Monday, December 13, 2010

The Best Cats for People with Allergies By Heather Reynolds From Trupanion Pet Insurance

 When you are an avid cat lover who has longed for a cat of his or her own, it can be incredibly disheartening to find out you are allergic to felines. You think you must give up that dream of sharing your home with a sweet, snuggly kitty, but that is simply not true. There are actually several cat breeds that are great for people with allergies. The following are a few of these breeds, and some of the traits of each.
Colorpoint Shorthair

Colorpoint Shorthair – This Siamese hybrid is similar in body style, personality, coat length, and color pattern as the Siamese. These are friendly, outgoing, active, and affectionate cats that constantly seek affection from their family. They are also intelligent and can be quite talkative. The most common health concerns associated with this breed are Epiphora (the overflow of tears) and Sinusitis (the inflammation of the sinuses).

Photo from Wiki Images
Sphynx – These hairless cats are extremely devoted, loyal, playful, and intelligent. They possess many characteristics of dogs, even wagging their tails to their human companions. They get along well with children and other pets. Heart disease is common in this breed, but they are fairly healthy otherwise.

Peterbald – This breed originated as a mix of the Don Hairless cat and the Oriental cat. This breed is extremely friendly, very outgoing, and loves to play. They are intelligent, affectionate, loyal, and devoted to their owners. They are a very healthy breed, not prone to any significant health issues.
Pair of Peterbald Cats

Devonshire Rex – This is a very affectionate cat that originated in England. They have loyal, devoted, and courageous personalities and enjoy sitting on the laps of their owners. They love tossing and retrieving toys and get along well with children and other pets. This breed is prone to heart disease and hip dysplasia (a condition of the ball and socket hip joints where the ball does not properly fit in the socket).
Devonshire Rex

Siberian 
Siberian – Long ago, this cat originated in Siberia. These affectionate cats have great personalities and are quite playful. Despite being a larger breed, they are very agile and able to leap tall heights with just a single bounce. They are independent yet extremely devoted to their families. Cardiomyopathy (heart dysfunction) is common in this breed, but otherwise, they are fairly healthy.

Are you an allergy sufferer? What do you think of these hypoallergenic cat breeds?

Heather Reynolds is a pet lover and internet journalist at Trupanion, a pet insurance company. Feel free to contact her with any questions related to pet insurance  or at heather.reynolds@trupanion.com.

47 comments:

  1. I guess it's always good to have other alternatives when you are allergic to cat fur, although I don't think I will ever consider getting a sphynx!! They are a little creepy. I don't think I could go with getting any hairless dogs either!

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  2. Thanks for the info. Thankfully Mommy isn't allergic, but she's often imagined what she would do if she was...she's been a cat person since she was a little girl!

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  3. The allergist told mama she is allergic to cats, but she won't give us up!!!! She says life without a kitty or two isn't worth living!!!!!! She takes meds which help her.

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  4. Verreh inneresting! I myself have loads of black furz that I shed at a moment's notice, but some of these kittehs look oh-so-lovable for the allergic!

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  5. @Priscilla I have to say (and I hope I don't upset anyone by saying this) that I agree with you a zillion percent! The only 2 from this list that I would even consider is the Colorpoint or the Siberian....
    I feel the same way as you about hairless dogs...my step daughter breeds Chinese Cresteds (both with fur and without) and I just never could own a dog without fur.

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  6. @the Monkeys, thank goodness your Mom isn't allergic! I sometimes wonder if I am because my nose is always stuffed and sometimes runs but I would just live with it or take meds!

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  7. @Sammy and Andy I would do the exact same thing as you!
    @Spitty, I agree (but for me just two of them) :)

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  8. Hi Caren,

    Thank you so much for that wonderful comment you left over on my blog. I enjoy Ellen too...she is an absolute riot. I think once in awhile we all go through some sort of hardships in our lives and it takes the little and simple things to lift us back up.

    I am happy to have 'met' you and your blog. :)

    Marie

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  9. I am FOR Devon Rex kitties! My Mommeh says my furs are soft and downy and hardly shed at all!

