If you would like to get a cat but you suffer from allergies, do not fret. There are many hypoallergenic cat breeds that produce fewer allergens than other cats. However, it is essential to note that while these cats produce fewer allergens than many other cat breeds, no breed of cat is 100 percent non-allergenic.
What Makes People Allergic to Cats?
Although there are some people who are allergic to cat dander, most people who are allergic to cats cannot tolerate a protein that is present in their saliva. This protein, which is known as Fel-D1, is the main culprit for cat allergy sufferers. After a cat licks itself and the saliva dries, the protein becomes airborne. People who cannot tolerate Fel-D1 begin to show allergic symptoms after breathing in the protein. However, some breeds of cats produce less Fel-D1 than others making them hypoallergenic. Additionally, when choosing a hypoallergenic cat, keep in mind that intact males produce more Fel-D1 than neutered males or females. Additionally, dark cats produce more of the protein than light-colored cats.
Top Five Hypoallergenic Breeds of Cats
Top Hypoallergenic Cats
The Sphynx is a hairless type of hypoallergenic cat and is the most popular for people with allergies. However, although these cats do not have any hair, you will still need to bath them occasionally and clean their ears.
- Devon Rex
The Devon Rex is another type of hypoallergenic cat that has short fur. These cats are easy to care for; however, you will need to make sure you clean its ears regularly. Since the Devon Rex spends much of its time grooming, frequent baths are not necessary with this breed.
- Oriental Shorthair
The Oriental Shorthair is a lovely, exotic cat that is also considered hypoallergenic because it produces a minimum of dander and Fel-D1. However, as with the Sphynx, you will want to groom your Oriental regularly to keep dander to a minimum.
At first glance, you may not think that a Balinese could possibly be hypoallergenic due to its long, luxurious hair. Nevertheless, these cats do not produce as much Fel-D1 as many other cat breeds making them a great choice for allergy sufferers.
The Siberian is another long-haired cat breed that produces low levels of the protein Fel-D1. As such, this is another terrific choice for people who are allergic to cats. In fact, as many as 75 percent of cat allergy sufferers do not have any reactions to the Siberian.
Minimizing Allergens in Your Home
As stated above, no breed of cat is completely 100 percent non-allergenic. As such, even hypoallergenic cat breeds produce a small amount of allergens. However, you can minimize these allergens and keep them from irritating your allergies by keeping your pet brushed and clean.
In fact, research has shown that bathing your cat about two or three times per week can reduce allergens by as much as 84 percent. You will also want to make sure that you wash your cat’s bedding at least once per week. When you follow these useful tips, you can keep allergens from floating around your home.