Are you amongst the individuals who constantly suffer from sneezing and allergic reactions, which seem to get more intense when you come in contact with a feline? Does your sensitive nature and allergies deter you from showing your affection and urge to cuddle those furry and irresistible fellas? If you are keen and overly eager to own a cat, share your life and family with your cat. Though you suffer from solid allergic reactions and unbearable symptoms, then thankfully, hypoallergenic cat breeds exist. These cats are deemed safe for your allergies and are a perfect option for you and all others who suffer from cat allergies.
Reasons which instigate the allergic reaction to cats?
So what makes people manifest extraordinary and perplexing allergic symptoms when coming into contact with a cat? Contrary to the well-known belief, it is not the cat’s hair that people are allergic to, but the proteins identified as Fel D1 present in the cat’s skin, saliva, and urine. This is because a cat sheds skin flakes known as dander in the form of minute particles. So when a cat is grooming itself, the saliva is transferred to its coat and gets dried up. This saliva contains the protein Fel D1 dispersed in minute particles when the cat sheds the skin flakes. So people who are susceptible to this protein suffer from allergic reactions when coming into contact with it.
What are the symptoms of a cat allergy?
People with allergies have a sensitive immune system, so their bodies identify cat dander as a hazardous invader. This instigates a counter-attack by the body to ward off these invaders, which triggers the onset of symptoms which include:
· Coughing and sneezing
· Developing of hives or rashes
· Swollen, prickly and red eyes
· Skin inflammation where the cat licks or scratches the skin
· Stuffy, runny, and an inflamed nose
· Puffy breathing
Causes that determine allergen production in the cats
If you are a cat lover and are yearning to have your one and call it yours, then hypoallergenic cats are the premium options for you. Although no cat can be referred to as entirely non-allergic, hypoallergenic cat breeds are known to emit fewer allergens and produce low Fel D 1 protein levels. Apart from the cat breeds, some other factors also play a pivotal role in determining the production of these allergens, which are:
· In comparison to females, males produce more allergens.
· Neutered males produce fewer allergens in contrast to intact males.
· Light-colored cats produce fewer allergens than dark-colored cats
· Kittens release fewer allergenic secretions in contrast to adult cats.
Eight best breeds of hypoallergenic cats
Giving space in your home and heart to a hypoallergenic cat will not make you resistant to allergic reactions. Still, it will mitigate the probability of getting afflicted by cat allergies very frequently. Below, I have listed the best hypoallergenic cat breeds that are most suitable for your allergies and entirely fulfill your yearning for a feline friend.
Characterized as “longhaired Siamese,” the Balinese cat with its fur coat and the fuzzy profile seems to be a dubious candidate for the designation of the hypoallergenic cat breed. But, surprisingly, the Balinese are known to release low levels of Fel D1 protein in comparison to other cats despite their fuzzy coats and so minimize the activation of allergic reactions. Their reduced shedding also necessitates minimal grooming maintenance.
The Balinese cats are deemed to be cute, clever, and playful and keenly communicate vocally. Merry and friendly, these cats can cheer your mood up with their warm and companionable nature.
2. Oriental Shorthair
Their short and fine coat characterizes Oriental Shorthair cats. These cats don’t shed much dander and so fall in the hypoallergenic cat breed category. However, it is still advisable to groom and brush them regularly to prevent dander shedding.
They are endowed with cheerful and enthusiastic personalities and love to be in the spotlight. These cats have an inquisitive nature, a dynamic personality, and are hyperactive. They enjoy being a part of all your activities.
These are distant cousins to Siamese and are deemed to fall under the same longhaired category. The Javanese are highly intellectual, energetic, and agile cats who love to jump and explore. They are even gorgeous to look at. They can be very loyal companions helping and following you around and even trying to get into your bed. These are especially recognized for their communicative nature and love to chat.
Lack of undercoat and presence of low-maintenance short coat makes them one of the best hypoallergenic cat breeds. In addition, they shed the least amount of dander and are best suitable for people with allergies.
Akin to Balinese, Siberian cat breeds also produce less of the Fel D 1 protein and fall under hypoallergenic cats. Siberian cats are large and are endowed with a triple coat. This breed comes in a variety of attractive colors. Their coat needs to be brushed weekly for proper maintenance and healthy upkeep. Siberians have minimal shedding, which spikes only seasonally. And during the spike time, it is recommended to brush the coat of your feline friend daily to enhance the healthiness and wellness of the coat and the undercoat and curtail the diffusion of allergens.
