For anyone that loves cats but is plagued with crippling allergies, you will understand the challenges of finding a cat that you can love without the obvious pain that comes with it.
Cats make us sneeze because of the protein Fel d 1. This protein is found in their saliva and fur. When they groom themselves, they spread this protein around. Then, if you touch them or breathe in their fur, you’ll get sick too.
An allergic reaction occurs when you come into contact with the cat fur itself. You get sick because your body produces an immune response to the proteins transported by the cat’s fur. So, what about hairless cats, is that the answer?
Unfortunately, even hairless cats are not hypoallergenic. Many of the things that cause allergies come from saliva and protein as well as the hair and dander itself.
Hypoallergenic cats do exist, but they’re rare. Male cats tend to be more likely to be hypoallergenic because they produce lower levels of Fel d 1. Female cats tend to be more prone to producing higher amounts of Fel d 1.
Hypoallergenic cats are usually thought to produce less of Fel d 1 protein. This means they cause fewer allergy symptoms than other cats. With the above in mind there are still some cats that are better suited to those with allergies than others, let’s have a look at a few.
The Balinese is a smart, adaptable, social breed of cat and isn’t very demanding. It’s thought to have come out of a spontaneous mutation when a long-haired kitten was born to a Siamese cat. Balinese cats are great for allergy sufferers because they don’t shed as much fur as other cats.
Siberians are big, but they don’t shed as often as other cats. Their coats are thick and require weekly brushing. They tend to shed seasonally, during the winter. Daily brushing helps keep their coats healthy and minimizes allergens.
These cats are intelligent and attentive, and love to learn and figure things out for themselves. They’re gentle around people, and other pets, and enjoy having an audience.
Although the Oriental cat breed comes in both short- and long-hair varieties, oriental shorthairs are considered to be better suited for cat allergy sufferers because of their shorter coats. Their coats are soft and easy to take care of. They’re friendly and outgoing, and they enjoy creating close relationships with their families.
The Devon Rex doesn’t shed as much as other breeds. It needs regular cleaning and wiping to keep its fur looking nice. These cats are energetic and playful. They love to be around people and enjoy being petted. They are very friendly and get along well with other pets.
Cornish Rexes’ coats are similar to Devon Rexes’, but they are longer and thicker. They shed less than Devon Rexes.
They’re an inquisitive breed and enjoy playing games. These cats are always ready for action, and they need lots of exercises to stay fit. They’ll explore your house and go into every nook and cranny. They’re very vocal and talkative. They may talk back when spoken to and are also quite chatty.
They’re great climbers too. They have short, low-to-the-ground coats with no undercoat making them a good option for allergy sufferers.
Sphynxes are very friendly cats who love to be groomed. They also need lots of attention. Their lack of fur makes them more prone to allergies so they actually need lots of bathing and cleaning. If it is the dander that you are primarily allergic to then the Sphynx is a great choice due to their lack of hair.
Oriental shorthairs are very cute and friendly cats. Their coats do not shed much and they are less likely to cause allergy problems. Grooming helps keep them clean and prevents them from spreading dander.
Russian blues are very friendly cats. They are smaller than other cats, and they shed less hair. They are calm and friendly. They love to be around their families.
Their fur is a silver color, and they have two coats. It is thought that they produce less Fel d1 making them an ideal cat for allergy sufferers.
A Javanese cat is a friendly, loving, smart and communicative cat. They love playing games and eating. They are very energetic and need lots of exercise. These cats don’t have an undercoat producing fewer allergens! Bingo!
Ways To Help With Allergies
There are ways you can reduce the symptoms of a cat allergy. If you suffer from allergies your cat should not sleep in your bedroom. Their oils could cause allergies and other problems. Cover up any areas where they may sleep with washable blankets.
Dusting your furniture regularly helps remove dust particles. Using furniture polish will help remove dust particles more effectively.
Adding a HEPA vacuum cleaner will help remove pet dander and hair from your house. HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air (filter). These devices help filter out dust mites, pollen, pet dander, cockroach droppings and other particles floating around in the air. A HEPA device can be placed in any room or hallway to remove airborne contaminants.
You should use an air purifier to eliminate allergens in your house, this is especially useful for asthma sufferers as it can clear the airways allowing more pure oxygen to flow through the lungs.
Pet Pamper Time
Some cats enjoy a little ‘spa’ time once a week. Wash it with a special shampoo for allergies. Ask for more information about how to bathe specific breeds from the vet. Dry skin and dander formation should be prevented by asking for help from the breeder.
Cutting down dander will not only help the cat feel comfortable but will reduce allergic reactions from the family.
Dry skin can be a problem for some cats. Omega-3 supplements can help keep the skin smooth and healthy. Acepromazine is an anti-anxiety drug used to reduce anxiety during pamper time.
Cat allergies are common in humans, but most people aren’t aware of them until they become severe.
You don’t always need to give up your precious pet as many allergies can be treated by seeing an allergist who will help you figure out what kind of allergies you have and how to best approach them. Immunotherapy is a viable treatment for allergies.
There are over-the-counter options available, including Benadryl and other allergy pills. Tell your doctor which medication works best for you. Have some backup medications on hand in case of emergencies. There are many alternatives to traditional medicine such as neti pots and saline nasal sprays are two of them.
With the right support, your precious feline friend will be a lifelong member of the family.
So, there you have it. While no cat breed is hypoallergenic (including the hairless ones), there are some breeds that may be more suitable for those with animal allergies.