Around a third of the world’s population shows some kind of allergic reaction to cats or dogs. Out of that section of the population, the majority are allergic to cats. However, the mere presence of a cat in their vicinity doesn’t trigger allergic reactions in these people. The allergic reaction is usually caused by the proteins present in the urine, dander or saliva of animals, known as allergens. A vast majority of people who suffer from cat allergies are allergic to the Fel D1 protein. It is produced in the saliva, skin and some other organs of cats. So if you thought all this while that a cat’s hair caused an allergic reaction among people, now you know that’s not the case. However, while the hair itself might not cause allergic reactions, it can definitely accumulate in the hair while cats groom themselves. But if you really like cats but are allergic to them, there is some good news for you. There are some breeds of cats that are bred with allergies in mind. These cats produce far fewer allergens than other cats. These cats are known as hypoallergenic cats and are the subject of discussion today. Aside from talking about hypoallergenic cats, we will also talk about the different ways in which people can manage their cat allergy and continue to live with their beloved pet cat with little to no issues. Let’s get started.
Hypoallergenic Cats: All You Need To Know
Are there hypoallergenic cats?
Constant sneezing, nasal congestion, irritation in the eyes, does it sound familiar? These are the main symptoms of allergy to cats that affected people suffer after contact with the feline. However, as we discussed earlier, the cause of the immune response is not the animal’s hair, but the Fel D1 protein. This protein can accumulate in the cat’s fur after self-cleaning and even be distributed throughout the home through dead hair. Likewise, the feline expels this protein through urine, so handling its litter box can also cause an allergic reaction. Therefore, reducing the allergic reaction is possible by following a series of guidelines that we will detail later, as well as adopting a hypoallergenic cat.
Important factors to consider before getting a cat
If you are planning to adopt or buy a cat, you should check the cat’s breed (for purebred cats) or its bloodline (if you are adopting a stray). On top of that, you should also be mindful of these things before getting a cat: Since the production of the Fel D1 protein is carried out through the stimulation of a series of hormones, testosterone being one of the main stimulants, neutered male cats generate less of this allergen due to the fact that their testosterone levels are reduced. reduce considerably.
Another of the main stimulants of this protein is progesterone, a hormone produced by the cat during the ovulation and gestation period. Thus, neutered cats also see their amount of Fel D1 reduced.
Neutering your cat will not only reduce your body’s immune response if it is allergic, but it will also provide many benefits for its health.
How to manage your cat allergy?
If you are allergic to cats and your cat triggers your allergies, you don’t have to discard your cat. There are ways in which you can manage your cat allergy and reduce the intensity of your allergic reactions:
- Try to get rid of as many rugs from your house as possible. They can collect a large amount of cat hair and other allergy causing substances. Once again, cat hair doesn’t cause allergy but it’s the accumulated Fel D1 protein to the fur through saliva, and this falls on the carpets.
- If you are allergic to cats, get someone without cat allergy to brush and groom your cat. If you don’t brush your cat frequently, it will shed a lot of hair with the Fel D1 protein and result in more allergic reactions.
- Keep your cat’s litter box clean as cats release the Fel D1 protein through their urine as well. If you are allergic to cats, get someone else to clean the litter.
- Get your cat neutered since neutered cats produce far less Fel D1.
- Always keep your cat out of your bedroom. Keep your cat out of your bedroom and stop it from spreading allergens across your bedroom. Sleeping in a room with allergens can trigger severe allergic reactions in you.
- Always keep anti allergic medication at hand and consume it if you get an allergic reaction. Keep in touch with your doctor for regular advice on the matter.
What cats are hypoallergenic?
No cat in the world is 100% hypoallergenic. It’s unnatural for that to be the case and unrealistic to expect a breed as such. Just because a cat is called a hypoallergenic cat, it doesn’t mean it will never cause any hypoallergenic reaction in anyone. Hypoallergenic cats just produce a smaller amount of Fel D1 protein which helps people with cat allergies as it reduces the chances of an immune response. However, this theory has to be checked on a case by case basis and shouldn’t be used as an iron clad rule. Thus, it is possible that some of the cats affect you more than others.
Are Javanese cats hypoallergenic?
The Javanese cat, also known as the Oriental longhair cat, is another hypoallergenic cat because they produce fewer allergens. Unlike the Bengali cat and the Devon Rex, the Javanese is a more independent feline and does not require the frequent company of its human. In this way, it is an ideal breed of cat for allergy sufferers, also, for people who for work reasons, or others, need to spend a few hours outside the home but want to share their life with a feline. Of course, it is essential to remember that in no case is it recommended to leave the animal for more than 12 hours alone at home.
Are Oriental Shorthair cats hypoallergenic?
Like the Oriental Longhair/Javanese cats, these cuties are also great for people who have cat allergies. These cats produce far fewer allergens than most other cat breeds. Just remember to brush their coat regularly so that the allergy causing protein doesn’t accumulate in their coat and cause problems in the future.
Are Siberian cats hypoallergenic?
Although the Siberian cat is characterized by having a dense and long coat, a fact that may lead us to think that it is more likely to accumulate more allergens, the truth is that it is considered the most suitable cat for allergy sufferers. This is so because it is the feline breed that produces the least amount of Fel D1 protein. However, as we discussed in the previous section, adopting a Siberian cat does not guarantee 100% that allergic reactions will disappear, since the reduced amount of the allergen it produces can be perfectly tolerated by some allergy sufferers, and rejected by others.
