Rumor has it that Devon Rex are better for people with allergies, than other breeds of cat. The rumors say this is due to the low-shedding nature of the Devon’s curly coat. But are these rumors true, or just a shrewd sales tactic?
Here at Megarex, we can only speak from our own experience. Based on that I can tell you that in some cases, people who are normally allergic to cats have had a much easier time hanging out in our house and meeting our Devons. However, this is not 100% true for everyone, and some allergic people who come to visit us still go home sneezing and back to the drawing board.
Every Devon Rex is unique. Some have very smooth wavy coats. Some have a sparser coat with less wave and bald patches. Some have very plush coats and may shed a few hairs each day. There are even a few rare longhairs that show up in breedings. So it cannot be said that an allergic person will be universally, across the board, able to tolerate this breed. You may find that one cat, you can tolerate, and the next one you cannot.
It is always a good idea to do a test run and see if you can tolerate a Devon Rex in person before committing to purchase a kitten or cat. Visiting a cattery situation is not always ideal because there is a larger number of cats than you would normally have in your home. You might be able to tolerate one Devon, but you would not be able to tolerate ten. You may be able to ask your local breeder if there are any clients in the area who have pets from them, who would allow you to visit their home. A local veterinarian’s office might have clients with Devons that you could speak to. If none of these options will work for you, we can still help!
Contact us by email, and send us a small towel or baby blanket from your home. We will give it to a couple of our Devons to have a nap on, then we will send it back to you. Wear it around your neck, hold it in your lap, rub it on your skin**. If you have no reaction, or only a mild one compared to your normal reaction, you may be able to tolerate living with a Devon Rex. Do the test for several days, because allergies can take some time to ramp up. You may be fine on day 1, then suddenly explode on day 5. It is never fun to suffer from allergies, nor is it ideal to bring a young kitten home only to have to return it later on for health reasons. Please be honest with breeders about your situation and do what is best for both your family, and the cat kitten.
**If you suffer from asthma or very severe allergies, it is vital that you SPEAK TO YOUR DOCTOR before performing this test. Do not put yourself at unnecessary risk.