Hypoallergenic Cats: Do They Really Exist?
Do you love cats, but can’t have one? They make your eyes water and itch and you start to sneeze anytime one of the dear things draws near or even enters the room where you’re at. Believe it or not, cat allergies is one of the top five reasons that many poor cats are dropped back off at the shelter every year. After all, no one can stand to have an itchy nose, watery eyes, a headache, and constant sneezing, just so they can have a feline in the house, can they? Well, it seems that they can now, just by purchasing a hypoallergenic cat, or can they? The jury is still out on whether hypoallergenic cats truly exist. There are so many people that are allergic to cats out there, that you would think no one would ever be able to exist with a cat in their home.
Yet, the Humane Society of the United States has reported that while over 15 percent of the United States population is allergic to cats, more than one-third of those people live in houses that have pets, including cats! How you might ask! Is it because they have a hypoallergenic cat. Hmmm, maybe not.
This blog will explore the question of do hypoallergenic cats really exist? It will also talk about the reasons people have animal allergies, what you can do about cat allergies, and even the breeds of cats that have the less dander, so maybe you being the cat lover that you are, will be able to own one of them one day. With that in mind, let’s dive right in to find out if these types of cats exist.
Getting familiar with hypoallergenic cats
Why Are You Allergic to Cats?
If you were told that cat allergies come from the hair that the cats shed, you were told wrong. The allergies actually come from a protein that is present in the cat’s saliva, urine, and dander. People who have immune systems that are overly sensitive, react to that protein badly, causing the symptoms we talked about above. In reality, you aren’t allergic to the cat’s hair, it’s the proteins that are causing your reaction.
Are Hypoallergenic Cats Real?
Unfortunately, as much as we would like them to be, there are no truly 100 percent hypoallergenic breeds of cat. There are, however, breeds of cats that are considered to be low-allergen. This means that there are a few breeds out there that cause less severe reactions. However, the operative word to focus on here is “less” severe reactions. There is no such thing as a 100 percent hypoallergenic cat.
However, as we all know, cats are considered to be a part of the family, and if you developed your allergies later on in life, which has been known to happen, you are faced with the problem of getting rid of your cat or dealing with the allergies. Later on, in our blog, we will give some tips on how to deal with cat allergies and still keep your existing cat. For now, however, we will talk about the low-allergen cats out there than can turn a cat lover with cat allergies, into the cat owner they have always wanted to be. Below, find the top low-allergen breeds of cats, so you can become a cat owner one day as well.
With its super long fur, the Balinese cat looks like the last cat that would work well in a home with someone who has animal allergies. In fact, the opposite is true. Often called the “long-haired Siamese,” this cat produces less of the protein can causes allergies than most other cats do. On top of that, this cat is known for being sweet, fun to be around, and smart to boot. They are also highly sensitive, so great to have around when you are depressed and need cheering up.
These are considered to be the non-allergenic cat, however, as previously stated, no cat is 100 percent hypoallergenic. A short-haired cat, you would think that you didn’t have to groom the cat at all. However, if you are allergic to cats, it’s a good idea to groom your oriental shorthair on a regular basis, just to keep down on dander. Also, if you are looking for a cat with plenty of personality, then this character is it. Conceited, full of life, and loving to entertain and be the center of attention, that’s this non-allergenic cat in a nutshell.
The Javanese cat has a medium to long single coat that resists matting. Since the cat has no undercoat, they have less dander buildup, making them easier on people who have pet allergies. These cats are devoted, love to eat, but then tend to get rid of the extra calories by running and playing. This is the perfect cat for someone who wants a loving cat, that has no problem purring in your ear and following you around all day long.
The Sphinx is a hairless cat, that is said to be the best hypoallergenic cat breed out there, but again, it is not 100 percent. It is the one that is also associated most often with being hypoallergenic. However, the fact that it is a hairless cat, by no means, means that you don’t have to take care of the cat by giving it baths and making sure it is dander free. Frequent baths are needed for a Sphinx to remove the oily buildup on their skin and their large ears also need cleaning regularly as well. Personality wise, the Sphinx is loyal, lively, and devoted. They often follow their owners around, wagging their tail like a dog, and purring their contentment.