In addition to being a precious feline, the Siberian is an affectionate, docile and loyal cat, who loves to spend long hours with his human companions and to play. Of course, due to the characteristics of its coat, it will be advisable to brush its fur frequently to avoid the formation of knots and tangles.
Are Balinese hypoallergenic cats?
As with the Siberian, despite having a long coat, the Balinese cat also produces less Fel D1 than the rest of the cat breeds shown below and, therefore, the allergic reaction may be reduced. Also known as the long-haired Siamese, it does not require great care in terms of hair maintenance, except for two to three brushings a week to avoid the formation of tangles and knots. Balinese cats tend to be very friendly, playful and loyal. They make great companions and you will really enjoy your time with a Balinese cat. However, remember that Balinese cats don’t like being left alone for too long and might develop anxiety if you let them be by themselves for too long. They aren’t cats that seek solitude and lots of space from their owner.
Are Bengal cats hypoallergenic?
Considered one of the most beautiful felines for its wild appearance and intense gaze, the Bengal is another of the best breeds of cats for allergy sufferers for the same reason as the previous ones, their levels of the allergy-causing protein are lower.
In addition to having extraordinary beauty, the Bengal is a very curious, playful and active cat. If you are not willing to dedicate hours of play to your furry companion, or you are looking for a more independent feline, we recommend that you keep looking because the Bengal cat needs to live with a person who can cover all its needs and doses of daily activity. Likewise, although it is a feline that does not usually have health problems, it does need to receive proper maintenance of its ears because it tends to produce a greater amount of earwax.
Are Devon Rex cats hypoallergenic?
Although many tend to think that the devon rex is part of the list of hypoallergenic cats because it has a shorter coat than the rest, it should be noted that it was not the hair that caused the allergy to cats, but the Fel D1 protein and Like the previous ones, it is on the list because it produces less of it. In parallel, the devon rex is one of the cats that shed the least hair, so the little amount of the allergen that can accumulate in it is less likely to be distributed throughout the home.
Affectionate and very affectionate, the Devon Rex does not tolerate spending many hours at home, so it requires the frequent company of its human to be a happy cat. Likewise, their ears are more prone to excessive ear wax production than those of other feline breeds and, therefore, need more attention.
Are Russian Blue hypoallergenic cats?
Thanks to the thick double-layered coat that this feline presents, the Russian blue cat has been considered one of the best cats for allergies not only because it produces fewer allergens, but also because it keeps them closer to its skin and less from human contact. In this way, in addition to secreting a lesser amount of the Fel D1 protein, we could say that it is practically not distributed throughout the home.
Are Siamese cats hypoallergenic?
Both the Cornish Rex and the Siamese cat and LaPerm are not felines that produce a lower amount of the Fel D1 protein, but they do shed less hair than other cat breeds and, therefore, they have also been considered hypoallergenic cats. As we have discussed multiple times in this post so far, the main source of cat allergy isn’t cat hair, it’s mainly the accumulation of allergens in the cat hair. These allergy causing proteins accumulate in the cat’s coat and spread across the house with fallen hair or in the form of dandruff.
Therefore, cats with a thicker or curly coat like these are less likely to spread the protein. For these cases, before proceeding to adopt one of these cats for allergy sufferers, we recommend making a first contact and observing if an allergic reaction occurs or not. If nothing happens for a few hours after exposure, it’s safe to say that the cat is hypoallergenic or at least the cat owner doesn’t have an intense allergic reaction to that cat and can tolerate them. In such a case, you can go ahead and take the cat.
It is very important to be completely sure that the cat to be welcomed is the right one, since a mistake can not only mean the loss of a companion for the allergic person but can have very serious emotional consequences for the animal. If someone has a severe allergy to cats, it’s best to stay away from these cats.
Are Sphynx cats hypoallergenic?
No, despite being on this list, the sphynx is not a suitable cat for allergy sufferers. So why are we highlighting it? Very simple, because due to its absence of hair, many people with allergies to cats believe that they can adopt a sphynx and not suffer the consequences, and nothing is further from the truth. As we have discussed before, cat hair by itself isn’t an allergen. Most people get allergic reactions from cats because of the Fel D1 protein that is found in the cat’s skin and saliva. So even though Sphynx cats don’t have a lot of hair, they still produce those allergy causing proteins from their skin and saliva.
Are Ragdoll cats hypoallergenic?
There is some bad news for people who are allergic to cats and want a Ragdoll cat. These cats aren’t hypoallergenic. While a lot of people with cat allergies tend to fare better with cats with a medium coat, Ragdoll cats aren’t bred to be hypoallergenic. If a breeder tries to sell a ragdoll cat as hypoallergenic, get away from that breeder and get your cat from somewhere else.
Ragdoll cats do fare better with people allergic to dander as they don’t have an undercoat. However, people allergic to cats tend to get allergic reactions from the saliva or skin secretions, and Ragdolls have those.
Are hairless cats hypoallergenic?
A lot of people might see hairless cats and think that they won’t trigger any allergies. However, hairless cats produce dander as well and that can cause an allergic reaction in people. On top of that, hairless cats will still have saliva and skin secretions which will result in allergic reactions. So they aren’t really hypoallergenic.