About 30% of people suffer from allergies to cats and dogs, the first option being much more common than the second. However, being allergic to one or more animals does not mean that the body of the affected person reacts due to the presence of the feline itself, but because of the proteins present in the urine, dandruff or animal saliva. , called allergens.
80% of people allergic to cats react to the protein Fel D1, produced in saliva, the skin and certain organs of the animal. In this way, and despite the mistaken belief of many, it is not the hairs of the feline that cause the allergy, although the allergen can accumulate there after the self-cleaning of these animals. In addition, if you are part of the above 30% but you like these furry companions and you would like to be able to live with one, you should know that there are a number of breeds of cats for allergic people that produce more small amount of allergen, as well as a series of very effective techniques to avoid allergic reactions.
Continue reading this article from Pets Feed and discover all our advice.
Constant sneezing, nasal congestion, eye irritation, does that sound like you? These are the main symptoms of cat allergy suffered by affected people after contact with the cat. However, as we mentioned earlier, the cause of the immune response is not the animal’s hair, but the protein Fel D1. This protein can accumulate in the cat’s fur after a self-cleaning and even be distributed throughout the house through dead hair. Likewise, the feline expels this protein in the urine, so handling its litter box can also cause an allergic reaction. Therefore, reducing the allergic reaction is possible by following a series of guidelines that we will detail later, as well as the choice of a hypoallergenic cat.
What are hypoallergenic cats?
100% hypoallergenic cats do not exist. The fact that a feline is considered hypoallergenic does not mean that it does not cause any allergic reaction, it means that it produces a smaller amount of the protein Fel D1 or that the characteristics of its hairs distributes a smaller amount. and therefore reduce the immune response However, this is not a definitive theory, because each body is different and it can happen that a breed of hypoallergenic cats does not cause any reaction in one allergic person, but in another. So, it is possible that some cats affect you more than others and, therefore, it will not be enough to review our list, but you should keep in mind our recommendations.
Other factors to consider
In addition to checking the breed of the animal, or its line when looking for a mongrel feline, we can take into account the following factors that reduce the production of the allergen:
Since the production of the protein Fel D1 is carried out by stimulating a series of hormones, testosterone being one of the main stimulants, neutered male cats generate a smaller amount of this allergen because their testosterone levels are reduced considerably.
Another of the main stimulants of this protein is progesterone, a hormone produced by cats during the period of ovulation and pregnancy. Thus, neutered cats will also produce less Fel D1.
Siberian cat, the most recommended
Although the Siberian cat is characterized by a dense and long coat, which may lead us to think that it is more likely to accumulate more allergens, the truth is that it is considered to be the most suitable cat for people with allergies. In fact, it is the feline breed that produces the least amount of Fel D1 protein. However, as we mentioned in the previous section, adopting a Siberian cat does not 100% guarantee that allergic reactions will go away, as the reduced amount of allergen it produces may be perfectly tolerated by some allergies and rejected by others.
Besides being a beautiful cat, the Siberian is an affectionate, docile and loyal cat, who likes to spend long hours with his human companions and play. Of course, due to the characteristics of his coat, it will be advisable to brush his fur frequently to avoid the formation of knots and tangles.
As with the Siberian cat, despite its long coat, the Balinese cat also produces less Fel D1 than the other cat breeds we show below and, therefore, the allergic reaction may be reduced. Also known as Siamese long haired, it does not require great care with regard to the maintenance of its hair, with the exception of two to three brushed per week to avoid the formation of tangles and knots . Likewise, his friendly, playful and loyal character makes him the ideal companion for those who wish to spend long hours with their feline, because the Balinese cat generally does not support being alone at home or sharing the company of his human.
Considered one of the most beautiful cats for its wild appearance and intense appearance, the Bengal cat is one of the best breeds of cats for allergies for the same reason as the previous ones, their allergenic protein levels are lower.
In addition to having an extraordinary beauty, the Bengal is a very curious, playful and active cat. If you are not ready to devote hours of play to your furry companion, or if you are looking for a more independent feline, we recommend that you continue to search because the Bengal cat must live with a person who can cover all his needs and daily activity doses. In addition, although it is a feline that usually does not have health problems, it needs to be properly cared for by its ears as it tends to produce a greater amount of earwax.
