Feline allergy is very common and also big reasons why many people are unable to have a typical cat in their home. However, there are some options. With selective breeding and a few genetic mutations we have two allergy safe breeds that have big and differing personalities and look different too.
1. The Sphinx
Famous for being the loved pet of Dr Evil, the sphinx itself is far from being evil. The fur-less cat was an Egyptian descendant who lost their fur from a genetic mutation then breed further back in the ‘60s. They are perfect for anyone with allergies to cats, as they are completely hairless. Likened to the sensation of “patting someone’s elbow” the sphinx is tirelessly affectionate.
Things to be aware of:
- The sphinx can be very sweaty, because they have no fur to help regulate their temperature
- They can be very extroverted (which is good considering they attract a lot of attention)
- They still need help grooming. Although it isn’t as big a task as a long- haired cat, they can be prone to becoming sweaty. They are often easily cleaned with a wet washcloth.
- They are allergy friendly
- They can be prone to sunburn, so you need to be cautious with sunlight exposure (especially in summer)
- They can’t regulate their own temperature, so they can become very hot in summer. They can also become very cold in winter and require a jacket.
Additionally, just like any other pure-breed pedigree cat they can have genetic susceptibility to diseases. This includes; heart problems, issues with earwax as well as respiratory infection as kittens.
1. Devon Rex
The Devon-rex has a less angular appearance from the angular sphinx. Personally, I always thought the Devon-rex resembled an adorable elf. Unlike the sphinx, the Devon rex still has fur. They have breed described by their owners in being almost “dog-like” in their demeanor. They tend to follow their owners, jump on your computer as you type and follow you wherever you may go.
Interestingly, this was a result of a woman’s cat giving birth to a curly furred kitten in the town of Devonshire in the UK during the 50’s.
Things to be aware of:
- They are not hair free
- They love to eat…. A lot! They tend to be a little cheeky when it comes to jumping on tables and bench-tops to swipe at your meal.
- They need mental stimulation, this is an intelligent cat and when they are not stimulated you run the risk of a scratched up home. Ensure plenty of stimulating toys.
- They can learn tricks
- They are not hypoallergenic to everyone. Some people are allergic to cat fur and some are allergic to the small skin cells (dander) found around the base of the follicle. You can be tested to see which your allergy is to. If someone has a mild allergy to the fur, then the Devon rex is perfect. But they do still drop fur like normal cats do.