Hypoallergenic cats

Russian blue cat

For many people, cats are the perfect pets. However, for those with cat allergies, owning a cat can be a challenge. Fortunately, the idea of hypoallergenic cats has gained popularity, giving hope to those who suffer from allergies. While hypoallergenic cats may seem like the perfect answer, the reality is more complex. Some breeds produce fewer allergens than others, but it's essential to understand that individual reactions can vary widely. For people who are committed to having a feline companion despite their allergies, hypoallergenic cat breeds may be a possible option to explore.

What Are Hypoallergenic Cats?

It is commonly believed that hypoallergenic cats produce fewer allergens, specifically a protein called Fel d1 which can be found in their saliva and skin glands. Although no cat can be entirely free of allergens, certain breeds are thought to produce less of these substances. This can potentially result in fewer allergic reactions in individuals who are sensitive to these allergens.

What Are the Types of Hypoallergenic Cats?

Some cat breeds are less likely to cause allergic reactions than others. However, keep in mind that everyone's allergies are different, so it's important to spend time with a cat before adopting to see if you have a reaction. In our other article, you can read more about cats that are less likely to cause cat allergies. While some popular cat breeds that are known to be hypoallergenic include the following:

Balinese

The Balinese cat breed is believed to have originated from a spontaneous mutation when long-haired kittens were born to a Siamese cat. They are characterized by their long, hypoallergenic coat, which is believed to produce fewer allergens compared to other cat breeds.

Devon Rex

Devon Rex cats have a unique coat that sets them apart from many other cat breeds. Their thin, fine hair sheds less than typical cat hair, which can reduce allergens in the environment and is perfect for a hypoallergenic cat. While you can wipe down their coat to encourage natural oil spread, they generally require less grooming care compared to other breeds to keep them clean.

Javanese

Javanese cats are known for their intelligence and athleticism. They are excellent jumpers and love to explore their surroundings with their curious nature, often venturing into cabinets and drawers. These cats have single, short, low-maintenance coats without an undercoat. They are similar to Balinese cats, which have long, silky coats and are believed to produce fewer allergens than other breeds.

Oriental Shorthair

Oriental Shorthairs are known for their short coats and shedding less than other breeds, potentially causing fewer allergic reactions. Their sleek appearance and friendly personalities make them a great choice for cat lovers who are prone to allergies.

Russian Blue

Russian Blues are often considered to be hypoallergenic cats because of their shorter coat and lower levels of shedding. Keeping their coats well-maintained and regular brushing can help reduce shedding and minimize allergens. They can make great pets for those who are not highly sensitive to allergens.

Siamese

People who suffer from allergies may find that Siamese cats are a better fit for them as they tend to have shorter coats and shed less, resulting in fewer allergic reactions.

Siberian 

Siberian cats are known for their beautiful triple coat, which can be kept in good condition with weekly brushing. While they do shed seasonally, daily brushing during this time can help maintain their coat's health, particularly the undercoat, and reduce allergens. In fact, Siberian cats are recognized for producing fewer allergens because of their low Fel d1 protein levels.

Sphynx

If you have a cat allergy and are considering getting a Sphynx cat, the hairless breed may seem like a logical choice. However, it's important to note that they are not completely hypoallergenic cats. While they do not have hair to shed, they still produce dander which can trigger allergic reactions. Still, frequent bathing can minimize the amount of dander and prevent oil buildup on their skin, making them a more suitable pet option for allergy sufferers.

How to Minimize Cat Allergies with Hypoallergenic Cats?

Owning a hypoallergenic cat doesn't guarantee an allergy-free experience, but it might help mitigate allergic reactions. Here are some tips for managing allergies with these breeds:

Regular Grooming

By grooming your pet frequently, you can help reduce the amount of loose hair and dander they shed, which in turn can help decrease allergen exposure for both you and your pet. So, make sure to include regular grooming in your pet care routine to keep your home clean and allergy-free. 

HEPA Filters 

Using HEPA air filters in your home can help trap allergens and improve air quality. You may see our other article here to learn more about air purifiers.

Clean Living Environment 

One effective way to reduce allergen buildup in your home is to regularly clean it, which involves vacuuming and washing pet bedding. This can significantly minimize the presence of allergens, which can reduce the risk of allergic reactions and improve the overall air quality in your home. You may also include Pacagen’s Cat Allergen Neutralizing Spray in your cleaning routine to have more protection against cat allergens. To learn more, read our other article on cat allergies.

Consultation with an Allergist

If you are considering adopting a hypoallergenic cat and have allergies, it's important to first consult an allergist for professional advice on how to manage your specific allergies. Allergies can vary from person to person, so it's crucial to understand what triggers your symptoms and how to minimize exposure to those triggers. Your allergist can help you determine whether a hypoallergenic cat is a good fit for you, and provide you with guidance on how to best care for your new pet to reduce the risk of allergic reactions.