What Are the Best Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds for People with Allergies?

hypoallergenic siberian cat

Do you have a cat allergy, or if you’re a cat lover with mild cat allergies, there is a big chance that you might start sneezing when you even think about getting a cat? But it still might be possible for you to have a cat in your home. Here you can read more about the best hypoallergenic cat breeds for people with allergies.

While there are no cat breeds that are 100% hypoallergenic, there are cat breeds that lose less hair or have less of the most common allergens in their dander and saliva. These breeds are less likely to cause an allergic reaction. They can, therefore, be a good option for people who otherwise always suffer from a cat allergy.

Some cats can trigger allergies, regardless of breed. In this post, you can find the best hypoallergenic cat breeds for people with allergies. You can also read more about the symptoms of an allergic reaction and learn more about why people can be allergic to cats. So you want to buy a cat and thought you couldn’t have a cat as a pet due to your cat allergy? The good news is that it is possible.

Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds

Especially for allergy sufferers, several cat breeds are known to be hypoallergenic. But if you think your cat is 100% hypoallergenic, you are wrong. Hypoallergenic cats are giving no guarantees about how you and your allergies will react. Although the cat breed may be on the list below, the cat is not 100% hypoallergenic.

As mentioned by the Smithsonian magazine page, cats can’t truly deserve the title of being hypoallergenic. If anything is closest to being hypoallergenic, it’s the Siberian, a big long fluffy-haired breed. People have noticed that specific Siberian cats do not elicit as much of an allergy response as other cats.

The hypoallergenic cat species only spread fewer allergens. The best way to determine if one of these hypoallergenic cat breeds is right for you is to meet them. You can call an animal shelter, rescue group, or a breeder near you to meet the cat before deciding. Or maybe you know someone who has this hypoallergenic cat breed. So you can pet sit for a few days or come by to see if you are not allergic to this breed.

It is not pleasant for you and the cat if it turns out that you develop an allergic reaction, which means that the cat has to be removed from the house and may end up in the shelter. In conclusion, do not just buy a cat; think about it carefully and possibly also discuss your choice with other people.

Allergies to Cats

As mentioned by the allergy to cats Wikipedia page, eight cat allergens have been recognizing by the World Health Organization. Fel d 1 is the most major cat allergen, accounting for 96% of human-cat allergies. The remaining cat allergens are Fel d 2–8. Fel d 4, a major urinary protein found in cats’ saliva, occurs the most in humans among the other seven allergens. Similarly all cats produce Fel d 1, including hypoallergenic cats. The primary way these allergens are spreading is through a cat’s saliva or dander, which gets stuck on clothing. A study found that 63% of people allergic to cats have antibodies against Fel d 4.

So the short answer to the question, what causes the allergy is:
It’s not the fur of a cat; it’s a protein called Fel D1 found in cat saliva. That causes that you get allergic symptoms like sneezing and feeling itchy. When a cat is licking their coat, the allergen-laden saliva dries and comes in the airborne. This increases the risk of an allergic reaction.

Some breeds produce less of this protein than other breeds. These hypoallergenic breeds are making them ideal cats for people with allergies.

Factors That Affect Allergen Production in Cats

As mentioned by the hypoallergenic-cats Petfinder page, there are also other factors that affect allergen production in cats.

In addition to the Fel D1 protein, other factors influence a cat’s allergen production:

Males produce more allergenic secretions than females
Intact males produce more allergens than neutered males
Dark cats have more than light-colored ones (no one knows why)
Kittens produce fewer allergens than adults

Symptoms of an Allergic Reaction

If you are allergic to cats, the symptoms of an allergic reaction can be various. The symptoms of an allergic reaction to cats range from mild to severe. The symptoms can be:

  • swollen, red, itchy, and watery eyes
  • nasal congestion
  • itchy nose
  • sneezing
  • chronic sore throat or itchy throat
  • coughing
  • wheezing
  • asthma
  • hay fever, hives or rash on the face or chest
  • itchy skin

If a cat has licked, bitten, or scratched, you or someone else who is allergic to cats, redness, and sometimes even swelling of the affected area will occur.

For severely allergic people, a reaction may resemble that of someone with a severe food allergy. For such reactions, emergency medical care is requiring.

Tips for Allergy to Cats

  • Keep the cat out of the bedrooms
  • Clean regularly
  • Provide sufficient fresh air by, for example, installing an air purifier
  • Open windows and doors as much as possible (make sure your cat cannot fall out or run away)
  • Give your cat the right food. The healthier your cat, the less dander it produces
  • Optional: Wash your cat about 1-2 times a month with special shampoo. This shampoo you can buy by the vet or online in a pet shop
  • Brush your cat regularly
  • Play consciously. Do not let your cat lick your face; always wash your hands after petting the cat
  • Let the curtains in the house, blankets, and rugs cleaned regularly. Dander often gets stuck on these things
  • Don’t try to smoke or keep it to a minimum. Smoking lowers your tolerance to allergens and aggravates your sensitive lungs
  • You can use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filtration system. This HEPA filtration system is helping to pick up more of the dander from your floors
  • When you are very allergic, let a non-allergic family member cleaning the litter box, cat urine also contains allergens. Also, avoid deodorized litter and litter that throws dust; these may be as irritating as the cat allergens.

Using a combination of these tips or even all of them should greatly reduce the number of allergens in the air.

Coping with Cat Allergies

As mentioned by the allergy to cats Wikipedia page, cat allergies can often be controlling with over-the-counter or prescription medications. Antihistamines and decongestants can prevent allergic reactions.

