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14 Best Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds for People With Allergies

Sam volunteers at her local animal shelter and is a parent to two poodles named Bo and Derek and a cat named Crumbs.

If you're determined to own a cat but suffer from allergies, do not despair. The following cat breeds produce less of the allergy-causing protein called FEL D1—found in cat saliva—and shed very little dander, which makes them "hypoallergenic" or low-allergen. With these adorable breeds, you can enjoy cuddles and sweet meows without congestion.

Note, however, that there is no such thing as a completely allergen-free feline. For people with mild to moderate allergies, there is strong anecdotal evidence that these cat breeds are non-irritable, but people who are extremely sensitive may still sneeze and get watery eyes or even asthma around these breeds.

Best Hypoallergenic Cats

  1. Siberian
  2. Russian Blue
  3. Bengal
  4. Colorpoint Shorthair
  5. Burmese
  6. Siamese
  7. Ocicat
  8. Sphynx
  9. Balinese
  10. Devon Rex
  11. Cornish Rex
  12. Oriental Shorthair
  13. Laperm
  14. Javanese

1. Siberian

Size: Medium size, weighing 8-17 lbs.

Lifespan: 10-18 years

Grooming: Brushing twice weekly

Personality: Strong, intelligent, affectionate, social, easy going

The Siberian produces the lowest amount of allergens of any cat breed, and 75% of people—even those with heavy allergies—report having no symptoms when sharing the same airspace with a Siberian.

This is great news for allergy sufferers who are looking for a fluffy cat who loves being around people, and even other animals. Don't be surprised if he follows you around wherever you go or cuddles up to strangers who visit. Fun fact: Unlike most cat breeds, the Siberian loves water. You might catch him splashing his water dish with his paw.

2. Russian Blue

Size: Medium size, weighing 8-15 lbs.

Lifespan: 15-20 years

Grooming: Brushing twice weekly

Personality: Shy, reserved, quiet, sweet, playful

This beautiful shorthaired breed may take a while to warm up to you, and tends to hide away or just ignore house guests, but once he gets comfortable, he is extremely loyal and will expect affection in return.

While the Russian Blue enjoys time alone, he still needs entertainment. His favorite game is fetch, but he's also quite fond of climbing high places where he an observe his kingdom.

The Russian Blue prefers a quiet environment and a steady, predictable schedule, so be sure to establish a routine or he will act out in protest.

3. Bengal

Size: Large size, weighing 9-11 lbs.

Lifespan: 10-16 years

Grooming: Weekly brushing

Personality: Highly intelligent, curious, active, attention-seeking

The exotic-looking Bengal was bred by crossing the small Asian leopard with the domestic cat, and his personality is definitely wild. He is highly intelligent and is constantly on the move looking for things to do and places to climb.

The Bengal is not a lap cat and would rather do tricks for your attention than curl up in bed with you. He is also an outdoor cat who loves to climb trees, chase birds, and enjoy all that nature has to offer, so don't plan on getting a Bengal if you're looking for an indoor cat.

Because Bengals are so intelligent and active, they are best for families or anyone who can be home most of the time to entertain them and keep them company. If you are going to be away from home most of the day, plan on getting two cats. If the Bengal gets bored, he will destroy the house.

4. Colorpoint Shorthair

Size: Medium size, 5-10 lbs.

Lifespan: 12-16 years

Grooming: None (brushing is optional once in a while)

Personality: Talkative, lovable, devoted, cannot be left alone

This non-shedding breed and close cousin of the Siamese is quite the affectionate and talkative cat. He has a talent for understanding exactly how you're feeling and will offer an abundance of sympathetic meows in response.

Because the Colorpoint Shorthair enjoys close company, he does not fair well when left alone. If you frequently leave this breed home alone, don't be surprised if you come home to a very stressed and distraught cat who has knocked down your vases or emptied your toilet paper roll for entertainment.

5. Burmese

Size: Medium size, 8-12 lbs.

Lifespan: 10-17 years

Grooming: Weekly brushing (optional)

Personality: Affectionate, talkative, happy-go-lucky, cannot be left alone

The Burmese has an endearing personality that's hard to forget. He is a lap cat who enjoys the touch of his person. He is also quite an opinionated fellow and will follow you around and regale you with lively accounts of the his day or even engage in you in some politicking on the topic of dogs vs. cats.

Smart and playful, the Balinese will demand toys. He requests things on a string, things that move, and anything he can chase and fetch.

6. Siamese

Size: small size, 6-10 lbs.

Lifespan: 15-20 years

Grooming: Weekly brushing (optional)

Personality: Talkative, attention-seeking, demanding, curious, cannot be left alone

This elegant cat likes to talk—all day and all night, so be prepare to hear some opinions about his food, what's on the T.V., what he spied the neighbor's doing, etc.

