You know the feeling: itchy, watery eyes, the urge to sneeze, and a runny nose. This can only mean that a cat is nearby! Makes you wonder whether there are hypoallergenic cat breeds out there you can safely snuggle. (Without a hurricane of sneezes following after.)

Because we get it – being allergic to cats is no joke! For some folks, it’s just impossible to be in the same space with a cat…or even a room a cat’s been wandering around.

But thankfully, there’s hope for cat-lovers with allergies. We’ve gathered 10 hypoallergenic cats for you that are less likely to trigger a sneeze-fest. Plus, what else to keep an eye out for if you’re considering adopting one. (Including their tendency to wander away from home.) Let’s get started!

What causes people to be allergic to cats?

You might think that cat fur triggers your allergic reaction. But it’s actually a combination of:

  • Cat saliva
  • Cat sebaceous (oil) glands
  • And dander (dead skin)

These substances all contain a protein called Fel d1. If you’re sensitive to this Fel d1 protein, you may have an allergic reaction. (Especially if the protein touches your eyes, nose, or mouth. Like when your cat decides to wake you up with their butt to your face in the morning.)

When cats groom themselves by licking their fur, the Fel d1 protein molecules that naturally occur in their saliva are transferred to the fur and skin.

  • Once the saliva dries, the tiny protein molecules are launched into the air when the cat moves about.
  • If you pet the kitty, the Fel d1 proteins get on your hands.
  • If you then touch your eyes, nose, or mouth, your body reacts to the Fel d1 allergens with an allergic reaction.

The tiny protein molecules can stay suspended in the air for hours. (And then land on furniture, carpets, and clothing.) So if you’ve found yourself in a sneezing fit from just entering a room where a cat’s been, you might be extra sensitive to Fel d1 proteins.

What makes a cat more likely to produce allergens?

All cats produce the Fel d1 protein. But some breeds produce less of this allergy-triggering protein than others.

Here are some factors that can affect the amount of Fel d1 proteins that a cat produces:

  • Male cats secrete more allergen proteins than female cats.
  • Intact males produce 3 to 5 times more allergen proteins than neutered males.
  • Black cats or cats with dark-colored fur produce more allergen proteins than cats with light-colored fur.
  • Kittens produce fewer allergen proteins than adult cats.
A black cat sitting with an elderly woman

Are there 100% hypoallergenic cats?

Nope. There’s no such thing as a “100% hypoallergenic” cat. That’s because all cats produce the Fel d1 protein that causes allergy symptoms in people.

But while no cat is 100% hypoallergenic, some cat breeds do produce far less of these allergens than others.

So we’ve included a couple of breeds below that can make it easier if you’ve got allergies.

But even despite this, we’d recommend you look up the facts before finding the perfect cat for you.

  • Each individual cat has a different level of allergen production.
  • Each person has varying levels of sensitivity to cat allergens.

💡So the best way to determine if you’re a good fit is? Meet the cat in person before taking them home – and know what other quirks and behaviors to look out for. (Like if your cat is an active, inquisitive breed with a high tendency to escape from home!)

Now without further ado, let’s get started with…

The best hypoallergenic cat breeds for people with allergies

Besides all being adorable little goofballs, these hypoallergenic cats have a couple of important things in common:

  • They naturally produce fewer Fel d1 proteins,
  • Or they have only one layer of fur rather than the three layers found in most cats.
  • With less fur, they shed fewer hairs and fewer cat allergens drift into and around your living space.

So let’s start with a couple of hypoallergenic cat breeds, so you can decide which breed might be best for you to safely snuggle up with – 100% sneeze-free.

1. Devon Rexes

These curious cats have only a single layer of fine, slightly curly hair and shed less than other cats. This means that less fur and dander will be present in your home and your allergy symptoms may be triggered less often. 

It’s not uncommon for adorable Devon Rex cats to purr loudly when they are content during daily cuddle time. Despite their rather odd, “pixie-like” appearance, they’re quite sweet-tempered and attach quite quickly to families.

Black Devon Rex cat standing in grass

⚠️Your little Devon might be a sprightly little fellow – but they’re vulnerable to hereditary myopathy, or a weakening of their muscles over time.

This usually begins with symptoms like weakness and a drop in their overall movement – which you can catch early by tracking your Devon’s daily activity. (And getting them to a vet for a checkup before their condition worsens.)

2. Sphynx Cats

Sphynx cats are nearly hairless, so they rank high on the list of hypoallergenic cats. They’re also one of the friendliest cat breeds, in case you were thinking of adopting one!