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  10. Interesting stuff!!! I'm surprised that the Siberian, a long haired cat, is good for allergies :-)

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  11. I would never think that the Siberian would be good for allergies. Actually, I didn’t realize certain breeds were better than others. I am allergic to cats, but, I don’t let that stop me...I use nose spray and my inhaler almost daily...The suffering is well worth the loving! I was also allergic to my bichon.

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  12. Now all we have to do is to figure out the best humans for cats with allergies!

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  13. Good to know information!
    We have a lot of clients come into the vet clinic where I work asking about this.
    I do have one question.
    What makes the Siberian a good allergy cat since it appears to be long haired? Less dandur?

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  14. My Maddy is Siberian and her hair does not bother me. My Mason, who is a mixed breed short hair, will only bother me if I put my hands to my face after touching him. So worth the occasional itch and sniffle!

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  15. I've been allergic (not severely though) to cats since my teens, and when I first adopted Chumley and Annie, I itched and scratched and sneezed a lot, but I adjusted. Hmm, come to think of it, I still do it. LOL. When my various allergies get bad enough I take an allergy pill, otherwise I stay stocked up on Kleenex. :-P

    P.S. I can't smell anymore, though, and I think it's daily life with the cats. Has its advantages...as when cleaning the litter boxes. Ha.

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  16. Thanks for all the comments, as always! I know that there are a lot of people that are averse to hairless pets, but I must say, I actually think they are quite interesting! I would be thrilled to have a Sphyx or Peterbald. Of course, I'm quite partial to the Chinese Crested, too. I thought about adopting one when I was looking for a dog, but ended up with an Italian Greyhound instead. :)
    ~Heather

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  17. I don't think I would feel happy with a sphinx cat - what would i do if I wasn't picking up loads of floof all day!!

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  18. Mario's mom here - I have not heard of a couple of these breeds. I do have minor allergies to cats. I seem to be able to tolerate one at a time. When ever my daughter brings her two cats to stay for a week, by the end of the week I start having problems. I don't think I'd like to have a cat without fur. Some of the pleasure of having a cat is having them sit in your lap and stroking the fur - very calming.

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  19. My hooman big brother says he is allergic to Simba!! It doesn't stop him cuddling up with him though and letting him sleep on his bed. Although
    why by hooman brother wants to snuggle up on the cat bed is anybodies guess hee he - only joking :)

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  20. Awww beautiful kitties!!! I have hayfever so kitty furrs bother me during hayfever season but it's ok - I love my kitties!!! :-)

    I'm not too sure about breeding cats specifically for people allergic to them. The kitties bred for such purpose seem to be ill or with health problems - not very fair on them. Just my personal opinion!!

    Take care
    x

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  21. I have held an hairless cat and although she was very sweet I really felt awkward with it. I think I need the hair to get the full effect of the cat. Nothing smells better than cat fur. I'm happy that there are alternatives for people. I couldn't imagine life without a cat or 5. Hugs, Deb=^..^=x5

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  22. You know, although I too think the hairless kitties are a little creepy looking, my human has met them at cat shows and they have great personalities! Plus they feel so warm, like a chamois cloth that has been out in the sun on a June day. So all that comes close to making up for their odd appearance. They ARE high-maintenance kitties, though. They need bathing to regulate the oil in their skin, sweaters for when it gets cold, and cat-appropriate sunscreen if they are spending the day outside with you (needless to say, they should never be let loose outside on their own).

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  23. @Marie, soooo true!! Thanks so much and I look forward to getting to know you and enjoying your blog as well!

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  24. @Daisy, I didn't know you are a Devon Rex! You DO have "furs" that looks very soft! You have a very smart Mommy and you are a very pretty girl!

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  25. @Cat and Hilary I was very surprised about the Siberian as well.
    I agree with you Hilary, if I had allergies I KNOW I would do exactly what you are doing if I was able to do that.

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  26. @Brian, I love that idea! find the "right" humans for the cats! lol

    @Jen...that is a very good question. I bet it has something to do with the dander as you said.

