There are many factors that future cat owners consider. While some will prefer larger cats, others will be more satisfied with small ones. Some will specifically want a certain breed, while others will not attach so much importance to this factor.
But what is most important for people who struggle with allergies is to avoid all cats that could cause symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, respiratory problems, and skin rashes in them.
So, I believe this will be very useful information for all allergy sufferers.
Take a look at the 7 worst cats for allergies.
1. Himalayan Cat
The Himalayan is a hybrid cat whose parent breeds are the popular Siamese and Persian. This cat is affectionate, smart, and easy-going.
For anyone looking for a lap cat – the Himalay might be one of the best choices! Many cat fanciers will also like the information that this is a fairly cheap breed.
However, there is a serious downside to the Himalayan cat.
These cats have a high dander production rate and also a high shedding level. So, having a Himalayan in your home will mean finding their hair all over the place all the time.
Their long, thick coat sheds continuously, meaning that all the dander, pollen, and dust are also spread around your living surroundings.
Therefore, a Himalayan isn’t a suitable breed if you or any of your family members suffer from allergic reactions.
2. Maine Coon
I’m sure many of you will be disappointed by seeing this breed on the list, since this large cat is so sweet-tempered and gentle and almost any cat fancier would like to have it as a pet.
Maine Coons have thick, fluffy coats. We all know how much cats love to groom themselves, so, these felines are likely to spend a lot of their time grooming, meaning they will spread all the dander and Fel d 1 protein found in their saliva onto their coats.
This cat produces a regular amount of allergy-triggering protein, which means all allergy sufferers should, unfortunately, better look for a more suitable breed.
3. Norwegian Forest Cat
According to VCA Animal Hospitals, this cat is a charmer who loves to amuse its family. Also, this breed is extremely affectionate, smart, and loves the company of children and other pets.
Now, I have to spoil this wonderful description by characterizing this cat as a bad choice for people with allergies.
The Norwegian Forest cat is actually believed to produce less Fel d 1 protein than many other breeds, but this cat has a luscious double coat that sheds a lot, so it’s very likely to trigger allergic reactions.
4. Persian Cat
The Persian Cat is a sweet, low-key, and affectionate breed that really makes a great companion for people of all ages.
Despite their wonderful temperaments, these cats’ long fur makes them undesirable for allergy sufferers.
Persian Cat Corner explains how these felines are definitely not hypoallergenic, and there is a fair chance that they will bring out allergies in humans due to their long cats that can often contain high levels of cat dander, especially if they aren’t bathed enough.
However, although frequent bathing can help in reducing or spreading the Fel d 1 protein that triggers allergic reactions, it’s still not a good idea for people with allergies to live with a Persian.
According to B. Bonnet and his associates , washing the cat more often can reduce the amount of Fel d 1 protein on their skin, but the effect doesn’t last long. The amount of Fel d 1 usually returns to its original level in just 2 days.
5. Scottish Fold
The Scottish Fold is a rare cat breed best recognized for its distinctive folder ears that gives them an owl-like appearance. These cats’ unusual ears resulted from a genetic mutation.
I’m sure you will all fall in love with these cuties and their rounded faces and bodies, but, unfortunately, if you’re dealing with allergies, you better skip this breed.
These cats can have both short and long coats, but even those with a short type have a serious amount of hair.
The Scottish Fold is a moderate shedder, but it’s likely to trigger allergies in people.
The Somali is an active, loving, and affectionate breed that loves to spend time with their human parents, according to Hill’s Pet.
With its ability to trick learning, and tendency to bond with humans, Somali is almost a perfect family pet – if we’re not talking about families whose members suffer from allergies.
Somali has a soft, fine, and long double coat that shed excessively, especially in the spring when the cat gets rid of its winter coat.
Due to the long fur and excess shedding, this breed is likely to produce allergens that will cause mild to serious symptoms in people prone to allergies.
Anybody would surely notice the Toyger breed among many others, thanks to their wild tiger-like appearance.
Just look at the video below showing this amazing cat!
Not only does this cat have a unique look, but it’s also playful, friendly, and easygoing. But, it’s still another wrong choice for allergy sufferers.
The Toyger has a short, dense coat. You’re probably expecting a shorthair cat to shed less, right? Well, this isn’t true. Cats with shorter fur shed, too.
This cat will shed throughout all seasons, but this will be especially noticeable during fall and spring.
So, you should better not risk whether this cat’s high shedding levels will trigger an allergic reaction in you, but rather look for another breed that’s considered hypoallergenic.
Is There A Way For Allergy Sufferers To Live With These Cats?
We can see that allergy sufferers should better avoid the previously mentioned cat breeds. But, all these cats are so wonderful, and make great family pets. So, is there any way to still share the living space with these felines?
Well, it could be, but you’ll need to be very consistent. The first thing to consider is just how severe your cat allergy is – there’s a big difference between having mild symptoms, and not even being able to breathe properly with a cat near you!
You should also be prepared for a lot of cleaning, since a vacuum cleaner will become a thing you use every day, if you decide to live with one of these cats.
Also, you should never let the kitten come near your bed. There might be some other things you should do, such as getting rid of carpets, as to prevent hair and dander spreading around your home.
Some people might even need to take medications for allergies.
So, it’s possible to live with a cat that’s likely to cause an allergic reaction in you – you just need to make this decision on your own and accept these sacrifices.
The Bottom Line
Each of the cats from this list has something great about their temperament. But, this isn’t too relevant for allergy sufferers.
These breeds are considered the worst cats for allergies, and, unfortunately, this means you should better look for other cats, the ones that are far less likely to cause allergy symptoms in you.
Although it is even possible to live with one of these cats, especially if your symptoms are mild, and if you are prepared for a lot of vacuuming and sacrifices such as strictly forbidding your cat to lie on your bed or sofa – I would still suggest that you do not make this decision easy.
Each of us gets attached to a cat very easily and quickly, and if you find that it causes unpleasant allergy symptoms in you, you will have a huge problem.
My advice to you would be to spend a certain amount of time with the cat you intend to welcome into your home just in case, no matter what breed it is. For all other questions, it would be best to consult a veterinarian.
 Bonnet, B., Messaoudi, K., Jacomet, F. et al. An update on molecular cat allergens: Fel d 1 and what else? Chapter 1: Fel d 1, the major cat allergen. Allergy Asthma Clin Immunol 14, 14 (2018). DOI, Retrieved June 17, 2023.