Would you like to a cat, but suffer from allergies? Maybe you’ve tried coping by taking antihistamines or have a special air filter in your home but are still suffering. If this is the case, we have good news for you – there are cats that cause less allergies than others. Read on to know more.
What causes allergies to cats?
There are cats that are considered low allergy or hypoallergenic as they produce fewer allergens than others. Cats do produce pet dander, but studies show this is not the main allergen. The culprit for the estimated 10% of the population who are allergic to cats may be a protein called Fel D1 that is present in cat saliva.
Factors that affect allergen production in cats
- Male cats produce more allergenic secretions than female cats
- Dark cats produce more than light cats
- Males who have not been sterilized produce more allergens than the sterilized ones
- Kittens produce less allergens than adult cats
Technically speaking, there are no 100% hypoallergenic cats or cats that are completely non-allergenic. All cats produce some amount of dander and all of them produce the Fel D1 protein. However, there are breeds that produce less of it and hence make good cats for people with allergies.
The breeds listed below are the ones that either produce less dander or less of the allergy-causing protein.
- Siberian (Less of the Fel d 1 protein)
- Balinese (Less of the Fel d 1 protein)
- Cornish Rex
- Devon Rex
- Oriental Shorthair
- Russian Blue
The best way to determine if you or your loved ones are sensitive to a cat is to meet him or her. We recommend contacting your animal shelter of choice and arranging to meet the pet before making a decision.