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10 hypoallergenic cats

There's really no such thing as non-allergenic cats. However, you can get pretty close with "hypoallergenic cats." These felines are prone to shed less, or have less dander, which both are major causes of cat allergies


Looking at this fuzzy breed, sometimes referred to as the "longhaired Siamese," you might not guess that it's among the least allergenic cats. That perhaps is due to a common misconception that cat hair itself triggers allergies, which is not exactly the case. The proteins that cause allergic reactions are present in a cat's saliva and skin oils, which are carried through the home by shed fur. But Balinese cats produce much less of the Fel D1 protein that causes allergies in the first place, so their fur carries less of the allergen around. 


People who suffer from cat allergies but love cats are often advised to look into Russian blues as possibly hypoallergenic. Unlike many of of the cats on this list that are incidentally hypoallergenic due to the nature of their fur not shedding in the normal way, Russian blues actually produce less of the glycoprotein Fel d 1, the very substance to which people are allergic. 


Bengals aren't hairless, and they don't necessarily produce less Fel D1 protein than other breeds, so what makes them hypoallergenic? The answer is in their coats. Bengal cats have uniquely fine pelts that require considerably less maintenance than other breeds. As a result, Bengals don't groom themselves as often or for as long, so their fur contains less allergen-rich saliva. They also don't shed much, or shed far less than other cats, so whatever dander is present in their fur doesn't get spread around as much. 


Closely related to Cornish rexes, the Devon Rex has a similar coat, also consisting of soft, fine down hair, and little to no top coat. Also like Cornish rexes, Devon rexes shed very little of their hair, which they have even less of than their Cornish cousins in the first place.


Oriental shorthairs come in more colors and patterns (over 300) than any other cat breed. But no matter the style of "ornamental shorthair" you choose, it will have a very short, fine coat that sheds infrequently. That's why many people with cat allergies report mild or absent reactions with Oriental shorthairs. It's still recommended that this breed be given regular grooming sessions to keep dander to a minimum.


Most cats have three types of fur that make up their coats. The outer layer is called the guard hair; the middle layer is called the awn hair; and the undercoat is called the down hair. Cornish rexes aren't hairless, but they possess only the wonderfully soft "undercoat" of down hair. As a result, they shed less than other breeds, so some people with cat allergies suffer far less, or even not at all, from Cornish rexes.


Well known for its long, remarkably shaggy fur, the Siberian is probably not the first breed to come to most people's minds when trying to think of possibly hypoallergenic cat breeds. But like Balinese cats and Russian blues, many Siberians seem to produce less Fel d 1 protein than regular cats. Some allergy sufferers with extreme allergic reactions to cats have reported no symptoms at all even when surrounded by many Siberians.


The most notable feature of a LaPerm cat is its unique, curly coat. It is believed that the nature of this coat is responsible for a reduced allergic reaction for many cat-allergy sufferers, because LaPerm's shed less than most cats, and their curls help keep their dander from spreading around. 


Many cat-allergy sufferers report good luck with the famously hairless sphynx breed. This is partly because sphynx have no fur to trap the allergens from their saliva during those self-grooming sessions.


Like Cornish rexes and Devon rexes, Javanese cats have only one of the three layers of coat that most cats have. The difference is that Javanese cats have a fine top coat instead of an undercoat. But having only one coat still means less hair, which means less shedding, which means less dander floating around your home. (Petfinder)

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