If you suffer from allergies, you may find yourself looking for a hypoallergenic cat breed. This shouldn’t be confused with an allergy free breed because that simply doesn’t exist. No cat in the history of existence is considered to be completely allergy free. There are millions of people in the world that have allergies to cats, but that doesn’t stop us from finding them absolutely adorable! The good news is that there are hypoallergenic breeds that are less likely to make your eyes itchy and set off an asthma attack!
Understanding Allergy to Cats
The key is to understand that it isn’t actually the cat that you are allergic to, but rather their dander. This is a dandruff like debris that flakes off of their skin and gets into the air around you. With that in mind, it seems that the best thing that you can do is look for a cat breed that doesn’t produce as much dander. So, how do you go about finding the right breed?
Instead of dealing with itchy, watery eyes all the time and going in for regular allergy shots, why not just look for a cat that isn’t going to produce as many allergens? There have been many avid cat lovers that have opted for hypoallergenic cat breeds so that they would still be able to have their furry companion. The problem is that you may not know off the top of your head which breeds are better for people that have allergies to cats. We created a list of the top 10 hypoallergenic cat breeds. Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the top ten hypoallergenic cat breeds that may be ideal for families that suffer from allergies.
Top 10 Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds
#1 – Balinese
The Balinese breed is often known as the long hair Siamese, and may not really be what comes to mind when you think of. It is a really fuzzy breed, and you may actually think that it is the furthest from hypoallergenic as it gets. You couldn’t be further from the truth. As we mentioned earlier, long hair is not actually what triggers allergies in people that have allergies to cats. It is the dander and proteins that are present in the skin oil of the cat, and this cat doesn’t make as much of this protein.
That means that their fur is less likely to affect you if you have allergies to cats, because the fur doesn’t transport the protein around. They are also a beautiful breed with a playful personality for the most part. If you suffer from allergies, it may be worth considering the Balinese breed.
#2 – Bengal
Next, we have the Bengal breed. This breed doesn’t really produce any less of the allergen proteins known as Fel D 1 than other breeds, so what is it that makes them better for people with allergies? Bengal cat’s fur is very fine, and it doesn’t require them to groom themselves as often as many other breeds. This results in less saliva in their fur, and since saliva is another common allergen that means that you won’t be exposed to as many allergens as you would with other breeds.
Another factor to consider is that Bengal cats don’t typically shed as much as other cats, so their dander isn’t just floating around the house like it is with many other breeds of cats. This is definitely something to take into consideration, and you also have to consider the cuteness factor!
#3 – Cornish Rex
Did you know that most cats’ fur is made up of three different types of fur? This includes the guard hair, which is the outer layer; the awn hair, which is the middle layer; and the down layer, or the undercoat. Cornish Rex breeds are not considered ‘hairless’ cats, but they really only have the soft undercoat made up of down hair. Due to the makeup of their fur, they don’t shed nearly as much as other breeds.
This results in far fewer allergic reactions when you have this breed, if you even experience any at all. They may look a little goofy because their fur is so thin, almost as if they had been shaved, but they have a lot of love to offer- without the discomfort of allergies. But hey, they are not the only hypoallergenic short breed out there!
#4 – Devon Rex
This breed is closely related to the Cornish Rex breed, and their coat is actually pretty similar as well. The coat only consists of fine, down hair and there is really little top coat at all. Just like the Cornish Rex’s, they also don’t shed very much, which makes them really ideal for those with allergies.
In fact, this breed has even less hair than their close relatives. They also have a similar appearance to that of the Cornish Rex, making them less appealing to the eye to some people- but that doesn’t mean that they are lacking when it comes to love and cuddles. They really love companionship and may make a great addition to your family. Consider adopting a Devon Rex, especially if you don’t want to deal with shedding down the road.
#5 – Javanese
Much like the Cornish Rex and Devon Rex breeds, the Javanese (not to be confused with Japanese) cats only have a single layer that makes up their coat. The difference between this breed and the others is that instead of having the undercoat, they have a fine top coat instead. That still means that they have far less hair than other cats, which means they won’t shed as much and won’t lose dander throughout your home as much.
