Hypoallergenic cat breeds may be the answer to people who are allergic to cats.
But is there really a hypoallergenic cat breed? Fortunately, the answer is yes. But that doesn’t mean that you will find a cat that doesn’t cause any type of allergies. Let me explain.
Hypoallergenic means less likely to cause an allergic reaction (hypo comes from Greek and it means less). So there is a slight chance that the cat owner will still have some minor reaction to her cat.
So there is no non allergenic cat? Unfortunately, there is no cat breed that will not cause any allergies in anyone. So to make it clearer: non-allergenic means that it doesn’t cause any allergies, hypoallergenic means that the allergic reactions are reduced.
Some people think that the cat’s hair is what causes their allergies when, in fact, it is a particular protein that causes them. This protein, known as FEL D1, is found on the cat’s saliva and in the skin glands that secrete oil.
Of course, when the cat grooms herself, she will transfer the allergen to her hair and it can then become airborne.
Other ways the allergen can spread is through you cat licking you, through the hair your cat sheds, and through dander.
There is a misconception that a non shedding cat or a hairless cat will cause no allergies in people. Unfortunately, even these cats can cause allergies. Remember that the allergens reside in the cat’s saliva (primarily) and not in the fur. But don’t despair. Even though you will not find non allergenic cats, there are a few hypoallergenic cat breeds.
Despite its long hair, the Siberian cat breed is one of the least allergenic cat breeds. The reason for this is that, in comparison to other cat breeds, the Siberian has less of the FEL D1 protein in their bodies.
Siberians are very social and people-oriented, a trait that makes them wonderful family pets.
Like the Siberian, this gorgeous cat produces less of the protein FEL D1. This is good news for people who would love to have a cat whose ability to cause allergic reactions is somewhat reduced.
The Russian Blue is highly intelligent and playful, and gets along well with other pets and even children. These blue-gray kitties are also known for their quiet disposition.
Even though the Sphynx looks as if it’s totally hairless, it does have an undercoat. But because this breed sheds very little and it produces very little dander, the spread of allergens is diminished.
A beautiful, elongated cat, the Cornish Rex has a very fine, very short, and very curly coat. It sheds very little, too.
This kitty has a very short, curly coat that also sheds very little. This means that less allergy-causing particles will be released into the air. This breed is not related to the Cornish Rex.
The jury is still out on this one. The company Lifestyle Pets has claimed that they have developed the first truly hypoallergenic cat. However, many in the scientific community doubt the company’s claims.