Do you want a cat so much, but are you or someone in your family allergic? Is there really a hypoallergenic cat or a hypoallergenic cat with which to cohabit without suffocating?
Here’s how to solve the problem: there are truly hypoallergenic breeds of cats, which allow us to fully enjoy their company without suffering from the hair allergy that we unfortunately have.
The cat’s hair allergy is actually caused by an allergen called FEL D1, present in the saliva of cats, produced by the sebaceous glands and very persistent in home environments. So it is not correct to say “I am allergic to the cat”, but those who develop the allergy are sensitive to these particles, mainly FEL D1, but there are also Fel D2, 3, 4 and 5. We have talked extensively about the cat’s hair allergy in this article, while here we see if it is possible to live with an hypoallergenic cat and which breeds could do for us.
- 1 Hypoallergenic or hypoallergenic cat?
- 2 Hypoallergenic cats, what does it mean?
- 3 Hypoallergenic cats: the breeds
- 4 The Siberian cat, hypoallergenic par excellence
- 5 Norwegian hypoallergenic cat
- 6 Is the Bengal cat hypoallergenic?
- 7 Cats for allergy sufferers: Balinese
- 8 Hypoallergenic cats: the Blue of Russia
- 9 Is an hairless cat hypoallergenic?
- 10 Hypoallergenic cat: the price
- 11 Conclusions
Hypoallergenic or hypoallergenic cat?
But what does anallergic cat mean and why is it also called a hypoallergenic cat? What is the difference?
The definition of “hypoallergenic” is literally “which does not cause allergy”, while “hypoallergenic” usually refers more to cosmetic or food products, and means “which minimizes the possibility of allergy”.
As for cats, I have heard the two words used indifferently, to refer to hypoallergenic cats and hypoallergenic cats, but what does it mean to have a cat that does not give allergies, and really exists?
Hypoallergenic cats, what does it mean?
A hypoallergenic cat is a cat that does not cause us allergies, and since we have understood that the allergy is not in fact to the hair of the cat, but to the particles FEL D1, we must find a typology of cat that produces few or none. Fortunately, hypoallergenic cats exist, but we must look for them among the cat breeds, whose genetics is controlled by breeding in breeding, it will be difficult indeed to understand if a street cats produce or not the FEL D1 allergen, while we know for sure that some breeds of cats do not give allergy.
Of course every cat is different, and even if some breeds of cats produce less FEL allergens, the quantity produced depends on the individual subject, so it can happen that in contact with a cat of a breed we have no allergy symptoms, while in contact with a cat of the same breed, we have allergic reactions.
It is also known that the allergen FEL D1 is mainly produced in cats and whole cats, it was seen that there is a correlation with hormones, so the production of the allergen is less in sterilized cats and cats.
Generally speaking, if we have to choose a hypoallergenic cat, it is a good idea to select one from a breed that does not give allergies, but to stay in contact with it, perhaps in breeding, and see how we react. However, I have known allergic cat breeders, who breed breeds of cats called hypoallergenic, who had no reaction even though they have dozens of cats in the breeding. So there are testimonies of absence of allergy in contact with these cats.
Hypoallergenic cats: the breeds
As already mentioned, we must necessarily choose a purebred cat, if we want to be fairly certain that we do not have allergic reactions to his company, because they are genetically controlled.
There are hypoallergenic breeds of cats because they have a very low FEL D1 allergen production, allowing us to stay in contact with them without developing an allergy. The most famous races to be hypoallergenic are:
- the Siberian cat
- the Norwegian forest cat
- the Bengal cat
The Siberian cat, hypoallergenic par excellence
The Siberian cat is the most famous cat breed for being hypoallergenic. In reality it is not hypoallergenic, but hypoallergenic, ie it has less chance of causing you allergy. No cat does not produce FEL D1 allergens, you have to find the one that produces the least possible.
The Siberian cat, besides being a beautiful and long-haired cat (the length of the hair has absolutely nothing to do with the possibility or not of developing an allergy), is a cat that becomes very fond of its humans, almost to be considered a “cat dog”.
As we have seen, sterilization contributes to the reduction of FEL F1 allergen production, so a sterilized Siberian cat has even less chance of causing allergic reactions. The Siberian cat is considered hypoallergenic par excellence, the most known to have this characteristic.
Read also: Siberian cat, character, features and price.
