Fortunately for allergy suffering cat-owners, it is not only the canine species that has hypoallergenic breeds. Certain felines also have coats which shed less and release fewer allergens than other cat breeds do. Like dogs, there may not be an entirely allergy-free cat, but some felines seem to emit less of the agitating elements that make allergic reactions too irritating. Curiously enough, it is not just fur which can set allergies a-blazing, but the proteins found in an animal’s saliva, and the oils in the skin that can also cause itchy eyes and runny noses. If you suffer from these kinds of symptoms, below are a few cat breeds which should be at the top of your potential pet list.
List of Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds
- Balinese: These cats produce less Fel D1 (the protein allergen) than other breeds.
- Russian Blue: This sleek breed does not shed as frequently as others do.
- Bengals: Exotic cats like Bengals often shed less and do not do as much self-grooming (aka: releasing of saliva) on his coat. This makes them a much more desirable breed to own.
- Oriental Shorthair: With one of the most diverse coat colors (over 300 variations), this shorthair breed will not prove inflammatory to allergies if he is groomed regularly.
- Siberian: Though these felines have long bushy coats akin to the Persian, the absence of high concentrations of Fel D1 make their coat a good match for allergy sufferers.
- Devon Rex (and Cornish Rex): Both Cornish and Devon Rex cats have no guard hair (the top coat) and no awn hair (the mid-layer fur), but only the down hair undercoat; this means that they shed hardly any hair at all.
- Javanese: This breed is the opposite of the Devon and Cornish Rex cat breeds, in that Javanese cats only have the outside layer of the coat, and no under layer at all. Though their fur is longer, this keeps the shedding to a minimum!
- LaPerm: The tightly woven, curly coat of these felines make them ideal hypoallergenic pets, since their coats do not heavily emit oils.
- Sphynx: Hairless cats still release skin oils, but the lack of hair keeps the proteins in saliva from getting caught in their coat during the grooming process.
Other cat breeds that are considered by many to be hypoallergenic are: Ocicats, Siamese, Burmese, and Colorpoint Shorthairs. Still not set on a certain breed? Check out our long list of Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds; as it might be time to give canines a try!