Up next in How to Understand Cat Breeds (4 videos)
Thinking of getting a cat? Learn the pros and cons of different cat breeds in this Howcast video series.
You Will Need
- Information about allergens
- Female cats
- Light-colored cats
Understand the word
Understand that the prefix "hypo" means "less than." Cats that are referred to as hypoallergenic are assumed to produce fewer allergens than others. The fact, though, is that no cat is hypoallergenic. There are no legal regulations that define allergens, and all cats produce allergens.
Know what makes a cat allergenic
Learn that allergic reactions are caused by a protein in the cat's skin that is also secreted in the cat's saliva. Spread when cats lick themselves, the sticky protein adheres to dust particles, everything in your home, your clothes, and the cat's fur.
Don't believe the hype
Don't be fooled into thinking that one breed is less allergenic than another. While many people claim that Rex breeds are hypoallergenic, up to 25 percent of Rex cats in shelters were owned by people who had allergic reactions to them.
Don't get a Sphynx
Don't get a Sphynx cat if you suffer from cat allergies. Many people believe that the Sphynx breed is hypoallergenic because the cats are hairless. Unfortunately, the breed still secretes the protein that causes allergic reactions.
Different people have different sensitivities to different cats. If you can, spend some time around different breeds until you find one that you seem to have consistently less of an allergic reaction to.
Check the sex
Check the sex of a cat before getting one. Female cats produce fewer allergens than male cats. But if you really want a male cat, know that neutered males also produce fewer allergens.
Get a light-colored cat
Still dying to adopt a kitty? Get a light-colored cat instead of a dark-colored one. One study found that dark cats were 4 times as likely to cause allergic reactions in patients as light-colored cats.