If you love cats, but are allergic to these adorable furry little gods, don’t despair! While no type of cat allergy can be, “cured,” there are definitely ways to avoid having to live a cat-free life!
No cat breed is considered to be completely non-allergenic. However, there are breeds that trigger fewer allergic symptoms and are known as hypoallergenic, or low allergen animals.
A certain protein in a cat’s saliva is one of the worst symptom producers in people with a sensitivity to cats. Hypoallergenic kitties make less of this offending protein, which make them excellent candidates for people with allergies.
But other factors figure into the hypoallergenic equation, so keep these in mind when selecting a suitable companion: darker colored cats and males (especially unneutered ones) produce the most allergens.
What follows are descriptions of the seven breeds considered to be the most hypoallergenic.
Because the Sphynx cat is hairless it’s naturally considered the most hypoallergenic option. But no hair does not equal no maintenance! The friendly Sphynx requires frequent bathing in order to cleanse its skin of oily build-up, especially the skin in and around its large ears.
Balinese, Oriental Shorthair and Javanese cats have Oriental lineage and produce fewer allergens than “regular” cats. Specifically, the long-haired Balinese is known to produce low levels of the cat saliva protein that causes major allergic reactions.
The Javanese cat has a single coat that is medium-long, and most importantly, doesn’t mat. No undercoat means less fur which equals fewer allergens.
As its name indicates, the Oriental Shorthair delivers fewer allergens due to its relative sparsity of fur!
Next up are two Rex cats that you should consider if allergies are a problem. Both tend to have oil build-up that needs to be cleaned frequently, in particular the Cornish Rex, but they come with fewer allergens than other animals.
In contrast, the Devon Rex has a shorter coat and does not require the frequent, whole-body baths that the Cornish does.
The Siberian has a low-enzyme saliva that makes it a good choice for allergy sufferers. In fact, it’s been claimed that this gorgeous breed triggers no reaction in up to 75% of feline allergy sufferers!
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