If you’re a pet lover with allergies you are certainly not alone. Tons of people with sensitivities towards dander and cat hair also can’t help loving cats and wanting to parent one of their own. Luckily, there are many cat breeds that don’t shed or create the dander that causes people’s allergies to act up. These hypoallergenic cats allow people to experience the joys of cat ownership without having to worry about having allergic reactions.
In this article we’re going to discuss:
Being a cat parent is a lot to handle, but being a cat parent with allergies adds the element of tolerance into the mix. Around two million people in the United States are allergic to cats. Suffice to say, you definitely aren’t in this one alone. Being able to overcome a bit of discomfort, or compromise in order to become a cat owner is one of the smallest but most important sacrifices you can make to give yourself a happy life with your new cat.
It’s important to understand that your allergy to your cat is mostly caused by proteins (allergens) that are released from your cat's saliva, skin, and/or fur. That being said, even hypoallergenic cats aren’t necessarily free from the specific allergens that trigger your allergies. Because of this, there are certain living arrangements that have to be upheld to make sure that you aren’t putting yourself in harm's way while caring for your cat.
Many are surprised to hear that there are so many different breeds of hypoallergenic cats, and each one has its own unique coat and personality. With so many different types to choose from, getting a cat that isn’t too harsh on your allergies is sure to be a walk in the park.
This hairless cat is no stranger to this list with its known hypoallergenic status and prominence in popular culture. Sphynxes range from being medium to large in size and are known for being hairless and possessing wrinkles all over their bodies. These cats are affectionate and clever and are typically not the type that you would leave at home all day. It’s recommended to make your Sphynx an indoor cat because they’re prone to getting sunburned.
Balinese cats are often known as the “Long-Haired Siamese” because of their similar markings. These cats are very intelligent as well as allergy-friendly having a single coat that doesn’t shed very much. Balinese cats also produce smaller amounts of allergen proteins making them perfect for owners with allergies. Their silky coats and friendly nature make them perfect for human companionship.
Russian Blues received their name as a result of their blueish coat of fur. These well-tempered felines are low-maintenance and will be perfectly okay if you need to leave them at home for extended periods of time. It’s also important to factor in that, like all cats, Russian Blues are not 100% hypoallergenic. Because of their double coat, they produce some dander and just a smaller amount of allergen proteins.
Siberian cats are most definitely on the bigger side. Known for their size, Siberian cats can grow to weigh anywhere from 8-26 pounds. These playful cats sport a fluffy coat that requires seasonal brushing but is otherwise low-maintenance. Siberian cats are also intelligent enough to learn to play fetch with humans and are generally sociable with humans as well as other pets.
A Bengal cat’s coat pattern isn’t the only wild thing about it. This high energy breed is affectionate and playful. It’s soft and dense coat isn’t prone to much shedding making it a good pick for those suffering from allergies. The more that you brush your Bengal, the less they tend to shed, and the closer you’ll get to form a strong bond with them.
The Oriental cat breed consists of two types, Shorthair and Longhair. Pictured above is an Oriental Shorthair. Shorthairs have coats of fur that are short and close to their bodies whereas Longhairs have longer coats that require a bit more maintenance. Orientals are loyal and require lots of attention. These aren’t the types of cats that enjoy lots of alone time and prefer to be in the center of the show.
These recognizable felines are one of the oldest cat breeds to exist today. Their dark markings and lighter coat are familiar from Lady and the Tramp to Sagwa: The Chinese Siamese Cat. Siamese cats have a short coat that is extremely manageable, and they are very affectionate and energetic. Like Orientals, Siamese cats require lots of attention and are prone to loneliness and sadness if left alone for long periods of time.
Cornish Rex cats are especially suited for those with allergies because of their little shedding and down undercoat. Cornish Rexes are agile and extremely playful. These cats make exceptional pets and are not afraid to show their affection. Cornish Rexes are smaller cats that range in sizes from 5-9 pounds depending on the cat’s gender. These cats don’t enjoy being left alone for long stretches of time, making them good for active families and people with the time to give them all the attention they need.
It’s hardly an impossible feat to lead a happy life with a pet cat while having allergies. If hypoallergenic cats don’t quell your allergy issues, there are a number of allergy medications that can help with mild allergic reactions you may have. Before doing so, or adopting a cat, it’s important to speak with a professional. You may even want to take an allergy test to make sure which specific cat breed would give your allergies the least trouble.
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