about the best 10 hypoallergenic cat breeds for allergic families.

Common hypoallergenic cat breeds

First of all, before choosing an hypoallergenic cat for your allergic family you should take into account that scientific research on cat allergens is still ongoing, and that the reaction of your allergic family member cannot be completely prevented or calculated, as it all depends on the particular person and cat.

However, some cat breeds produce less allergens than others, so your chances are much better. Commonly hypoallergenic cat breeds include:

  • Abyssinian cat
  • Bengal cat
  • Burmese cat
  • Colorpoint Shorthair cat
  • Cornish Rex cat
  • Devon Rex cat
  • Javanese cat
  • Ocicat
  • Oriental Shorthair cat
  • Russian Blue cat
  • Siberian cat
  • Siamese cat
  • Sphynx cat

The protein Fel d 1 is the allergen present in cat saliva that causes issues for those with allergy to cats. How does this impact any allergy sufferers? When a cat licks their coat, the saliva dries and becomes present in the air, finding its way to your sinuses. Luckily, some of these hypoallergenic cat breeds produce less of this protein.

What factors affect allergen secretion in cats?

Findings suggest male cats produce allergenic secretions more often and in more quantity than females, with non-neutered ones producing more than their neutered counterparts. Kittens produce fewer allergens as compared to adults. Moreover, dark cats tend to produce more allergens than light colored ones.

Three of the common hypoallergenic cat breeds are Oriental: the Oriental Shorthair, the Balinese cat, and Javanese cat. These are a popular option for those who want a particularly hypoallergenic cat with the characteristics of the popular Siamese.

Is the Balinese cat a hypoallergenic breed?

Balinese cats are also called “long-haired Siamese”, and they are one of the few cat breeds that produce less Fel D1 protein as compared to other cats, resulting in fewer allergic reactions. Though many people think this long-coated cat cannot be hypoallergenic, this fuzzy cat breed is among the least allergenic cats.

A popular yet incorrect notion is that cat hair triggers allergies. The truth is that allergies are caused by cat saliva and skin oil. These are carried by the hair that the cats shed, and so this misconception arose.

Balinese cats produce less protein of the Fel d 1 variety, so their hair also is less likely to trigger an allergic reaction.

10 Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds for Allergic Families - Is the Balinese cat a hypoallergenic breed?

Is the Oriental Shorthair cat a hypoallergenic breed?

Oriental Shorthair cats may be hypoallergenic, but it is important to groom them regularly to prevent the dander from coming into contact with the human nasal system and triggering an allergic reaction.

Oriental Shorthair cats have the widest variety of possible coat colors and patterns among all cat breeds. This cat breed's fine and short coat sheds very infrequently, so people with cat allergies report fewer reactions to it.

10 Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds for Allergic Families - Is the Oriental Shorthair cat a hypoallergenic breed?

Is the Javanese cat a hypoallergenic breed?

The Javenese cat sports a medium-length single coat that does not become matted. On account of their lack of undercoat, Javanese cats have less fur - translating into less dander and fewer allergens.

10 Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds for Allergic Families - Is the Javanese cat a hypoallergenic breed?

Is the Russian Blue cat a hypoallergenic breed?

Russian Blue cats are among the most hypoallergenic cat breeds that produce less severe allergic reactions. Unlike the previously described Oriental cats, which are considered hypoallergenic because they shed less hair, Russian Blue cats produce less Fel d 1 protein and are therefore considered perfect for allergic families.

10 Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds for Allergic Families - Is the Russian Blue cat a hypoallergenic breed?

Are the Devon and Cornish Rex cats hypoallergenic breeds?

Devon Rex cats have shorter hair and less fur overall, which is why their paw pads and ears have to be frequently cleaned to prevent oil build-up, although a full bath is rarely needed. Their coat is fine, curly and downy and barely sheds. On the other hand, the Cornish Rex cat does require some bathing and more upkeep, although their coat is similar.

Cats' coats are made up of three different layers with different types of hair each:

  • Guard hair: Outer layer
  • Awn hair: Middle layer
  • Down hair: Undercoat

Devon Rex cats barely have guard hair, while Cornish Rex cats do not have guard nor awn hair. Therefore, they shed less hair making them the perfect hypoallergenic breed for allergic families.

10 Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds for Allergic Families - Are the Devon and Cornish Rex cats hypoallergenic breeds?

Is the Sphynx cat a hypoallergenic breed?

The Sphynx cat is hairless and, therefore, a low allergy cat. However, this does not mean it is easy to look after this breed, as Sphynx cats require maintenance such as frequent baths to remove the buildup of oil in their skin and their large ears that require regular cleaning. The Sphynx has no hair to trap allergens from the saliva during grooming sessions, so it is a good choice for an allergic family with time to devote to their upkeep.

10 Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds for Allergic Families - Is the Sphynx cat a hypoallergenic breed?

Is the Siberian cat a hypoallergenic breed?

Siberian cats have a moderately long coat. However, they are a hypoallergenic breed due to below average enzyme levels in their saliva. Close to 75% of people who are allergic to cats experience no reaction to the Siberian cat breed.

10 Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds for Allergic Families - Is the Siberian cat a hypoallergenic breed?

Is the Bengal cat a hypoallergenic breed?

Bengal cats are not less hairy, nor do they produce less protein. What, in that case, makes Bengal cats a low allergy breed?

The answer is none other than their fine pelts that require lower maintenance. As a consequence, Bengal cats don't groom themselves as frequently and for such long times, so their coat contains less allergen-rich saliva. The dander present in the fur also does not spread, because they shed less than other cats.

10 Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds for Allergic Families - Is the Bengal cat a hypoallergenic breed?

Is the LaPerm cat a hypoallergenic cat breed?

The most notable feature of the LaPerm cat is that their coat is unique and curly. The nature of the coat is responsible for less allergic reactions for many allergy sufferers, as LaPerm cats shed less hair than other cats. Moreover, their curly coat traps the dander and prevents cat allergy sufferers from coming into contact with saliva coated cat hair.

10 Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds for Allergic Families - Is the LaPerm cat a hypoallergenic cat breed?

Grooming a hypoallergenic cat: Tips and guidelines

Once you have brought a hypoallergenic cat to your home, grooming the cat correctly is important to prevent allergic reactions. Research proves that grooming the cat two to three times per week can remove close to 84% of current allergens and reduce future allergies as well. Using cool, distilled water can also lower the allergens. When you groom your can you'll ensure they remain well-cared for and healthy; your pet will be happy, and they will be a great addition to the family.

If you're interested in the different aspects of caring for a cat, we recommend the following articles:

These are the best 10 hypoallergenic cat breeds for allergic families. Did we miss any? What is your experience of caring for a hypoallergenic cat? Tell us all in the comments section!

If you want to read similar articles to 10 Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds for Allergic Families, we recommend you visit our Basic care category.

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