Owning cat doubles allergy risk in adults: Which cats carry lower risk?

The Devon rex has big ears, an elfin face, and a coat that can be either thin and suede-like or a mop of loose curls, according to the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA). These cats have a "dubious" reputation for being hypoallergenic, and symptoms will vary "according to an individual's personal allergies," says the CFA. In general, kittens shed more allergens than cats. Although the levels seem to drop at 6 to 12 months of age, "they still cause allergies," says Dr. Seltzer.More from Health.com: How to stop allergies at home
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(CBS) Cats, the loveable low-maintenance pet, are often the preferred choice among first time pet owners, but as Dr. Holly Phillips reports on CBS This Morning, a new study shows adults who got a cat as their first pet raised their allergy risk by nearly 85 percent. And letting the cat roam around in the bedroom can raise the risk even more.

The study showed first time cat owners were 1.8 times more likely to develop a cat allergy compared to people who didn't have a cat. People with other preexisting allergies, nasal allergies, or asthma were between three and four times more likely to develop sensitivity to cats, HealthPopreported.

But not all cats are created equal, Phillips says. Female cats, light-colored cats, and surprisingly, long-haired cats give off fewer allergens.

Got a cat? Check out the video for tips to reduce allergy risk.

Allergies aren't the only health risk associated with pets. Here are some scary diseases pets give people.