Allergies to cats are more than twice as common as allergic reactions to dogs, but cat-lovers with allergies don’t need to miss out either. Most people with cat allergies are actually allergic to the Fel d 1 protein which is found in the cat’s skin, saliva and urine. Cats with less hair or that shed less put out less of these allergens into the atmosphere and are more likely to be acceptable companions for people with allergies to other cats. It is ironic that the lowest-allergen cat, the Siberian, is a long-haired breed; it is thought that it may have lower levels of the Fel d 1 protein than other breeds.
There are a few low-shedding, low-dander cat breeds:
- Hairless sphynx
- La Perm
- Devon rex
- Cornish rex
- Russian blue
- Oriental shorthair
Even these lower allergy cat breeds may not be suitable for everyone and some research may be required before you decide whether you will be able to live with a cat at all.