Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds: 12 Best Breeds for People with Allergies

Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds

For people who love cats but are allergic to them, hypoallergenic cat breeds can provide the perfect solution. Certain cat breeds produce lower levels of Fel d 1, the allergenic protein found in cat saliva, skin, and urine that causes allergic reactions in sensitive people.

While no cat is 100% hypoallergenic, some breeds are considered better suited for allergy sufferers. In this blog article, we are going to explore the best hypoallergenic cat breeds that tend to trigger fewer allergic reactions.

What Makes a Cat Hypoallergenic?

All cats produce Fel d 1, but some breeds produce less of this allergen than others. Here’s why certain cat breeds are hypoallergenic:

  • Less fur and dander: Low-shedding cats with less fur release less dander into the environment. With less allergenic dander floating around, allergies are less likely to be triggered.
  • Lower Fel d 1 production: Some cats produce lower amounts of Fel d 1 naturally. Siberian cats, for example, make about 50% less of this allergy-causing protein.
  • Frequent bathing: Bathing cats frequently can wash away allergens on their skin and fur. However, this should only be done with veterinarian approval.
  • Grooming: Frequent brushing and combing removes loose hair and dander. Combined with bathing, this can significantly reduce the amount of allergens on a cat’s body.

While no breed is allergy-free, the following cat breeds are considered hypoallergenic and less likely to cause allergic reactions.

1. Siberian

Siberian cat

Originally from Russia, Siberians are known for their long, thick triple coats that come in a variety of colors and patterns.

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They produce lower amounts of Fel d 1 naturally, about 50% less than other breeds. Their topcoat is also resilient against shedding. For those with mild allergies, the Siberian can make an excellent companion.

2. Balinese

Balinese cat

This breed originated as a long-haired mutation of the Siamese cat. With their silky fur and striking color points, Balinese cats are beautiful and hypoallergenic.

They shed very little and produce lower levels of Fel d 1 protein. Their long fur also traps dander near the roots rather than releasing it into the air. Balinese cats require daily brushing to remove loose hairs and keep the coat free of tangles.

3. Cornish Rex

Cornish Rex cat

The Cornish Rex sports an unusual coat featuring short, thick, curly fur. Their sparse coat means less shedding and dander release.

Cornish Rex cats produce a normal amount of allergens, but since it’s not released into the environment, it’s less likely to cause reactions. Their coat needs to be brushed weekly and requires additional bathing to reduce saliva allergens on the skin.

4. Devon Rex

Devon Rex cat

Like the Cornish Rex, the Devon Rex has a short, curly coat that sheds minimally. Its coat is even shorter and tighter curled than the Cornish Rex.

Devon Rexes produce normal allergen levels but their short coats trap it near the skin. Their curly coats only require weekly brushing and minimal grooming maintenance.

5. Sphynx

Sphynx cat

This nearly hairless breed is a top choice when it comes to hypoallergenic cats. Sphynx cats have a sparse, downy coat that requires no brushing or grooming. With no fur to shed, they release little to no pet dander into the air.

However, they do produce allergens in their saliva, so those with severe cat allergies may still react. Their skin must be frequently washed to remove skin oils and allergen buildup.

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6. Oriental Shorthair

Oriental Shorthair cat

The Oriental Shorthair has a short, fine coat that lies close to the body and sheds very little. Weekly brushing is required to remove any loose hairs.

While they do produce normal Fel d 1 allergen levels, not much dander is released into the surrounding environment. Their close coat also minimizes the accumulation of saliva allergens.

7. Javanese

Javanese cat

Closely related to the Balinese breed, the Javanese cat has a medium-long, silky coat that requires daily grooming to prevent tangles and mats.

They produce low amounts of Fel d 1 allergen and their long fur traps dander and allergens near the roots. Javanese coats come in color points as well as solid color patterns.

8. LaPerm

LaPerm cat

The LaPerm sports a unique curly coat ranging from loose curls to kinky ringlets. Their soft, springy coats shed minimally and require moderate grooming to prevent tangles.

While LaPerms produce normal allergen levels, their tight curls trap dander and allergens near the skin, limiting environmental exposure. LaPerms come in a variety of coat colors and patterns.

9. Burmese

Burmese cat

Originally from Burma, the Burmese cat has a short, silky coat that lies close to the body. Their satiny coats shed minimally, requiring only weekly brushing to remove loose hair.

Although they produce average allergen levels, less dander is released into the home environment. Regular bathing is still encouraged to wash away saliva allergens on the skin.

10. Colorpoint Shorthair

Colorpoint Shorthair cat

Closely related to the Siamese, the Colorpoint Shorthair has the same pointed coat colors but in over 80 combinations.

Shorter than the average cat coat, the Colorpoint’s fur lies close to the body and requires minimal grooming. Less dander is shed into the surroundings. While they do produce normal allergen amounts, bathing helps reduce levels.

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11. OCicat

OCicat on orange background

OCicats have a short, sleek coat that produces little shedding. Their coats come in shades like silver, blue, chocolate and cinnamon.

OCicats have an athletic body type requiring moderate exercise and play. For allergy sufferers, OCicats are a nice choice since they shed less and release less environmental dander.

12. Russian Blue

Russian Blue cat

This breed is recognized by its plush, silvery-blue short coat. They shed minimally, only requiring weekly brushing to remove loose hair. Russian Blues produce average levels of Fel d 1 but not much is released into the home since little shedding occurs.

Their close coat also prevents the buildup of saliva allergens. Overall, the Russian Blue is well-suited for mild cat allergy sufferers.

Tips for Managing Allergies

While hypoallergenic cat breeds can help limit allergic reactions, they do still produce allergens. Here are some tips for managing allergies with hypoallergenic cats:

  • Brush cats daily to remove loose hair and dander.
  • Bathe cats weekly to wash away saliva allergens from their coats. Always use mild cat shampoos.
  • Vacuum twice weekly using a HEPA filter to remove allergens from surroundings.
  • Use an air purifier with a HEPA filter to remove allergens circulating in the air.
  • Limit cats to non-carpeted areas since dander settles into carpets. Hardwood or tile floors are ideal.
  • Wash hands immediately after handling cats to avoid spreading allergens.
  • Take medications such as antihistamines to control allergy symptoms as needed.
  • Consider allergen immunotherapy to increase tolerance over time.

Are Hypoallergenic Cats Right for You?

For those wanting to own a cat despite allergies, hypoallergenic breeds can make that possible. Work closely with your doctor to determine which breeds may be better suited for your allergy sensitivity.

When combined with proper grooming and home hygiene, hypoallergenic cats can potentially allow even those with mild to moderate cat allergies the joy of feline companionship. Learn here more about cat breeds and types.