Literally, cats are the best. I have five of my own. There are millions of videos of cats just doing their cat stuff with multi-million views. That’s how much people love them. But one of the biggest issues people have with cats is allergies. Cat allergies are twice as common as dog allergies. However, people have become more aware and now they look for hypoallergenic cat breeds to adopt.
According to Helpguide, pets are especially great for people who deal with anxiety and stress. They can help in easing loneliness, encourage exercise and playfulness, and even improve your cardiovascular health. Although hypoallergenic pets are much of a trending topic but keep in mind that no pet is 100 percent non-allergenic. The only difference that makes the pets hypoallergenic is that a few pets have fewer allergens than others.
What is a hypoallergic cat?
Hypoallergenic means something that is less likely to cause allergies. In the case of cats, it’s a common misconception that fur causes allergies. However, the saliva is an actual culprit as it contains a protein — Fel d 1 that causes allergies.
When the cat grooms herself by licking their coat, the allergens transfer from their saliva to their fur. Once the fur dries and becomes airborne, the chances of a reaction increase. All the pets contain allergens. But allergies caused by cats may feel like:
- Watery, itchy, or red eyes
- Nasal congestion
- Hives, or skin rash
- Facial pain
- Coughing, shortness of breath
Other Allergen factors to keep in mind:
There are a few factors that do play a part in allergen production especially in cats:
- Kittens produce fewer allergens as compared to adults
- Males produce more allergenic saliva than females do
- Lighter cats produce less allergenic secretions than the dark ones
The Best Cat Breeds For Allergy Sufferers — Hypoallergenic Cats
If you are sensitive to cats, the best way is to meet in person rather than keeping the hypoallergic list in mind. As you might come across a feline friend who will be perfect for you regardless. It’s best to set an appointment with a nearby animal shelter or a pet store to meet your feline friend before making a final decision.
Now that has been discussed let’s start with the best hypoallergenic cat breeds for allergy sufferers.
1. Balinese Cat
Often referred to as the long-haired Siamese, this fuzzy little feline friend is actually one of the least allergenic cats. They have a single-layered silky coat which means less shedding. Plus, they are amazing with humans. Would you believe it? It’s one of the smartest cat breeds with high energy, friendly nature, and good humor.
2. Russian Blue Cat
The enigmatic beauty — the Russian Blues are a house favorite. They are often a safer option for people who deal with cat allergies. Russian Blues do not shed as much and their saliva also contains a lesser Fel d 1 which isn’t much to cause an allergic reaction. Although they can spend hours alone, mostly self-amusing, these cats are also playful and famous for their Monalisa-type smile.
3. Bengal Cat
Bengal cats are adored by many for their royal looks. They are a mix of an Asian leopard cat with a domestic cat. Which pretty much explains their leopard prints. Their royalty doesn’t end here, as Bengal cats don’t groom themselves as often or as much. They like to be treated with love and care and expect their human friends to do the job for them. Bonus, they also don’t shed much because they have a fine single fur coat.
4. Devon Rex
If you are a working family then Devon Rex will be a good fit. They are well-behaved and happy cats. They don’t like to get in trouble when you are not home. But when you will get home, they will shower their love on you and would always be up for a big cuddle. They have a single coat, which means that they shed even less hair.
5. Cornish Rex
Related to Devon Rex, Cornish Rex is also a great choice for people suffering from allergies. They are lean, small to medium-sized, and don’t have as soft of fur as you might think. But like Devon Rex, they shed very little. They are also very playful and love attention. Most allergy sufferers have reported none to mild reactions if they react at all.
I know, you never thought of getting a Siberian cat as your pet. And rightfully so. Because of their large size and wild background, they don’t fit the pet criteria much. But they are actually very friendly. Although they are super furry because of that luscious double coat, they are the most hypoallergenic cats. Among all the other best hypoallergenic breeds, Siberian cats produce a very low level of Fel d 1 protein in their saliva.
7. Oriental Shorthair
They are also a part of the Siamese family. But, you can choose your favorite kind of Oriental Shorthair because they come in around 300 different colors and patterns. That’s the max you can go for any cat literally. Plus, most of the Oriental Shorthair only shed a few times that too infrequently. Apart from being a good match as a hypoallergenic cat, they love the attention and striking with a sudden conversation.
8. La Perm
A cat with a unique curly coat is La Perm. It is believed that the reason La Perm makes it to the list of hypoallergenic cats is because of their unique coat. The curls keep the dander from spreading hence reducing the chances of catching an allergy. Also, they don’t shed as much. La Perm is also a perfect balance of a calm and playful cat.
Sphynx — also known as the hairless cat is one of the safest options for people suffering from allergies. But they aren’t completely hairless, they have a very fine layer of gossamer down which can be hardly felt or seen. Most of the Sphynx cats are leans and have lots of wrinkles around their shoulders, muzzles, and ears. They are a super playful, well-behaved, and energetic breed who loves good attention.
Related to the Rexes, Javanese cats also have a single fur coat. That means less shedding and dander. They are also very well-behaved and intelligent and know when they are spoken to and by whom. Javanese cats love attention and have a very talkative nature. They will answer with their meows plus they are extremely loyal.
11. Colorpoint Shorthair
Colorpoint Shorthair is another furry friend who has a luscious coat but still makes it on the list of hypoallergenic cats. They are also related to Siamese (almost like first cousins). They are a super playful, outgoing, friendly, and affectionate breed. Colorpoint Shorthair is known to be super-attached with its owners and remarkably sensitive to moods.
Siamese cats are the ascendants of many hypoallergenic cats. Which obviously makes them a part of this list. Siamese is a super famous breed for all homes because they actually love human interaction. Their playful nature, smartness, talkativeness, and social love make them a good match for people who are looking for a purr-fect pet. But keep in mind that they love being around people, therefore, might not be happy staying alone at home for the most time.
The Worst Cat Breeds For Allergy Sufferers
Remember that these cat breeds are making to the list of “worst” only because they produce an average amount of Fel d 1 which might trigger some allergic reactions in some people. This does not mean that they aren’t suitable as pets. They are amazing, playful, extremely cute, and well-behaved cats but might not be the best for allergy sufferers.
- British long hair
- Maine Coon
- Norwegian Forest
- Long-Haired Manx
- Oriental long hair
- American Polydactyl
- Exotic Shorthair
- Scottish Fold
- York Chocolate
You cannot pick a pet just depending on their basic information and background. Your pet is going to be a part of your family, therefore it’s best to meet them in person before making the big decision of sharing your home with them. A pet is a commitment. You have to keep them and their space clean.
According to PetMD, hypoallergenic cats do not exist. Every cat produces some amount of allergens that may cause a reaction. However, there a few cats who produce less than average making them close to hypoallergenic.
Adopting a pet is great and I suggest that if you can take care of the animal then you should definitely get a pet. Do your research and get a pet that suits your family in the best way possible.