Most people think their allergic reactions to cats come from the animals’ fur. In reality, the source of the allergy originates in the saliva of the cat. When cats grooms themselves, allergens are transmitted throughout their coats and shed around the house.
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic cat. However, there are types of cats that are naturally less effusive in the way of allergens and, therefore, are generally deemed “hypoallergenic.”
Here are a few examples of hypoallergenic cats:
People believe that hairless cats are, by definition, hypoallergenic. While that isn’t totally the case, the Sphynx (above) is one breed that is much less allergenic than others. However, Sphynx cats can be quite high-maintenance. They need to be bathed on a weekly basis or they may leave an oily residue on linens and clothes. Because they have no hair, they need to be kept warm. Sphynx owners will sometimes dress them in sweaters to compensate.
- Cornish Rex
The Cornish Rex has a short, silky coat. This breed loves climbing to the highest spot in their home and launching through the air, galloping up and down hallways and inspecting every nook and cranny. Cornish Rex cats appreciate a playmate because their active lifestyle. They’re definitely not for the pet owner who wants a cat to sit on the couch with.
With a history true to his name, the Siberian sports a thick double coat of Russian heritage. They are the last cat one would picture when considering the word “hypoallergenic”, however, this is one of the breed’s top selling points, along with the fact that they’re laid-back, calm, and have a friendly disposition. Their saliva has lower enzyme levels that cause reactions.
The Balinese is another surprise addition to the list of hypoallergenic cats. It’s because they produce less of the Fel D1 Protein, meaning they’ll cause fewer allergic reactions, according to Petfinder. This blue-eyed breed likes to talk, so be prepared for a lot of conversation if you choose to adopt one. Their fluffy coats require regular brushing. The Balinese is active and social, not necessarily a lap cat.
- Devon Rex
The Devon Rex has a shorter coat, so less fur. This breed tends to be a cuddler. Their big, bell-shaped ears and round face give an elfin expression. The Devon’s hair is fragile and should not be brushed because it tends to break off. Their whiskers will break off too. To groom a Devon, rub them with a soft cloth. This breed requires a warm environment and may appreciate a sweater or to be wrapped up in a soft blanket.
The Javanese has the appearance of dancer, and like a dancer, their bodies are muscular and capable of acrobatics. They have fewer allergens because they don’t have an undercoat. They tend to be extremely curious, yet loyal, and will follow you from room to room demanding to know what you’re up to.
As always, consult with your veterinarian about any concerns with hypoallergenic cats. Find one near you.