Do hypoallergenic cats truly exist?

For many cat lovers, allergies can pose a significant barrier to enjoying the companionship of a furry feline friend. But what about hypoallergenic cats; feline breeds supposedly less likely to trigger allergic reactions in humans?

Let’s delve into the science before you adopt a “hypoallergenic cat” below.

Cat Allergies: The Culprit

When it comes to cat allergies, they are primarily triggered by a protein called Fel d 1, found in the cat’s saliva, anal glands, sebaceous (oil) glands in their skin, fur, and to a lesser extent, urine. (Source:

It is this protein that causes the following allergic reactions in people:

  • Sneezing.
  • Nasal congestion.
  • Watery eyes.
  • Severe respiratory issues (including asthma) in highly-sensitive individuals.
  • Atopic dermatitis or eczema.
Sitting Sphynx Cat Against a Black background
The Sphynx is Not Hypoallergenic, (Image by Юрий Сидоренко from Pixabay)

Hypoallergenic Cats?

Proponents of hypoallergenic cats often suggest certain breeds as being “less allergenic” due to shorter hair, less hair shedding, less dander, and less saliva from licking. (Source:

These breeds supposedly include the:

  • Balinese.
  • Cornish Rex.
  • Devon Rex.
  • Javanese.
  • Oriental Shorthair.
  • Siamese.
  • Siberian.
  • Sphynx and more.

A study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
found no significant difference in the levels of Fel d 1 allergen
between hypoallergenic and non-hypoallergenic cat breeds.

Some breeders claim to produce hypoallergenic cats through selective breeding programs aimed at reducing Fel d 1 production. While these efforts may result in cats with slightly lower allergen levels, complete elimination of allergenic proteins is unlikely. Additionally, the genetic complexity of Fel d 1 production makes it challenging to guarantee hypoallergenic traits in the offspring.

Scientific evidence to support these claims remains limited and suggests the designation of “hypoallergenic” may be more anecdotal (based on hearsay or wishful thinking) than scientific validation. At best, some feline breeds may cause less severe allergic reactions depending upon the individual and situation.

Cat Allergies: It Just Might Be YOU!

A cat with green eyes laying on a rug while being petted under the chin
Allergic Reactions Depend on Individuals (Image by Юрий Сидоренко from Pixabay)

Individual variation in allergic reactions plays a significant role. What may trigger a reaction in one person might not affect another to the same degree. Specific factors influence the severity of allergic reactions. (Source:

These factors include:

  • The level of exposure.
  • The frequency of cat grooming.
  • Even the cat’s diet.

Another consideration is that allergies can develop over time, even in individuals who have previously been tolerant of cats. This makes it difficult to predict whether a supposedly hypoallergenic cat will remain suitable for allergy sufferers in the long-term.

Minimizing Feline Allergies: 5 Options

Tabby Cat Laying on a Couch being groomed with an EasyGroomer tool
Regular Grooming Can Help Minimize Cat Allergies (Image:

Despite these challenges, there are steps that allergy sufferers can try to minimize their exposure to cat allergens like the five options below.

  • Regular grooming of the cat with a grooming tool like the EquiGroomer that mimics the cat’s tongue.
  • Regular bathing.
  • Using high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters in the home.
  • Maintaining a clean environment to help reduce allergen levels.
  • Some allergy medications and immunotherapy treatments may also provide relief for individuals with cat allergies.

In Conclusion: Hypoallergenic Cats

A man wearing glasses holding a tiny black and white kitten
Carefully Consider Adopting a Cat Especially with Allergies (Image by Pexels from Pixabay)

While the concept of hypoallergenic cats may offer hope to allergy sufferers, the scientific evidence supporting their existence remains inconclusive. Allergic reactions are complex and multifactorial, influenced by individual sensitivity as well as environmental and genetic factors. (Source:

Rather than relying on breed labels, prospective cat owners should consider their allergy history and tolerance levels when choosing a cat. Ultimately, the decision to bring a cat into the home should be made thoughtfully, with full awareness of the potential allergic reactions and overall benefits for the owner and cat.

Not all cats like to be brushed.

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The EasyGroomer Tool

It’s important to understand your cat’s preferences and introduce brushing slowly into their routine. It’s also critical to use the best grooming tool to provide a pleasant and relaxing experience for both you and your cat!

Cats LOVE our EasyGroomer simply because the blade gently mimics a cat’s tongue! The EasyGroomer will produce a soft, shiny, and smooth coat for your cat.

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