Don't underestimate allergies.
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Despite what you've read on the Internet, there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic cat. "There are cats that can be considered to have lower allergens, such as oriental short-hair breeds, but basically any cat that sheds dander can stimulate an allergy response," says Dr. Chan. Thus, eliminating the risk altogether is impossible because the allergens are secreted through the cat's skin and saliva, not the actual hair itself.

The best you can hope for then is mitigating the health risks. Chan suggests placing a HEPA filter in your home, like the Winix PlasmaWave 5400 Air Cleaner. You can also limit what areas of your home the cat has access to, like the bed where you sleep or the room of an allergic family member. "Washing the [cat's] toys and bedding frequently can help. And having them groomed – either by someone at home who is less allergic than you are or by taking them to a groomer often – is another way to reduce the amount of allergens." If, despite your cat allergies, you still see a cat in your future, consult a doctor about medications or immunotherapy (allergy shots) that can alleviate symptoms and make life with your feline companion something your body can tolerate, rather than suffer through.