What is the Best Cat for Someone with Allergies?
If you’re a cat lover with allergies, don’t fret! While there is no breed of cat that is guaranteed to be hypo-allergenic, you may still have some options for adopting an adorable furry friend with less worry about sneezing and sniffles.
What Causes These Allergies?
Dander: If you’ve ever seen particles floating around in a ray of light, you’re likely seeing dander. Dander is a combination of skin cells, hair, and oil. Those with allergies are likely experiencing discomfort as a result of these nearly invisible particles in the air.
Hair: While pet hair itself doesn’t normally cause allergies, it can trap dander that causes allergic reactions. The more an animal sheds, the more dander is released into the air, which means there is a larger chance of you suffering from allergy symptoms. Especially fluffy cats with undercoats will likely shed quite a bit more. For example, every spring into summer they will naturally shed their undercoat to help keep cool during these warmer months.
Which Cat Breeds are Right for You?
Typically, cats with shorter coats or no undercoat are the best breed choices for those with allergies. Some of those cats include the Balinese, Cornish Rex, Devon Rex, Javanese, Oriental, and the Russian Blue. While we support #adoptdontshop as the only option for adding a furry friend to your family, we suggest you register with local shelters for these specific breeds.
Here is some more information about these breeds:
- Balinese: Even though the Balinese has a long haired coat, they are low shedders and just need weekly grooming. The risk of dander particles floating around the air are slimmer with this breed.
- Cornish Rex: The Cornish Rex has a short and wavy coat that doesn’t shed as much, also releasing less dander into the air.
- Devon Rex: Similar to the Cornish Rex, the Devon Rex has a short, wavy coat that minimizes the spread of dander or fur.
- Javanese: The Javanese is a mixed breed between a Balinese and Colorpoint Shorthair. They don’t have an undercoat which means they don’t shed much and only need a weekly brushing. They don’t spread many allergens and are a good choice for those with mild cat allergies.
- Oriental: The Oriental is a cross of several different breeds of cats. They are moderate shedders and require a bit more than just a weekly groom. Rubbing them with a damp cloth can also reduce the chance of dander or fur floating around your home.
- Russian Blue: The Russian Blue has a short but plush coat. They’re low shedders and like some of our other examples, require a weekly brushing (which they enjoy!).
What to Remember
So, what is the best cat for someone with allergies? You must keep in mind that there is really no such thing as a completely “hypoallergenic” cat. Those who shed less have a lesser chance of aggravating your allergies.
If you aren’t sure whether the cat will bother your allergies, consider fostering first. Up to 11% of cats are returned to shelters because their owner is allergic so it’s best to do a little homework before you have to surrender a pet to a shelter. Remember to always have a responsible alternative for the cat if you aren’t sure having them in your home will work for you!