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This is a question you may be asking yourself and I will try to answer it in this article. First off, I’d say that the short answer is both yes and no, and we will find out why shortly. Often people say, “I’m allergic to cat hair,” but that’s not always the real cause. The first thing people notice is that in the presence of cat hair, their immune system reacts. Yet, contrary to what we can think, it is not the hairs that are the cause of allergic problems but the allergens they contain.

Now what does hypoallergenic mean?

Hypoallergenic simply means relatively unlikely to cause an allergic reaction. The Siberian cat has the reputation of being hypoallergenic, but beware, this word does not mean non-allergenic (which does not cause allergy). It only means that they have a low tendency of causing any allergic reaction as a result of their low FEL D1 level.

The Siberian cat is the most hypoallergenic cat breed, that is to say that they have little allergenic. This is why it can be adapted to people who are normally allergic to cats. Siberian naturally produces little of the allergenic protein FEL D1, responsible for allergies for 85% of people allergic to cats. According to the statistics obtained in the journal Taiga (United States), 85% of people allergic to cats are allergic because of the allergen Fel d 1. However, it is advisable to visit the cattery, and first stroke the kittens, then the females and end with the whole males to test the degree of allergy before adopting a cat, or kitten.

Related article: The Neva Masquerade Cat Breed And Its History

The main allergen responsible for cat allergy is the FEL D1 glycoprotein. Thus, the allergen FEL D1 is found in their saliva, dead skin, tears, feces, urine, but also in their hair and in their environment (litter boxes, couches, bed quilt, carpets, etc.). The allergenic particles can remain active for months.

Indeed, Siberian breeds have much lower levels of FEL D1 than most other cats, hence their frequent tolerance by people with moderate allergies. Only 15% of Siberians have allergen levels low enough for placement in homes with severe cat allergies. The majority of allergy sufferers will be able to live comfortably with a Siberian cat, but some will still have allergic reactions. There is no guarantee.

The Siberians are cats that secrete less allergenic protein. This is why about 85-90% of people are not allergic, or very little, to this breed (according to the statistics of the magazine TAÏGA USA – study of Mrs. Linda TARTOF). These cats are called ” hypoallergenic “, and this is justified.

I myself have also experienced a great success with these Neva Masquerades!  We also have great success of allergic people within our family who now live with one of these little ones at home without any issue of allergies.

Low rate of Fel D1: a true indicator…?

As explained above, 85-90% of cats’ allergy sufferers are because of Fel D1 protein in cat saliva. What good is it to say that this Siberian has “the lowest Fel D1 rate in the world” if you are one of the 10% who are allergic to the Siberian cat because of another substance than the Fel D1? Buying a Siberian on the sole basis of its low Fel D1 rate does not make much sense. However, know that, even if there is little chance to be allergic to Siberian cat, the chance of an allergy is not totally excluded. It’s up to you alone to make the necessary arrangements and precautions to avoid finding yourself with a cat that your body does not tolerate.

Note that 50% of Siberians have Fel d1 levels lower than other cats. This allows some people suffering from allergies to adopt them. In any case we must spend at least 1 hour in the presence of Siberian cats before purchasing and taking them home. This time corresponds to the activation of your immune system that will fight against your allergy.

Related article: Good Food For Nevas and What They Should Avoid Eating

But why am I allergic?

Two thirds of people with a hairy pet are allergic to those of the cat. On the other hand, there are people allergic only to the cat. As far as these allergies are concerned, you should know that 85% of them (according to the statistics obtained in the magazine Taiga USA) are not allergic to hair but to the allergens they contain.

The substance causing these allergies is the protein ‘Fel d1’, produced in the skin of felines. Particles are also present in dander (dandruff), saliva, urine, hormonal glands or cat tears. And this allergy prevents you from hosting a cat under your roof.

Know that it is not necessary to touch the animal directly to be the victim of the first symptoms. The contact with the allergenic substance ‘Fel d 1’ can be done via all the objects of your house, clothes through trinkets. The person may experience a runny nose, red eyes, cough, shortness of breath, asthma attacks, hives.

Indeed ‘Fel d 1’ is carried by particles in the ambient air of houses containing a cat. These particles are smaller than those carrying other allergens and persist for a very long time even after they leave. The result is a faster onset of symptoms than after exposure to other allergens such as pollen, for example. Cat-allergic patients feel the effects in less than half an hour after entering a cat-containing environment.

