The Truth About Cat Allergies

Photo by Kevin Dooley

Cat allergies, like sexuality, run on a spectrum. If you’re only slightly allergic, you might be ready to bear it, if you can find a cat that will meet you halfway. While there’s no such thing as a completely hypoallergenic cat, some breeds are easier on the sinuses than others. Unfortunately most online advice is unsourced or anecdotal. We asked allergist Joseph T. Inglefield III, M.D. to fact-check some popular beliefs about cat allergies.

Breed Matters

Dr. Inglefield approves of the recommended breed list on PetMD.com, which lists low-allergy breeds like Siberian, Burmese, Russian Blue, and Sphynx.

Fur Length Doesn’t Matter

According to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology, pet hair is just the carrier of allergens, not the cause, and fur length and amount of shedding don’t matter. Even hairless cats carry allergens in their skin, saliva, and urine. But Dr. Inglefield disagrees:

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