Which cat to choose if I am allergic?

 

Do you love cats but you are allergic to them? All is not lost, and you may still be able to adopt a feline if you know how to choose the right breed, and take proper measures to limit allergens as much as possible. We help you to understand the allergy, choose the right cat and live your feline passion with minimal restrictions!

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Where does the allergy to cats come from?

A persistent myth is that the allergy to cats comes from its hair. Actually, when allergic to cats, it is an allergy to FEL D1 protein found in the urine, saliva, and secretions of the sebaceous glands (present in the skin).

Cats spend their day cleaning themselves and depositing the molecule on their fur, which indirectly transforms the cat hairs into an allergen source. Therefore, choosing a cat for someone who is allergic is not simply a matter of choosing the cat with the shortest hairs!

If you are still not sure about being allergic to cats, here are the most common symptoms:

  • Sneezing
  • Congestion
  • Respiratory problems
  • Itching
  • Cough

The least allergenic cats

To choose a cat when one is allergic, two main parameters must be taken into account: the coat (long or short hairs) and sebum production (vehicle of the allergenic protein).

First, note that male cats produce more FEL D1 protein than females. Then, even if certain breeds are preferred, even in the same cat breed, some will be more allergenic than others.

Here are the least allergenic cat breeds: 

  • Siberian (classic hair but limited FEL D1 production)
  • Russian Blue (limited FEL D1 production)
  • Abyssinian (short hairs)
  • Cornish Rex (no hairs or undercoat)
  • Balinese (no undercoat, limited FEL D1 production)
  • Korat (no undercoat, no moulting)
  • Savannah (short hairs)
  • Sphynx (no hair, little FEL D1 secretion)
  • Bengal (quicker grooming resulting in less allergenic saliva)

Warning: If your allergy to cats is very strong, such as triggering asthma, it is often preferable to choose another type of pet.