Believe it or not, certain cat breeds are less allergenic to people than others. So if you’re allergic to cats and uncertain whether or not you’ll ever be able to own one, take a look at our list of the best cat breeds for people with allergies.
Cats that are less allergenic are called hypoallergenic. Unfortunately there is no cat breed that is completely hypoallergenic; all cats release the protein that causes allergic reactions to cats. This protein, the Fel d 1 protein, is produced in the saliva of cats and spread to their hair when they lick themselves. Then the allergen gets spread around as the cat lays and rubs on things, and can even become airborne.
Aside from getting a hypoallergenic cat, there are some other ways to reduce your allergic reaction to cats. Keeping the house vacuumed and using an air purifier help. And a ton of allergy medications are available by prescription and over-the-counter.
1. Siberian Cats
Siberian cats top the list of the least allergenic to people. They’re truly the gold standard of hypoallergenic cat. Even though Siberians have long, thick coats of hair and shed a ton, they don’t cause terrible allergic reactions in people. So why is that? Well Siberians produce less Fel d 1 protein, the allergen, than other cats. In fact, they produce up to ten times less than the normal house cat!
2. Sphynx Cats
On the opposite end of the spectrum are Sphynx cats, which are the famously hairless kitties. Sphynx cats actually do have some hair on their bodies; they’re just tiny hair follicles barely visible to the naked eye. Unlike Siberian cats, Sphynx cats produce normal amount of Fel d 1 allergens, but they don’t have any long hairs to spread it around. Also, because this breed needs to be bathed often, the allergens that do end up on their skin get washed off frequently.
3. Oriental Cat
Oriental cats are a cross between several cat breeds, including the American shorthair, Abyssinian, and Siamese. These cats are moderate shedders, which makes them one of the best cat breeds for people with cat allergies.
4. Devon Rex
Devon Rex are unique cats in that they have wavy hair. Rex cats only have a fine undercoat and no topcoat at all. Their coat also sheds a lot less than the coats of normal house cats. Because of this, Devon Rex don’t spread their hair and allergens around as much as other cats.
5. Cornish Rex
Like Devon Rex, Cornish Rex have a wavy coat of hair that sheds much less than other cats. You’ll find a lot less Rex hair everywhere, and brushing them is a pretty easy process.
6. Balinese Cats
Balinese cats are almost identical to Siamese cats, the only difference is their long coat. Even though they’re long-haired cats, they don’t shed much. Balinese also produce slightly less of the Fel d 1 protein that people are allergic to.
7. Siamese Cats
Siamese cats are a very popular and common cat breed. Known for their white coats and grey paws and face, Siamese cats steal the heart of everyone they meet. Their short coat makes them shed a lot less. And like the Balinese cat, Siamese cats produce less allergens than other cats. All of this makes them one of the best cat breeds for people with allergies.
8. Russian Blue
The beautiful Russian Blue is a gentle, easygoing cat breed. Their short coat make them minimal shedders, making them known as somewhat hypoallergenic cats.