The Best Cat Breeds for People With Allergies

Russian blue cat lying on a chair

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If you're a cat lover with mild cat allergies, it still might be possible for you to have a cat in your home. Although no cat breed is scientifically hypoallergenic, anecdotal reports claim some breeds might be less likely to trigger allergies. This is potentially because of their coats or because they produce less of the Fel d 1 protein, a common allergen. While individual cats can trigger allergies, regardless of breed, here are 10 cat breeds that might work for people with allergies.

Tip

Most people who have cat allergies aren’t allergic to a cat’s fur but rather the proteins in its saliva, urine, and dander (skin flakes). Consistently cleaning the areas of your home where your cat spends a lot of time can help reduce some of these allergens.

  • 01 of 10

    Balinese

    Chocolate Balinese cat lying by a window

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    The Balinese is nearly identical to the Siamese cat breed in most regards, except for its long coat and full plume tail. Despite its coat length, the affectionate and active breed is known for being a low-shedder and just needs a weekly brushing. These cats also might have less of the Fel d 1 protein that causes allergies.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 6 to 7 inches

    Weight: 8 to 12 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Wedge-shaped head; slender body; blue eyes

  • 02 of 10

    Cornish Rex

    Cornish rex cat

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    Some people believe the short, wavy coat of the Cornish Rex doesn't tend to shed as much dander as longhaired cats or cats with dense coats. Rex cats only have a fine undercoat and no topcoat at all. These cats are generally very intelligent and active, and they love to be the center of attention.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 12 to 14 inches

    Weight: 6 to 10 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Curved body; high cheekbones; large ears

  • 03 of 10

    Devon Rex

    Purebred Devon Rex cat

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    Like the Cornish Rex, some people also recommend the Devon Rex as one of the best cat breeds for people with allergies. Its wavy coat doesn’t tend to shed much, which minimizes the spread of dander and other allergens in your home. These cats are outgoing and playful, and they prefer to be involved in what their humans are doing.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 10 to 12 inches

    Weight: 8 to 10 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Large ears; slender neck; prominent eyes

  • 04 of 10

    Javanese

    three Javanese cats

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    The Javanese resulted from a cross with a Balinese and colorpoint shorthair, creating a Siamese-like cat with long hair and a wider coat color range. These cats don’t have an undercoat, meaning they don’t shed much and only need a weekly brushing. Thus, they spread fewer allergens, which might work for people with mild cat allergies.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 18 to 20 inches

    Weight: 5 to 10 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Long legs; athletic build; large ears; almond-shaped, blue eyes

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Oriental

    oriental longhaired cat

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    The Oriental is a cross of several cat breeds, including the American shorthair, Abyssinian, and Siamese. These athletic, playful, and intelligent cats are moderate shedders that require brushing a couple of times a week. Rubbing them with a damp cloth also can help remove dead hair and dander to minimize allergens. 

    Breed Overview

    Height: 8 to 10 inches

    Weight: 6 to 12 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Sleek body; angular head; large ears; almond-shaped eyes

  • 06 of 10

    Russian Blue

    Russian blue cat on a hammock

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    The Russian blue is generally an even-tempered cat breed that anecdotally is good for people with mild cat allergies. Its plush, shimmering coat is somewhat low-shedding and typically only requires weekly brushing. In fact, these quiet and gentle cats often love sitting with their favorite humans and being brushed.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 8 to 10 inches

    Weight: 8 to 12 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Blue-gray coat; green eyes; wedge-shaped head

  • 07 of 10

    Selkirk Rex

    Selkirk Rex on a table

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    While the Cornish Rex and Devon Rex are typically high-energy cats, the Selkirk Rex is much more laidback. But like the other Rex cats, this breed also has a wavy coat that sheds minimally. Brushing at least a couple of times a week is ideal to remove dead hair and tangles, as well as to limit its ability to spread allergens.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 9 to 11 inches

    Weight: 9 to 16 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Loosely curled coat; round head; heavy-boned body

  • 08 of 10

    Siamese

    chocolate point Siamese cat

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    The popular Siamese is also anecdotally a low-allergen cat breed, though there is no definitive scientific evidence to that point. These curious cats sport a low-maintenance coat that doesn’t shed much and only needs weekly brushing. But they generally love to be around their favorite humans as much as possible, which might trigger some people’s allergies.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 8 to 10 inches

    Weight: 8 to 10 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Sleek body; almond-shaped eyes; wedge-shaped head

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Siberian

    Siberian cat

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    The Siberian cat's claim in the allergenic department stems from the belief that this breed produces relatively little of the Fel d 1 allergen compared to other cats. However, there still is little scientific proof of this. These cats have very thick coats, though they don’t tend to mat or tangle. Weekly brushing is usually all they need.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 9 to 11 inches

    Weight: 10 to 20 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Stocky build; dense coat

  • 10 of 10

    Sphynx

    Sphynx cat on a chair

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    Although Sphynx cats are commonly described as "hairless," they do have a fine, downy fuzz that feels almost suede-like when stroked. Like all cat breeds, Sphynx cats produce dander. But if bathed frequently—which the cat needs anyway to remove excess oil from its skin—the dander's presence can be minimized.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 8 to 10 inches

    Weight: 10 to 12 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Hairless; wrinkled head; lean build

Breeds to Avoid

High-shedding cat breeds tend to be worse for people with allergies because the allergens get trapped in their coats and spread wherever they lose their fur. Some of these high-shedders include the Persian, Maine coon, Norwegian forest cat, Himalayan, Manx, and Cymric