Because they don’t have much hair, Sphynx cats groom themselves less often than long-haired cats. As a result, they transfer less protein-containing saliva to their body and trigger fewer symptoms for allergy sufferers.

A Sphynx cat sitting on a cushion

Hairless cats like the Sphynx actually have a fine coat of downy fur, similar to peach fuzz. They require some extra care, including frequent bathing and occasionally applying oil to their skin to keep it in good condition.

These unique cats are also lively, have lots of energy, and love attention from their humans. Some people compare the Sphynx cat’s personality to that of a dog!

(Which means, yes, don’t be fooled if yours looks a bit…grumpy – it’s just their resting cat face.)

⚠️ But with their distinctive appearances and friendly temperaments, Sphynx cats are a breed that’s ripe for a cat kidnapping attempt.

So make sure to escape-proof your home and get yours microchipped at the very least.

Or follow your Sphynx’s every step in real-time with a dedicated cat GPS tracker – which can also send you an escape alert if your cat’s left a “safe zone.”

Read more: Is A Microchip Cat ID Enough To Find Your Lost Cat?

3. Cornish Rexes

Next on our list of hypoallergenic cat breeds is one you might not have heard of: the Cornish Rex! Like their relatives the Devon Rex, Cornish Rex cats have just one layer of fine hair and tend to shed less.

These cats have a unique appearance, with long legs and large ears. Because of their unusual coat, they may require occasional bathing to remove oil buildup on the skin.

Cornish Rex cat standing in grass

💡Your Cornish Rex will be a loyal companion, and might become a bit demanding when they don’t get enough of your attention. These intelligent cats can even be trained to walk on a leash!

So watch out for your little Cornie getting bored easilyanother prime reason why cats run away from home. Keep them busy learning tricks, getting familiar with a leash or a harness, and plenty of playtime and cuddles with you.

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4. Russian Blues

Despite their thick double coat, Russian Blue cats can be a good choice for people with cat allergies. (Since they also produce fewer Fel d1 proteins than other breeds.)

A Russian Blue cat sitting on the floor

This gorgeous breed originates from Russia and are also highly active, sociable, and intelligent – capable of learning tricks!

Though while they’re quite easygoing, temperament-wise, they might also take some time to open up to strangers.

Russian Blues are also known for their playfulness and loyalty. Don’t be surprised if yours follows you around the house all day and is just a bit nosey. 

💡 Russian Blues also have a strong prey drive – or hunting instincts – that lead them to catch, chase, and hunt down prey animals. (Including mice, rats, birds, and even rabbits!) These instincts are also a prime reason why cats run away from home.

So make sure to socialize them plenty with any other (smaller) pets you might have at home. Or figure out your Russian’s favorite hunting spots – so you know where to look first in case they stay out too late on a hunt.

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5. Oriental Shorthairs

Originating from Thailand and distant cousins of Siamese cats, Oriental Shorthairs are one of the best hypoallergenic cat breeds for folks with allergies. This breed comes in two varieties: shorthair and longhair.

With their short, silky coats, Shorties tend to shed less – but regular brushing keeps their fur in good condition. Plus, with their large ears, almond-shaped eyes, and talkativeness, they’re engaging, playful companions for cat lovers that’ll get along excellently with other pets in your home.

You can also find more than 300 colors and patterns in the Oriental Shorthair breed, including white, chestnut, ebony, and blue, as well as solid, tabby, and bi-color patterns.

Close up of Oriental Shorthair cat

⚠️ However, much like their cousins, Siamese cats, Oriental Shorthair cats might show signs of depression if you leave them home along for too long.

Which they might not show you as openly – but turn up as subtle signs, like a drop in their energy levels – or even separation anxiety. (Another reason why cats run away from home.)

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6. Siberian Cats

Yes, they’re furry, but that doesn’t mean that Siberian cats aren’t hypoallergenic. These beautiful cats have a triple coat but produce much less of the Fel d1 protein than other cat breeds. So another excellent option for people with mild allergies.

Siberian cats also have laid back personalities, which makes them great choices for homes with young children. They’re also the national cat of Russia, from where they originate!

With their thick coats and padded paws, they’ve been hunting and stalking around the Siberian forests for over a thousand years now.

A white Siberian cat in the snow

Your Siberian will need weekly brushing to maintain a healthy coat.

During shedding season, you might need to brush them daily (preferably by someone who isn’t allergic to cats!)

