Bengal cat looking at camera

Hypoallergenic cats

  • People are allergic to cats because of a protein found in their urine, skin and saliva
  • The allergens make their way around your home when your cat sheds its fur
  • Though hypoallergenic cats don't exist, certain breeds produce less of the allergenic protein than others

A lot of people suffer with pet allergies but still love moggies, so they turn to hypoallergenic cats in the hope that this will enable them to share their life with a cat more comfortably.

These allergies are caused by a protein that is in the animal’s saliva, skin and urine. This protein is then spread to the cat’s fur and skin when it cleans itself. These allergens can stay in the air or on furniture for months.


What are hypoallergenic cats?

Despite popular belief, hypoallergenic cats don’t exist.

The reason some cats are recommended over others for allergy sufferers is due to how much protein they produce. It can also be because they have less saliva or are hairless/don’t shed as much fur, which in turn means that there is less saliva soaked fur to go around your house.

Which cats are hypoallergenic?

While there are no hypoallergenic cats, there are some breeds that produce less dander (shedding of fur and skin) and protein than others.

Burmese cat ready to pounce on toy

Some of these breeds are listed below.

 

  • Siberian 
  • Russian Blue
  • Bengal
  • Burmese
  • Sphynx
NOTE: Cats live for up to 20 years and require a lot of mental stimulation, so the decision to welcome one into your home needs thorough research to make sure it’s right for you and your family.

 


How to deal with cat allergies

Some people choose to use prescription medication to help with their allergies. However, if you’d like to avoid this there are some steps you can take to help reduce your allergic reaction to cats.

  • Step one: Grooming your pet on a daily basis can help reduce the amount of fur that they shed around the house. Less fur means less dander around your house! Plus, your cat will enjoy the social bonding time with you.
  • Step two: Carpets and floorboards have a habit of collecting lots of fur, so a daily clean/hoover can make a huge difference
  • Step three: Air purifiers have been known to help reduce allergens floating in the air
  • Step four: As people spend a lot of time in the bedroom and come into contact with bed linens which can harbour dander, keeping cats out of the bedroom should greatly reduce your reaction

The good news is that research suggests that some people build up a natural tolerance for their cat over time.  However, if you are unfortunate and find yourself in a position where you have to consider rehoming your pet because of your allergies, please contact Blue Cross or another animal charity who will find your cat a new, loving home.

— Page last updated 10/09/2019

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