Cats are one of human’s most beloved pets, but many allergy sufferers have to hold back from adopting a furry feline because of the itchy nose and watery eyes they induce. If this sounds familiar to you, then you may be in luck; there are multiple breeds of cat that produce fewer allergens. While there is no such thing as a cat that’s 100 percent hypoallergenic, some breeds do come close.
A common misconception about allergies to cats is that they are caused singularly by hair. Although it appears that their hair is the only thing that sheds, it’s actually their dander that causes irritation. A particular protein in cat’s saliva (called “Fel D1”) attaches to their hair during self-grooming and is spread when that hair sheds.
Some breeds work well with their allergic owners because they shed less, groom less, or produce less of the allergy-inducing protein. Check out the following list of allergy-friendly feline breeds to learn more!
This blue-eyed, talkative and sweet breed is also known as the long-haired Siamese. But don’t let that long hair fool you; they’re considered a relatively safe breed for those with cat allergies because they produce less of the Fel D1 protein. Many people happily live alongside their affectionate and loving Balinese with no allergy issues.
Well known for their striking coat with vivid, leopard-like spots, the Bengal cat is a devoted and family-oriented companion. Cats of this breed shed less and spend less time grooming themselves because of their unique coat. Be aware that they are somewhat needy and require more attention than other breeds because of their high energy levels and inquisitive nature.
3. Cornish Rex
This cat’s slim stature and big, adorable ears aren’t the only thing that sets this breed apart. The Cornish Rex only has one coat of hair while most breeds have three, its thickness being similar to the soft undercoat called “down.” This breed is loyal, active and kitten-like even as they age, making them the perfect addition to a young family.
Like the Cornish Rex, Javanese cats only have one coat of hair, but theirs is a thinner top coat, which means less shedding. These intelligent cats are easy to train and quite playful, but love to snuggle and show affection when they’re tuckered out from playing.
With a curly, kinky coat that sometimes sports full ringlets, the LaPerm is aptly named. Their corkscrew curls mean less shedding as the hair tends to stay together instead of easily falling out. This breed is a people-oriented lap cat who loves to play when not purring in your arms.
6. Oriental Shorthair
This curious and attention-seeking kitty is quite a fiery character. The Oriental cat is elegant, sleek and slender, and it’ coloring comes in many different varieties. It’s fine, short coat may require extra grooming to avoid shedding sneeze-inducing dander.
7. Russian Blue
The wide, green eyes and sparkling blue coat of the Russian Blue are anything but ordinary. This good-natured cat has a great temperament that is suitable for families of all ages. Its dense coat rarely sheds and it produces less of the Fel D1 protein, making it an excellent match for allergic owners.
Just like the Balinese and Russian Blue, Siberian cats are well known as an allergy-friendly cat since they, too, produce low levels of the Fel D1 protein. Their long, shaggy hair makes them cuddly companions while their intelligence and cheerful nature will keep you delightfully entertained.
The Sphynx is famous for its expressive ears, wrinkles upon wrinkles, and total lack of hair. Some may carry a slight layer of peach fuzz, but generally, there is nothing for their dander to attach to, causing less allergic reactions in their human counterparts. They do require frequent bathing and ear-cleaning to remove oily buildup from their skin, and it
may be best to keep them indoors, as they get cold easily and are more susceptible to sunburns.