Devon Rex cat
Although many tend to think that the devon rex is included in the list of allergic cats because they have a shorter coat than the others, it should be noted that it is not the hairs which cause the allergy to the cat , but the protein Fel D1 and, like the previous ones, it appears in the list to produce a smaller quantity. At the same time, the devon rex is one of the least loose haired cats, so the small amount of allergen that can accumulate in it is less likely to be distributed throughout the house.
Affectionate and very friendly, the devon rex cat does not tolerate spending many hours alone at home, so it takes the frequent company of its human being to be a happy cat. Likewise, its ears are more prone to excessive production of earwax than those of other feline breeds and therefore need more attention.
Mandarin cat – Javanese
The Javanese cat, also known as also called oriental longhair or mandarin, is another of the cats that produce a smaller amount of allergens. Unlike the Bengal cat and the Devon Rex, the Javanese is a more independent feline and does not require the frequent company of its human. In this way, it is an ideal breed of cats for allergy sufferers, also for people who, for professional or other reasons, have to spend a few hours outside the house but want to share their life with a feline. Of course, it is essential to remember that in no case is it recommended to leave the animal alone for more than 12 hours at home.
Oriental shorthair cat
With this feline exactly the same as the previous one occurs, because the only difference between them is the length of their coat. In this way, the oriental shorthair cat is also included in the list of cats producing less allergens. However, it is always advisable to carry out a periodic brushing to avoid the loss of dead hair and, consequently, the diffusion of the protein.
Russian Blue cat
Thanks to the thick double layer coat that this cat presents, the Russian blue cat was considered as one of the best cats for allergies not only to produce less allergens, but also to keep them closer to its skin and less of human contact. In this way, in addition to secreting a smaller amount of Fel D1 protein, it could be said that the Russian blue cat hardly distributes it at home.
Cornish rex, LaPerm and Siamese
Cornish rex and Siamese cats and LaPerm are not felines that produce a smaller amount of the Fel D1 protein, but they shed less hair than other cat breeds and, therefore, have also been considered hypoallergenic cats. Remember that, although the main cause of the allergy is not the hair itself, the allergen accumulates in the coat of the animal and its skin, distributed throughout the house in case of loss or in the form of films. Therefore, cats with thicker or curly fur like these are less likely to spread the protein. For these cases, before proceeding with the adoption of one of these hypoallergenic cats, we recommend that you make a first contact and observe whether an allergic reaction occurs or not. If after a few hours nothing happens, or if the reactions are so mild that the person in question considers that they can tolerate them, adoption can be carried out.
It is very important to be absolutely sure that the cat to take is the right one, because a mistake can not only lead to the loss of a partner for the allergic person, but it can have very serious emotional consequences for the animal. In addition, for people suffering from a severe allergy to cats, we do not recommend opting for these cats
No, although it is on this list, the sphynx is not a cat suitable for allergy sufferers. So why do we highlight it? Very simple, because due to the absence of hair, many people are allergic to cats who believe they can adopt a Sphynx cat without suffering the consequences, and nothing is further from the truth. Remember that the cause of the allergy is not the hair, it is the protein Fel D1 which is produced in the skin and saliva, mainly, and the sphynx cat generates the normal amount that an allergic reaction can develop. However, as we have already mentioned in the previous sections, this does not mean that there are no people allergic to cats who tolerate this cat, but they will probably be a minority.
Tips for living with a cat if you are allergic
And if you already live with a cat that causes an allergy but want to know some techniques to reduce the immune response of your body, don’t worry! While this is not the ideal situation, you should know that you can minimize allergic reactions by following these tips. Likewise, these recommendations are also suitable if you plan to adopt one of the hypoallergenic cats:
Keep your bedroom door closed. You should avoid as much as possible that your furry companion enters your room to prevent him from distributing the allergen in each corner and thus to produce an allergic reaction during the night.
Get rid of carpets and similar household items as they usually accumulate a lot of cat hair. Remember that, although the hair is not the cause, the feline can transfer the Fel D1 protein into the fur through saliva and it falls on the carpets.
Make sure someone else brushes your cat frequently to avoid losing a lot of hair, and therefore distributes the allergen at home.
The cat expelling the protein through the urine, its litter box must always be clean and above all avoid handling it.
Remember that sterilized cats produce a smaller amount of allergen, so if yours has not yet had this done, don’t hesitate and talk to your veterinarian.
Finally, if none of the above works, keep in mind that there are drugs that can significantly reduce allergic reactions. Consult your doctor for advice.