First things first – no cat breed is completely non-allergenic – hypoallergenic cats are breeds that produce fewer allergens than others so cause less of an allergic reaction. However, it is always a good idea to spend time around different breeds to see how you react.
Here is a list of the top breeds recommended for allergy sufferers that want to adopt a feline friend but just can’t wait for a cat allergy cure!
Despite being known as the ‘longhaired Siamese’, the Balinese breed produces less of the Fel D1 protein (the allergen found in cat’s saliva and skin oil that irritates humans) so are a good choice for allergy sufferers.
Bengal cats have very fine coats that require less maintenance. Therefore, Bengals don’t groom as often or for as long so their fur contains less allergen-rich saliva – plus they shed far less than other breeds.
Unlike most cats, the Cornish Rex does not have three layers of fur – they only have the soft undercoat meaning they shed far less and carry less dander (skin cells) which is less irritating to those with allergies.
Like the Cornish Rex – which the Devon Rex is closely related to – this breed only has a soft, albeit slightly shorter, undercoat which sheds less than other breeds.
Javanese cats are another breed that don’t have the typical three layers of fur – they have just a fine, medium-length top coat which also sheds far less than the average cat.
One of the defining features of a LaPerm cat is its unique curly coat which holds dander and loose hair in place preventing allergens from spreading, and thus reducing allergic reactions among allergy sufferers.
Oriental Shorthairs have a very short and fine coat that rarely sheds so causes little to no reaction in cat allergy sufferers. However, it is advised to groom them regularly to keep dander to a minimum.
Russian Blues are another breed that produce less of the Fel D1 protein that causes allergic reactions. As this breed also has a dense double coat, it traps allergens more closely to the cat’s skin so there’s less chance of them floating around.
Although not one of the first breeds that would spring to your mind as hypoallergenic due to their long and shaggy fur – Siberian cats, like the Russian Blue, Bengal and Balinese – produce less of the Fel D1 protein found in their saliva and skin.
Sphynx cats are the first breed most often associated with being hypoallergenic. Unlike other breeds, the hairless Sphynx does not shed any Fel D1 protein saturated fur around the house – the allergen just stays on their skin.
TIPS FOR MINIMISING ALLERGIC REACTIONS TO YOUR CAT:
- Bathe and brush your cat regularly to remove excess dander and saliva. It’s best to begin a regular grooming routine when your feline friend is young – this will make the experience much less traumatic for the both of you!
- As well as vacuuming your home regularly, wash your cat’s toys and bedding too to prevent the build-up of allergens.
- Keep your cat out of your bedroom – your feline friend will no doubt enjoy lounging on your bed, however they will leave behind fur and dander.
- Avoid letting your cat outside too much as they will pick up pollen and other allergens.
- Always wash your hands after touching your cat – never touch your eyes or face before you do so!