We love cats, but their hair can be hard to handle. While there’s nothing more satisfying than cuddle time with your kitten, it’s them you want sticking around on your lap, not their fur.
In addition to battling pet hair in your home and dealing with high-maintenance grooming, a lot of the focus on floofs can center on allergic reactions. Because when it comes to allergies, fur can be murder…on our sinuses.
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It’s easy to blame allergies on cat fur, but the fault actually lies with sensitivities to Fel d 1, a protein found in cat’s skin, dander, and saliva that’s transferred to their fur, especially through self-grooming. Hypoallergenic cats produce significantly fewer allergens (substances that cause allergic reactions) than other breeds. If you suffer from cat allergies, hypoallergenic cats are a great option, as opposed to a low shedding breed, which can still trigger your immune system response.
Whether it’s for minimal maintenance, allergies, or simply a personal preference, let’s shed some light on breeds with the least fur fallout.
Of the “bald is beautiful” class, the Sphynx is probably the most widely-recognizable breed. You’ve probably seen it showcased on the laps of various Bond film villains. While seemingly hair-free, the truth is that most hairless cats actually have a fine, thin layer of tiny fuzz.
Though it may seem counterintuitive, hairless cats aren’t necessarily hypoallergenic, and the Sphynx is no exception. They can still produce allergens in their dander and saliva, so if allergies are an issue for you, this may not be a feline fit.
With less hair comes great responsibility: due to their skimpy coats, hairless cats require special care. Exposed skin means less natural protection from sun, dirt, and temperature changes, which you’ll need to combat with a more robust grooming routine. It may also mean more frequent bathing and a specialized diet.
Despite its long and plentiful coat, Siberian cats actually shed less hair than many other breeds and are known to be hypoallergenic. They can grow to be quite large, thanks in no small part to their outsized fur, and can be very agile in spite of their size. All this additional floof requires rigorous grooming and weekly brushing, if maintenance is a concern for you.
Bengal cats have a distinctive coat that resembles those found on their non-domesticated, larger relatives like the leopard. Luckily, their attractive fur sheds less frequently than other breeds and requires less maintenance. Despite its wild appearance, Bengals are typically highly affectionate and social. They also often extremely active and vocal, meaning that you should provide plenty of free space for them to explore and speak out.
Most cats have double coats, consisting of both a wooly undercoat and an outer layer of coarse guard hairs. Cornish Rex only possess an undercoat, known as down hair, which is extremely soft, distinctively curly, and less likely to shed than others. They typically have a smaller head than other breeds, often emphasized by their oversized ears. Be prepared to play — Cornish Rex are highly active, and when they want your attention, you’ll know it.
Easily recognized by their distinctive markings and striking blue eyes, Siamese are a popular, low-shed cat. Don’t expect this extraordinary breed to make typical cat purrs or meows. In addition to their distinctive coat, Siamese voices are known for being a unique cross between a rasp and yowl.
If you’ve ever wanted a pet panther, a Bombay cat may be the right pet for you. Generations of breeding has given this cat a sleek, deep black coat that boasts minimal shedding. Bombay cats are almost dog-like in nature; they can be leash-trained, are extremely affectionate, and can even learn to play fetch.