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Best breed for allergies?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I have a friend who has a slight allery to cats. its nothing severe but he loves cats and desperately wants to own one. Are there any cats who many shed less than others, or who have less effect on those with allergies?

post #2 of 18
There is a research company called Allerca that is breeding cats that they say are practically free from all allergy causing proteins. And from what I've read in I think Newsweek (I could be wrong on what mag.), and read on another thread on this site, they've succeeded.

They are super expensive. I can't remember how much, but I think something like $4,000.00. And obviously there is a lot of debate over these animals.
post #3 of 18
each cat is different ... the dander , salivia are both causes of allergies...

I dotn have too many issues with oriental breeds or my dsh/bengal cross but my med long hair causes me issues..
post #4 of 18
If its a slight allergy, any of the rexes (cornish/devon) would work but there's still a chance of being allergic to them.

I would also advise your friend to wash their hands after petting and keep the cat from their face and not let them sleep in bed with them.
post #5 of 18
As others have mentioned, there are really no guarantees because allergies and dander levels vary from person to person and cat to cat. I have heard that the Rexes, Siamese/Oriental Shorthairs, and the hairless breeds (i.e., Sphynx and Peterbalds) MAY be less likely to cause allergic reactions. I have mild cat allergies and have found it more important to control the environment (washing hands, having hardwood floors versus carpets, taking medications, keeping cats out the bedroom, using a HEPA filter, etc.).
post #6 of 18
If it is only slight, I personally wouldn't worry too much and try things like Petal Cleanse, keeping them out of the bedroom and washing hands. Maybe he could go to a shelter and do a trial for a month with one.
post #7 of 18
OK, this is only from my own personal experience, but I very strongly believe its psychological.

I took an allergy test a few years ago and I tested allergic to everything but the placebo! It was REALLY bad. I grew up with animals, and always had allergy issues, but I dealt with it. Any time I would enter a house that had cats or dogs, my allergies would go haywire. The teeniest scratch would welt up instantly and itch for days, leaving scars that took a long time to heal. No allergy medicine ever worked for me.

BUT, I was determined to have a cat! So we got Duke(siamese) and I figured I would try allergy shots -- NOT something I would recommend. But more importantly, I told myself that I didn't really have to be allergic to Duke... And I'm not! Not one bit!!! I get scratches, he sleeps right under my neck, I kiss him all the time... NOTHING! My niece is allergic to EVERYTHING and I told her it was psychological and to see if she could play with Duke (she'll believe almost anything I tell her). NOTHING! Not a sniffle!

Now I can go to my granny's house where my 11 year old german shepherd lives and not have a single issue. I can go to petsmart and play with the kitties for as long as I want, still nothing! I don't even take OTC Claritin!

Anyway, this is just me (and my niece) but its something that I now believe.

*disclaimer: I DO NOT recommend getting a cat to test this out on. That would be TOTALLY unfair to the cat! I was prepared to suffer through my allergies no matter what with Duke though, and while that was still foolish, it worked out for us and I am as happy as can be!
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your suggestions. Interesting story tiffanyjbt! He has the most problem at a mutual friend's house who has 5 cats, and it seems, not one vacuum cleaner! ugh. I don't even like to go there. He has hardwood floors and would have a better time I'm sure as long as he vacuumed regularly.

Thanks again.
post #9 of 18
This will sound unbelievable... but I used to always hear that Persians and Himmies don't have the same sort of allergy producing proteins in their dander (saliva). I don't know if it is true or not but as far as I am concerned, it was for my dad. His side of the family is pretty much highly allergic. The break out into hives and be miserable kind. We heard this about Persians/Himalayans and so my mom bought one from a local breeder whom she knew. My dad had no reaction whatsoever. You'd think that with all that fur...but you have to remember it is not the fur you are allergic to, it is a protein in the dander. My mom now added 2 more non-Persians to the house and a dog and my dad is fine, every now and then he is a little sneezy if the cat happened to be laying in his pillow. But that's it
post #10 of 18
Im also slightly allergic to cats. When I had my Siamese cross Kitty she was an outdoor cat yet I would still sneeze and sneeze after a petting session.

A few years later and I decided I would adopt another cat. I decided she was going to be inddor ONLY. Well for a few days I was a total wreck. But after about a week I started adjusting. I am a total maniac when it comes to cleaning though, and I try to always wash my hands after petting her, and to have little cat hair laying around.
post #11 of 18
Nate and I are both slightly allergic I think! Radar likes to sit up high on my chest for cuddles and I always get itchy eyes and a tickly nose. Nate comes up in quite odd hive-like welts if Radar so much as catches his skin with a claw.

As examples of mild allergies, we are mostly fine with having a cat, not badly affected enough to worry about it, and we are getting another soon however Radar is not allowed in the bedroom.
post #12 of 18
Like everyone else has been saying, it depends on the cat and the person. Since for most people it's not the fur but the protein caused by saliva, even furless cats can cause a reaction.

