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Being a cat lover with allergies is tough, and most people may have suggested getting hypoallergenic cats but, are there any hypoallergenic cat breeds?
In this article, we will be checking out 25 low-shed cats that are perfect for cat lovers!
Cat lovers agree that these feline furries are the most adorable and sweet animals. They are very independent and affectionate, plus as a bonus for those people who rather stay home, cats don’t need daily walks.
However, for most people suffering from allergies, it is tough being a cat lover who can’t even cuddle their furbaby without having an allergy attack. Well, good news for them, there’s a solution to that – hypoallergenic cat breeds!
You may have heard and read a lot about this beautiful pet, but are there any hypoallergenic cats? Before we get into that, let’s discover why some people get allergic to cats.
Cat Allergy 101
Pet allergies are common, especially for those who have asthma and other allergies. In the US, 30% of people with allergies are allergic to cats and dogs. Within that number, allergic people to cats are twice compared to the ones allergic to dogs.
Why Do People Get Allergic To Cats?
All kinds of allergies break out when a hypersensitive immune system reacts whenever touching, smelling, or eating a harmless substance, such as seafood, milk, latex, and for this article, cats. This will give a reaction to the immune system, thinking that the substance consumed is a bacteria or a virus.
Most people believe that cat fur causes an allergic reaction, but it has been a myth debunked by science. These allergens come from the cat’s dandruff or dead skin, saliva, and urine, and touching one of these allergens can cause an allergic reaction.
More specifically, the reason why people get allergic to a cat’s saliva, urine, and dander is because of a protein that is present in them – this protein is called Fel D1.
Fel D1 protein is primarily found in cat saliva and cat skin, making it difficult to be avoided. This protein can be airborne, it is incredibly sticky and can be carried on clothes and furniture, causing people with cat allergy to react even though he is not in the same room.
What are the Symptoms of Cat Allergy?
The common signs that someone is allergic to cats come shortly after touching a cat. These symptoms will vary depending on which body part was exposed. For example, people will have itchy and watery eyes when the allergens reach their eyes. The following are the most common symptoms of a cat allergy:
- Asthma attack for people diagnosed with asthma
- Sneezing and runny nose
- Irritated eyes
- Rashes and itchiness of the skin
In severe cases of allergic reactions, some can develop anaphylaxis. It is characterized by difficulty in breathing, lowering of blood pressure, and in worse cases, can send the body to shock.
Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening allergic reaction; therefore, once somebody who has a cat allergy experiences difficulty in breathing, seek emergency care as soon as possible.
Here’s a short and informative video on everything you need to know about cat allergies and what you can do about them:
Going back to that big question, are there 100% hypoallergenic cats? Well, despite what most people are saying, 100% allergy-free cats don’t exist.
Owning a hypoallergenic cat does not mean you will never have allergic reactions, but it will reduce the chances of being affected by them daily.
On the bright side, some cat breeds are recommended due to the lease number of allergens they produce.
Another reason is that some of these cat breeds have less saliva or do not shed much fur, which means there is less dander-carrying fur to spread around your house.
Here’s our list of hypoallergenic cats, so continue scrolling down below to find the perfect cat for you!
This cat is famous for being hairless, they can look weird but this is one of the most charming and friendly cats on our list. A sphynx is a moderate-sized cat that gets its unique feature from being hairless and wrinkly, however, they do have fine fur that is difficult to see.
A few things to love about this cat are its loyalty and affectionate behavior. They would always seek your attention and occasionally rub themselves into you.
They’re always curious about new surroundings and new people, but will calmly introduce themselves to your visitor or another animal.
Since they are hairless, they do not have protection against direct sunlight, so it is best to keep them indoors.
As humans do, they can get a sunburn if they’re outside under the sun for too long. Maintenance for a Sphynx is moderate, needing a bath every week to keep their skin healthy and smooth.
Known for how big they could get (which can reach up to 12 kilograms), Siberian Forest cat or simply Siberian has a moderate-length hair and fluffy coat which sheds occasionally. But don’t let the shedding fool you; a Siberian produces small amounts of dander, thus perfect for allergic pet owners.
They are very active, playful, and smart enough to do a trick of fetch with their pet parent. As a bonus, this cat loves to play in the water, giving you fewer difficulties in bathing them. With proper frequent brushing using a good brush and routinely bathing, they will maintain their smooth, silky coat.
Famous for its leopard coat pattern, this exotic-looking yet domesticated cat is very playful, affectionate, and a bit of a hugger. If you have kids, they will surely enjoy playing with a Bengal as they can compete with a child’s energy.
As a bonus, Bengal cats shed less than other breeds, all thanks to their dense, incredibly soft coat. Remember to brush their fur regularly and bath them every month, to keep their skin soft and smooth.
4. Russian Blue
Russian Blue got its name from its blue-ish tinge coat. With sparkling emerald eyes and gorgeous silver to dark gray coat, this cat is perfect for pet owners who love showcasing their furbaby. It has a thick double-coated fur, which means they have a lower, finer undercoat and then a longer, protective coat.
One unique feature about their coat is its felt-like behavior, dense, smooth, and when petted, would leave your hands with a tingling sensation.
It is so dense that when you try to trace out a shape on a Russian Blue’s coat, it will stay there and will return to its normal state once brushed.
There are two kinds of Oriental cats, depending on their hair length Oriental Shorthair and Oriental Longhair.
