Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds - Are They Good For All Allergy Sufferers

Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds – Are They Good For All Allergy Sufferers?

By: - Pets - September 26, 2011
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If you are one of the millions who suffer from allergies but you are a pet lover, it may sound like a good idea to look at hypoallergenic cat breeds. If you have never heard of a hypoallergenic pet, these are cats and dogs that are less likely to cause an allergic reaction to humans. You should keep in mind that these animals can still cause allergies and none of them are totally allergen free. You should also keep in mind that breeding and selling non allergenic cats, another name for being hypoallergenic, borders on scamming as there have never been any scientific studies proving that these cats are actually hypoallergenic.

What is thought to make a cat less likely to cause allergies in humans, or one of the hypoallergenic cat breeds, is actually a protein produced in the cat’s saliva known as Fel D1. When a cat licks their fur, this allows the protein to get on the fur. The saliva dries and the protein becomes airborne, causing allergies. Throughout the years, there have been several studies about allergens from this protein and what kinds of cats produce the most. Several interesting things were found as the studies have continued.

One of the most interesting things found when studying cat breeds is that male cats produce more Fel D1, so you should get a female of one of the hypoallergenic cat breeds if you find you are allergic to cats. Another interesting thing is that if you already have a male you are allergic to, getting him neutered, for some unknown reason, will cut down on the Fel D1 production in the saliva. Lighter colored cats also seem to produce less of the protein as well, so your best bet is a light colored female cat.

Some of the breeds of non allergenic cats of course include the hairless Sphynx, which is your best bet. The Siberian cat, though it has very long hair, has very little Fel D1 in their saliva, so this is also a great choice. Others worth mentioning that have low Fel D1 are: Balinese, Javanese, and Devon Rex.

To further keep the allergens down, you should wash your hands after petting your cat each and every time. You should also never touch your eyes after petting your cat as allergies are sure to flare up. You should keep your cat away from your bedroom and never let the cat on your bed, even if you have non allergenic cats.