Read more about Fel d 1 on wikipedia here

Get even more in-depth knowledge about Fel d 1 here

Suggested article: Do Siberian Cats And Neva Masquerade Spray?

Siberian, the Anti-Allergen Solution!

The Siberian cat has the reputation of being hypoallergenic because people allergic to cats are less affected or not at all. Siberian produces few ‘Fel d1’ glycoproteins and the amount of film that contains these proteins is very low compared to most domestic cats.

Some numbers to remember:

  • 50% of Siberians have Fel D1 levels much lower than most other cats, hence their frequent tolerance by people with moderate allergies (2.0 mcg – 4.0 mcg Fel d1).
  • 15% of Siberians have allergen levels low enough for placement in homes with severe cat allergies (0.2 mcg – 1.0 mcg Fel d1).
  • The production of the allergen Fel d1 is under hormonal control and the levels are higher in non-castrated males than in females. After sterilization, the levels of allergens drop significantly in males to the point where they reach the same level as females.
  • For hormonal reasons too, allergen levels often increase in the female at the end of gestation and during breastfeeding.
  • A stressed cat increases its production of Fel d1.
  • The length of the hair has no influence on the quantity of allergens produced, any more than the color of the dress. However, in the colors silver and smoke, the allergen levels have always appeared higher on the Siberians tested.

Other hypoallergenic cat breeds

The breeds of the most hypoallergenic cats are:

  1. Balinese cat
  2. Bengal cat
  3. Devon rex
  4. Javanese cat
  5. Oriental shorthair
  6. Russian blue cat
  7. Cornish rex, LaPerm and Siamese

Great resource of a list with hypoallergenic breeds by HomeoAnimal


Let us look at a more detailed description of some of the cats mentioned in this small list;


Hypoallergenic cat: Balinese

As is the case for the Siberian, the Balinese, despite its coat supplied, produces less Fel D1 protein than the rest of the cat breeds on this list. And as you most certainly understand, the fact that it produces less protein Fel D1 makes it a perfect cat for some people with allergies. Also known as long-haired Siamese, he does not need much care to keep in good condition his beautiful coat, it will still be brushed two to three times a week to avoid the formation of nodes.

His friendly, playful and faithful character makes the Balinese the ideal companion for people who want to spend long hours with their feline, the Balinese does not support solitude and prefers to be in the company of his favorite human (you!).

Hypoallergenic cat: Bengal

Because of its wild appearance and look, Bengal is considered one of the most beautiful cats in the world. And in addition to all that, it is part of our list of hypoallergenic cat breeds because it is also one of the cats that produces the least Fel D1 protein!

In addition to being absolutely beautiful, the Bengal is a very curious cat, and also very active! If you are unwilling to dedicate long hours or if you are looking for a more independent companion, we recommend that you continue your search as the Bengal cat needs a tutor who will be able to cover all his needs! In addition, it is a feline that is generally rather healthy except for its ears because it tends to produce a higher amount of earwax.

Related article: Helpful Tips for Raising a Siberian Kitten

Hypoallergenic Cat: Devon Rex

Although many people tend to think that the Devon Rex is a hypoallergenic cat because it has a short hair, it should be noted that as for the cats we talked about, it is not the hair that causes allergies but well, Fel D1 protein! Like Siberian, Bengal and Balinese, the Devon Rex produces less protein that makes us sneeze!

In parallel, the Devon Rex is one of the cats that loses the least hair, so the low amount of allergens that could accumulate on his hair is much less likely to end up in the recesses of your apartment or on your sofa!

Hug and affectionate, the Devon Rex does not really tolerate loneliness, he needs companionship to be a happy cat. Like Bengal, the Devon Rex tends to produce more ear wax, so you’ll need to pay special attention to that part of your body!

Hypoallergenic cat: Javanese

Javanese, also known as oriental longhair is also one of those cats that produces less protein Fel D1! Unlike Bengal and Devon Rex, the Javanese is a much more independent cat that does not really need the company of his human being. The Javanese is therefore an ideal cat for allergy sufferers as well as for those who spend most of their day outdoors.


All cats have this ‘Fel d1’ protein and no cat is 100% completely ‘non-allergic’ to humans. However, there are some breeds of cats which possess less than the others. In any case, do not make the decision to acquire a cat lightly, let alone when you are allergic. It is advisable to go to a farm or to friends with Siberians, spend a few hours to test and see how it happens at the allergic level.

Read more on what hypoallergenic means here

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