Hypoallergenic Cats – What You Need to Know

allergic to cats

If you are thinking about getting a hypoallergenic cat, there are a few things that you should know first.

These cats can be very attractive to people with allergies, but you’ll have to educate yourself.

There are certain things that will be very useful to learn before you make a final decision.

Can I still be Allergic to a Hypoallergenic Cat?

It is possible for someone to be allergic to hypoallergenic cats. The Sphynx or Balinese cats are less likely to produce an allergic reaction, but it’s not impossible. Keep in mind that it is more common for people to be allergic to male cats than females.

When someone has an allergic reaction to a cat, it is because of a certain protein that is known as Fel D1. This protein is most commonly produced by cats with lighter coats, but not always. Even so-called hypoallergenic cats can produce this reaction, despite popular belief.

Types of Hypoallergenic Cats

There are numerous types of hypoallergenic cats that you will have to choose from, so it is important that you review your options.

Hairless Cats

There are completely hairless breeds like the Sphynx. While these cats don’t require any brushing, they do sometimes need to be bathed on a semi-regular basis. This is due to the fact that all sorts of things tend to stick to their body.

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 If you want a cat that doesn’t shed and probably won’t cause major problems with your allergies, this is the best choice.

It is important that you take the time to learn about the personality of each hairless breed before deciding on one in particular. Some of these cats are very aloof, while others are more affectionate.

Hypoallergenic Cats

Longhaired Cats

Believe it or not, there are in fact long-haired cats that don’t cause most people with allergies to sneeze and cough like crazy. One such cat is the Balinese, which has a long coat but doesn’t produce a strong allergic reaction in most people.

These cats do tend to require quite a bit of grooming on a regular basis, but it can definitely be worth it. The Balinese in particular is a great cat that can provide you with years of loving companionship.

Shorthaired Cats

There are also some shorthaired cats like the Devon Rex that are considered to be hypoallergenic. These cats don’t require bathing or brushing very often, so they are very low maintenance.

Factors to Consider

There are certain types of cats that are more likely than others to provoke an allergic reaction. When you are aware of these factors, it will be easier to make the right decision on a certain cat.

  • Sex: The sex of the cat you get can have a dramatic effect on your allergies. As we mentioned above, male cats tend to cause problems with people who have allergies more than females. This is due to the fact that male cats usually secrete more of a protein that is associated with cat allergies.
  • Color: The darker your cat’s coat is, the more likely they are to cause an allergic reaction. There is no clear explanation for this, but it tends to be true more often than not.
  • Age: Most people aren’t allergic to cats when they are still very young. The older the cat gets, the more likely they are to cause problems for allergy sufferers.
  • Intact or not: Male cats that have not been neutered usually secrete more of the protein that causes people’s allergies to go crazy.
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cute kitten laying

How to Keep Cat Allergens Under Control

There are quite a few different things that you can do to keep cat allergens under control. This includes bathing you kitty a couple of times every week or so. The fact is that most cats don’t actually need to be bathed all that often. Giving your cat too many baths can actually dry out their skin and cause certain dermatological problems.

Wash their Bedding

You should also make a point of washing your cat’s bedding on a fairly regular basis. This will limit the amount of allergens in your home. Make sure that you take a close look at the washing directions before doing this so you don’t ruin the bed. It’s also a good idea to wash their toys, as they also contain allergens that could spark this sort of reaction.

Replace your air filter

It is crucial that you replace the air filter your house uses every 3 to 4 weeks. This will help a lot with keeping allergens from becoming a major issue at home. You’ll want to use good quality filters that are built to last and get the job done well.

Avoid touching your cat a lot

Those who own a cat but are allergic to it should avoid touching them too often. It is also important that you thoroughly wash your hands after touching or handling your cat at all. This can go a long way towards keeping your allergies in check on a daily basis.


  • It is possible to have an allergic reaction to hypoallergenic cats, despite the somewhat misleading name.
  • There are hairless cats like the Sphynx, which need to be bathed semi-regularly but don’t require any brushing.
  • Long haired hypoallergenic cats like the Balinese are beautiful but are a little high maintenance when it comes to grooming.
  • Short haired cats such as the Devon Rex don’t require much bathing or brushing, which is always nice.
  • Some of the factors to consider before getting a cat when it comes to allergies include sex, age and whether or not the cat is neutered.
  • Kittens tend to not provoke an allergic reaction in most people.
  • Cats with darker coats are more likely to cause problems for allergy sufferers.
  • If you have a cat at home, it is important that you change your air filter regularly.
  • Always wash your hands thoroughly after petting or handling your cat.
  • Wash your cat’s bed and toys on a regular basis as well.
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