Sneezing, itchy, watery eyes, hives and wheezing are all frustrating symptoms experienced by people who suffer from an allergy to cats. Allergy symptoms can range from mild to severe and can be brought on simply by entering a room in which a cat has spent time in. Many people assume that it’s the cats fur that they are allergic too, but it is in fact an allergy to the protein (Fel D1) found in the cats saliva. The cat washes itself and the saliva dries on its fur, as the saliva dries the protein becomes airborne affecting cat allergy sufferers respiratory system, producing allergic reactions in response to the allergen.
Having an allergy to cats can be a frustrating obstacle to owning a cat as a pet. Thankfully there are a surprising number of cat breeds that may be an option for cat allergy sufferers. Some cat breeds produce less dander and have little or no protein in their saliva. It is important to be aware that everyone is different and a cat which produces little or no allergic reaction in one person may produce a ffull-blownreaction in another. This article aims to introduce some cat breeds that research has shown to be hypoallergenic to a certain extent. However, before committing to owning a cat when you have an allergy, it is important to spend a lot of time with the breed. Also whilst choosing a cat to introduce to your home be aware that male cats generally produce more allergens than females, as do dark coloured cats compared to paler colours. Kittens will also produce less allergens, so spend time with adults of the breed you are choosing to assess your reaction as accurately as possible.
The Siberian cat is similar in looks to the majestic Norwegian forest cat. It is a large cat with beautiful long, thick fur. The breed has the reputation as being friendly and they usually have gentle, loving personalities. Even though the Siberian cat has lots of fur its saliva contains very little of the Fel D1 protein. Some people who are normally severely allergic to cats have reported that they experience very little or no allergy symptoms at all when in the company of Siberian cats.
Balinese cats are sometimes referred to as the “long-haired siamese”. The Balinese is considered as one of the most hypoallergenic cat breeds. They are exotically elegant with the same colour point markings as Siamese cats. The Balinese cat is medium in stature and is very affectionate and demonstrative in nature. The Balinese cat produces very little of the allergy casing Fel D1 protein.
The Bengal cat may be seen as a surprising addition to the list of hypoallergenic cat breeds. The Bengal doesn’t produce less of the protein Fel D1 and it isn’t hairless, so what makes it more hypoallergenic than other cat breeds? Bengal cats have very fine fur coats that sit closely to their body. Their coats require less grooming and maintenance and they also don’t shed as much as other cat breeds, this means that any of the protein present in the cats saliva doesn’t get spread around very much. The Bengal is a large, affectionate and playful breed of cat. They like to jump and have been known to love water.
The Sphynx cat is a medium sized breed and is famously hairless. The breed is very friendly and loves attention, it could not be described as being aloof! Although the breed does produce Fel D1 saliva, it has no hair for it to become trapped.
Russian Blue Cat
The Russian blue cat comes in a stunning array of shades ranging from silver to charcoal grey. They are very friendly cats and have a high level of intelligence. The breeds coat is very dense. The hypoallergenic aspect to the breed comes from the fact that they produce a low level of protein in their saliva, as well as that their coat doesn’t shed as much as other breeds.
Technically there is no cat breed that is 100% allergen free. The breeds discussed above though produce significantly less allergic rreactions thanother breeds, giving hope to many cat lovers who unfortunately suffer from reactions that would otherwise stop them from owning a cat. To lessen allergens from your pet cat even further, you should consider bathing your cat to remove the protein, regularly wash your pets bedding and vacuum daily.
Sometimes owning a cat when you or a member of your family is simply impossible. Remember there are many more pets you could consider.