Oriental Shorthair has a short and elegant coat that resembles satin, and on the other hand, an Oriental Longhair boasts its silky, long skin that requires more grooming. There are up to 300 colors and coat patterns to choose from, so it is sure that your furbaby is unique from the others.
They can be your lifelong companion because they are loyal and very affectionate. It is essential to play with Orientals at least once a day, so they don’t feel neglected and sad. You can play with them and brush them at the same time to make things easier.
6. Cornish Rex
If you are in the hunt of a cat that your kids can play with daily, a Cornish Rex is perfect for your family! This relatively small cat breed is extremely playful and very affectionate at the same time. They shed very little, thus a great cat breed for those with cat allergies.
Get ready to keep up with the energy of a Cornish Rex as they do not like being on their own for an extended period; when left alone, they will feel lonely and ignored.
In this demeanor, they will do anything such as pushing things off your table just to get your attention.
A Balinese cat and a Siamese cat may look identical, but Balinese have longer, silkier hair, and a puffy tail, but don’t let its long coat fool you, as this does not shed that much, which will not cause lots of dander and hair fall.
A Balinese is an exceptional cat breed when it comes to intelligence. They can detect human emotions and respond to it, making it the best friend you can “talk” to at the end of your long, tiring day. They are also known to be chatty and more affectionate when they sense that you’ve had a rough day.
8. Devon Rex
Relatives with the Cornish Rex, this unique cat flaunts its curly hair producing a wavy pattern of different colored coats. Devon Rex is perfect for busy pet parents as they can be independent and can entertain themselves alone for a longer time than other cats.
At the same time, they can be social cats whenever there are people around them. Most Devon Rex pet parents even compared them to dogs that can follow you around and get comfy on your lap.
A beautiful mixture of different cat breeds, namely: Siamese, Colorpoint Shorthair, and Balinese, this cross-bred cat is a perfect definition of an athletic cat. With its slim physique and an active and intelligent demeanor, they can be seen running around your house, jumping from one place to another.
Javanese cats have medium to long coats that can come in a lot of colors, but one thing that truly makes them stand out from the rest of the cat kingdom is their bright blue eyes. They can be very affectionate and playful, so just a heads up, you will never have a dull, quiet house with a Javanese cat.
Getting its name from its curly coat, this cat sheds less, thanks to the tight characteristic of its curls. They also could vary from being big wavy curls to tight, smaller curls, almost looking like matte, kinky hair.
LaPerms are social pets, meaning they love being around people. They are very affectionate and would rather spend their day on their pet parent’s lap than being alone doing their own business. There are some instances that LaPerm cats would cuddle up with their pet parent on their bed during sleepy time.
11. Colorpoint Shorthair
These cats are in the same family tree as Siamese cats, to the point where they can be indistinguishable.
The only difference is that Colorpoint shorthairs come in more color, not only with their looks, but Colorpoint shorthairs also have striking similarities with a Siamese cat’s personality and behavior, both are chatty, sociable, and very keen on human emotions.
They can sense if their pet parent is crying, and they would console and comfort them by rubbing themselves. When it comes to maintenance, Colorpoint shorthairs need no to little grooming. To keep their coat shiny, you may need to brush them to remove any loose fur.
As exotic-looking as an Ocelot, Ocicats also have leopard-like rows running across their entire body. They have a very athletic build, growing as a medium-to-big-sized cat.
They are sometimes compared to dogs when it comes to their loyalty and dedication to their pet parents. They love playing around with other animals, as well as enjoying some alone time.
One of the most popular and oldest cat breeds, they are most often recognized for their coat coloring of having a tan color with black or brown accents on the face, the feet, and tail, though they can still come in a few different color combinations. A Siamese’s fine and short coat make them one of the most low-maintenance cats.
They have an energetic and affectionate demeanor, which means they require a lot of attention. Siamese are known as sociable and clingy cats, and if they are left alone for some time, they will get sad and lonely.
By spending more time with a Siamese, your chemistry and bonding level will grow, and they can become your lifelong feline companion.
What If These Breeds are Not Available in Your Pet Adoption Center?
If the cat breeds from our list are not available in your nearest pet adoption center, yet you still want the company of a feline friend, you may want to reconsider getting a different breed of cat. Always keep in mind to follow these precautions to reduce exposure to allergens.
- Make sure that your bedroom is a cat-free zone as you will be spending most of your time there. Always keep your door closed and spend more time cleaning than usual.
- Keep the surfaces all over your home clean and uncluttered. As previously mentioned, cat allergens are sticky and can leave a residue on the floor. If you have a carpeted floor, it is recommended to have it steamed clean frequently.
- After playing with your furbaby, change your clothes immediately to avoid the allergen lingering to your body.
- Acquire an air cleaner that is certified to help in removing pet allergens from the atmosphere. These specially made cleaners have an electrostatic filter that is guaranteed to remove cat allergens from the air.
- Reach out to your doctor for possible treatments or immunotherapy.
Now that you have read our guide on how to deal with cat allergies and if are there any hypoallergenic cat breeds, which one are you going to get? Comment your answer below!
Laura is the founder of Furs'n'Paws. She is a also a pet writer and expert with more than 20 years of experience of working with dogs and cats. She developed a very strong love for animals at a young age. Her passion led her to establish a thriving pet sitting and dog walking business in Dubai. As an expert in pet training, behavior, and nutrition, Laura is committed to helping pet owners and pet lovers by offering high-quality information on a wide range of topics.