Living with a cat when you are allergic to it can be difficult on a daily basis. Sneezing, difficulty in breathing, irritated, and red eyes, the symptoms are sometimes very unpleasant to bear.
Fortunately, there are solutions to not be forced to give up any idea of living with a small feline. Lovers of cats allergic to these small furballs can opt for a so-called hypoallergenic cat.
What is a hypoallergenic cat?
Contrary to popular belief, the symptoms of allergic reactions such as sneezing, eye irritation, and nasal congestion are absolutely not due to the cat’s hair itself, but to the proteins that cover it. By licking itself, the cat deposits Fel D1 and Fel D4 proteins on its coat and it can also expel it with its urine. Thus, the hairs covered with this protein and the litter are sources of allergy for sensitive people.
Fortunately, there are solutions for allergy sufferers who are in love with cats. Among these, we can cite hypoallergenic cats. Be careful, because there is no such thing as a totally hypoallergenic cat. On the other hand, some breeds produce a low amount of Fel D1 or Fel D4 proteins, which helps reduce allergic attacks that start in response to their contact.
However, since humans are as different as cats, some will tolerate so-called hypoallergenic cat breeds without any reaction while others will experience the same effects as a normal cat.
The hypoallergenic nature is not the only criterion to be taken into account for anyone wishing to live with a cat. Indeed, studies have shown that castrated cats and cats sterilized produce less protein Fel D1 that due to the reduction in their levels of testosterone and progesterone.
For those who don’t want to take any risks, let’s discover the 8 so-called hypoallergenic cat breeds.
Despite its long and dense coat, the Siberian cat remains the most hypoallergenic breed in the world. Indeed, it is the one that produces the least Fel D1 protein. This magnificent cat has the great advantage of being docile and loyal. Affectionate and faithful, he appreciates the company to play and for moments of tenderness.
Its long coat requires maintenance to prevent the formation of knots. People with allergies can take it upon themselves to brush them, but there is no guarantee that an allergy does not set off, as we have seen. Despite its hypoallergenic characteristics, the Siberian can cause allergenic reactions on contact.
Ideally, go to a breeder to test your responsiveness and sensitivity beforehand.
Due to its low production of Fel D1 protein, the Balinese is also considered a hypoallergenic cat breed. In addition, in the absence of down, it sheds very little hair, which reduces the spread of the allergenic protein. Nicknamed the long-haired Siamese, the Balinese is endowed with a magnificent provided fur. On the other hand, it does need care, including regular brushing every week to avoid knots.
Playful, loyal, and cuddly, the Balinese enjoys company and doesn’t like being alone. It quickly becomes attached to Its master never to leave It.
The Bengal‘s low production of Fel D1 protein will make people with allergies happy, as this breed of cat is considered one of the most beautiful in the world. Its wild aspect and its natural elegance have seduced many humans!
Naturally curious, lively, and playful, the Bengal is active and in need of attention. It cannot stand loneliness, so you will need to give It several hours a day, otherwise, It may distance Itself and seek the company of other people.
The Devon Rex
Like previous breeds, the Devon Rex produces a low amount of the Fel D1 protein. It is therefore not Its short hair that makes It hypoallergenic, but the small proportion of it! The great advantage of the Devon Rex, however, is that it is also among the breeds of cats that shed the least amount of hair, which further limits the spread of the protein, while reducing your household efforts.
The Devon Rex is an affectionate and attention-seeking cat. It does not appreciate solitude and will therefore be reserved for those present and available.
The Javanese, or Oriental Longhair, is another breed of cat that secretes little Fel D1 protein. On the other hand, unlike the previous ones, this one appreciates tranquility and solitude. It is therefore perfect for allergy sufferers and for those who cannot devote whole days to it.
Russian Blue is a doubly hypoallergenic cat, as it produces little Fel D1 protein and its double-layered fur retains it on its skin, which limits its spread around the house.
Very sociable, discreet, and cuddly, the Russian Blue appreciates company and play.
The Sphynx is a breed apart from hypoallergenic cats. It secretes little FEL D1 protein, but it still produces a little more than other previous breeds. However, the absence of hair prevents any risk of propagation within the house.
Despite its appearance which may put off some, the Sphynx is a pleasant cat to stroke. Very sociable, cuddly, faithful and close to his master, he appreciates the company and he is full of qualities.
Living with a cat when you are allergic
If you live with a cat whose presence triggers you allergic attacks, but it is impossible for you to part with them, there are tips that will make your daily life more bearable.
- Do not let your cat have access to your room so as not to deposit hairs covered with Fel D1 protein in this sleeping space where you spend several hours each night.
- Leave your cat’s brushing to a non-allergic person. By doing this regularly, you will prevent the spread of contaminated hair around the house.
- Likewise, entrust the cleaning of your cat’s crate to a non-allergic person who will be happy to keep it clean to avoid leaving urine inside.
- Avoid rugs and carpets that trap hair and all allergens. They tend to attract Fel D1 proteins and cause you more allergies.
- Spay your cat. Not only does this improve Its quality of life, but in addition this operation reduces the production of Fel D1 protein, making it less allergenic to you.
- If none of the solutions work, your doctor may prescribe a suitable antihistamine or you may investigate the possibility of desensitization.