Hypoallergenic cats: How to find a hypoallergenic cat

HYPOALLERGENIC CATS: Lessening the Risk of Allergic Reactions

One of the most common human allergies in medical history are attributed to cats and their fur. This allergy is due to the human histamine reaction to feline allergens, the most common of which is the cat glycoprotein called Fel D1. Usually, an average cat produces 2-7 g of Fel D1 per day, which is enough to produce these reactions. The symptoms of this allergy are varied but can be one or more of the following:

* itchy nose which usually leads to sneezing

* mild to severe eye irritation

* wheezing/coughing fits

* sore throat

* Dyspnea (difficulty in breathing)

* itchy skin

As seen above, this allergic reaction may lead to serious health problems. There is a way, however, to own a pet cat and still minimize the risk of getting these allergic reactions. This is possible by owning specific breeds of cats that fall under the category of hypoallergenic cats.

The Science Behind Hypoallergenic Cats

Hypoallergenic cats are different from normal cats because they are less likely to provoke allergic reactions in people. The reason behind this is the reduced levels of the Fel D1 allergen in these cats as compared to the ordinary house cats. There are even cases where the presence of the said allergen in some of these hypoallergenic cats is completely absent. Over the years, more and more biotechnology companies are finding ways to breed these hypoallergenic cats. In a way, they are trying to make cats even more accessible to sensitive people. Truly this is wonderful news to cat lovers worldwide.

Common Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds

There are several cat breeds which are known to be hypoallergenic, most of which are commonly found in your average pet shop. Nowadays, it is even possible to ask pet shop owners if a certain cat breed is hypoallergenic or not. Some of the known hypoallergenic cat breeds are as follows:

1. Siberian cats – this semi longhair breed of cats is known to be hypoallergenic. Cat owners and breeders alike testify to this cat breed’s hypoallergenic reputation. There are comparative studies that prove Siberian cats produce less fel D1 allergen in general compared to other cat breeds.

2. Russian Blue cats – this breed is known for their unique silver-blue coat. Like the Siberian breed, studies have shown that this breed also produces less fel D1 glycoproteins which cause allergic reactions.

3. Devon Rex cats – widely known as “pixie cats” or “alien cats” due to their unique appearance, this cat breed is also hypoallergenic.

4. Cornish Rex cats – because this breed has fine, light fur and reduced shedding, they are categorized as hypoallergenic as well.

5. LaPerm cats – the LaPerm breed stands out among other cat breeds with their curly coat and their affectionate nature. They are also found to be hypoallergenic cats.

6. Sphynx cats – these cats are widely known because they are of the hairless breed. Due to this characteristic, this breed is also reputed to be hypoallergenic.

NOTE: A word of advice to those who are interested in buying these hypoallergenic cats. Although these breeds are known to have a lesser tendency to provoke allergic reactions in humans, there is a small chance that they may still provoke such reactions. This is because the fel D1 glycoprotein is found in dander, a material shed from the body of animals, and not on the cat fur itself.

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