Like the Balinese, the Siberian cat has a moderately long coat. However, it is still considered to be hypoallergenic, because it has low enzyme levels in its saliva, making it a perfect companion for someone who has cat allergies. Statistics show that over 75 percent of people who suffer from cat allergies have no symptoms and signs of those allergies while being around a Siberian cat.
One of the greatest things about these Siberian cats is that they are super affectionate and intelligent enough to problem solve when they have too. Despite the fact that they get pretty big, they are also agile, having no problem jumping from one surface to another.
The Cornish Rex is another hairless cat that is said to be great for people with pet allergies. They do require quite a bit of upkeep, as their skin gets oily quickly. If you want a cat that you don’t have to groom very much, then this isn’t the right animal for you. These cats are very active and can be a little hard to ignore when they are in an affectionate and playing mood. Make sure that you can make quite a bit of time for this cat if it’s the one you choose to adopt.
The other Rex cat on our list is the Devon Rex. It has shorter fur than the Cornish Rex and less fur as well. He will have to have his paw pads and his ears cleaned often, to remove the oil buildup, so once again if you want a cat that is low-maintenance, this might not be the best choice for you. It is great for allergy sufferers, however, so will make it possible for even severe allergy sufferers to possibly have a cat. This breed loves to snuggle and you won’t have hair all over you, if you snuggle back, because they shed much less than other cat breeds.
Some Tips to Follow
Now, that you know there are breeds of cats out there, that though not 100 percent hypoallergenic, do come close, here are some tips you might want to follow as a new pet owner after you make your choice of which to adopt.
It’s extremely important for you to keep on top of your new cat’s toys and bedding. This will help to reduce the number of allergens floating around and through your home. Make sure that you take all toys and bedding and wash them at least once a week, for the best results.
Statistics and research have shown that bathing your cat on a regular basis can get rid of over 80 percent of the allergens that cause you to have allergy attacks. Since you are allergic to cats, it might be best to have a family member wash the cat or take him to a groomer once a week instead.
Now, that you know what breeds of cats you can adopt to allow you to have a cat when you have allergies, it’s time to move onto the cat lovers who developed allergies later on in life and don’t want to get rid of the cat they love. After all, your cat is a part of the family. If your allergies aren’t life-threatening, there are a few tips out there to help you deal with your allergies and still be able to keep your feline companion. Read on below for a few of those tips to be revealed.
Clean, Clean, and Clean Some More
Many pet owners don’t understand what a difference cleaning constantly can make. Not only should you be grooming and bathing your cat on a weekly, sometimes, daily basis, but you should also be cleaning your house on a daily basis as well. You would be surprised at how sweeping your floors daily to keep up as much pet hair as possible, will make a difference in your allergies.
Use an Air Purifier
Many allergy sufferers have reported that using an air purifier helped to cut down on the allergens that caused their attacks, so they would be able to keep their cats. It is said that a commercial purifier works better than a regular one, however. While the commercial one is more expensive, it’s well worth the price to get rid of the allergens, stave off an attack, and still be able to keep the cat that you love.
See Your Doctor
While it doesn’t always work, seeing your doctor for allergy testing is another possibility. He can do tests to determine if it is indeed your cat that you are allergic to and give you medicine that might help or even allergy shots if they would be helpful. It is always best to contact your medical care provider, anytime you have allergies because you never know when they might move from mild to life-threatening. He can help you determine if the allergies are bad enough that it is imperative you get rid of your cat or if there is possibly a way to control the allergies so you can keep the cat instead.
Keep the Cat Out of Your Bedroom
One of the best ways to ensure that you don’t have an allergy attack after deciding to keep your feline pal is by making your bedroom, and especially your bed, off-limits to your cat. Since this is where you sleep, you don’t need the cat dander filtering through the air and landing on you in the middle of the night. Besides, you need at least one place in your home that is animal free to retreat too, in case allergies do strike. Keeping the cat out of your bedroom is the perfect way to do that.
This blog answers the question well of whether hypoallergenic cats actually do exist. The truth is that no cat can be 100 percent hypoallergenic, but as we now see, there are breeds that you can get that cause less allergic reactions. Between these breeds and the tips out there to control your allergies so you can keep your cat, cat owners and lovers everywhere can rejoice in the knowledge that they may be able to have a cat after all!
- Woman’s World: Do Hypoallergenic Cats Really Exist?
- Petfinder: What Are the Best Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds for People with Allergies?
- Pet MD: How to Deal with Cat Allergies