The Siamese's curious nature means he's quite the busy body and likes to involve himself in everything that you do. Of course, this also means that when he doesn't have a human to follow around, he will find ways to entertain himself, like getting into your closet, trash bin, or the bathroom cabinet.

Siamese are social animals and do not do well when left alone, so they are not suitable for working people.

7. Ocicat

Size: Medium size, 7-14 lbs.

Lifespan: 10-15 years

Grooming: Weekly brushing (optional)

Personality: Confident, devoted, active, social

This exotic spotted breed is an easy going and energetic cat that gets along with all humans, cats, and even dogs. He enjoys the outdoors (can be leash trained), but also doesn't mind being held once in a while. His high intelligence demands entertainment and stimulation, so make time for fetch and outdoor romps. If you plan on leaving the house for extended periods of time, be sure he has another cat or dog to keep him company.

8. Sphynx

Size: Medium size, 6-12 lbs.

Lifespan: 8-14 years

Grooming: Regular baths to get rid of oil on skin

Personality: People-oriented, intelligent, inquisitive, playful

The Sphynx is a hairless cat that not many are aesthetically fond of. But anyone who has lived with a Sphynx can tell you that they are sweet and gentle creatures who love cuddling, doing tricks for your attention, and talking. Like many of the cats on this list, the Sphynx is quite the chatterbox and expects you to engage in dialogue.

9. Balinese

Size: Medium size, 5-10 lbs.

Lifespan: 18-22 years

Grooming: Weekly brushing

Personality: Talkative, curious, affectionate, playful

The Balinese is a long-haired Siamese, so you can expect the same playful and gregarious behavior. Like the Siamese, the Balinese loves to play, follow you around, and strike up a conversation anywhere and at any time of the day. This highly intelligent breed can learn tricks and once he knows them, he will do them over and over again to get some applauds and laughs.

10. Devon Rex

Size: Small size, under 8 lbs.

Lifespan: 9-15 years, but some have lived up to 20 years

Grooming: Bathe every month or when hair gets oily, no brushing necessary

Personality: Highly intelligent, highly active, mischievous, loves heights

The Devon Rex, with his oversized head and small body, is said to resemble a Pixie. And his personality is also not far off from that comparison—he is a curious troublemaker who loves to climb and jump and doesn't pass up any chance to make you laugh.

Because he is also highly intelligent, he requires stimulation and company. Never leave the Devon Rex at home alone for long periods of time. He will become deeply depressed.

11. Cornish Rex

Size: Medium size, 7-13 lbs.

Lifespan: 11-15 years

Grooming: Not required

Personality: Outgoing, active, playful, highly intelligent

The Cornish Rex's funny-looking wavy hair matches his clown-like personality. Don't expect a lap cat when considering adopting this breed because the Cornish Rex is anything but. He loves climbing, chasing, and getting into trouble. Some might say he's only doing it for attention, but that is only half true—his antics are a source of mental stimulation. This highly intelligent breed is naturally curious and might destroy a thing or two while he explores.

This breed is best suited for a social environment where he gets to greet people and get lots of petting and belly rubs.

12. Oriental Shorthair

Size: Small size, 5-10 lbs.

Lifespan: 13-14 years

Grooming: Weekly brushing

Personality: Extremely affectionate, attention-seeking, talkative

This charming cat adores people and is a loving and loyal pet. He can become quite clingy, so this is not a breed you'd want to consider if you are not home most of the day to offer him the constant attention he craves. Like the Siamese, he is a talker, so he is best suited for someone who loves gossip as much as he does.

13. Laperm

Size: Medium size, 6-12 lbs.

Lifespan: 10-15 years

Grooming: Once a week or during periods of heavy shedding

Personality: Hard-working, mischievous, curious

The LaPerm has a curious-looking coat that makes you wonder whether he has gotten electrocuted pawing the electric socket or just woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Anyone who is familiar with the LaPerm's personality would probably guess the former. He is a mischievous cat bred for farm life, so he enjoys chasing vermin and climbing to high places for observation.

He is not a lap cat and would rather be outdoors exploring the nature, but he does enjoy an occasional snuggle when he pleases.

14. Javanese

Size: small size, 5-10 lbs.

Lifespan: 10-15 years

Grooming: Comb once a week

Personality: Loves attention, talkative, playful

This close cousin of the Siamese has an almost identical personality. While not as demanding or as loud as the Siamese, the Javanese likes to participate in frequent chatter and enjoys being a part of your daily activity. Give him attention, plenty of space to climb and jump, and some lively exchanges to make him the happiest cat in the world. But don't even think of leaving him alone when you work; your house will not be in the same shape you left it.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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