Some people with cat allergy find relief in allergen immunotherapy. This therapy is a periodic injection designed to suppress the body’s natural immune responses to the cat allergens.

Regularly bathing the cat may remove many amounts of allergens from the fur. Feeding the cat a high-quality diet with plenty of omega-3 fatty acids will help keep the coat healthy and minimize dander.

The development of several human vaccines has been abandoned, including Allervax and Cat-SPIRE. As of 2019, the Swiss company HypoPet AG is developing a vaccine it hopes could be administered to cats to reduce the emission of Fel d 1 proteins.

Best Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds for Allergic People

Technically, there is no such thing as a 100 percent hypoallergenic domestic cat. A variety of cats produce fewer allergens and make it easier to be a cat owner. These hypoallergenic cat breeds are not the only thing you consider when researching which breed of cat to adopt. The best way to determine if you are sensitive to a cat is to meet the cat or kitten. Below you find the best hypoallergenic cat breeds.

  • Balinese
    The Balinese is one of the few breeds that produce less of the Fel D1 protein than other cats. A Balinese has a coat with a silky texture and single coated, with only minimal shedding. The Balinese is noting for its lack of shedding among long-coated cats. This breed is ranking as one of the most intelligent cat breeds. It is also remarkable for its good humor, good nature, and high energy. A Balinese can get along well with people and animals; it’s one of the best qualities the Balinese possesses.
  • The Siberian
    A Siberian is a large cat with a lush double coat. The Siberian is famous for having a low level of the Fel d 1 protein in its saliva. People with mild allergies will often be able to tolerate living with this beautiful breed. You can say the Siberian is a good hypoallergenic cat breed. However, there is still little scientific proof of it.
  • Javanese
    The Javanese have a medium-long single coat and don’t have an undercoat. Meaning they don’t shed hair much and only need a weekly brushing. They spread fewer allergens, which might work for people with mild cat allergies. Javanese cats are intelligent, devoted, and known for their communication skills. The Javanese have a high degree of intelligence and seems to understand when you are talking to it. This cat is perfect if you want a sympathetic cat that’s easy to train, likes showing affection by purring, and following you around. It can look a person straight in the eye and answer with a meow.
  • Russian blue
    The Russian Blue has a plush, shimmering coat is somewhat low-shedding and typically only requires weekly brushing. These quiet and gentle cats often love sitting with their favorite humans and being brushed. The Russian Blue has a lavender-blue color at the base and hairs, tipping in shimmering silver. So the Russian Blue is named for its coat. The Russian Blue can be alone and spend hours amusing itself, but it is happy to see you when coming home. This cat is also very playful, elegant, reserved, and loves to play and catching sunbeams or cat toys.
  • Cornish Rex
    The Cornish Rex only has a fine undercoat and no topcoat at all. These cats are generally affectionate, active, and attention-seeking. It’s a high energy cat that bonds well with its human family.
  • Devon Rex
    The Devon Rex has a wavy coat that doesn’t tend to shed much hair. Because the Rex doesn’t tend to shed much hair, it minimizes the spread of dander and other allergens in your rooms. These cats are playful, outgoing, and they are interested in what their humans are doing.
  • Oriental
    The Oriental is a mixture of several cat breeds, including Abyssinian, Siamese, and the American Shorthair. An Oriental Shorthair is long and slender, has large ears, and piercing almond-shaped eyes. The Oriental is a playful, athletic, and intelligent cat. It would help if you brushed the cat a couple of times a week. The Oriental is a good cat breed for allergic people.
  • Selkirk Rex
    The Selkirk Rex is a more laidback cat, while the Cornish Rex and Devon rex are high-energy cats. This breed also has a waving coat that sheds minimally. When you are brushing this cat at least a couple of times a week, you remove dead hair and tangles and minimalize the ability to spread allergens.
  • Siamese
    The Siamese is a famous cat because this cat is also a good Hypoallergenic Cat Breed, despite there is no definitive scientific of it. The Siamese has a low-maintenance coat and doesn’t shed much. Making friends easily, a born extrovert, and showering its owner with love. The Siamese is also remarkably sensitive to moods. When you are crying while watching a tragic movie, this cat will try to bring you comfort.
  • Sphynx
    When you read the word Sphynx, you probably think at a cat with no hair, but they have a fine, downy coat that, when you are petting the cat, it feels like suede. Also, like all cat breeds, these cats also produce dander. The Sphynx frequently needs a bath to remove the oil from the skin, and also the large ears need cleanings. These cat breeds are very devoted, loyal, and follow their humans around, wagging with their tails and purring to show affection.

Cat breeds that are high-shedding tend to be worse for people with allergies because the allergens get trapped in their coats and spread wherever they lose their fur. Some of these high-shedders are the Himalayan, Norwegian forest cat, Maine coon, Manx, Cymric, and Persian.

Now you know which cat breeds are least likely to set off your allergies, it is wise to check in with your doctor first. Depending on your allergy severity, or if you have asthma, a cat may not be a good choice.

Closing Words

Hopefully, you know now more about the Best Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds for People with Allergies. Maybe by knowing these things, you can now recommend it to yourself and other hypoallergenic cat breeds. Above all, there are no cat breeds that are 100% hypoallergenic. However, there are cat breeds that ensure that you suffer less from the cat allergy.

If you like this post, you may want to look at some posts in the cat life part of this website since this post is also part of it.

When you know someone who likes to learn more about the best hypoallergenic cat breeds for people with allergies, feel free to share this post.

By Marleen

Marleen is a truly madly deeply cat lover and founder of That Is for My Cat. She wants to share her knowledge about cats with other people who like to know more about cats.