Are There Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds?

Posted on July 22, 2015 under Cat Topics

A Balinese cat, which is one of the hypoallergenic breeds.

By Dr. Eva Evans, a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best, a cat health insurance agency.

When it comes to cats, allergies can be a real problem! Many American households do not own a cat because one or more of the household members is allergic to cats. With the hype of “hypoallergenic dog breeds,” are there similar breeds of cats?

While dander and hair can be a source of allergens, saliva is the most common allergen for people that are allergic to cats. Cats that are low in the protein Fel D1, will shed fewer allergens into the environment. When cats groom themselves, their saliva, which contains this Fel D1 protein, sticks to the hair. Then, the hair falls out with normal shedding and can create symptomatic problems such as red, watery eyes and itchy skin in humans with a Fel DI protein allergy.

The important thing to remember when it comes to hypoallergenic breeds, is that this term refers to “low allergen” and not “zero allergen” which means that all felines will shed some allergens. However, some breeds are less allergenic than others.

The following breeds are known to be hypoallergenic and may be good choices for cat lovers who are allergic to cats. These breeds have smaller-than-usual amounts of allergens. They may be ideal for someone with a mild feline allergy. However, a person that is severely allergic to cats will likely still experience symptoms around hypoallergenic cat breeds (although they may be milder). It is best to research each breed to determine if one of these hypoallergenic breeds is for you. Keep in mind that each individual cat will shed a differing amount of allergens, and while these breeds are collectively known to be less allergenic than most, this can vary based on the individual.

1. Balinese
2. Cornish Rex
3. Devon Rex
4. Sphynx
5. Bengal
6. Siberian
7. Javanese

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