There are many cat lovers out there who would love to bring a feline friend into their home but are afraid to do so because they are allergic.
Cat allergies are not fun with the constant itching and sneezing that occurs merely by petting a cat. Just touching their fur can provoke a reaction.
In fact, cat allergies are so prevalent that they occur in twice as many people than dog allergies.
But, there are so many amazing characteristics of felines and they make such great pets, so what’s a cat lover with allergies to do?
Bring a hypoallergenic cat into your home.
What Makes a Cat Hypoallergenic?
While there is no such thing as a cat that is guaranteed to stop allergic reactions, there are some cats that tend to be more hypoallergenic.
They are known as hypoallergenic since they produce fewer allergens than other cats.
A cat has a protein in its saliva that is referred to as FelD1 and this protein causes an allergic reaction in certain people. The cats that are considered hypoallergenic deliver far less of the FelD1 making them more suitable for cat lovers with allergies.
Best Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds
While there are no cats that are completely hypoallergenic, there are many cats that produce fewer allergens.
Here is our list of the best hypoallergenic cat breeds that are great for cat lovers with allergies:
The Balinese are very similar looking to the Siamese, but with longer hair. While they might not appear to be a good cat for allergy sufferers, they produce far less of the protein, FelD1 making them a good fit.
The Balinese are pretty, smart and have a lot of personality. If you are looking for a quiet cat, the Balinese isn’t it! They are very vocal and sociable and will make you smile on a daily basis!
Bengal cats are great for the allergy-prone because they have very fine fur which makes them in less need of grooming themselves than others. Because they don’t need to groom as much, they spend less time each day licking their fur.
The less they lick, the less the saliva spreads the dander, which is another common cause of allergies.
The Bengal is a very sweet cat and known for its athleticism and ability to jump from great heights!
The Cornish Rex has a short, finely textured coat and while they do shed, it is less frequent than most breeds. Their fur has an almost suede-like feel and is made of down, not fur.
They do require frequent baths because their skin tends to retain an oil build up. These beauties are best suited for cat lovers with mild allergies as they are not completely hypoallergenic but are still suitable!
The Cornish are inquisitive, extremely active and playful. They are great for kids and families with their sociable outgoing personalities.
The Devon Rex is similar to the Cornish Rex in appearance, but they have shorter and much less fur. The Devon doesn’t need to be bathed as much as the Cornish, but both their paws and ears need to be cleaned out from oil building up.
The Devon Rex has a curly and soft coat. Because the coat is shorter, the Devon doesn’t shed very much which results in fewer allergens around the house.
The Devon Rex is very sociable and is an amiable cat that is easy to train. They are less vocal than other cats if you prefer the quieter type.
The Javanese have a unique, medium length coat that doesn’t mat as much as other cats. They don’t have an undercoat which means they shed less and release fewer allergens.
The Javanese cats are intelligent and devoted kitties that are very trainable. They are also very affectionate and are known to purr right in your ear and will look you in the eye as if they are speaking directly to you!
The LaPerm is a unique cat with a curly coat which tends to keep the dander on them and not around your home. Of course, you need to brush and groom their coats, but they are a very good fit for cat lovers with allergies.
LaPerms are very sociable cats and known to purr a lot and loud!
The Oriental Shorthair has very short hair (as the name suggests) and is a good fit for those will allergies. Their coat is smooth and silky and their bodies are sturdy. They certainly shed less than most cats, but consistent grooming will help keep the dander away.
The Oriental is an outgoing, enthusiastic breed that loves people and attention. They are extremely curious and will follow you around the house to see what you’re doing.
The Russian Blue has a double coat that is short and plush. Similar to the Balinese, Russian Blues produce very little FelD1 which makes them a good kitty for those with allergies.
Their double coat makes them appear bigger than they really are and they have beautiful green eyes which makes their appearance that more striking.
Russian Blues are very affectionate, gentle and intelligent, although they can be shy upon first meeting them. They love people and are eager to be stroked and pet.
The Siberian has a longer coat than most on this list, but are still considered hypoallergenic because they have a lower enzyme level of FelD1 in their saliva. In fact, 70% of the people who own Siberians and are allergic claim to have no reaction at all to the Siberian!
The Siberian has a thick coat and athletic build which makes them ready for cold temperatures and all climates.
Siberians are very agile, intelligent and great for families and get along well with other pets including dogs.
The Sphynx is one of the most hypoallergenic of all the cat breeds because they have no hair! Although they have no hair, they still need to be groomed and bathed often which will make them less allergic.
They tend to have an oil buildup on their skin and inside those large, bunny-like ears so keep them clean!
Their crinkly skin can make the young ones even look mature!
What they don’t have in fur, the Sphynx make up for in personality. They want to entertain you and be with you as they follow you around from room to room.
Tips to Minimize Cat Allergies
While all of the cats on the list are considered hypoallergenic, it does not mean that you will never have an allergic reaction.
Every cat and breed is different, so the best thing you can do is to try to spend some time with a cat that you would like to adopt or bring home to see if you have an allergic flare-up.
If you have a cat and are allergic, below are some other things you can do help minimize your allergies:
Brush and Bathe Your Cat Often
By regularly brushing and bathing your cat, the dander is being removed much more quickly which can help cause fewer allergic reactions.
The more you vacuum your floor or carpet, the less likely there will be a big fur build up. Vacuum the furniture too, particularly where your kitty likes to hang out using the hand tools that accompany a vacuum. The HEPA vacuum is perfect for cat dander.
Wash Cat Bedding
If you can keep the bedding clean and dander-free, you will have fewer flare-ups and very clean bedding for your kitty. A win-win!
Wash your hands immediately after petting your cat
After you play with your cat, make sure to wash your hands with anti-bacterial soap. If you rub your eyes, you might be itching for hours.
Have a cat free room
If you are very allergic, you might consider having a cat free room (assuming you have more than one)! It can be your place of refuge if you are feeling an allergy attack coming.
Final Thoughts on Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds
If you are a cat lover that is prone to allergies, you might consider one of these hypoallergenic breeds.
Only you will know how you react and if the kitty is a good fit.
There are many people who have minor cat allergies and will eventually develop an immunity by hanging out with their cat and getting used to their smell and fur.
Cats are amazing, fun and very low maintenance (besides the shedding) and can be a wonderful addition to any family. They are worth the sneezing!