Cats are by far the biggest culprit when it comes to pet allergies, with between 10-20 per cent of the world's population (and up to 40 per cent of asthmatics) sensitive to 'cat allergens' - a tiny protein particle found in the skin and saliva of cats.

It is responsible for the watery eyes and sneezing fits of many people. Always spend some time with the cat before deciding to adopt it full-time but some cats are less likely to set off those with allergies. If you think you're allergic to cats, try one of these guys:

1. Russian Blue

These elegant, silky and intelligent cats spread lower levels of 'Fel D1' - one source of cat allergens. Their dense coat traps the allergens closer to their skin, lessening the chance of allergic reactions in the people around them.

2. Siberian

This shaggy, fluffy breed of cat doesn't seem like it'd be good for allergy sufferers, but many Siberian owners have reported the breed to be safe for a large number of allergy sufferers.

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3. Cornish Rex

With their fine and sometimes even curly fur, the light coat of the Cornish Rex lessens the risk of allergic reactions in humans. They also love to run, play and jump, so much so that some people refer to them as the 'Greyhounds' of cats!

4. Devon Rex

Similar to the Cornish Rex, the Devon Rex also has a soft, fine coat and shed very little. In fact, they have even less hair than the Cornish Rex.

5. Sphynx

You either love or hate Sphynx cats, the hairless breed made famous in Austin Powers (remember Dr Evil's cat, Mr Bigglesworth?). But here's another reason to love them: their lack of fur means less hair to shed around the house, and therefore less cat allergens for allergy sufferers to react to.