Want to adopt a cat, but suffer from allergies? Maybe you’ve tried coping by taking antihistamines, and have a HEPA air filter in your home. You may have even heard the term "hypoallergenic pet" but not know it applies to cats.
Some feline breeds exist that are considered "hypoallergenic" or low allergy cats. This is because they produce fewer allergens than others. Cats do produce pet dander, a common allergen, but the culprit for the estimated 10 percent of the population who are allergic to cats may be a protein, Fel d 1, that is present in cat saliva.
Technically, there are no 100 percent hypoallergenic domestic cats or cats that are completely non-allergenic. All cats produce some amount of dander, so you won't find a dander or allergen-free cat. However, there are breeds that produce less of it and therefore make good cats for people with allergies. The following list of "hypoallergenic" cats is a guideline which petMD recommends for people who want to adopt a feline, yet feel options are limited due to allergies:
Popular Hypoallergenic Cats
- Siberian (Less of the Fel d 1 protein)
- Balinese (Less of the Fel d 1 protein)
- Colorpoint Shorthair
- Cornish Rex
- Devon Rex
- Oriental Shorthair
- Russian Blue
For more information on making cat allergies more manageable, learn How to Deal with Cat Allergies with a few simple tips.
Image: cotaroba / via Flickr