What is an allergy?
An allergic reaction happens when your body’s immune system overreacts to a substance because it thinks said substance is harmful while in reality it isn’t. This reaction can present itself in many ways. The most important symptoms of a cat allergy are itchy and watery eyes, coughing, sneezing, or a runny nose.
Are hairless cats hypoallergenic?
When you are allergic to cats, you are in fact not allergic to their fur like most people think. In reality, it’s a protein found in cats’ saliva that your body reacts to. While hairless cats like the Sphynx, the Peterbald, and the Donskoy only have some downy peach fuzz on their skin, they still love to groom themselves like any cat does, which is why even hairless cats can trigger an allergic reaction. So, unfortunately, hairless cats are not hypoallergenic.
Do hypoallergenic cats even exist?
When you are allergic to cats, your body responds to one specific protein, called Fel d 1. While all cats excrete this protein, some do so in lower quantities than others. Cat breeds that are known to produce less Fel d 1 are the Siberian, the Balinese, the Devon Rex, the Cornish Rex and the Abyssinian. However, these cats still aren’t fully hypoallergenic, so make sure to spend some time with the cat you’re willing to buy or adopt before taking them home.
I developed a cat allergy. Do I need to get rid of my cat?
Please don’t just get rid of your cat when a member of your household displays symptoms. There are plenty of other solutions that might work like a charm for you and your feline friend. Read our dedicated article on what to do when you are allergic to cats to find out what solution might work for you.