10 Cats for People With Allergies
While no cat is completely hypoallergenic, if you love cats but suffer allergies there’s no cause for concern. There are several breeds that might work for you. But why are some people allergic to cats in the first place? The answer mostly comes down to a single protein, Fel d 1, which is the primary cat allergen. Saliva, urine, skin, dander—all carry this allergy triggering protein. Some cats produce less of this protein than others, and other cats shed less, making the spread of the Fel d 1 protein less extensive. Essentially, all hypoallergenic felines fall somewhere in this range. Here's 10 of our favorites.
Don’t let their long and luxurious coats fool you—Siberians are a suitable breed option for allergy sufferers. Siberians are hypoallergenic because they produce less of the Fel d 1 allergen, making them far less likely to trigger symptoms than most other breeds.
This curious and loyal cat is often called the “long-haired Siamese” (the Balinese is basically just a furrier Siamese). Not only are they one of the most intelligent breeds, they’re one of the most hypoallergenic, too. Like the Siberian, there are less allergens in their bodies than most other types of cats. The Balinese is a particularly good choice for those who prefer lap cats to more reserved breeds.
This exotic-looking cat tends to shed far less than other breeds on account of its unusually fine fur. Less shedding means less personal grooming, which makes for fewer allergens. While their bodies produce just as much allergy-triggering proteins as most cats, their unique hair makes them a solid option for cat lovers suffering from allergies.
4. Cornish Rex
Whereas most cats have three layers of fur—guard hair, awn hair and down hair—the Cornish rex only has down hair, or what’s commonly called the undercoat. Because they lack the layers of other breeds, the rex is far less likely to spread allergy-causing dander around the home. Bonus: they’re just a really unique looking feline!
5. Devon Rex
The Devon rex is a short-haired cat with fine, curly hair (like the Cornish rex, Devons only sport an undercoat). So thin is their coat that it’s not uncommon for them to lose a large portion of their hair as they age. This quality is exactly why they’re an ideal match for allergy prone cat admirers. Less hair equals less allergy symptoms.
Athletic and popular as a show cat, the Javanese is an excellent choice for allergy sufferers. Javanese cats like many hypoallergenic breeds have just a single layer of fur instead of the usual three. With just a medium length top coat, the Javanese shed very little dander, making them great for allergies and clean floors alike.
7. Oriental Shorthair
Elegant and renowned for its countless patterns and colorways, the Oriental shorthair is closely related to the Siamese cat. If you have cat allergies and enjoy a highly sociable cat, this might be the right breed for you.
8. Russian Blue
Despite their dense, compacted fur, Russian blues are one of the most hypoallergenic breeds in the world. Russian blues, like other allergy friendly cats, produce less of the protein associated with triggering allergy symptoms, Fel d 1. Their silvery coat and sea-green eyes also make them one of the most beautiful breeds on the planet.
Perhaps the most obvious of all hypoallergenic cats, the sphynx is a completely hairless breed. While no cat is entirely allergy friendly, the sphynx is close. But prospective owners be advised, no hair does not necessarily mean no maintenance. Sphinxes like most hairless breeds, require regular baths due to skin oil buildup.
One of the more unusual looking cats, LaPerms have just the type of hair you would expect: Very curly. The breed’s curly tufts and infrequent shedding are likely why allergy sufferers tend to do well around these cats.