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  27. @Kelly, I agree!
    @Kea I am so sorry about your allergies but you have a great attitude about it!

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  28. @Trupanion, too funny that you mentioned the Italian Greyhound because my step-daughter (whom I mentioned breeds Chinese Cresteds) also has an Italian Greyhound. I know from playing with her Chinese Cresteds they are an incredibly loving and playful breed...I do prefer them in the "powder puff" mode though. All animals deserve our love and care whether they have fur or not so I guess I shouldn't have voiced my preference as I did earlier

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  29. @Hannah and Lucy, we wouldn't constantly have "floof" on our clothes! lol

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  30. @Mario I have to agree with you about the petting but I bet even the hairless ones offer a softness and soothing feeling that you and I don't know cause we have cats with fur. I do agree with you though.

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  31. @Old Kitty that is a very interesting point and I am glad you brought that up!! I have to agree with you...it is almost like the "designer" breeds of dogs/cats...I had asked my vet about owning a "puggle" once and he was staunchly against it for the very reasons you mentioned. Thanks for sharing!

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  32. @Deb I would feel extremely awkward as well but agree with you that at least people with allergies have an option other than meds if they choose not to take them.

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  33. @Sparkle I LOVE your analogy of the skin "feeling like a chamois cloth on a June day"...that evoked a really nice image! :)
    You are soooo right about their being high maintenance. I know that from my step-daughter's Chinese Cresteds that she breeds (who also have wonderful/loving personalities!
    She has to treat their skin, put clothes on them in the sun/cold etc...just as you mentioned!
    Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us!

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  34. @Caren Always voice your opinion! That is why we love you! I think there are certain breeds for certain people - not all breeds are for everyone. :)

    I love how everyone on here is basically saying that even if they have/had allergies, that won't stop them from loving a cat! I am the same way - can't let certain things stop us from experiencing the love of a pet.

    For those who asked about the Siberian. In my research, I read many accounts of the Siberian having much lower levels of the feline allergen that other breeds. So that means dander doesn't get in the air, making them good for people with allergies who don't want a hairless.

    Thanks again for all the comments!

    ~Heather

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  35. I find this really interesting, my boyfriend has allergies and he has two cats but he liked to blame his allergies on my dogs :)

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  36. oh my... That's too bad that some people are allergic to us. Look what they miss... all that love...

    pawhugs, Max

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  37. Aunty Caren,
    Mama has a plaque that says: We had to get rid of the kids. The cat is allergic. har har har *evil laughs*

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  38. @Trupanion/Heather, thanks!! I felt bad after I shot off my mouth! :) That is very true, just like with dogs, I love dogs but wouldn't own certain breeds (like Shelties!! KIDDING!! I own one! lol)....but other breeds that just might not be right for me. The info about the Siberian (not to mention their great beauty!) is making me want one! lol
    Yep and if I had allergies I could NEVER be without a cat!
    Thanks for stopping by Heather and giving us more info!

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  39. @Hound Girl...maybe they were from both? :)

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  40. @Max well some that are allergic might not have a cat but others (as they mentioned in their comments) either take meds, have a breed that they have less of a reaction with or just tough it out :)

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  41. @Cat-In-Sydney...now THAT is a plaque that I would LOVE to have!!! lol. Thanks for making my day! :)

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  42. @GreatGranny, thanks so much!!! Thanks to all of you for reading/commenting!
    We all learn so much from each other! (((((giant hugs!!)))))))

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  43. My mom was severely allergic to cats and would get very ill yet loved cats. I had to make sure no pet fur was on my clothes going to visit her. She did stay with family members who had Siamese and was not bothered - altho it was summer and we were outside most of the time. I rescue cats and mine were always mutts - who knew what breed if any!

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  44. You only have to LOOK at my Moby and great wads of fur float off him in every direction. Very sneezy!

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  45. @cats of wildcat woods both of mine were mutts too! Gotta love the mutts! :)

    @Alittlesprite lol!!! Same with my Cody AND Dakota! :)

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