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Best Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds

Many people are allergic to cats. There is no cure, as such, but there are several breeds that, in most cases, don’t trigger the sneezing and wheezing associated with such allergies. These breeds are called “Hypoallergenic”, and the key fact is that they don’t shed very much fur and dander – the usual cause of the problem.

Many people have a violent allergic reaction to cats
Many people have a violent allergic reaction to cats

It starts with a sneeze and ends with a wheeze… It may surprise you to learn that it’s not actually the hair itself that most people are allergic to. It’s down to certain proteins secreted onto the hair via the cat’s skin (Fel d1 protein), and via its saliva (Fel d4 protein).

These are among the top hypoallergenic breeds - the one that most people won't be allergic to:

1 - Sphynx

Sphynx hairless cat breed
The strikingly unusual looking Sphynx - no hair, no allergies

Being fur-free, this could be the perfect cat for the allergy sufferer. However, the Sphynx requires special care, so it’s not a purchase to rush into without foreknowledge.

A Cornish Rex Cat with a beautiful tabby coat walking through the grass
A Cornish Rex cat with a beautiful tabby coat - and one that won't provoke allergies

These have less hair than other breeds. Most cat’s fur has three layers: a top layer of ‘guard’ hair, a middle one known as ‘awn’ hair and a bottom one of ‘down’ hair. The Cornish Rex has just the downy bottom layer. This means they shed a lot less hair and are therefore less likely to spread the allergy-provoking proteins.

3 - Devon Rex

A young Devon Rex Cat with a hypoallergenic coat
A young Devon Rex - minimal sneezing hazards!

Like the Devon Rex cat, this breed possesses only the downy bottom layer of fur. It has even less hair than its Cornish cousin.

4 - Oriental

A black Oriental Shorthair Cat with a hypoallergenic coat
A black Oriental Shorthair cat: another breed with a hypoallergenic coat

This breed has a short, fine coat and sheds very little. Brushing regularly will help remove any loose hairs, reducing the amount of shed hair even further.

A Russian Blue Cat with a hypoallergenic  coat cleaning itself
A Russian Blue cat: lots of fur, but not the sort that provokes sneezing and wheezing

Being cute furry things, Russian Blues don’t look as if they should be hypoallergenic at all. However, they produce very little of the allergy-provoking Fel d1 protein.

6 - Balinese

A tabby Balinese Cat with a hypoallergenic coat
A tabby Balinese cat: beauty and nose-friendliness combined!

Like the Russian Blue, the skin of the Balinese produces less Fel d1 than most breeds, minimising the chances of allergic reaction.

7 - Siberian

A Siberian Cat with a hypoallergenic coat balancing a leaf on its head
A Siberian Cat with a hypoallergenic coat balancing a leaf on its head

Possibly the most surprising one in the list, the Siberian has a beautiful long coat – surely a nightmare for allergy sufferers? However. like the Russian Blue and Balinese, it produces very little of the offending Fel d1 protein.

8 Bengal

A Bengal Cat with a hypoallergenic coat
A Bengal Cat: beauty and hypoallergenic coat combined!

These don’t seem to produce less Fel d1 protein than other breeds, but their short coat sheds very little and is therefore less likely to cause allergic problems.

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Comments Leave a comment

Jorden, 29 January 2022

All my family has sensitivity to cats. Domestic short hair are the worse. However we have learned in my case and my mom can be around in close quarters the Persian, Russian blue, and main coon. My sister only the Persian . We plan on adding a cat to our family in a year or so and having seen there are other breeds that are non allergenic opens up many more options than before. This site is a nice find.

Jenai, 24 March 2021

beautiful cats

Yvette, 27 March 2020

Is there a cat that has both the down hair and a low fel9l oils in there coat. ..

An Omleteer, 26 January 2020

A long time ago, my father became allergic to cats and forbid me from having another one. I researched and found that Ragdoll cats are hypoallergenic as well. I got one and my father never had an issue with it. None of my friends with allergies were ever bothered by her coat. They have long silky hair and don't seem to have the dander that causes the allergies. I would highly recommend them.

Siobhan, 3 January 2020

I am previous dog owner and I am now unable to have one. I am exploring the idea of getting a hypoallergenic cat that doesn’t she, is low maintenance and is very affectionate and likes to cuddle. Have you got any advice for me as to which breeds I should be looking at?