We know the benefits of keeping pets. And most of us want to have them ( Especially cats ) in our homes. But for people with pet allergy, keeping cats isn’t always without health issues.
Most people with pet allergy usually find themselves searching on the internet for the best cat breeds for allergy sufferers.
In this article, we would try and look at the best cat breeds for allergy sufferers and how you can drastically reduce your exposure to allergens from cats.
Cat allergy is on the increase worldwide! And it is important you read on to see how best you can avoid pets allergy.
The substance that trigger allergy reactions is called an allergen. And it’s usually found in the skin and saliva of cats.
These allergens are protein secretions known as Del d1 protein and Del d4. When the saliva of the cat gets in touch with its skin through licking itself, the allergens stick with the hair and skin of the cat and later get dried and become airborne.
You can inhale these airborne allergic particles without knowing.
Once it gets into your nose or cavity of your organs or tissues (sinuses), it triggers an allergic reaction.
A reaction characterized by increased production of chemicals that cause enlargement of blood vessels, contraction of smooth muscles and the production of acid in the body.
This results in red itchy eyes, sneezing, stuffy nose, coughing and wheezing.
It is a widely accepted fact that no cat can be 100% Allergy free. Every cat has some amount of allergens on them. But they are some cats that produce lesser quantities of allergens.
Below are some recommended breeds of cats for cat lovers with cat allergies:
This breed of cat is also known as the “longhaired Siamese”. And because of the term “long-haired”, many people barely think it can be placed under the hypoallergenic cat breeds family.
This is due to a misconception that the hair of a pet is the actual ALLERGEN of the pet. In fact, the hair of pets is only a carrier of the allergens on the pet.
The actual allergens on the cat are special types of protein present in the saliva and skin oil of the pet. This allergic protein is known as the Fel D1 protein.
The Balinese produce these allergic proteins in low quantities. And this makes them one of the best cats for people suffering from pet allergies.
2. Cornish Rex:
Most cats have three(3) layers of fur: the top layer which is referred to as the guard, the middle layer also known as the awn hair and the bottom layer called down hair.
The Cornish Rex has only the bottom layer, so there is less shedding of fur. And this means that the Cornix Red breed spreads less allergens around your home.
This makes it one of the best types of cats you can own if you suffer from pet allergies.
Also, you can regularly bath this cat to control the build-up of the allergy-triggering substances on the skin. And Since it has only one layer of fur, doing this will drastically reduce its allergen burden.
3. Devon Rex:
This is the other breed of the Rex family. Like its brother the Cornix Rex, it has a soft down hair with little to no top layer. But unlike The Cornix Rex, it has shorter and less fur.
Another interesting fact of this breed is that it shed very little of its already less fur. Making it relatively safer for allergy sufferers than the Cornix Rex.
Just like the Cornish Rex, to drastically increase its hypoallergenic (low allergy) properties, one will need to clean the oily secretions regularly from paw pads and ears.
But it does not have to be regular as compared to the Cornish Rex.
The Javanese cat resembles the Cornix Rex and the Devon Rex breed in a way: It also possesses only one layer of a fur coat.
The difference is that, unlike the Rex breed, it has only the top coat. Not the down layer. And this means that they have less hair and also shed less of its hair.
It also reduces its chances of causing allergic reactions by way of lesser secretion of the allergens on its skin.
So if you are allergic to pets and still love cats, the Javanese cat could be a good choice for you.
5. Oriental Shorthair:
from the name, it has a shot, fine layer of hair. It sheds very little fur making them good candidates for low allergy cats. But the shedding is quite infrequent.
And that’s why some allergy sufferers who own this breed sometimes complain of mild allergy symptoms. Many people hardly experience symptoms though.
Regular grooming of the dander is also important in maintaining its hypoallergenic properties.
One peculiar feature of this breed is that it has more colours and patterns than any other known cat breeds. Some estimates put the number of patterns and colours of this breed around 300.
The Siberian is similar to the Balinese and Javanese. It has a normally long coat. And because of its long coat, most people think it will be troublesome to cat allergy sufferers.
But some researchers have it that about 75 percent of cat allergy sufferers have no reaction to the Siberian. As we stated above, the actual ALLERGEN on a cat isn’t the hair of the cat. It’s the allergic proteins in the oil skin and Saliva of the cat.
The Siberian cat produces very low of these proteins (Fel D1). And this makes it a hypoallergenic cat.
The sphynx is considered by some as the best breed of cat for cat allergy sufferers. This breed of cat is famously known for having almost no fur on its skin.
So the secretions that trigger reaction in cat allergy sufferers cannot be trapped by the fur.
For the best of experience with Sphynx, Allergy sufferers will have to clean its skin regularly to remove the oil secretions that may accumulate on its skin and its usually large ears.
BUT DO REMEMBER THAT……..
…. there’s nothing like an allergy-free cat. There’s some amount of allergens in all cats. Irrespective of the breed. But it’s the quantity of the allergen on the above-listed cat breeds that make them the best choice for people with pet Allergy.
Also, you have to remember that getting a hypoallergenic cat might not be enough to completely free you from the shackles of cat allergy. There are other measures you can put in place to drastically reduce the risk of allergy with even hypoallergenic cats. We would discuss those measures in a moment.
It is also worth mentioning that there are few factors that affect the production of allergens in cats. For example, male cats produce more substances that trigger allergic reactions than females.
And also within the males, intact males produce higher amounts of allergens than neutered males.
As compared to adult cats, young cats or kitten produce lesser allergens.
And finally, dark cats produce high quantities of allergens than light-coloured cats.
As a cat allergy sufferer, next time you one to get a cat as a pet you may want to consider the aforementioned factors to drastically reduce the possibility of experiencing allergy symptoms with your pets.
After considering the above factors and the hypoallergenic nature of cats, you can equally do the following to further reduce allergens from your pets and surrounding ;
1.Use air purifiers with filters that can filter allergens at home. Air purifiers with HEPA filters are the best in this regard.
2. Dust and vacuum your place of living regularly to clear small particles around.
3. Groom and brush your pets frequently to remove allergens from fur. And thereby reducing the allergen burden on them.
4. Bath cat and wipe them with damp cloth regularly.
In a nutshell, to drastically reduce your chances of getting allergic reactions from your cat, it’s important you the take above seriously.
Get a hypoallergenic cat which is not a male. But If you fancy male cats it’s advisable you get a neutered male.
You may also consider getting a kitten instead of an adult cat. And don’t forget that light-coloured cats produce far fewer allergens than dark-coloured cats.
I hope you now have an idea as to which breeds of cats are bets for your allergy. Let’s us know in the comments below if you have any questions or suggestion