Ask a Cat Lady: Are Hypoallergenic Cats for Really Reals?

This week's question comes from Careth T., who asks: I really want to get a cat, but my husband is mildly allergic. What kind do...

 |  Feb 17th 2012  |   1 Contribution


This week's question comes from Careth T., who asks:

I really want to get a cat, but my husband is mildly allergic. What kind do I get? (He's totally on board and we'd like to rescue.) I've heard that longhaired kitties are better for allergies. 

 Believe it or not, I was quite allergic to kitties growing up. Every week I had to get allergy shots for a host of environmental allergens that caused me to huff and puff. Mostly I did it for the lollipop at the end of my visit, but Im sure there were other benefits.

Luckily for me and my cat lady ways, most of these allergies have subsided, though my eyes have been known to swell and itch when I use Dunkin for a pillow.

From what I can gather, no cats are 100 percent allergen free, but there are cats that produce less of the Fel d 1 glycoprotein that causes allergy flareups. A light-colored female is the best choice for allergy sufferers, but some people claim that certain breeds will alleviate symptoms.

Keeping a tidy home can also help. Groom your cat and wash bedding frequently. Chase everyone in your house with the lint roller.

I am not passing judgement, but you should be wary of companies that sell allergy-free cats. Make sure you can spend time with your prospective pet before you commit. Go ahead rub your face in Mewt Gingrichs belly. Just remember your inhaler!

The Lyrics:

Cats and Sneezes
By Sarah Donner

If you tend to suffocate when a cat is in your face
You might need a special breed to accomodate your special needs

Theres a protein inside the kitty gene
that causes allergies called Fel d 1
It can make you wheeze, cough and puff, and sneeze
If you lose your steez, what is to be done?

According to the Internet, science doesnt know quite yet
if there is a single cat truly hypoallergenic
But here is a list of breeds that are possibilities:

Devonshire and Cornish Rex make very curly pets
Balinese are petite, slender are the Javanese
Oriental shorthairs are very active so take care
Siberians need big homes because they are big boned
The Sphynx can freak out your friends because they are naked!

Its not the hair that makes you sick, it's enzymes inside their spit
So make sure you try out your pet before you commit to it

SOURCES: Allerca, Catster forums, Wikipedia, Catworld

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