Do you love kitties but get hit with sneezes and watery eyes when around them? You’re not alone. In fact, people are twice as likely to have cat allergies than dog allergies. But with those big eyes and gentle purrs, they can be hard to resist.
What Causes Cat Allergies, Anyways?
It isn’t the fur that you’re allergic to. It’s actually a protein called Fel D1 found in saliva, dander, and urine. Since cats are notorious self-bathers, once a cat licks their coat, the saliva dries and becomes air born, making you feel itchy, sneezy and not-so-great.
In addition to the Fel D1 protein, there are a few other factors that can affect how much allergen a cat produces:
• Kittens produce fewer allergens than adults
• Males produce more allergens than females
• Intact males produce more than neutered males
• Dark cats tend to produce more than light-colored cats (the reason for that is unknown)
While no cat makes zero Fel D1 proteins, some make quite a bit less. That means (get excited, allergy-prone cat lovers) some cats breeds are “hypoallergenic”!
Ideal Cats for Allergy Sufferers
There are a variety of cat breeds that produce fewer allergens that can make owning and loving a kitty a real possibility! Keep in mind that this list should not be the only thing you should consider when adopting a cat. Also, meet and spend time with a kitty to make sure how sensitive you are to them before making any decisions. And with that, let’s meet these kitties!
These beauties are often referred to as the “long-haired Siamese.” They produce less Fel D1 than other cats, meaning fewer allergic reactions for you!
Balinese have the perfect balance of smart and sweet. They’re also known to be quite vocal, so they’ll be up for some chit-chat whenever you want!
While most cats have three layers of coat, this breed only has one! Less fur means fewer allergens, and that means fewer sniffles.
Javanese are devoted, intelligent cats. They will be happiest by following you around and by receiving a few treats here and there.
Like the Balinese, the Siberian has a long beautiful coat that makes it seem like it would be a bad match for someone with cat allergies. However, Siberian’s have lower-than-average enzyme levels in their saliva. They also have less dander and shed less, so these factors together decrease the likelihood of having an allergic reaction.
They’re stunning and affectionate with a hefty dose of personality, so how could you not fall in love?
Despite the name, this cat is not blue but varies from a light silver to dark grey. Like Siberian Cats, Russian Blues produce less Fel D1 and shed less. This breed’s fur also has a reputation for being lush and soft, so that’s quite a bonus!
Personality-wise, Russian Blues develop a close relationship with their human parents, so be ready for some love!
This breed has shorter fur and less fur, meaning less shedding and better for cat-allergic cat-lovers! While they don’t require much maintenance, they do need to have their paw pads and ears cleaned of oil build-up.
Devons have large eyes and even larger ears and are sometimes compared to space aliens. But they are affectionate. Who doesn’t want their own little alien to snuggle?
The hairless Sphynx is most often associated with being hypoallergenic. But don’t be fooled. Just because this cat is hairless doesn’t mean it’s low maintenance. This breed requires a lot of grooming and baths to remove the oils on their skin.
Apart from their grooming, Sphynx’s are notoriously extroverted and are very affectionate towards their human parents.
Adopting one of the “hypoallergenic” cat breeds may not be the cure-all, but hopefully, it will leave you breathing a little easier while you snuggle your kitty!
Be sure to check out our Instagram for cute pictures of all types of kitties! Don’t forget to browse our Car Cuties to find one that looks like your cat!