Siberians are also famously energetic, affectionate, and adventurous – also described as “dog-like”, behavior-wise.

They’re also a cat breed that likes water and don’t mind the occasional dip in a pond or a pool, with their water-repellent coats.

💡Like Russian Blues, Siberians are also accomplished hunters – so you might find yours venturing outdoors in search of prey.

But your house fence alone might not be enough to keep them in. Siberians are also excellent jumpers and can easily scale a 5-foot fence to go explore when the hunting instinct kicks in!

So instead of an expensive physical fence, you could always go for a Virtual Fence – and escape alerts sent directly to your phone – instead.

For the next time your Siberian sneaks past your backyard for a hunting trip and you’d rather keep them safe indoors.

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7. Colorpoint Shorthairs

Next among the best hypoallergenic cat breeds: Colorpoint Shorthairs! Another cousin of the Siamese cat, the Colorpoint Shorthair is gaining popularity but is not an officially-recognized breed. But like their cousins, these cats are chatty and sensitive to the moods of their pet parents. (So if you’re looking for a quiet kitty, a Colorpoint Shorthair may not be the cat for you!)

Colorpoints are also a highly extroverted, outgoing, and intelligent breed. They do great with families and might follow you around home all day!

A sleeping Colorpoint Shorthair cat

💡Don’t be fooled by this little guy in snooze mode. Colorpoints are also highly active cats – always on the move, jumping, climbing, playing, and demanding your attention. Make sure to keep them happy and busy with cat toys like scratching posts, trees, and perches.

(Plus, with an Activity Tracker that’s built for pets, you can even compare how active your Colorpoint is to other cats! Nothing like a sense of healthy competition to keep you motivated to their daily exercise.)

8. Bengal Cats

Large and muscular, Bengal cats were bred in the United States by crossing wild Asian Leopard cats with Domestic Shorthair cats. They also don’t groom or shed as much as other cats. As a result, they’re an excellent hypoallergenic cat breed for folks with allergies.

A Bengal cat sitting in bed

True to their wild roots, Bengal cats are energetic and need to stay active to avoid boredom or destructive behavior. If you choose a Bengal cat, be prepared to spend plenty of time playing with them!

A catio or outdoor space is an ideal place for these active kitties to hang out. 

💡Bengal cats are also inquisitive and curious – and they can take care of themselves pretty well outdoors. (For the most part.) With supervised outdoors time, your Bengal will enjoy the exercise and sunlight and get to keep their inner hunting instincts happy.

Just watch out for their tendency to explore and get lost – like Nala, an adventurous Bengal cat, who ended up trapped in a locked house. (But who was rescued with a little help from her Tractive GPS.)

Read more: The Cat Search With A Little Miracle Ending

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9. Javanese Cat

Javanese cats are a top choice for minimizing allergens in homes with cat allergy sufferers. Instead of the three layers of fur found in a typical cat’s coat, the Javanese cat has only one layer, making it one of the lowest-shedding hypoallergenic cat breeds.

This distinctive-looking cat breed originated by crossing a Balinese cat with a Colorpoint Shorthair. Despite their name, these cats aren’t actually from the Indonesian island of Java! (Rather, they were bred in North America.)

A white Javanese cat sitting indoors

Similar to many Siamese-like breeds, Javanese cats are vocal and enjoy having conversations with their pet parents, or just talking to themselves. Yours won’t hesitate to let you know – pretty noisily! – when things aren’t to their liking.

⚠️ However, much like their cousins – the Siamese and Oriental Shorthairs – Javanese cats are also likely to get depressed if they don’t have company around the house. (Whether by humans or other pets.)

So make sure to leave your Javanese a house full of toys and treat puzzles – or another pet – to keep them happy and busy while you’re going.

Read more: How Long Can You Leave A Cat Home Alone?

10. Ocicat

Bred by crossing Abyssinian and Siamese cats in the 1960s, Ocicats look similar to Ocelots, which are medium-sized wild African cats. But don’t be fooled by their exotic appearance, Ocicats are definitely domestic cats! With fine, short coats, they’re another great option for pet parents who are sensitive to cat allergens. 

Ocicats are also athletic, with a ton of energy – another example of a “dog-like” cat breed. You can train them to fetch, walk on a leash or harness, and even teach them tricks like sitting.

Make sure to play with them frequently and spend plenty of time together – else your sociable, intelligent Ocicat is likely to get bored and stressed out by themselves!

