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Siamese cat looking at camera

For animal lovers with cat allergies, it can be hard to enjoy the love and affection of a feline best friend while navigating their own healthcare. The good news? While no cat is truly hypoallergenic, there are cats out there that can fit your lifestyle!

The myth about hypoallergenic cats

While “hypoallergenic cat breed is a popular term, there aren’t any true hypoallergenic breeds. Breeds like the ones listed above, however, are easier for allergy sufferers due to their coat type. But, what exactly causes allergic reactions?

Proteins in cat saliva

It’s a common misconception that your cat’s fur causes your allergic reaction.Your cat’s saliva is actually to blame. The protein Fel d 1 is the culprit for allergy sufferers and, given how efficient cats are at grooming themselves, they spread the allergen across their coat. For cats that shed a lot, this fur, and the saliva on it, can be spread throughout the house and HVAC system used to circulate air.

Breeds that shed less, have less fur, or otherwise minimize how that allergen is spread are considered hypoallergenic.

Here are 10 hypoallergenic cat breeds that allergic pet lovers can welcome into their home without sacrificing their own comfort.

1. Sphynx

Also called the hairless cat breed, the Sphynx isn’t actually hairless, but their peach fuzz-like coat doesn’t shed. Because of this, they are an excellent choice for cat owners who suffer from cat allergies. However, they do require additional care and considerations compared to other cat breeds, so be mindful of these needs before rushing to adopt.

A Sphynx cat with big ears

Facts about the Sphynx

  • Intelligence — High
  • Vocalizations — Frequent and loud
  • Life span — 8-15 years

2. Cornish rex

Known for their extra large ears and an angular face, the Cornish rex has a curly coat, making them unique compared to other cat breeds. Like hypoallergenic dog breeds, this curly coat sheds less, making them a better choice for allergy sufferers.

A Cornish rex cat with big ears

Facts about the Cornish rex

  • Intelligence — High
  • Vocalizations — Frequent
  • Life span — 11-15 years

3. Javanese

Javanese cats have a long, silky coat that, at first glance, may seem unfriendly to cat allergy sufferers. However, the lack of an undercoat and their fine hair mean that they shed less, which can minimize exposure to allergens.

Facts about the Javanese

  • Intelligence — High
  • Vocalizations — Frequent
  • Life span — 10+ years

4. Oriental shorthair

While the Oriental shorthair may be more prone to shedding, their short, silky coat is easy to maintain. These cats tend to be excellent at self-grooming, but an occasional brushing may be beneficial at removing excess hair and preventing allergy flare ups.

Facts about the Oriental shorthair

  • Intelligence — High
  • Vocalizations — Frequent
  • Life span — Up to 15 years

5. Russian blue

Russian blues have a dense, short coat that these beautiful cats are able to maintain with little to no help from their owners. Baths aren’t necessary, but for those who have allergic reactions to cats, wiping down their velvety coat once in a while can be helpful in reducing allergens. We recommend making this part of your bonding experience with these curious, intelligent cats.

Russian blue cat outside

Facts about the Russian blue

  • Intelligence — High
  • Vocalizations — Soft, varied, and quiet
  • Life span — 15-20 years

6. Siamese

Like some other cat breeds, Siamese cats lack an undercoat and thus shed less. Siamese are the complete package when it comes to a cat — in addition to their low shedding and distinct appearance, Siamese have an amazing personality!

Siamese face close up

Facts about the Siamese

  • Intelligence — High
  • Vocalizations — Frequent and loud
  • Life span — 13-15 years

7. Siberian

While Siberian cats have an extra thick, triple-layer coat, many cat sufferers say they have less of a reaction to Siberian cats. Scientists aren’t sure why exactly, but many theorize that Siberians produce fewer of the Fel d1 protein that allergy sufferers react to. Another possibility is that these affectionate, intelligent cats merely have a mutation resulting in fewer allergens altogether .

Facts about the Siberian

  • Intelligence — High
  • Vocalizations — Average
  • Life span — 10-18 years

8. Balinese

While the Balinese cat has a medium length coat, it’s silky and lacks an undercoat. This means that a Balinese who grooms themselves will likely minimize a pet owner’s exposure to allergens. However, occasional brushing can help prevent hair from getting on furniture and living spaces, and occasionally using pet wipes on your cat can reduce exposure.

Facts about the Balinese

  • Intelligence — High
  • Vocalizations — Frequent
  • Life span — 12-20 years

9. Devon rex

Like some other cats on our list, the Devon rex has a unique coat that allows them to be a better option for cat allergies. These big-eared cats have a thin coat that typically sheds very little. While you can still expect some shedding, it’s infrequent and something that your cat can likely remove as they groom themselves.

Devon rex cat

Facts about the Devon rex

  • Intelligence — High
  • Vocalizations — Average
  • Life span — 9-15 years

10. Burmese

A gorgeous and affectionate breed, the Burmese cat is a light, seasonal shedder with a short coat. This makes them ideal for owners looking for a cat that won’t leave their furry mark all over the home, or cause an allergic reaction to sensitive allergy sufferers.

Burmese cat with yellow eyes

Facts about the Burmese

  • Intelligence — High
  • Vocalizations — Frequent
  • Life span — 10-17 years

How to have a happy, allergy-free home

There are a few ways to minimize the impact of these allergies, allowing cat owners to keep their beloved companions without the allergies (for the most part.)

  • Brush your cat. Include brushing in your cat’s grooming routine to remove loose fur before it can be shed.
  • Replace flooring. When possible, replace carpet with hardwood flooring. This prevents fur from becoming embedded in the carpet.
  • Clean often. Vacuuming, sweeping, and overall keeping your home clean will help reduce the spread of allergens. For serious allergy sufferers, consider a cleaning service to minimize exposure.
  • See an allergist. For those who have a stronger allergic reaction, consider an allergist. Allergists will determine various allergens that cause a reaction and formulate a unique vaccine that can be administered weekly or bi-weekly.
  • Change your cat’s diet. While this is still emerging, studies indicate that making some small dietary changes (like Purina’s Live Clear diet) can have a big impact on how much of the Fel d 1 your cat produces.

👉It’s important to remember that your cat has unique and complex dietary needs. Do not make any changes or additions to their diet without first talking to your veterinarian.