Cats

Your guide to hypoallergenic cats

Allie Simpson

Does tiny Tigger trigger a sneeze every time you give him a cuddle? Do your glasses get foggy when majestic Misty curls into your lap?

Being allergic to cats may seem like a cat-astrophe and can leave you feeling perplexed. Fortunately, we’re here to bring you some good news – there are cats that might not set off your allergies!

We’ve made a handy guide to help fulfil your kitty dreams, as well as offer suggestions to reduce any annoying symptoms.

 

Sussing out your allergies

Allergies can be draining, taking a toll on you and taking away your enjoyment of cats. They might even make you think you can’t be a cat pawrent. Common symptoms of cat allergies include: coughing and wheezing, hives or a rash on the chest and face, red and itchy eyes, sneezing, or a runny and itchy nose.

If you’re unsure if you’re allergic, you’ll want to check this for certain before thinking about adopting. Returning a pet after discovering problems can be logistically difficult (as well as traumatic) for you and the cat.

Try spending some time with a few different felines. You could play with a friend or family’s cat, spend some time at an animal shelter, or arrange to meet your potential pet before you make the commitment. If you’ve decided the kitty life is for you but you’re worried about your allergies, you could consider a hypoallergenic cat.

 

A picture of a hypoallergenic long-haired cat

What are hypoallergenic cats?

Hypoallergenic cats are also often referred to as anti-allergy cats or low allergy cats. Put simply, they are specific breeds that produce fewer allergens than their fellow felines.

There are a couple of allergens present in cats that can cause allergies, such as pet dander and the protein Fel d1 in cat saliva. All cats do have these allergens, so no feline is 100% hypoallergenic, which means that adopting a hypoallergenic cat may not be a total cure for your sneezing or itching.

You might be asking yourself, why bother with hypoallergenic cats? The good news is these breeds are allergy-friendly as they produce less of these triggers. It’s important to keep in mind that each person’s allergies and sensitivity levels may differ, so one person’s reaction to a hypoallergenic cat may vary greatly to someone else.

If you’re smitten for a particular breed of kitten, you can always ask a doctor to test your sensitivity to cats before you make your decision.

 

A picture of a hypoallergenic Sphynx cat

Hypoallergenic cat breeds

While we would never tell you to avoid cats, there are some breeds that can be more suitable for those with allergies. And luckily, you aren’t short of options! From long haired to short haired to hairless, there’s a hypoallergenic feline option for everyone.

> Long-haired hypoallergenic cats

Some examples of long haired hypoallergenic cats include:

  • LaPerm
  • Siberian
  • Balinese
  • Javanese

> Short-haired hypoallergenic cats

When it comes to short haired hypoallergenic cats, you can choose from:

  • Siamese
  • American Wirehair
  • Korat
  • Ocicat
  • Colourpoint Shorthair
  • Burmese
  • Russian Blue
  • Devon Rex
  • Cornish Rex
  • Oriental shorthair

> Hairless hypoallergenic cats

If you’re looking for a hypoallergenic cat that’s a little more unusual, take a look at hairless breeds such as the Sphynx.

 

A picture of a wet hypoallergenic cat

Cat grooming to help allergies

While a hypoallergenic cat breed may reduce your sneezing and itching, you’ll also want to think about other ways you can minimise allergens before settling on your cat of choice. This includes giving your cat frequent baths and brushing, though this is probably best done by a groomer or family member if you’re allergic. Regularly bathing your cat can help remove existing allergens and reduce future production – just remember to use a shampoo that won’t dry out their skin and hair.

You can try washing your cat’s toys and bedding as this can also reduce the number of allergens floating around your home. If you want to be extra cautious, you can also clean your cat’s favourite spots in your home more frequently to reduce any dander build up in those areas.

You’re purr-obably on your way to finding your dream cat as we speak, so it’s important that we let you know the basics on what you need to know before getting a kitten!

 

Your new family member deserves to be looked after, which is why we offer prejudice-free cat insurance to make you purr with happiness!

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