First things first your potential allergies:
How to Live with Cats and Allergies
Many people are denying themselves the pleasure of feline companionship because of allergies to cats. Here are some quick tips for minimizing cat dander, the microscopic flakes of dried saliva on cats' skin which causes allergy.
· Cajole a non-allergic housemate or friend to brush the cat daily.
· Bathe your cat weekly - YES that is right bathe him. Now if you get an adult cat this might be difficult. But if you start with a kitten and introduce him to it early, they will never love it but they do allow it (with much indignation as well, nothing less dignified than a wet cat - LOL).
· Ask your veterinarian about a spray for kitty's coat that will minimize dander.
· Replace curtains and drapes with solid blinds, carpeting and rugs with hardwood floors or tile.
· Minimize overstuffed furniture in your home.
· Vacuum regularly with a vacuum cleaner equipped with a Hepa filter.
· Invest in an air purification appliance. Compare the Honeywell and Alpine Air systems.
· Wipe down walls and flat surfaces regularly.
· Keep your bedroom off-limits to the feline brigade.
· Ask your allergist about making a serum from a sample of your cat's hair.
· If you don't yet have a cat, consider a shorthair over longhair. They tend to have less dander.
If you're looking for a purebred, try a Rex breed or Sphynx (of course with this breed you have to get used to the fact that you have a cat that is naked as a jaybird running around.) Ask the breeder if you can spend a couple of hours around their cats to test your allergic reactions. Some people claim these cats are "allergy-safe."
Allergic to Cats, by Judy Tidwell, About.com Guide to Allergies
PS (If you don't plan to be home at least once a day for an hour or so don't get any kind of animal except maybe a fish.)
Cats unlike dogs are not about the amount of room you give them. I have two cats and they have moved with me from a house with a HUGE two acre area filled with trees and even a bunny for a best pal, to living in SF city medium sized shared-apartment completely indoors to now living in a small 1 bedroom. And they are completely happy and healthy - about to turn 14 years old.
For cats it is attention and control depending on their temperment. They love to rule what ever the size of the domain. And just give them plenty of toys, hell lately for my cats their favorite thing isn't the dozens of store bought "cat things" around but the plastic doo-hickey pulltab thing from the lid of a gallon of milk and a sock they stole from my laundry basket. They bat those things around the house and hunt them as if they were mountain lions. It is hysterical, because of course if the garbage truck comes and makes too much noise they run and duck under the bed, yup them's my rough tough huntin mountain lions.