12 Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds for Allergy Sufferers

Allergies shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying the companionship of a feline friend. Certain cat breeds are known for producing fewer allergens, making them a better choice for individuals with sensitivities.

Explore your options for the best hypoallergenic cat breeds, offering insights into their characteristics, care needs, and how they might fit into your lifestyle.

1. Siberian

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With its dense, water-repellent triple coat, the Siberian cat is surprisingly suitable for those with mild to moderate allergies. This breed produces lower levels of Fel d 1, the primary allergen found in cats.

Siberians are robust, with a hearty constitution reflecting their origins in the cold forests of Siberia. They possess a playful and affectionate disposition and often form deep bonds with their human families.

These cats are particularly fond of water, so don’t be surprised if they join you for a splash. Grooming is essential, especially during shedding season, to minimize allergen spread and maintain their coat’s health.

2. Balinese

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The Balinese breed offers the elegance of a Siamese with the added allure of a medium to long silky coat, which, contrary to expectations, sheds very little. This feature, combined with their lower production of Fel d 1, makes them a good option for allergy sufferers.

Balinese cats are known for their intelligence, agility, and vocal communication, often engaging in lengthy conversations with their owners. They crave interaction and can develop a deep, empathetic connection with their human companions, making them perfect for households seeking an interactive pet.

3. Russian Blue

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The Russian Blue’s plush double coat does more than just give this breed an aristocratic appearance—it also helps trap allergens closer to the skin. This breed is known for its gentle demeanor and loyalty, often forming a particularly close bond with one family member.

Russian Blues are playful and loving with their families despite their reserved nature around strangers. They are also known for their intelligence and curiosity, and they enjoy puzzle toys and interactive play.

Their diet and health should be closely monitored, as they can be prone to obesity.

4. Bengal

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Bengals are as close as possible to having a wild jungle cat in your living room without the allergies typically associated with feline companions. Their short, pelt-like coat sheds less and is easier to maintain, contributing to their hypoallergenic status.

Bengals require a lot of physical and mental stimulation to thrive in active households. They are known for their love of water, high energy levels, and remarkable intelligence. They often learn tricks and enjoy interactive toys.

Socialization from a young age is key to ensuring they grow into well-adjusted adults.

5. Devon Rex

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The Devon Rex, with its soft, curly coat, sheds less hair and dander than most cat breeds, making it a suitable choice for allergy sufferers. These cats are known for their elfin features, including oversized ears and large, expressive eyes, which give them a perpetually surprised look.

Devon Rexes are affectionate to the point of being clingy, preferring to perch on shoulders or cuddle in laps rather than wander far from their humans. They are playful and retain kitten-like energy well into adulthood.

Their diet requires attention, as they are prone to obesity due to their hearty appetites.

6. Oriental Shorthair

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The Oriental Shorthair is a sleek, elegant breed that boasts a short, fine coat, minimizing the spread of allergens. Known for their diversity in color and pattern, Orientals can have over 300 color combinations.

They share the Siamese’s vocal nature but are highly individual in personality, ranging from shy to outgoing.

Orientals require a lot of social interaction and do not like being left alone for long periods. Their slender physique hides a muscular body that benefits from regular play and exercise.

7. Cornish Rex

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The Cornish Rex, with its distinctive appearance characterized by a short, wavy coat, large ears, and an athletic body, is another excellent choice for allergy sufferers. Their coat is incredibly soft, consisting only of down hair, which minimizes the spread of dander and allergens.

These cats are known for their kitten-like demeanor, remaining playful and curious throughout their lives. They enjoy interactive play and climbing and can often be found in the highest spots in your home.

Their affectionate nature makes them great companions, although their high energy levels require attentive engagement.

8. Sphynx

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The Sphynx is perhaps the most recognizable hypoallergenic cat breed due to its lack of fur, dramatically reducing the spread of allergens. This breed is known for its extroverted behavior, high energy, and affectionate nature, often seeking warmth and attention by cuddling with their humans.

Despite their lack of fur, Sphynx cats require regular bathing to remove oil build-up on their skin, which can also help reduce allergen levels. Their expressive eyes and prominent cheekbones give them a distinctive appearance, and they are known to be highly social, getting along well with children and other pets.

The Sphynx’s diet and health require careful management, as their lack of coat makes them sensitive to temperature extremes and skin issues.

9. LaPerm

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LaPerm cats feature a unique, curly coat resulting from a natural genetic mutation, and they shed significantly less than many other breeds, making them a good choice for allergy sufferers. Their curls can range from tight ringlets to loose waves, covering their body from head to tail. 

