Welcome to iHypoallergenicCats.com! We have everything you need to know about hypoallergenic cats – what are they, what causes allergy to cats, how to prevent cat allergies, how to mitigate effects of cat allergies, the specification of hypoallergenic cat breeds and much more.
Browse our Cat Basics section, Resource page and Blog to find out more information about these great and popular low-allergen cats.
HYPOALLERGENIC CATS BRIEFLY
Without any question, cats are one of the most favorite animals. But if you suffer from cat allergies, you may feel like getting a cat is not really good idea. But don’t worry. You are not alone with the similar problem. Scientists claim that 5 – 15% of the world population is allergic to cats.
Luckily for you, there exist so-called hypoallergenic cat breeds that may not trigger allergic symptoms just like other cats do. Therefore these low allergen cats may cause no or very little allergy reactions.
WHAT ARE HYPOALLERGENIC CATS
Hypoallergenic also known as low-allergen cats are those that typically produce fewer allergens than “regular” cats. The most important word here is “fewer.” It is very important to differentiate the terms hypoallergenic and non-allergenic.
The hypoallergenic term is not synonymous with the non-allergenic term. If there is something non-allergenic, it simply means that it does not cause any allergic reactions. On the other hand, the hypoallergenic term means there is very little likelihood of an allergic reaction to occur. Unfortunately, no cat breed is completely non-allergenic.
WHAT IS THE CAUSE OF ALLERGY TO CATS
The main reason for an allergic reaction to cats is a protein called Fel d 1. This protein is considered the main allergen triggering the allergy symptoms. It is produced largely in cat saliva and sebaceous glands, but can be also found in their urine or excrement.
When the cat licks itself as part of the self-cleaning process, it spreads this protein onto its body.
Then, the allergen is transferred to every place it touches. And as this allergen is the main trigger of people’s allergic reactions, your body reacts to it once there is a lot of allergens spread over your home. However, some cat breeds tend to produce less of this allergen. They still produce it, but much less than other cat breeds. These are the cats referenced as hypoallergenic cats.
More information can be found in the What Cause Allergies to Cats article.
POPULAR HYPOALLERGENIC CAT BREEDS
There are several cat breeds that are considered to be hypoallergenic. The complete list of hypoallergenic cat breed includes:
- Russian Blue
- Oriental Shorthair
- Colorpoint Shorthair
- Cornish Rex
- Devon Rex
For more information about each of these cat breeds please visit our Hypoallergenic Cat List where you find more useful information about each breed with hypoallergenic ability.
BEFORE YOU PURCHASE A CAT
Because every person is different, everyone will respond differently to each of mentioned breeds. So before purchasing a hypoallergenic cat it is very recommended to test yourself for the cat allergies first. Finding out how much your allergy can be severe is an important step in order to avoid possible forthcoming complications.
Why does it matter and why you should care though? Well, some reactions can be very serious and even threaten your life. If you are intentionally and continuously exposing yourself to known allergens, you may devastate your health and even get asthma. That’s significant reason to do the proper testing.
You have several choices what you can do. We recommend you to undertake two of them – first get tested with a doctor, an allergy specialist, and second, visit a cattery.
Allergy testing done by a doctor is relatively simple and fast method how to determine what you are allergic to. Tests are usually performed in two ways – skin tests or blood tests.
On the other hand visiting catteries may be a more pleasant way how to check how are you doing in the present of a certain cat breed. A cattery is a place where cats are commercially housed. These institutions usually let you spend some time with cats. Doing so can provide you useful information whether it is a good idea to purchase a cat.
For more information on cat allergies testing please read our Should I Get a Hypoallergenic Cat? guide.
USUAL CAT ALLERGY SYMPTOMS
For the completeness, we provide you list of all possible allergy symptoms that may be caused by your cat.
MILD ALLERGIC REACTIONS
- Runny Nose
- Watery, Red Eyes
MODERATE ALLERGIC REACTIONS
- Abdominal pain
- Abnormal (high-pitched) breathing sounds
- Chest discomfort or tightness
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
- Nausea or vomiting
- Swelling of the face, eyes, or tongue
The most dangerous one is Anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. Immediate medical attention is needed for this condition. Without treatment, anaphylaxis can get worse very quickly and lead to unconsciousness or even death. Although this is a pretty rare allergic reaction, you should still be aware of its existence.
HOW TO RELIEVE CAT ALLERGY SYMPTOMS
If any allergies seem to occur in the presence of the cat, there exist several ways how to prevent and/or relieve cat allergy symptoms. For instance, you can:
- Wash the cat’s bedding at least once a week,
- Wash her toys from time to time,
- Wash your hands after handling your cat and refrain from touching your face or eyes,
- Keep cat litter in a well-aired area
- Take medicaments in order to relieve your allergy symptoms such as Zyrtec or Claritin.
For the full list of tips read our 18 Ways How To Minimize Impact of Allergy to Cats post.
HYPOALLERGENIC CATS PRICE
You may be surprised, but the majority of hypoallergenic cats are not pricey. Most of them cost the same as regular cats that are not labeled “hypoallergenic” or “allergy friendly” cat.
The price differences are usually caused by cat’s quality and it’s health condition. We recommend you not to get the cheapest cat out there as it can lack essential veterinary examination. The average price of low allergen cat varies based on the specific breed. But to give you some rough estimate, purchasing hypoallergenic cat can cost you between $600 and $700.
We focus on this topic more in our Hypoallergenic Cats Price guide.
HYPOALLERGENIC CATS IN A NUTSHELL
By choosing hypoallergenic cat you will most likely decrease the risk of sneezing and watery eyes. If you are thinking about purchasing a cat but are suffering from cat allergies, you may want to try to purchase an allergy-friendly cat.
In general, they are best cats for people with allergies as it is proved these breeds may cause no or very little allergic reactions. We recommend you reading through our Basics Section in the right menu to get more information about these low allergy cats. Further please visit our Resource page and Blog where you can find much additional information.