Are Hairless Cats Really Hypoallergenic?

Millions of people around the world suffer from allergies, ack! If you are a sufferer you know the pain well. For many people cats can be a particularly problematic source of an adverse reaction. This can be unfortunate for those who would otherwise want to give a loving home to a kitty, because the allergic reaction to the cat can sometimes be far too strong to make living with the feline a possibility. Could a Sphynx hairless be the answer because they are hypoallergenic cats?

But is there any relief for prospective pet owners with allergies? Are there any cats that are truly hypoallergenic?

The straightforward answer is……..


There are no cats that are completely hypoallergenic. But let’s dig deeper. The more detailed response also has some good news — even though you’ll never find a cat that doesn’t pose some risk of an allergic reaction, several breeds are renowned for being pretty close to hypoallergenic. These adorable creatures have found happy homes with many who might normally be too allergic.

Allergies from cats are not caused by the fur on a cat’s body but instead are the result of Fel D1.

What the heck is Fel D1?

Protein that is detected in cat’s saliva. This triggers the typical allergy response in humans of having itches and sneezes, ranging from mild to very severe reactions.

As a general guide, cats with darker fur appear to generate more of the allergy inducing protein. Sorry guys, the males are more likely to provoke an allergic reaction than females.

But for more specifics, there are several breeds of cat know to be compatible with allergy sufferers, because they are as close to hypoallergenic as a feline can get. Even though these hairless cat breeds are not completely hypoallergenic, they are pretty darn close!

  • Sphynx
    This unique-looking hairless cat is great for people with strong allergies, because their relative lack of hair reduces the risk of an adverse reaction. And even better, they’re a loving and friendly breed — and chatty, because they love to meow all day long.
  • Balinese
    You might not think that these longhaired cats would be a good match for a home with someone suffering from cat allergies, but this breed in particular is known to make a very low level of the troublesome protein Fel D1 than other cats.
  • Javanese
    A playful and outgoing breed, this type of cat has a medium to long coat of fur, but they lack an undercoat, which means less chance for triggering allergies. That means you can focus on enjoying your kitty’s company without sneezing and itching.
  • Cornish or Devon Rex
    These two very similar breeds of cat have thin undercoats of hair and don’t shed much. This reduces the risk of activating the owner’s allergies. The breeds look the same, but you can tell them apart because the Devon Rex has less hair and also shorter hair.
  • Siberian
    Another friendly breed of cat, you might be surprised that the Siberian is suitable for allergy sufferers. Not only can they can grow very large and have fluffy and long coats, they’re actually a very manageable cat that is pretty close to hypoallergenic.

If you have severe allergies but also want to welcome a cat into your home, stay optimistic and meet some of the breeds listed above to see if are compatible with your needs. Hopefully, you and your (almost) hypoallergenic kitty will be able to start a happy life together.

Kritter Kommunity Contributor

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