Is there anything worse than being enamored by adorable kitties but unable to get too close to them? Being allergic to cats means you are just out of reach of something you truly desire: feline companionship. We feel for you!
And that’s why you are here: You are in love with the idea of a furry friend that will follow you around and snuggle up to you on the couch, but you have allergies. Finding a cat that will have less of an impact on your allergies means that you can enjoy their love without too many bothersome symptoms.
Sadly, there is no cat out there that is considered 100% hypoallergenic. If you’re allergic to cats, any cat you come across could ignite your symptoms. If you are still determined to have a kitty in your life, you need to be prepared: It’s a long commitment to adopt a cat, so are you ready to wash your sheets more frequently and sneeze from time to time?
If so, keep reading to learn about the Cornish Rex breed. This cat has a unique look, a loving and playful personality, and—perhaps best of all—less of an impact on people who are allergic to cats. Maybe this adorable and unique kitty will become your new best feline friend!
What is the Fel d 1 protein?
When we talk about hypoallergenic cats, we’re referring to cats that either shed little and require less grooming, or cats that make less of the Fel d 1 protein. You won’t find a cat that doesn’t produce the Fel d 1 protein, but there are two breeds that produce less than others: Siberian cats and Balinese cats.
This protein is found in the sebaceous glands, dander, saliva, and urine of a cat, and is distributed throughout the house as cats simply go about their day-to-day activities. This is why it can be difficult for people with allergies to find a good match, as symptoms are hard to avoid. For example, even if your cat doesn’t lick you, your cat’s saliva will still build up on their toys, bowls, and more.
Cats that shed very little might spread less of the Fel d 1 protein around your space, which can make it easier to coexist. These are the cats you should consider when adopting as an allergy sufferer.
By finding a cat that sheds little or makes less of the Fel d 1 protein, you are putting yourself in a good spot with your allergies. This will help reduce your symptoms and let you adjust better to your new companion.
Do Cornish Rex cats shed?
Cornish rex cats shed minimally, making them a great option for people with allergies. They have curly coats that don’t need frequent combing for upkeep. They do become oily faster and will need their short coat wiped down from time to time.
Their coats are unique, soft, and curly, adding to their appeal. Waves of fur cover the Cornish Rex and are one of their most noticeable features. Not only will you have a cat that won’t make you sneeze as much, but everyone will be intrigued by how this curly coat started as a random genetic mutation.
Cornish Rex cat overview
Cornish Rex cats are not large cats. They are actually very small and rarely weigh more than 10 pounds. This is the case for both male and female Cornish Rex cats, though their large ears and eyes make them appear much bigger.
The Cornish Rex is affectionate and loves to cuddle. They are playful and outgoing, and will have you laughing all day long with their antics.
What do they look like?
The Cornish Rex resembles a friendly little alien that just got back from getting a perm. Their curly hair stands out just as much as their large ears and eyes. Though small in size, their ears and eyes make up for it. You might first notice their alien-like appearance, followed by their unique curls. In fact, the closer you get, the more unique they are.
The Cornish Rex comes in various colors and patterns, including tabby, bicolor, calico, and tortoiseshell.
What’s their personality like?
You couldn’t ask for a more fun-loving kitty. The Cornish Rex loves to make everything into a game and appreciates when humans are involved. Whether you are pulling a toy, pointing a laser, or throwing a ball, the Cornish Rex will be happy you’re there.
These cats like to get up as high as possible, so having cat trees and shelves available can save your precious knick-knacks from being pushed off mantles. When the Cornish Rex gets bored, they might get a little frisky, so it’s best to pay attention and provide a stimulating environment.
They love playing and do best when they have a partner in crime, AKA another kitty pal (maybe even another Cornish Rex!). Are you ready to handle that?
How to reduce shedding
If you want to get a cat despite your allergies, there are ways you can minimize the impact they have on you. Along with adopting a cat that sheds less or produces less Fel d 1, you should look to mitigate your cat’s knack for causing an allergy flare-up.
Grooming should be easy for this short-haired breed. You shouldn’t see too much long hair floating around; this cat, originally from Cornwall, only has a down coat.
Many cats have three coats (guard hairs, awn hairs, and undercoat/down hairs). Much like other cat breeds like the Devon Rex and the hairless Sphynx, the Cornish Rex's lack of a layered coat makes their grooming needs unique.
Following the proper grooming requirements for your cat can help minimize the spread of the Fel d 1 protein. Get rid of loose fur before it has time to fall off your cat and accumulate around your house. (You can also brush your cat outside, as long as you’re careful not to let kitty wander off!)
Vacuum and wipe down surfaces frequently, wash your sheets and blankets often, and stay on top of other household cleaning to limit your exposure to the protein.
By training your Cornish Rex to avoid countertops, dining tables, or even your bed and other furniture, you are limiting the spaces where they will spread Fel d 1. Keeping them off locations that you frequent also helps when you are in the process of cleaning.
Going to sleep in a bed that isn’t covered in cat fur can do wonders for your allergies. If this requires locking your cat out of your bedroom most (if not all) of the time, so be it.
You can also put your cat’s litter box in a secluded space and use a self-cleaning litter box like Litter-Robot. This way, you don’t have to worry about scooping and potentially coming in contact with the Fel d 1 that’s shed in their waste.
How much can you handle?
How bad are your allergies? Will having a cat completely disrupt your everyday life in a negative way?
The last thing that you want to do is bring stress to your life by adopting a cat without exploring the consequences. It’s not fair to you, or your cat! You may want to begin by visiting friends with cats that shed less or are considered hypoallergenic, and see how well you tolerate being there. Maybe even try cat-sitting to see if you can handle having a cat in your space.
If, in the end, you are convinced that the Cornish Rex is the best cat for you, then you can start the process of finding one that matches your personality.
Adopting a Cornish Rex cat
Cornish Rex cats are a great option to adopt when you struggle with allergies. If you want the companionship and love of a cat, we highly recommend the Cornish Rex. These furry felines won’t cause too much discomfort when it comes to your allergies, but they will give you so much love and plenty of fond memories!
- Rex Cat | Breed Of Cat | Britannica
- Cornish Rex | VCA Animal Hospitals
- An Update On Molecular Cat Allergens: Fel D 1 And What Else? Chapter 1 | NCBI