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If you’re allergic to cats, you may be hesitant to adopt one as a pet. Cat hair is one of those things that seems to just go hand in hand with owning a cat.
But are their certain types of hypoallergenic cats that’s don’t shed, or at least not very much? Can you be allergic and still own a cat?
The only type of cat that doesn’t shed (at all) would be hairless cats such as the Sphynx. But there are other breeds that are considered hypoallergenic that don’t shed as much as others. Some consider the Siberian cat to be the most hypoallergenic of all, and they don’t shed that much despite their longer hair.
What does it mean people people refer to cats as hypoallergenic?
Cats that are considered hypoallergenic are less likely to trigger allergies in people who are allergic. If they do, often times owners say the allergies aren’t as bad as with other cats.
However no cat breed, regardless of if they shed or not, is 100% safe from causing an allergic response.
This is because allergies are not caused from cat hair itself, but a protein called Fel-D1 that’s produced in their saliva and skin (and even their urine).
Despite this, cat hair can still be a major source of the Fel-D1 protein in your home since cats spend so much time grooming themselves. The saliva is deposited onto the hairs, which float around your home and ends up on the floor, furniture, and even your bed.
Therefore, it makes sense that cats that don’t shed, and cats that don’t groom themselves as much will deposit less of the Fel-D1 protein on their fur, which means less of it throughout your home.
Depending on how sensitive you are to this specific protein, you may or may not find “hypoallergenic” cats more tolerable to live with than others.
Are there any cat breeds that don’t shed at all?
The only cat breeds that truly don’t shed would be hairless cats like the Sphynx, and other less common hairless breeds.
Any cat that has hair will shed, at least a little bit. Even ones that are considered to rarely shed will still do so, especially during the spring and fall.
There is also natural variation between individual cats even of the same breed. There can also be underlying medical reasons why some cats shed more than others like stress, poor diet, or even allergies.
Some types of cats such as the Siberian and Balinese are considered hypoallergenic, but they still have a lot of hair and shed some (even if it’s less than other breeds). They usually have a couple periods a year where they shed more in the spring and fall.
Read also: I Have Allergies, But I Want a Cat!
Cat breeds that don’t shed (and are less likely to trigger allergies)
A cat that truly does not leave hair all over your house is rare. If you want to be sure to get a non-shedding hypoallergenic feline, you’ll need to go hairless.
The Sphinx is the most common breed of hairless cat. But despite the fact they don’t shed, they require care in ways other cats don’t and are considered high maintenance.
You may not have to vacuum your furniture as much, but you’ll need to bathe them at least once a week because oils build up on their skin.
Elf, Peterbald, Minskin, and Donskoy
These are additional breeds of hairless cats, but they are very rare. Like the Sphynx, they also require weekly bathing. Some of them may not actually be totally hairless and will still have fuzzy coats that shed occasionally.
Hypoallergenic cat breeds that still shed (a little)
Even though these cat breeds are said to be no or low-shed, many owners of these breeds will tell you they still definitely shed! (At least a little bit!)
Overall, these guys shed much less than a normal cat.
However because they have very short hair, it can be difficult to remove from clothing and furniture.
Cornish Rex cats may shed even less than the closely related Devon Rex breed because they have a shorter coat.
But like the Devon Rex, the very short hair can be difficult to remove if you find any stuck on your clothing or furniture. Overall, the Cornish Rex breed is very low-shed.
There are a lot of different types of Siamese cats, but overall people say they do not shed as much as others since they have very short coats.
This Reddit user points out their Flame, Chocolate, and Seal Point Siamese hardly ever shed, while their Lynx Point shed as much as a regular cat. So it can depend on the type of Siamese cat as well.
The Oriental Shorthair is very closely related to the Siamese cat.
Like most Siamese cats, the Oriental Shorthair rarely sheds.
These gorgeous cats have coats that require much less grooming than normal, so they don’t spread as much of the Fel-D1 protein on their fur.
They also shed much less than typical cats because they have short fur.
Out of all cat breeds, some say the Siberian cat is the most hypoallergenic of all.
This might seem surprising considering the fact they have very long hair, but they actually shed less than many other breeds. However they do molt twice a year, in the spring and fall.
But what makes them even more hypoallergenic than other breeds is that they are known for producing less of the Fel-D1 protein that actually causes cat allergies.
Similar to the Bengal, Russian Blue cats also produce less of the Fel-D1 protein that triggers an allergic response in humans.
They also are low-shedders despite the fact they have a thicker, dense coat. Owners of this breed notice more shedding in the spring and fall, but overall much less compared to other types of cats.
Another long haired breed that’s low shed is the Balinese cat, this is due to the fact they lack an undercoat.
Like the Russian Blue and Siberian breeds, the Balinese also produces less of the Fel d1 protein.
Also Check Out: 7 Tricks to Get Rid of Cat Hair
The Bottom Line
Remember, there is variation in shedding even among cats of the same breed. If you adopt any breed of cat that is not hairless, expect at least some shedding. But choosing one of the breeds listed above can definitely help reduce the cat hair around the home, as well as reduce the severity of your cat allergies.