Siberian cat breeds are intelligent, hypoallergenic cats. With a highly attentive and focused nature, they can be trained well. They are docile and happy felines and make great pets.
5. Devon Rex
The thin and fine hair of the Devon Rex cats is definitive of their hypoallergenic breed, which is why they shed less dander. Their thin coat requires minimal grooming and maintenance, but it is advisable to wipe down the coat to permeate the natural oils evenly and keep the coat spick and span and glowing.
The Devon Rex breeds are hyperactive, have vibrant energy, and love to explore and engage in activities with you. Their loud purring is an expression of their happiness. However, you have to be wary of their naughty deeds and ensure that they stay out of trouble.
6. Cornish Rex
Their curly coats are a signature identification marker of their breed. They shed minimal fur, and this makes them great pets for those suffering from allergy issues. However, they need regular baths to minimize the buildup of oil on the skin.
Cornish Rex is the animated and peppy hypoallergenic cat who loves to be active and playful. They have an athletic and inquisitive nature. They bloom and feel happy when you lavish attention on them and enjoy when you pick them up or cuddle them. They are loyal and sincere cats who will follow you around and will stick to your side affectionately.
The hairless profile of the Sphynx gives the perception of their being the ultimate hypoallergenic cat breed. Nevertheless, this is not the case. Despite their being hairless, these cats still produce dander and so are not completely hypoallergenic. But If you can give a regular bath, the dander production in a cat can be controlled with regular bathing, which also assists in averting the buildup of oil on the skin.
Sphynx Cats can be affectionate and friendly companions. These hypoallergenic cats are very energetic attention-seekers and are highly active. Their intelligence level can be measured through their mischievous nature, which prompts them to try out sportive and daring activities. They are curious and love to follow you around with unwavering devotion. They are undoubtedly great pets for all those suffering from allergic reactions.
The Burmese cats are recognized by their silken coats, which are short and shiny. In addition, they are known to be categorized as hypoallergenic cats because of the minimized shedding. Therefore, although their grooming needs are nominal, it is still advisable to brush their coats daily to maintain their health and cleanliness.
The Burmese breed is peppy, lively, and loves to communicate. At times, they can manifest stubbornness but are very friendly felines and get along well with children, other cats, and even dogs. These hypoallergenic cats are witty and clever and keenly enjoy activities. However, they dislike being left home alone.
Helpful tips for new feline parents suffering from allergies
Adopting a hypoallergenic breed doesn’t mean your allergies will not manifest any symptoms when you come into contact with your new family member. Nevertheless, hypoallergenic will make it a lot easier for you to settle down with your cat. To minimize the popping up of your reactions when you have a cat, you can take these preventative measures to reduce the allergens.
· Ensure that you bathe your cat daily and brush the coat to eliminate the excess saliva and dander. Begin this routine from a very young age so that your cat is acclimatized to regular bathing. This will translate the experience into a customary practice and will make it trauma-free for both of you always.
· Vacuum your home frequently and wash your cat’s toys and beddings often to avoid the accumulation of allergens.
· Inhibit the entrance of your feline friend in your bedroom no matter how much it implores you because inevitably it will leave behind dander and fur, and you would want to avoid coming into direct contact with it at all costs.
· Prevent your cat from lounging outdoors too much as their coat will collect dust and allergens.
· Ensure that you wash your hands each time after you touch your cat or hold it. Avert touching your face or eyes before washing your hands.
Although these measures might seem extreme and unrealistic, they can help prevent the triggering of your allergic reactions and enhance the quality of your life with your feline companion.
Although hypoallergenic cat breeds are the uber electives for people with allergies, it is still recommended to meet the feline before adopting him or her. Arrange to have a meet-up with the cat before you make your final adoption decision. Coming into contact with the cat you want before adoption can help you make up your mind and manifest your body reaction towards the furry feline.
Visit the shelter home from where you have planned the adoption and ask the personnel to give you a chance to get up close with their cats to assess your body reaction towards them. Ensure to take your allergy meds before visiting your furry friends. Then, attempt to make friends with various cats and keep assessing your body reaction towards them. Once you can determine which cat will be complacent with your lifestyle and be in sync with your allergies, you are ready to take the final step and conclude the adoption process and finally bring your cat home to enjoy a lifelong relationship and camaraderie with it.