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Is there a non-allergenic cat my husband can live with?

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Photo of Sphynx Cat

Sphynx cats are Said to Be Hypo-Allergenic

Photo Credit: © Besimu Sphynx
Question: Is there a non-allergenic cat my husband can live with?
I had cats while growing up, but my husband is allergic to them. Is there any way we can find a "non-allergenic" cat so that I can get my "cat fix" and my husband won't suffer with his allergies?
Answer: Depending on the nature and severity of your husband's allergies, having a cat might be possible, but it would require a lot of time and effort on your part. The allergens in cats are from a protein (Fel d 1) in their saliva, which, when they groom, dries on their and skin (in the form of dander). Shorter-haired cats seem to have less dander. The Sphynx, which is thought of as hairless, but has very short, very fine hair, is sometimes claimed to be allergen-free, although some might dispute that. The same claims are made about the various Rex breeds (Devon Rex, Cornish Rex, etc.), all of which have very fine coats which don't tend to trap the dander quite as much. Another breed, the Siberian Cat, is said to secrete less Fel d 1 than other cats, so that despite its very thick, long coat, may be less allergenic.

Male cats are also said to be less "allergic", and neutered cats even more-so. I've heard both pros and cons about various colors of cats being less allergenic.

Frequent bathing of the cat by the non-allergic person can minimize the amount of dander in the air, as well as hepa filters and "clean air machines."

It would probably cost extra, but I've been told an allergist can make a "custom" anti-allergy shot using the dander from your own cat. You might ask your doctor about the feasibility of doing this.

Disclaimer: Consult with your allergist or other medical professional before embarking on any program involving a cat as a pet.

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