Pets

The Best Cat Breeds For People With Allergies

From Sphynxs and Bengals to Siberian.

Cute and beautifull bengal cat age of one year sleeping on sofa at home
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There are so many great things about owning a cat. They are soft and cuddly, many of them love to snuggle, they're really adorable to look at, they can be super playful and fun, and they make you feel less lonely whenever you need them. They also love you unconditionally, which is pretty amazing! But, as with any other pet, there are some downsides as well. Cats, as cute as they are, can be a bit destructive, as they love to scratch and knead on just about anything you want to keep safe. A lot of cats also tend to shed a lot, which means you'll be finding cat hair pretty much, well, everywhere.

For some people, cat hair everywhere is just an annoyance, maybe something that's kind of gross. For someone with an allergy to cats, it can literally make them feel sick. But even if you don't want cat hair all over the place, for whatever reason, you can still own a cat. There are a bunch of breeds of cats out there that either don't shed at all or don't shed nearly as much as some of their feline family members. That is definitely something you can appreciate.

Just a note if you're very allergic to cats: getting a hairless one isn't going to solve all of your problems. “Pet dander may be a major source of allergies ... that comes naturally from the skin, even in breeds that are hairless or shed less,” Dr. Stephanie Austin, DVM and medical director and veterinarian of Bond Vet, tells Bustle. In other words, you can still be allergic to cats that release less hair, because most cat allergies are caused by the protein Fel D1, which is mainly found in the skin and saliva of the cat. So, the main reason for getting one that sheds less would really be convenience.

If you want to add a new cat to the fam, without sacrificing the cleanliness of your home, check out 13 of the best cat breeds that don’t shed as much, below:

1

Sphynx

Probably the most well-known of naked cats, a Sphynx appears to be hairless and fragile. However, they actually have hair follicles and are covered by a very fine hair — it's just that we can't really see it or even feel it. A Sphynx might look weird, but they actually feel super soft, like suede. Getting one means you don't have to deal with cat hair, but they can be a bit high-maintenance. Since they don't have hair that absorbs their body oils, they need to be bathed regularly, and their skin needs to be protected from the sun if they're allowed to go outside.

2

Siamese

Siamese cats are quite exotic looking, and while they may appear a little fluffy, they don't shed as much as many other breeds. They have a very short, fine coat that’s easy to maintain and doesn't shed often. And if you use a fine-tooth comb to remove dead hair on a weekly basis, there's even less shedding.

3

Japanese Bobtail

Japanese Bobtail cats have a single coat that doesn't shed much either. They are also meticulous groomers, so you really don't need to do much to keep them clean aside from combing their fur with a fine-tooth comb sometimes.

4

Devon Rex

If you're looking for a hypoallergenic cat that doesn't release much hair, then the Devon Rex is it. They have really thin fur that makes grooming simple and keeps shedding down. They are also affectionate, playful, and unique.

5

Oriental Shorthair Cat

Oriental Shorthairs are related to the Siamese family, so it makes sense that they wouldn't shed too much either. They have short, smooth hair that doesn't require a lot of maintenance at all. Just keep in mind that they really love attention and require a lot of it!

6

Cornish Rex

The small Cornish Rex cats have soft, wavy hair that sheds a lot less than some other breeds. Their hair is so short that it just doesn't fall off their skin as easily. They're also affectionate and they love to play.

7

Russian Blue

Russian Blue cats may look like snuggly little furry pillows, but they really don't shed that much. They actually shed over a two to three week period only once or twice each year, and they're very easy to groom. Their hair is plush and thick, but it's also short, so it doesn't fall as much.

8

Birman

Super cute and cuddly, Birman cats are easy to deal with when it comes to maintenance and grooming. Their fur is non-matting, so it just doesn't shed as often as other breeds.

9

Siberian

Siberian cats are large and fluffy, so it might seem like they shed a ton, but they actually don't. They have a long and heavy coat, but they really don't shed that much. They do need to be combed, though, so that the fur doesn't build up too much. Bonus: These cats are known to be hypoallergenic as well.

10

Bengal

Bengal cats are commonly perceived as a “mini” wild cat. The Bengal cat is extremely muscular, similar to that of a wild cat. Not only is the Bengal cat cool in appearance, they also make incredibly sweet and loyal pets. These cats are a great option for allergy prone people because they “produce less of the Fel D1 protein found in their saliva and skin,” according to PetsPyjamas.com, which directly reduces irritation to allergy prone people.

11

Bombay

The Bombay cat is a rare breed known for its shiny deep dark fur with piercing copper eyes. The cat sheds very little, making the breed a good option for owners prone to allergies. However, it’s important to note that the Bombay cat is still not considered hypoallergenic, even though they do not shed a lot.

12

Lykoi

One of the most interesting looking cats on this list has to be the Lykoi. This cat famously resembles werewolves due to its coarse dark grey and black hair. The Lyoki is partially hairless, and due to the fact that they do not have an undercoat, they do not shed like regular cats, making them an awesome option for people with allergies. Fun fact: The Lyoki wasn’t officially established as a real breed until 2011.

13

Peterbald

Clearly the hairless Peterbald cat does not shed due to its lack of hair. However, as mentioned above, it’s important to note that just because a cat does not shed, that does not mean they are hypoallergenic. Remember: The protein in the feline’s saliva, dander, and coat can all produce an allergic reaction in humans, despite the cat’s lack of hair.