The Siberian cat must necessarily be purchased in a qualified breeding, accompanied by Pedigree and obviously has a price, which generally varies from 800-1000 €, depends very much on the characteristics of the cat. Buying a hypoallergenic cat does not have a different price from buying a pedigree cat.
Norwegian hypoallergenic cat
As for the Siberian cat, even in the case of the Norwegian forest, the production of FEL D1 allergen is very low, so much so as to define the Norwegian cat “hypoallergenic”. Also in this case the correct definition is of hypoallergenic cat, since there is however the possibility of developing allergy, therefore it is necessary to visit the Norwegian cat breeding first and see how it reacts.
Forest Norwegian is a beautiful long-haired cat, very affectionate and faithful. Its dimensions are medium-large, but it adapts perfectly to apartment life, as long as you don’t leave it alone for long periods because it would suffer.
Read also: Norwegian Forest Cat, all information
Is the Bengal cat hypoallergenic?
The Bengal cat is a beautiful cat with a spotted coat, short-haired, very lively and playful. Bengal is hypoallergenic because it also produces little FEL D1 allergen in its saliva and skin, so it is suitable for use by allergy sufferers.
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Again the advice is to visit a Bengal cat farm and stay in prolonged contact with them, to see how our allergy reacts. It is known that the Bengal cat is suitable for those who are allergic, but each case is different, so it is always better to do the test.
Among allergic cats, Bengal is perhaps the liveliest, because it needs to play a lot, to jump and climb, so it needs a lot of attention and play on our part
To learn more about the Bengal cat: Bengal cat, character, price and breeding
Cats for allergy sufferers: Balinese
The Balinese cat is a cross between the Siamese cat and long-haired cats. It is a beautiful cat with an oriental, sinuous and elegant appearance. It is said to produce a little allegene FEL D1 so it is a cat that does not give allergy, or at least we are less at risk.
If you love the look of the Siamese and the stinging hair and you want an antiallergic cat, the Balinese could do for you.
Read also: Balinese cat, all information
Hypoallergenic cats: the Blue of Russia
If you love small, dark-haired cats, Russian Blue could do for you. He is also said to produce little FEL F1 allergen, so the Russian Blue is a cat for allergy sufferers. It is a wonderful, very affectionate cat with a typical soft coat with a bright gray color tending to silver.
Is an hairless cat hypoallergenic?
The most obvious paradox when we talk about hypoallergenic cats is the fact that the Sphynx, the naked cat par excellence, is not at all an hypoallergenic cat, even if it is hairless. As we have understood, the allergic reaction appears in contact with the allergen FEL D1, produced from sebum and saliva of the cats, therefore independently from the fact that the cat is to long hair, short or without hair altogether.
I often find the Siamese, Javanese and Oriental people on the internet quoted as hypoallergenic cats because they are short-haired and lose very little hair. In reality it is not attested and known that they are hypoallergenic cats. The fact that it always depends on the single specimen also attests that some people develop allergy in contact with the Siamese, Javanese and oriental and other not.
The same goes for the Devon Rex and Cornish Rex cats, sometimes mentioned among hypoallergenic cats because they lose very little hair.
Hypoallergenic cat: the price
The price of a hypoallergenic or hypoallergenic cat does not differ from the price of a normal purebred cat and you must agree with the breeder of the specific breed. The care for the growth of one cat over another, which can change from one breed to another or from one cat’s exhibition career to another, does not change in the case of hypoallergenic breeds of cats, so the cost of a hypoallergenic cat does not change compared to a purebred cat that does not have this definition. I remember that purebred cats should always be accompanied by a pedigree, a document that also attests to the health of the cat and the seriousness of the breeder.
You can also try to adopt a cat from a cattery or an abandoned cat, it is not said that you are causing allergies! As mentioned above, it changes from subject to subject and from cat to cat. If you are less likely to develop an allergy with a hypoallergenic cat such as Siberian or Norwegian or Bengal, it could very well happen that you are lucky enough to encounter a non-purebred cat that does not cause you an allergy. The complicated thing is to do the test, because a cat’s allergy can also develop several hours after contact with the allergen.
To conclude, the hypoallergenic cat exists, or rather, there is the hypoallergenic cat, that is, that has less probability of causing allergic reactions in predisposed subjects. The advice is to contact qualified breeders of hypoallergenic breeds of cats and visit them with people, to understand how we react.
Let me know in the comments if you are allergic and have adopted one of these cats and how you do it, wishing you a peaceful cohabitation with your kitty!