For animal lovers with allergies, having a furry friend can turn into a life or death situation. Allergies to pet saliva and dander are common and can cause severe reactions in sensitive people. Some sources estimate that allergies to dogs or cats affect up to 20% of the global population. Allergies in dogs and cats are more prevalent in people who have other allergies or asthma.
Luckily for cat lovers, there are several breeds that seem to trigger allergy symptoms less than their dander-ridden counterparts. In this post, we’ll briefly discuss the top cat breeds for people with allergies:
Formerly known as the Siberian Forest Cat, this Russian native produces low amounts of Fel d 1 glycoproteins, which are the primary allergens in cats. They produce such low levels of Fel d 1 glycoproteins they are considered almost (but not entirely) hypoallergenic. While studies to confirm these hypoallergenic claims are scarce, Siberian breeders have banded together to support further study into the topic. (Tip: Females of all cat breeds produce lower levels of Fel d 1 glycoproteins, so adopting a female Siberian would give you extra protection!)
Similar to the Siberian, the Balinese cat (and the Javanese, which is a subset of the Balinese breed or its own breed entirely, depending on who you ask) is a favorite among allergy sufferers. The breed is thought to produce lower amounts of the Fel d 1 glycoproteins than most cats. However, the Balinese steps it up a notch by also producing lower amounts of the Fel d 4 glycoproteins – another common allergen culprit. However, scientific evidence confirming these low allergen claims is lacking, although Balinese breeders are also supporting further study.
The Sphynx cat is almost hairless, so they are much less likely to deposit allergen-covered hairs all over your house. However, since some allergens are produced in the cat’s saliva (and then transferred to their skin as they groom themselves), it is still possible to have issues with allergies with a Sphynx cat. Frequent baths and cleaning of the Sphynx cat’s favorite areas can be enough to keep allergies at bay.
Very fine, short fur coats that shed little, paired with fewer grooming needs, make the Bengal cat an excellent candidate for people living with pet allergies. Since Bengals don’t groom themselves as much as the typical house cat, less saliva is deposited on their skin, meaning less chance of allergens being deposited around your house.
Another favorite among allergy sufferers worldwide is the Russian Blue cat. The Russian Blue has a thick, low fur that is thought to trap allergens close to the cat’s skin. Some also believe the Russian Blue produces lower amounts of the Fel d 1 glycoproteins that many other cat breeds. Frequent baths and diligent cleaning will be a must for Russian Blue owners.
With a very short, very fine coat of fur, the Oriental Shorthair cat is known to shed less than most cat breeds and thus spreads fewer allergens around the home. Frequent bathing and grooming can boost these allergy prevention benefits.
Cornish Rex/Devon Rex
The Cornish Rex and Devon Rex cat breeds have long been touted as hypoallergenic, but this isn’t exactly the case. It is true that the Cornish Rex and Devon Rex have very short, unusual fur coats that don’t shed as much as the typical house cat. However, they still produce allergen glycoproteins in their saliva that are deposited on their skin during grooming, so baths, grooming, and cleaning are important for Rex owners with allergies.
Burmese cats have short, dense fur coats and keep their shedding to a minimum, meaning less hair and dander being spread around your home. Their coats are also thought to keep saliva allergens trapped against the skin. But like many of the cat breeds on this list, they still produce allergy-causing glycoproteins in their saliva, so they won’t be suitable for all people.
While Ocicats are thought to produce lower amounts of Fel d 1 glycoproteins, they also shed and produce dander, so they won’t be suitable for all allergy sufferers. We’d suggest visiting a cattery to spend time with Ocicats to find out if you are sensitive.
The Best Care for Your New Cat
Once you’ve found the perfect feline companion that doesn’t make you sneeze and wheeze, bring them to Affordable Pet Hospital for the absolute best veterinary care in Tampa. We’ll keep your furry friends in great shape while giving you tips and lifestyle advice to keep your allergy symptoms at bay. Contact us at (813) 991-9898 to schedule your cat’s first appointment today!