Hypoallergenic cats are the perfect fit with those with allergies looking for a furry friend. There is no cure for cat allergies, 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 or dander – the usual cause of the problem. Our guide dives into 8 types of hypoallergenic cats that could be your next pet.
Fight cat allergies with these hypoallergenic breeds
What Causes People to be Allergic to Cats?
Whilst cats are a popular pet, many of us are allergic to them. It starts with a sneeze and ends with a wheeze. It may surprise you to learn that it’s not actually the cat 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).
During grooming, cats can spread these proteins onto their fur, which when we come into contact with it can cause allergic reactions.
Are There 100% Hypoallergenic Cats?
All cats secrete the Fel d1 and Fel d4 protein, however across cat breeds the levels of secretion can differ. In fact the amount can even change between male and female cats, with male cats being shown to produce 3 - 5 times less once neutered. Those considered to be hypoallergenic cats are simply those that produce less of these proteins, and so are less likely to cause allergies.
8 Most Hypoallergenic Cats for People with Allergies
For those on the search for a hypoallergenic cat to add to their family, the following breeds are known for secreting less allergens so could be your ideal match! These are among the top hypoallergenic cat breeds - the ones that most people won't be allergic to:
1 - Sphynx
The strikingly unusual looking Sphynx - no hair, no allergies
Being fur-free, Sphynxes are often thought of as the most hypoallergenic cat breed. This means they could be the perfect pet for the allergy sufferer. They do however still produce dander and so require frequent bathing to keep them clean of buildup on their skin. Requiring special care, a Sphynx is not a hypoallergenic cat purchase to rush into without foreknowledge.
2 - Cornish Rex
A Cornish Rex cat with a beautiful tabby coat - and one that won't provoke allergies
Cornish Rexes 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 less likely to spread the allergy provoking proteins. For those who adore tabby cats, this is the ideal hypoallergenic cat breed for you.
3 - Devon Rex
A young Devon Rex - minimal sneezing hazards!
Devon Rex cats only possess the downy bottom layer of fur, much like the Cornish Rex. However, it has even less hair than its Cornish cousin. This Devon hypoallergenic cat is known for the curl within its fur. Intelligent and playful, you can even teach this breed how to do tricks. Using cat toys you could train them how to play fetch as a way to bond with your new pet.
4 - Oriental
A black Oriental Shorthair cat: another breed with a hypoallergenic coat
Oriental cats have a short, fine coat that sheds very little. Brushing regularly will help remove any loose hairs, reducing the amount of hair shed even further in this hypoallergenic cat. These friendly cats vary widely in coat color, so whether you prefer black cats, grey, or any other color you'll find your dream pet.
5 - Russian Blue
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 cats at all. However, they produce very little of the allergy-provoking Fel d1 protein making them a brilliant choice. With their round fluffy faces and affectionate nature, it's no wonder this breed is so popular!
6 - Balinese
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, minimizing the chances of allergic reaction. With medium length fur, this hypoallergenic cat is soft to the touch. With a sociable nature you'll be able to enjoy playing games with this breed at home.
7 - Siberian
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? Yet, like the Russian Blue and Balinese, it produces very little of the offending Fel d1 protein. A great hypoallergenic cat for first time owners and families, you'll love your new furry family pet.
A Bengal Cat: beauty and hypoallergenic coat combined!
Bengals don’t seem to produce less Fel d1 protein than other breeds, but their short coat sheds very little. Making it therefore less likely to cause allergic problems. They are a sleek cat breed that is naturally inquisitive and requires outdoor space. If you'd like to give your pet the ability to roam without escaping, our Catio outdoor enclosure is the ideal addition to your garden.
Caring for Your Hypoallergenic Cat with Omlet
Once you’ve chosen your new hypoallergenic cat you’ll need to get some essentials before picking them up and bringing them home. Ensuring your cat is comfortable in their new home is vital. Giving them a comfy cat bed with soft cat blankets will ensure they have their own space to get cozy. If you’re bringing your new pet home in the summertime, it’s wise to consider a cat cooling mat to help them through the hot weather. Our range of cat products has everything you need to make your feline acclimatize to their new house.