Are you a cat lover who gets sniffly whenever a feline crosses your path? Normally, I’d have the same sympathy for you as I do for those who are lactose intolerant and can’t have ice cream (No ice cream?! Is there no god?!)…but there’s no need for a pity party here.
Not when there’s a whole world of hypoallergenic cat breeds you can snuggle up next to you without a sneeze.
But, wait. Hypoallergenic cats? That sounds a little too good to be true!
Well, that’s because it kind of is…
Are There Hypoallergenic Cats?
The bad news is that no cat breed is truly, completely 100% hypoallergenic. So when we refer to “allergy free cats” or “hypoallergenic cats,” what we’re really referring to are certain cat breeds that produce less allergens than others.
You see, the things that causes you to sneeze and your eyes to water when you try to pet an adorable cat are the dander found on their coats as well as an allergen found in cat saliva called Fel D1. Cats lick their coats a lot and when they do, the allergen-containing spit dries and becomes airborne, eventually making its way into your sinuses.
The thing about *mostly* hypoallergenic cat breeds is that they produce less of this allergen that other cats, have less dander, and/or shed less, making them the best cats for people with allergies.
Of course, if you have severe allergies, even the least allergenic cats may be too much for your sinuses to handle, in which case, you have the whole of the Internet to help satiate your cat love.
But if your sinuses can bear it, here’s a list of hypoallergenic cats you’ll want to get to know. Keep in mind that each cat breed differs in the reason and extent of their hypoallergenicness so read through for the best fit for you!
List of Hypoallergenic Cats
Hypoallergenic: Yes, thanks to my lack of all that pesky stuff y’all call hair
Yes, I know. I’m hairless. Bald. Naked. Call it what you want. Some find it funny, of course, but others…well, others know how to appreciate true beauty.
And my type of beauty comes with benefits, especially for the allergy-prone. How? Well, I have no fur for those icky allergens to stick to whenever I groom myself. Unlike all those fur-laden fuzzballs…
Oh, but in case you think my looks and lack of allergens is all I have going for me, think again. I’m supremely lovable and mingle easily with everyone – both family and strangers – ‘though I’m unconditionally devoted to those nearest and dearest to me. Being curious and very affectionate, I’ll pour my energy and love into making myself a big part of your life. Read more about the Sphynx!
Hypoallergenic: Somewhat, thanks to our unique, low-maintenance coats and how we maintain them
I’m a gorgeous, wild looking cat so to add hypoallergenic to my already burgeoning list of positive qualities almost feels like hubris, but hey, it’s the truth.
Well, sort of. As you can tell, I’m not hairless. And I don’t really produce any less of that Fel D1 allergen than other breeds. Yet, I’m still considered hypoallergenic thanks to my coat which is beautiful but shed far less and requires much less maintenance than those of other breeds.
That means I don’t groom myself as often or as long. The result? Less allergen-rich saliva in my coat.
In case I’m sounding a little too good to be true, I should add in a disclaimer: my personality is nowhere near as low-maintenance as my coat. I’m actually a bit of a diva and can be very demanding when it comes to affection and attention from my human(s). All that said, I’m worth it. Read more about the Bengal!
Hypoallergenic: Yes, thanks to my breed producing less allergens. We’re considerate like that.
Yes, I know, I do have a beautifully long, silky coat. But rest assured – I’m still one of the least allergenic cats to grace this earth. How does this work? I produce a lot less of that Fel D1 protein your sinuses dislike so much.
Even better news? I’m one of the most loving, affectionate cat breeds around. Clever, too. And if you’re not into the strong and silent type – I’m purrfect for you since I tend to talk a lot. It’s not all trills and loud meows with me either, my friends tell me I’m a wonderfully eloquent cat. Read more about the Balinese cat!
Hypoallergenic: Somewhat, thanks to my uniquely beautiful coat
The first thing you’ll notice about me is that I’m sporting a wonderfully kinky, curly coat. And not only is it beautiful to look at – it’s the reason I get listed as a hypoallergenic cat breed.
You see, this lovely coat of mine sheds a lot less than most cats and the curls actually help keep my dander from spreading around.
The best news of all? I’m as lovingly affectionate as I am curly, which is a lot! Blessed with a high EQ, I’m in tune my human’s emotions and won’t hesitate to shower you with some TLC when you could use some snuggles. Read more about the LaPerm.
Hypoallergenic: Somewhat, read on for details!
I come from good stock. Trace my lineage and you’ll find a roll call of some of the best cat breeds out there, like the famously friendly and hypoallergenic Sphynx, the adorable Munchkin and the
Sphynx Cat (also known as the Canadian Hairless) and the Munchkin as foundation breeds. He also integrated the Devon Rex and the Burmese in the program over time.
A mini cat with super short legs and a mostly hairless body, I am truly one of a kind. Add to that my easy mingling with both humans and other pets, unabashed affection, and extremely high intelligence and I am quite the feline catch. Read more the Minskin.
Hypoallergenic: Yes, there just happens to be a lot less Fel D1 allergens in my wonderfully fluffy fur.
Love fluffy cat breeds but your allergies getting in the way? I’m hypoallergenic so we can cuddle without worrying ’bout allergies. That’s ’cause despite being one of the furriest, fluffiest cat breeds, I produce a lot less of that Fel D1 allergen than other cats.
Physically, I’m built to survive in the rough, cold forests of Siberia, but emotionally, I thrive in the warm company of my humans. I’m very sociable and affectionate and will frequently engage my humans in games. That is, when I’m not climbing to the heights of the house, playing with the faucet, or stealing your shiny objects. Read more about the Siberian.
Hypoallergenic: Somewhat, thanks to my awesomely unique coat
I’m one hell of a cat. First of all, I’m adorable – and uniquely so, mind you. Secondly, I won’t make you sneeze and cry just by snuggling with me. And trust me when I say I loves to snuggle.
As you can tell by gazing in adoration at me, I don’t have much fur. What I do have is short, trim and sparse. What does that mean for you? Less allergen-containing saliva on my coat and a lot less shedding.
That means more fun and less allergies for you, especially when you take into account my sparkling personality. I’m one of the most sociable cat breeds so be ready to play! Read more about the Devon Rex!
Tips on Choosing a Hypoallergenic Cat
Ready to go and get a purring fluffball of your own? To ensure your sinuses stay as happy through the experience as the rest of you, here are a few things to consider when choosing a cat…
- Male cats typically produce more allergenic secretions than female cats so if you’re stuck in the usual male cat vs female cat debate, you might want to pick the lady.
- If you do end up choosing a male cat, spaying is a good idea. It’s a good idea in general, of course, but it’s especially great for people with allergies since neutered male cats produce less allergenic secretions than their intact counterparts.
- We love black cats and there’s a good chance you do too, but when it comes to cats for allergy sufferers – lighter is better. No one knows why but dark cats tend to produce more allergens than lighter-colored ones.
- If you’re planning on getting a kitten of a particular hypoallergenic cat breed and you notice absolutely no allergic reactions around her – it doesn’t mean you won’t have any later. Spend some time with a adult of the breed before you decide since kittens produce fewer allergens than adult cats.
- Last but not least – choosing the least allergenic cat is a big deal, yes, but don’t make the decision based on that alone. Your kitty will be your roommate, your companion, your friend, your keeper, your gravity-tester and so on…make sure you “click” on personality, too!