I am EXTREMELY allergic to cats but I'm lucky in that taking just 2 antihistimines a day can control most of the symptoms. But just last week I had something happen to me that's never happened in the 5 years I've had cats. My eye was itchy and I rubbed and scratched it. It happens now and then from the cats but eventually stops. Within minutes I felt like there was something in my eye and when I checked I had this "water bubble", don't know how else to explain it, along the bottom part of my eyeball. My eyelid also became swollen. It really freaked me out and I was thinking of going to the emergency room. Luckily it went away in a couple of days but it looked horrible. I took a couple of antihistimines but it had no effect.

I have to say that I have been around 1 cat that I was not allergic to at all. Max was a Siamese/Himmy mix and I could stick my face and nose in his fur, breathe in, and nothing would happen. So I think there is some truth in that there may be something different with them compared to other cats. Here is a picture of Max...

I did visit a local Bengal breeder when I was researching the breed. I was in her home for a couple of hours and had no reaction to all her cats, so perhaps a Bengal wouldn't bother me either. I usually have a reaction within minutes.
post #13 of 18
One person wanted a rex kitten because of allergies. I was willing to let them borrow a rex kitten to see if there was a reaction. Unfortunately they still were but I took the kitten back. I'm glad I let them test first instead of selling them a cat and then having to give money back or they adopt a cat and have to return it.

The rex kitten was sold to someone else - no problem.

You might be able to talk to a local breeder of the type you pick and see if they will allow you to have a trial test first.
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for your suggestions. I have suggested that he visit the shelter and hold different cats, long hair, short hair, etc. to see if there are any that don't bother him as much. Will let you know how it turns out!
post #15 of 18
Many people with mild to severe cat allergies can tolerate Siberians. All of us Siberians lovers call them the hypo-allergenic cat, but no to be confused with allergy-free. I as well think that you should spend allot of time at a Siberian cattery before deciding to buy one.
post #16 of 18
I just realized that you are from Richmond, Va. I live between you and Charlottesville. Your friend is welcome to come spend some time with my Siberians and test out his allergies.
post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
I am not familiar with all the different breeds but just did a quick search on Siberians. They are beautiful! I love long haired cats and have had several people tell me that sometimes they are not as bad for allergies as short haired cats. Everyone says something different though, so its hard to say.

I appreciate your offer to meet your cats and will keep it in mind. We aren't able to get a cat until we move in July but I have been trying to do some research ahead of time. Do Siberians require a lot of grooming like a persian, or are they more like a Maine Coon or others that don't tangle as much? I would love any information you can share about them or if there are any breeders in our area. Feel free to PM me.

post #18 of 18
How is it that the Siberian is hypo-allergenic?

Scientists have named the protein in the feline saliva, FEL D-1. When the cat cleans itself, the protein then dries on the fur leaving dander. The dander particles are small and air filters cannot remove them from the air. The Siberian is void of the FEL D1 protein, therefore no dander. However if the allergic party suffers from the IgE late trigger' antibody reaction, their chances of compatibility of owning a Siberian are lowered.

Are studies being done on the hypo-allergenic fur?

No official study has been commissioned to date. Someday Science will be interested in this wonderful anomaly. But for now we have empirical analysis. After Hundreds of sales to people with “cat allergies†over an 9 year period, I already know what you must find out, that most people with cat allergies can in fact have a Siberian. In the beginning, I sold two Siberians to an asthmatic named Ernie Sherman. Ernie had a severe allergy to cats and reacted to them by showing asthmatic symptoms. Because of his asthma, Ernie made regular visits to the Mayo clinic. At one point he informed them that he was now the proud owner of two male Siberians. In disbelief the Mayo clinic in Jacksonville Florida began a series of tests testing Ernie with regular cat dander and Siberian cat dander. Ernie knew which was which almost immediately. The regular cat test on one arm produced a baseball size welt while the arm with the Siberian particles had no reaction The Mayo clinic had been using Ernie as their guinea pig, running test after test to try and make him react to Siberian dander. They failed miserably. The doctors still find it unbelievable but are now convinced that there is something very special and different about the Siberians. NINE years later Ernie is going strong and is the proud owner of FOUR Male Siberians.

How was the hypo-allergenic fur discovered?

In 1995 , I made the acquaintance of Gregg Neill, a gentleman who was working on marketing a biodegradable litter from citrus rinds. I asked him if I could try a sample. He said yes, and along with his fiancee', Debbie brought some product to my home. I became aware of his product because I read an article in a trade paper. He mentioned in the article that he didn't have a cat because his fiancee was severely allergic. Once at the house, Debbie remarked that she was not having an allergy attack. I thought it was because she was standing near an air purifier. On her second trip to my house, she remarked again about her lack of reaction. I thought she was standing too close to an open door. I was skeptical. After her third visit, Debbie insisted that there was something uniquely different about the Siberians. Again I wouldn't believe her and she remarked rather vehemently, " Look Lynda, I know my allergies!" I agreed to test her "scientifically". I placed her in a room with more than twenty Siberian adults and told her to pet the cats and then rub her eyes. After about 30 minutes, she left. I had envisioned itchy, watery eyes that had swollen shut. I called several days later to check the results. She was fine. I asked her if she wanted a Siberian, though I already knew the answer. She was so delighted, and has owned one of these beautiful cats since February 1996.
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