There are many options for cat lovers who are allergic to cats but still wish to own one.
Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds
The hypoallergenic cat. There are several cat breeds available for cat owners who want their very own feline. The most common are the Sphynx breed, often called hairless, they have hair much more like peach fuzz. As a result they should not be allowed to venture outside because of the cold and the sun. Other breeds that are good for people who have allergies are the Cornish Rex and Devon Rex. These cats have curly coats and lack some of the dander associated with causing cat allergies. Finally there is the less known breed, LaPerm, another cat with curly fur. Owners would be advised to note that while these cats may not have allergens associated with fur, their saliva may still cause problems for owners sensitive to cat saliva.
Above is a photo of a hairless Sphynx cat, photo source.
Above is a Devon Rex, while you might not be able to see the curls and waves on the coat of the cat, you can certainly see the curled whiskers. The cats name is Tea.
Food and Diet
Any cat fed a proper diet, high in good quality meat content, will have fewer skin problems, and less dander, than cats fed 90% of the cat food available commercially. Most foods sold have far too much filler and while they meet minimum standards, most stop there. To learn more about cat food ingredients click here. As a general rule cat foods sold in grocery stores, and departments stores (such as Walmart) are not quality foods, also foods who have lots of advertising are putting money into ads, not ingredients. Cat food should never have corn as the first or second ingredient. Good cat food also means considerably less shedding, and as bonus an owner will find the cat makes fewer trips to the litter box, as there is less waste.
It is said that lighter colored cats and particularly female cats, have fewer associated allergies. This would be the white cats, light grey, or peach colored cats, as well as dilute tortoiseshells and dilute calico cats. Some color points (the colors associated with Siamese cats) might also fit into this group.
Short Haired Cats
Short haired cats often cause fewer allergies than long haired ones. They do not have to be a fancy breed, the regular DSH, or domestic short hair, cat will be fine.
Any cat if washed regularly will cause less problems. Naturally cats do not like water although there are some breeds, and some cats, who really don't mind it. An option here is to select a younger (short haired, female, kitten, of a light color) and introduce it to bathing at an early age. Bathing should be done correctly so as not to stress the cat. Although I would not recommend this as a first choice, there are many people, and cats, who find this arrangement workable.
Products for Cats
There are products available to spray on a cat to reduce their shedding. Some work better than others. Otherwise have another family member, or friend, groom the cat regularly to remove any loose hair. Run a damp cloth over the cat to remove any dander.
One of the things people seldom look at is themselves. There are allergy medications available to help alleviate allergy symptoms. Some of these are over the counter pills but better ones are available only with a prescription. A doctor should be consulted to find out what other options are available, including injections. People need to remember to wash their hands after handing a cat, and particularly before touching their face or eyes.
With proper management and considerations owning a cat is possible for anyone who wants one.