Close up of Ocicat on bed

⚠️ Just watch out for your Ocicat’s vulnerability to painful medical conditions like urinary tract infections (UTIs). Keep an eye out for early signs like frequent water drinking, difficulties peeing, and a general drop in their general energy.

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How to reduce cat allergens in your home

Even a hypoallergenic cat will produce some level of allergens in the form of Fel d1 proteins. So if you’re set on living with both kitty and sniffles, here are a couple of steps you can take to reduce the amount of cat allergens at home.

Keep your cat clean & healthy

Some veterinarians recommend giving your cat fish oil or omega-3 fatty acids to keep their coat healthy and reduce the amounts of allergens on the cat’s body. But don’t forget to check with your veterinarian before giving your kitty supplements.

Giving your cat a bath helps reduce the levels of offending proteins, but bathing a cat is challenging, to say the least.

  • Instead of bathing, try brushing their coat regularly. Run a fine-toothed comb through their fur to remove dander.
  • Brushing and combing are likely to stir up the proteins on your cat’s body, so you may need to enlist the help of a non-allergic friend or family member for this job. 
A woman brushing a cat's fur

Don’t sleep with your cat

We know you want to snuggle with your cat as much as possible, but if you’re unable to be around your cat without sneezing or sniffling…well, it’s best not to let them in bed with you. (Else you’ll be sniffing allergens all night long!)

Some cat parents set up nighttime sleeping areas for their cats in heated garages or partially enclosed patios, depending on the weather where you live. Isolating your cat for eight hours a night while you sleep comfortably may give you the relief you need to enjoy your kitty’s company all day long. Your cat will be extra happy to see you in the morning.

Two cats sleeping on a red blanket

Clean your bedding & cloth surfaces often 

The allergens shed by your cat will land on every surface in your home. So you can prevent them from accumulating with frequent cleaning.

  • Use washable pillow and mattress covers, and toss them in the washer weekly.
  • Put washable covers on your sofa and upholstered furniture and clean them frequently. 
  • If you have carpet throughout your house, consider removing or reducing the number of carpets in your home. It’s easier to vacuum up fur or dander from a wood or tile floor than to get it out of a plush carpet.
A cat sitting on a roomba indoors

Add ventilation

HEPA filters can help remove tiny allergens from the air in your home. If the weather allows it, open some windows or allow your cat to hang out on a secure screened-in porch or cat-safe balcony to keep allergens out of the home. 

A cat sitting in a perch by a window

💡And if you’re worried about your cat escaping your backyard – we’ve got you covered.

With your trusty Tractive GPS strapped to their collar, you’ve got their safety (and your peace of mind) right at your fingertips.

Because with just a glance at your phone, you can now:

  • Immediately pick up on if your cat has escaped your home or backyard (with an escape alert)
  • Track your moving cat in real-time – no matter how far they roam
  • Figure out what spots around your home or neighborhood your cat likes to hang out in (and where they might be picking up something potentially infectious – and then bringing it home to you!)
  • Pick up early on to a change in your cat’s activity – which might signal they’re sick, injured, or fighting an infection

All this in one device – built for your cat’s safety and your peace of mind.

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Enjoy life with your hypoallergenic cat!

With a little planning and prep, it’s 100% possible for allergy sufferers to coexist with a cat. For example, you could go for a hypoallergenic cat breed that’s:

  • Friendly and sociable by temperament, like Sphynx cats
  • Intelligent and trainable, like Devon and Cornish Rexes
  • An excellent hunter, like Russian Blues and Siberian cats
  • Highly affectionate, like an Oriental Shorthair or Javanese cats
  • Highly active, like a Colorpoint Shorthair
  • Inquisitive and curious, like a Bengal cat or Ocicat
A woman kissing a cat

All these cats do come with their individual quirks and traits – like a high prey drive, a tendency to get bored easily, or vulnerability to separation anxiety. All of which can cause them to run away from home, fall sick, or get themselves into some kind of trouble.

So besides keeping them (and your surroundings) as clean as possible, you could join cat parents around the world – just like you – who are taking an active role in their cats’ safety, health, and wellbeing.

Know everywhere your cat goes

See where they are in real-time, no matter how far they go. Get alerts if they roam too far home. Find out where they’ve been and discover their favorite spots. Let others track with you.

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Plus, the feeling you’ll get the first time your little buddy curls up on your lap and starts purring makes it well worth it.

Still curious whether there are 100% hypoallergenic cats out there? Here’s a take from the experts at AnimalWised:

And if you’ve liked this post, share it with a friend or a loved one – and let’s help build a safer, kinder world for our furry friends together.