You absolutely love cats and wish to have one as a pet, but whenever you come into contact with one, you develop itchy, watery eyes and a severe case of sneezing. Is it possible to find a hypoallergenic cat that will not cause an allergic reaction? Although truly hypoallergenic cats do not exist, certain breeds may be suitable for your allergy and lifestyle. Here Matt Davies Harmony Communities explains why there are no hypoallergenic cats. Furthermore, there are a few best practices you can follow so that you can have a cat while still living comfortably.
Cats Are Not 100% Allergy-Free
While some cats are known to be less irritating to allergy sufferers, there is no such thing as a totally hypoallergenic cat. If you are allergic to cats, it is because you are allergic to the protein Fel D1, which is found in cat saliva. When the cat licks its fur, and the spit becomes airborne, you inhale it and respond to it.
Cat breeds that are thought to be hypoallergenic generate less of this protein than others.
Why Are Cats Not Hypoallergenic?
When something is hypoallergenic, it is less likely to cause an allergic reaction in those who come into contact with it. Though the term is more commonly affiliated with products like cosmetics and textiles, it has also been used to define certain animal breeds.
When it comes to cats, nevertheless, labeling breeds as hypoallergenic can be confusing. This is because all cats, no matter how little or how much fur they have, generate allergens. Unlike moisturizing creams or shampoos, it is impossible to remove all allergens from a cat. As a result, there are no hypoallergenic cat breeds.
Which Breeds Have the Least Shedding?
Low-shedding breeds may be a great choice if you have cat allergies, though they are not completely hypoallergenic. Allergens are still visible in their bodily fluids and dander, which can be transmitted to their fur, but because they have less fur, they will bring very few allergens into your home. But even so, since a cat’s bodily fluids comprise many allergens, you should exercise caution when interacting with any of these allergy-friendly kitties.
There are a few examples below, but you can also ask your doctor for advice on which breed would be particularly suitable for your lifestyle.
- Balinese – Even though this cat breed has long hair and appears to be hypoallergenic, it generates less Fel D1 protein than other cats and thus aggravates allergy sufferers less.
- Sphinx – This hairless cat breed is common among allergy sufferers. Although you will never have to brush your cat’s fur, you will need to bathe it to remove the oil that has accumulated on its skin. Your Staten Island veterinarian will advise you on proper grooming and care.
- Siberian – Another breed with lower-than-average levels of the allergen protein in their saliva. According to some studies, Siberian cats do not cause allergic reactions in 75% of cat allergy sufferers.
Handling and grooming a cat can also cause allergens to be released, so wear a mask or enlist the help of a friend to reduce the amount of fur on your face. If you have a cat allergy and want to adopt a feline fur baby, make sure you look into all of your options. With a bit of patience and persistence, you might find the ideal cat to bring home that fits your lifestyle and won’t aggravate your allergies.