For cats that only have a single layer of coat, the Javanese is definitely the cutest! They don’t look quite as bare as the other breeds with only a single layer for their coat. If you want cute and hypoallergenic cat, this breed may be perfect for you! It is easy to see why these breeds are far less allergenic than other breeds, especially when you consider the thickness of their coat and their need to groom.
#6 – LaPerm
The LaPerm breed has a really distinctive look. Their coat is made up of unique, curly fur. While there have not been any studies conducted to prove that the curly nature of their fur is what makes them hypoallergenic, it is believed to be why. Cat allergy sufferers may experience far fewer allergic reactions with this breed because they don’t tend to shed as often. This seems to be a common factor among the hypoallergenic breeds.
When your cat doesn’t shed as much, it is common sense that they wouldn’t spread allergens all throughout your home. If you have ever had a cat that shed a lot and had allergies on top of it, then you are well aware of the feeling that comes along with it. It just makes sense to find a breed that doesn’t shed much. LaPerms are pretty cute too!
#7 – Oriental Shorthair
The Oriental Shorthair is a breed that is available in a wide variety of patterns and colors. No matter what color Oriental Shorthair you have, you will notice that they have very short and very fine hair. They shed very infrequently, and that is probably one of the biggest reasons why people that have cat allergies don’t experience their symptoms around this breed. It is recommended with this breed, however, that you still groom your cat often to ensure that the dander is kept to a minimum.
While they are short haired, they do have more than one layer of fur and are still prone to dander. Brush them regularly, and this can typically be avoided. The good news is that there are more varieties of Oriental Shorthairs than any other breed out there, so you will have a lot of option when it comes to markings.
#8 – Russian Blue
The Russian Blue breed is unlike most of the other hypoallergenic breeds. We have looked at breeds that just don’t produce a lot of dander, or maybe don’t shed as much, but Russian Blue’s are different. They are recommended for people that have pet allergies because they don’t produce as much of the Fel d 1 glycoprotein that people are so often allergic to.
This is not to mention the fact that they are simply gorgeous! They have a full thick coat, but when they shed from time to time they aren’t releasing this glycoprotein that triggers an allergic response. Consider the Russian Blue if you are looking for a cat that will be lovable, yet not set off a sneezing fit.
#9 – Siberian
Siberians are really the most known for having long, shaggy fur. This is really something that may surprise you, especially when you are looking at a list of hypoallergenic cats. The truth is, Siberians actually are much like Russian Blues in the sense that they don’t produce very much of the fel D 1 protein. Even people that have extreme allergic responses to cats have found that they didn’t experience any allergy symptoms when exposed to the Siberian breed.
They are really beautiful, and if you want a cat that is going to be fluffy and cuddly, then you definitely want to consider this one. You won’t find many long hair breeds that are hypoallergenic, and this just goes to show that it isn’t the fur that makes people sneeze. Again – this is just a common misconception that people have about cats.
#10 – Sphynx
Probably one of the funniest looking cats you will ever see, the Sphynx breed is completely hairless. They are famous for not having any hair, and many of them look kind of like rats rather than cats. They don’t have any fur to hold in allergens, and they can’t shed because they don’t have anything to shed. This is perhaps one of the best bets for those that are really concerned about their cat allergy.
The problem is that while they may not be the cutest cats out there, they are quite expensive. This is probably because of the demand for a hypoallergenic cat breeds. Many people think that this is about the only breed out there that is safe, because they don’t have the fur, but now you know that you do have options if you want a fluffy kitty! Don’t let their appearance fool you though, these hairless felines are really very friendly and loyal.
As you can see, you don’t have to live your life without a cat. If you assumed that just because you were allergic to one type of cat that you had to avoid them all, you are probably happy to find out that you were wrong. Consider these hypoallergenic cat breeds to help keep your allergy symptoms at a minimum without having to just live a life free of cats. What kind of life would that be anyway? Do you have other hypoallergenic cat breeds that you would like to share with us? If so, comment below!