(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you, and I appreciate any support. You can read more about affiliate links here)
Are There Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds?
If you adore cats but are allergic to them, there are some Hypoallergenic cat breeds you could consider. This page has a list of cat breeds that won’t have you sneezing constantly, and explains why this is so.
There are many millions of allergy sufferers around our world these days, in fact, The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases reports that between 6 and 10 million Americans are allergic to cats or other pets.
And many of these people are lovers of cats. A great number of that segment of the human population has lived their entire lives without having the benefit and companionship of owning a pet cat.
Hypoallergenic Cats – Hairless Cats
Firstly you should know that no cat breed is ever a completely, 100% non-allergenic cat. Although, there are cat breeds that are low allergen (hypoallergenic) who typically produce fewer allergens than other normal cat breeds.
However, just remember that the operative word in the above sentence is fewer, not free.
Hypoallergenic does not mean non-allergenic.
Hypoallergenic cat breeds are those cats that are “not as likely” to cause an allergic reaction in people with cat allergies.
There is a protein in cat saliva called Fel D1, which is what causes allergic reactions to cats. When a cat licks their fur, the saliva dries off and the allergens in the saliva become airborne. These airborne particles can be inhaled and cause an allergic reaction.
There are some breeds of cat that produce less Fel D1 protein than other do, thus making them “hypoallergenic cats“. Although there is no scientific proof, the Siberian and Russian Blue cat breeds are said to be naturally hypoallergenic cats.
Other cat breeds like the Sphynx, LaPerm, Cornish Rex, and Devon Rex don’t have some of the normal layers of cat fur possessed by more common breeds.These breeds can sometimes be tolerated by people with only mild allergies to cats.
However, since the most common allergy is to the cat’s saliva – rather than to the fur – for those people, even a hairless cat breed may not be the answer.
So, now that you understand that ALL cats will produce allergens, there are in fact several cat breeds that are known to produce much less in the way of allergens than any other cat breeds. There is a great choice of type for cat lovers, some are of oriental type, some have hair and some are hairless cats.
List Of Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds
Balinese Cat Breed
Known widely as a long-haired Siamese cat, the Balinese cat breed is one of the few breeds that produces fewer Fel D1 protein, therefore causing fewer reactions in those people who are allergic to cats. It has a semi-long to long coat.
Javanese Cat Breed
The Javanese cat has a medium-long length, single coat with no undercoat, which does not tend to get matted. Although long and sily haired, with no undercoat, the Javanese has less hair which means less allergens.
The Javanese cat is a svelte cat, that comes in a range of colorpoints. It is a playful, human-loving cat.
Strangely enough, The Javanese cat cat breed doesn’t hail from Java, or even from Indonesia. The breed was developed in North America and its name is derived from the tradition of naming oriental-type cats after south-east Asian places. Genetically they are a long-haired Oriental Cat. The breed name was bestowed by Helen Smith of MerryMews Cattery in the 1950s. It isn’t known if she ever traveled to Indonesia!
Devon Rex Cat Breed
Of the two Rex Cat breeds, the Devon cat has shorter fur and much less fur, and therefore sheds very little. They have short wavy coats, stream-lined bodies and rather large ears. They originated in England in the 1960s.
The Devon Rex cat breed is extremely intelligent. These clever kitties are known to recognize their owner’s name as well as their own!
Cornish Rex Cat Breed
The Cornish Rex needs just a little more maintenance than the Devon Rex does, but also shed very little. They do get an oil build-up on their skin, which requires frequent bathing to remove it, and to keep their skin in good condition.
Bengal Cat Breed
A seriously beautiful cat, the Bengal breed is low allergen for those allergic to cats. As well as being desired for their stunning appearance, their shedding is minimal. Many say the Bengal is a hypoallergenic breed, but this is purely anecdotal evidence. While some people may not react, others will still get an allergic reaction to them.
Burmese Cat Breed
A delightful breed of cat, and great for families – the Burmese is semi-hypoallergenic cat. They have a very short, fine and glossy coat, with a satin-like finish to it. Burmese cats come in a wide range of solid colors, which gradually shades to lighter underparts. Check out this cheeky and playful Burmese kitten!
Ocicat Cat Breed
The Ocicat is a beautiful breed of cat. It looks much like a wild cat but is entirely domestic with no wild DNA in its gene pool. It has a temperament the same as any of a domestic cat breed. The Ocicat breed originated from Siamese and Abyssinian cats, then American Shorthairs were added into the gene pool to give the gorgeous silver coloration, bone structure and distinctive markings.
Sphynx Cat Breed
The Sphynx cat is a totally hairless cat breeds, and because of this, the Sphynx is usually associated with being a hypoallergenic cat. Like the Cornish Rex, the Sphinx needs a regular bathing routine to remove buildup of oil on the skin.
Oriental Short Hair Cat Breed
Similar in type to the Siamese Cat breed, the Oriental Short Hair is known as being one of the hypoallergenic cat breeds. The breed is closely related to the Siamese. This is apparent in that they have the modern Siamese head and body type, but come in a greater variety of coat colors and patterns.
They have almond-shaped eyes, a triangular shaped head, large ears, and a slender, muscular body. Their personalities are also very similar to the Siamese. Orientals are very intelligent cats, playful and social. They can tend to a quite vocal, too.
Siberian Cat Breed
Siberian cats have a longish coat, but are still regarded as being hypoallergenic cats, due to enzyme levels in their saliva being much lower than in other breeds of cat.
There are reports that around 75% percent of people with cat allergy have absolutely no reaction this breed, the Siberian cat.