LaPerms are affectionate, intelligent, and curious, often displaying a playful nature well into adulthood. They thrive on interaction and can be quite vocal in their demands for attention.

Regular grooming is required to maintain their coat’s condition and minimize allergens, but their grooming needs are generally less intensive than those of long-haired breeds.

10. Javanese

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The Javanese cat, a variation of the Siamese breed with medium to long hair, also produces lower levels of Fel d 1, making it suitable for allergy sufferers. Unlike many long-haired cats, the Javanese do not have an undercoat, which means less shedding and fewer allergens spread around the home.

Javanese cats are known for their elegance, intelligence, and communicative nature. They often engage in long conversations with their owners. They are highly social and do not like to be left alone for extended periods.

They are playful and energetic, enjoying high places and interactive toys, making them perfect companions for active households.

11. Siamese

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The Siamese cat is not only one of the most recognizable breeds but also among the more hypoallergenic options. Its short, fine coat minimizes shedding and reduces the spread of allergens.

Siamese cats are incredibly social, loving, and vocal, known for their striking blue eyes and contrasting coat colors. They thrive on companionship and do well in homes where they can receive plenty of attention and interaction.

Their playful and curious nature makes them excellent companions, and often form strong bonds with their human families.

12. Burmese

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The Burmese breed is another excellent choice for allergy sufferers. It features a short, fine coat that is silky to the touch and sheds minimally. They are known for their compact, muscular build and affectionate, playful nature.

Burmese cats are incredibly social and thrive in environments where they can participate in daily activities. They are known to be great with children and other pets, making them ideal family companions.

Regular grooming can help minimize allergen spread, although their coat requires less maintenance than that of longer-haired breeds.

Managing Allergies with Your Cat

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Discovering that your cat triggers your allergies doesn’t mean you must live in discomfort or consider rehoming your pet. Here are refined strategies to help you manage your symptoms while enjoying the companionship of your feline friend.

1. Enhance Cleaning Routines

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Investing in a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) air purifier can significantly reduce airborne allergens, including pet dander, by trapping particles as small as 0.3 microns with a 99.97% efficiency rate.

Similarly, a vacuum cleaner equipped with a HEPA filter can prevent allergens from being recirculated back into the room.

It is crucial to regularly clean surfaces, fabrics, and floors where dander accumulates. Studies have shown that regular cleaning, combined with the use of air purifiers, can significantly reduce airborne allergens in homes with pets.

2. Create an Allergy-Free Zone

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Establishing a cat-free zone, particularly in the bedroom, can significantly relieve allergy sufferers. This measure ensures that you have an area where exposure to allergens is minimized, which is especially important during sleep when prolonged exposure can occur.

Encasing mattresses and pillows in allergen-proof covers and using allergen-trapping filters in air conditioning and heating units can further enhance this space’s effectiveness in reducing symptom triggers.

3. Optimize Grooming

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Frequent grooming can help manage the dander that cats produce. While cats naturally groom themselves, bathing them every 4-6 weeks can help reduce the allergen they carry in their fur. However, it’s essential to consult a veterinarian to determine the most appropriate bathing schedule and products, as over-bathing can lead to dry skin, increasing dander production.

Brushing should be done regularly to remove loose fur and dander, ideally in a well-ventilated area or outdoors by someone who is not allergic.

4. Consult a Healthcare Professional

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An allergist can offer tailored advice and treatment options to help manage your symptoms. This may include over-the-counter or prescription antihistamines, nasal sprays, and possibly allergen immunotherapy (allergy shots), which can desensitize your body to the allergens over time.

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology, allergen immunotherapy can be a highly effective long-term solution for many people suffering from persistent allergies.

5. Adjust Your Living Environment

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Making adjustments to your living environment can further reduce allergen exposure. Using allergen-resistant bedding and frequently washing bedding in hot water can kill dust mites and remove allergens.

Replacing upholstered furniture with materials like leather or vinyl, which are easier to clean and less likely to trap dander, can also make a significant difference.

By taking these steps, you can create a more comfortable environment for both you and your cat, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of pet ownership without the discomfort of allergy symptoms.

Martha A. Lavallie
Martha A. Lavallie
Author & Editor | + posts

Martha is a journalist with close to a decade of experience in uncovering and reporting on the most compelling stories of our time. Passionate about staying ahead of the curve, she specializes in shedding light on trending topics and captivating global narratives. Her insightful articles have garnered acclaim, making her a trusted voice in today's dynamic media landscape.