Top 10 Hypoallergenic Cats
Have you always wanted a cat but can’t stand the allergies they cause? We understand that sneezing and itching can make the biggest of cat lovers throw their arms up in despair. While there’s no such thing as a 100% hypoallergenic cat, there are a number of breeds that are far less likely to cause sneezing and other irritations.
Cats make you sneeze? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. It’s estimated that about 10% of the population suffers some degree of an allergic reaction to cats. Cats produce pet dander, the main culprit when it comes to allergies in humans. But, what may in fact cause a lot of allergic reactions is Fel d 1 – a protein that is found in cat saliva.
Whether you’re a sufferer of cat-related allergies or you have a loved one who can’t stand being around them, all is not lost! We’ve put together a list of the breeds that may solve all your allergy problems.
These breeds are known as hypoallergenic and we’ve put together the best ten from around the world. Is your best friend featured in this list?
The Balinese cat is very similar to the Siamese cat but their hair is longer and slightly softer. These cats are also not as vocal as the Siamese.
The Balinese cat’s coat is about half to two inches in length. The colouring of the Balinese is also the same as the Siamese and they include seal, blue, chocolate and lilac. These cats also have striking blue eyes.
The Balinese is a friendly, easy going cat. They are not as highly strung as Siamese and definitely not as vocal. These cats really enjoy the company of people and don’t like to be left alone for long periods of time. They will often follow you from room to room enjoying your company.
The Balinese weighs between 2.5 and 5kgs. The average lifespan of the Balinese cat is approximately 12 years.
The Bengal cat is known for its soft, sleek coat which has two main fur patterns: spotted (which is most common) and marbled. Both patterns are often tri-coloured, giving each cat unique markings and patterns. This tri-colouring gives some Bengals spots which have a darker outline, often like the spots on a Jaguar.
Because of their wild roots, some assume Bengals will be difficult to tame and handle, but in fact owners say it is easily tamed. The Bengal is not a lap cat but it is affectionate and enjoys human company, especially children. They are very energetic and love to play games and hunt, a trait it has retained from its wild ancestors.
Male Bengals are usually between 4.5 and 7 kg while females are generally 3.5 – 5.5 kg, however it is not uncommon for Bengals to be bigger or smaller.
- CORNISH REX
The Cornish Rex, originating from Cornwall in England, has a very short down coat and which makes it an excellent hypoallergenic breed.
Its coat is very fine and is sometimes curly. The Cornish Rex comes in a number of colours, including black, white, chocolate, blue, lilac, cream and orange. They can also come in a number of mixed patterns. Some include all forms of tabby patterns and colours, bicolour patterns, tortoiseshell and Siamese-style colour-point patterns.
The Cornish Rex is often referred to as the Greyhound of cats—being sleek and long in the body, full of energy, intelligent and possessing an adventurous spirit.
The male Cornish Rex weighs in at 3.5 – 4.5 kg while females weigh between 2 and 3.5 kg. Their lifespan is 10 – 15 years.
- DEVON REX
The Devon Rex is a highly intelligent, unique-looking cat breed, known for its wavy coat and large ears. They have large eyes, prominent cheekbones and a short muzzle.
The Devon Rex first appeared in Devon in 1960, and was the result of a curly-coated stray tomcat mating with a straight-coated calico cat (though it is probable this cat carried the curly coat gene).
Their silky, wavy coat comes in a number of colour variations, including colourpoint, solid, shaded, tortoiseshell, calico, bi-colour, harlequin, smoke and tabby, though all colours are accepted. Their eyes come in all colours and variations as well.
The Devon Rex is a relatively small cat, with males weighing in at 3 – 4 kg while females weigh between 2 and 3 kg. Their lifespan is 9 – 13 years.
The Javanese has no connection to Indonesia. It was developed in the United States in the 1940s and named the Javanese by Helen Smith in circa 1950.
Equipped with a long, silky coat and available in a number of attractive colours, the Javanese is a particularly popular show cat as they often develop colourpoint markings. The breed is nothing like the domestic cats found in Java (known for their short hair), but are largely hypoallergenic in their own right.
The Javanese is a highly intelligent, vocal and playful cat. They require a good deal of social interaction as they love to play and explore.
The Javanese should weigh approximately 3 to 5.5kgs and will live to between the ages of 9 to 15 years of age.
The LaPerm is a new breed, developed in the United States in the 1980s for reasons of pest control. The breed is known for its springy, thick, curly coat that is unique among all cat breeds, resembling a shaggy perm and attributing to its name.
They are not only a playful and affectionate breed, but are known to be largely hypoallergenic. The coat, unlike most other cats, is not silky or smooth. Similar to mohair, it presents a resistance when moving your hand through its hair.
The LaPerm does have a breed standard yet comes in many different colours and markings. The LaPerm should weigh between 4 to 7kgs and will live for between 13 to 15 years.
- ORIENTAL SHORTHAIR
The Oriental Shorthair has very close genetic ties to the Siamese and to this day has a very similar head and body type to its cousin breed. Its almond-shaped eyes, long pointy ears, triangular head and long slender body are all shared traits.
Oriental Shorthairs are very intelligent cats. They are playful and adventurous right through into adulthood and need a high level of social interaction. They prefer to live with the company of other cats, but human contact is also important.
The Oriental Shorthair weighs about 3 to 7kgs and a healthy example will live to the ripe old age of between 15 and 20 years.
- RUSSIAN BLUE
The Russian Blue cat has a striking bluish grey coat that is quite unique. The eyes of the Russian Blue are deep bottle green in colour. While other cats may have a similar appearance to the Russian Blue if they don’t have the green eyes then they are not Russian Blues.
There are a number of theories about the history of the Russian Blue. One theory notes that the breed developed on the Archangel Isles in Northern Russia and it travelled with sailors to Europe in the 1800s. Others believe that the cats are descendants of the cats that were owned by the Russian Czars.
The average weight of a Russian Blue cat is 3.5 to 7kgs with male cats heavier than females.
The lifespan of the Russian Blue cat is about 15 to 18 years.
Siberian Cats are large solid cats that take up to five years to reach their full size. These cats have a triple coat that is made up of a soft undercoat, and outer-coat with shiny waterproof hairs on top.
This is a breed with a strong personality and they are often described as having a dog like personality. They are affectionate and loyal and demand their owner’s attention and it’s not uncommon for this cat to follow their owners from room to room.
Siberian Cats shed their heavy coat during seasonal changes and they can do with regular grooming to keep their coat from becoming matted.
Siberian cats weigh between 6.8-9.1 kg for the males and 4.5-6.8 kg for females.
The average lifespan of a Siberian cat is 10 to 18 years.
Although the Sphynx isn’t completely hairless, it’s perhaps the best hypoallergenic cat breed for the simple reason it has so little hair.
The Sphynx cat was developed in the 1960s through a process of selective breeding with an aim to produce a completely hairless cat. The breed today is known for its almond-shaped eyes, its long pointy ears, muscular body and hairless appearance.
Sphynxes are very sociable cats and have been compared to dogs for their friendly demeanour. The Sphynx is open to strangers, energetic, adventurous and extremely athletic.
Sphynx cats lack the coat for shedding or grooming but feel the cold more than other breeds. A healthy specimen will weigh between 4 to 5kgs and will live to between 15 and 20 years.