You’re probably here because you or your family members love cats and want so badly to bring one home, but have one thing standing in the way: Allergies.
If you are dedicated to adopting a cat, finding one that triggers minimal or no allergy symptoms is ideal. This means researching which type of cat would not only match your lifestyle, but also cause the least amount of issues for your allergies.
This is where the Devon Rex cat comes in. This spunky and mischievous cat is notable for their unique wavy coat. The difference in texture and soft down hair on their bodies sparks the interest of those with cat allergies.
Could this be the cat for you?
What is a hypoallergenic cat?
When someone is searching for a hypoallergenic cat or dog to adopt, they are looking for a pet that will not trigger their allergies. Certain breeds are thought to be better for people with pet allergies.
If you have only mild cat allergies, you might be okay with adopting any type of cat, as long as you take other precautions to minimize your allergy symptoms. These include using a HEPA filter, making your bedroom a cat-free zone, brushing your cat outside, and limiting contact with the litter box.
If your allergies are moderate to severe, you may be interested in adopting a certain cat breed that’s less likely to set off your symptoms.
The Fel d 1 protein
A cat that is considered “hypoallergenic” will have one of two things (or maybe both): less production of the Fel d 1 protein, or very little shedding.
Every cat produces the protein Fel d 1, which is found in their sebaceous glands, saliva, urine, and dander. Each cat produces different amounts of Fel d 1, and the protein gets distributed around your home at different rates depending on your cat. So it might not be your cat’s fur causing your congestion while cuddling—it could be your cat’s saliva or even their litter box!
Cats that don’t shed as much don’t necessarily correlate to having lower levels of Fel d 1. However, low-shedding cats can still be better for allergy sufferers, since the protein may be distributed at lower rates around the home.
The Devon Rex cat is not known to produce less Fel d 1. Instead, they can benefit those with cat allergies due to their minimal shedding. Other breeds loosely considered hypoallergenic due to their low levels of shedding include:
- Cornish Rex
- Russian Blue
- Oriental Shorthair
How much does the Devon Rex shed?
Devon Rex cats are a low-shedding breed (much like their Cornish Rex cousin with their famous curly coat). They have a unique wavy undercoat that rarely sheds and requires very little grooming.
However, because their coats are so short, grease can build up. Wiping down your Devon Rex from time to time will give them a fresh and pampered feel.
Although your Devon Rex might inevitably cause allergy symptoms, they are more manageable and give you a better chance at learning to adapt to life with a cat. It’s in your favor to seek out Devon Rex fosters or friends with the breed who could let you spend time around them to test things out!
Devon Rex cat overview
The Devon Rex is considered a small cat breed. They typically weigh 6 to 9 pounds and can maintain a healthy weight easily on their own with their active lifestyles. They are very friendly and outgoing, and love to entertain their humans. This means they will want to spend time with you, close to you, maybe even on top of you.
This is something you have to accept and be prepared for when loving a Devon Rex!
Though small, the Devon Rex cat has a big personality. Because they are outgoing and playful, they’ll want you to engage with them all day long, pulling mice attached to strings and shining lasers for them to chase.
They are very affectionate, so they will happily climb on your lap and snuggle up next to you after a long day of running around. The Devon Rex enjoys being pet and scratched, purring as if to encourage you to continue.
The Devon Rex is highly intelligent, which is both a blessing and a curse. They like to be stimulated through play and enrichment activities. They will definitely climb and inspect every nook and cranny in your space, so be prepared to have plenty of cat trees and perching areas for them.
The Devon Rex is adaptable to their environment, as well as the people and animals they share it with. They enjoy being around other animals, including cats and dogs, and do well with children. As with any new pet, you should slowly introduce your Devon Rex to other members of the household to get a feel for how each party wants to engage.
A Devon Rex cat definitely stands out. They have a pixie-like face that seemingly belongs in a fairytale. They have sharp, angular faces, high cheekbones, wide, bright eyes, and very large ears on a slender body.
In addition to their structure, they have unique wavy fur that is caused by a mutation only found in Devon Rex cats. This fur is short, dense, and different from what you might be used to when you think of cats.
Their fur is the main reason why they make for a better hypoallergenic cat than other breeds.
How to reduce dander and shedding
If you get a cat despite your allergies, there are ways you can improve the quality of the experience and minimize reactions. It all depends on how much effort you’re willing to put in to help limit your allergies—but the outcome will be more time spent enjoying your Devon Rex.
The Devon Rex doesn’t require much grooming. Their coats are short, and they shed little, so brushing them every couple weeks is usually sufficient. If you have stronger allergies or notice your Devon Rex shedding, grooming them more often may help.
Even just wiping your cat with a damp towel every few weeks can help limit your reactions to their fur.
Diet and nutrition
By feeding your Devon Rex healthy, nutritious cat food, including wet food, you can improve their skin and bodily functions. If your Devon Rex is well-hydrated, they aren’t as likely to shed.
Your Devon Rex is very intelligent and will be eager to learn tricks. This means you can more easily train your Devon Rex to avoid certain things. For instance, you can teach them not to lick you, and to stay off your bed and countertops.
You can also reserve a specific space for their litter box. Using a self-cleaning litter box will allow you to avoid the area for the most part, as it automatically cleans itself after each use. This will help to minimize your contact with Fel d 1 (distributed through urine), as well as take care of the unpleasant task of scooping the litter box.
Consider your sensitivities
Before you adopt a Devon Rex cat, you should try to determine how your allergies will respond to the breed. Check your local shelters to see if there are any Devon Rex cats to interact with. If you know someone with a Devon Rex, try to spend some one-on-one time with them. This will give you an idea of how much you can tolerate.
Adopting a Devon Rex cat
While no cat is truly hypoallergenic, the Devon Rex may be a good choice for allergy sufferers due to their unique, short, wavy coat that sheds minimally.
The Devon Rex cat will make a great addition to the family—they’ll fill your days with entertainment and laughs for years to come!
- Devon Rex - Students | Britannica Kids
- An Update On Molecular Cat Allergens: Fel D1 And What Else? Chapter 1 | NCBI
- The Naked Truth: Sphynx And Devon Rex Cat Breed Mutations In KRT71 | NCBI