Spring is around the corner, and you know what that means—our furry felines will soon be shedding part of their winter coats. Even indoor kitties lose hair as we enter the warmer months.
Whether you’re averse to finding cat hair all over your furniture (not to mention in your coffee mug) or hoping to avoid hairballs around the house, you’ve probably wondered: Are there cats that don’t shed? Yes, actually—check out these 12 breeds!
Are cats that don’t shed hypoallergenic?
Cats that don’t shed and low-shedding cats are not typically hypoallergenic cat breeds. For one thing, no cat is 100% hypoallergenic because the allergen-causing protein that cats produce is found in their saliva, urine, and dander. In theory, low-shedding cats can be better for allergy sufferers because you may come in less contact with dander—but you still have your cat’s saliva and urine to contend with.
Can you shave a cat?
Shaving a cat should only be done for skin conditions and injuries as fur plays an important role in regulating body temperature and is beneficial to cats even in the summer. Shaving your cat to avoid shedding is not recommended and can even be traumatizing for your cat.
In most cases, it’s easy to combat shedding by brushing your cat once or twice a week (or daily, in warmer months). If you’d rather shave your cat than deal with seasonal shedding, make sure to book an appointment with an experienced pet groomer. Unless you’re a grooming specialist yourself, it’s best you leave such a drastic haircut to the experts.
Don’t shave your cat if they go outside, as a sudden lack of coat can interfere with temperature regulation.
Cat breeds that don’t shed
Your most obvious choice is to adopt a hairless cat. (Let it be known, though, that hairless cat breeds still require grooming: Instead of brushing away cat fur, you’ll need to sponge-bathe or wipe down your cat weekly to remove oils from their skin.)
Though mostly a hairless breed, some Sphynx cats have a fine down or patches of peach fuzz on their body. The Sphynx is a sturdy, medium-boned, athletic, and muscular cat that loves to be the center of attention. These extremely outgoing cats are more than just their unique coat—and even though their lack of fur might be what draws you in, you should be prepared to groom and take care of the rest of their needs.
The Peterbald cat may be totally hairless or have one of the following coat types: peach-like fuzz that covers the body; wiry or wavy brush coat; short velour coat; or normal short coat. With their almond-shaped eyes, large, pointed ears, and slim, muscular bodies, Peterbalds resemble Oriental Shorthairs—one of their parent breeds, with the other being the hairless Donskoy cat. This rare breed is intelligent and almost aggressively affectionate, and will entertain you with their playful antics.
Cat breeds that don't shed a lot
If you prefer a cat with fur but still want to avoid those errant hairs, consider a rex cat. Rex cats have unique curly coats that do not typically shed.
There are also short-haired cat breeds with “regular” fur that just so happen to shed infrequently, no matter the time of year.
The majority of the Devon Rex cat’s coat is soft, wavy down hair, which is caused by a natural mutation. Their coat rarely sheds, though you may wish to wipe down the fur from time to time. This small breed sports oversized ears on an elfin face. The Devon Rex cat is known as the “pixie” of the cat world with their impish looks and mischievous personality. But don’t worry, they’re also affectionate and people-oriented cats that will find a way onto your lap.
The Cornish Rex cat has a curly coat that is very short, lies close to the body, rarely sheds, and is incredibly soft to the touch. This undercoat lacks guard hairs and doesn’t need frequent combing for upkeep. It does become oily faster and should be wiped down from time to time. The Cornish Rex is a fun-loving kitty that wants to make everything into a game (and appreciates when humans are involved).
Although the American Wirehair is not a rex, their wiry coat (hence the name) is soft to the touch and springs back into place when stroked. Their coat’s coarseness will vary depending on their parents, and can range from smooth to quite rough. The wiry texture captures loose hairs, making them less likely to shed. This breed is adaptable, affectionate, independent, and playful. They resemble American Shorthairs and share many of the same traits.
In contrast to the cat’s long physical features, the Siamese cat’s coat is very short, glossy, and sleek, and lies close to the body with a very fine texture. They are known for their colorpoint coat pattern, with point colors coming in seal, chocolate, blue, or lilac. The Siamese cat is very talkative, and will whine and pout if not given enough attention. Fans love how vocal and entertaining the Siamese cat can be—but if you want a quiet cat, this is not the one for you.
The coat of the cougar-like Abyssinian cat is glossy and soft, but also dense and resilient to the touch. Their ticked tabby coat is known for its ruddy or red coloring, but can display other colors as well. This cat is highly energetic and well-muscled with lithe, graceful movements. Even though they need a lot of attention and playtime, the Abyssinian is otherwise a low-maintenance cat. They don’t require intense grooming, as their short, glossy coats don’t shed a lot.
The Singapura cat sports short, close-lying, fine fur that appears glossy. Their coat always showcases a ticked tabby pattern in brown or sepia. Even as one of the smallest cat breeds, the Singapura has a big personality: They are quite mischievous and known for getting into nooks and crannies around the house. This loving kitty is as curious as they come and thrives in social settings. They will greet you at the door and want to be involved in your daily activities.
The Javanese cat proves you can have a (semi) long-haired cat that’s low on shedding. This breed is the semi-longhair version of the Colorpoint Shorthair, which is a version of the Siamese cat. Their fur, which comes in a variety of colors including red and cream, is easy to maintain and does not tangle easily. Javanese cats are similar to the Siamese in that they’re very loving, vocal, and people-oriented. This kitty will follow you around and converse with you throughout the day.
The Russian Blue cat has a short, dense double cat that sheds surprisingly little. The shimmery blue fur tipped in silver is plush to the touch and overall easy to maintain. Their long, slender bodies give them a slinky appearance that speaks to their curious yet reserved nature. They are gentle and playful cats that don't mind being cuddled but value their independence. The Russian Blue is loyal to their family but somewhat shy around strangers.
While easy to confuse with the Russian Blue, the Korat cat is a distinct breed that originated in Thailand (as opposed to the Russian Blue’s point of origin, Russia). Their single layer of blue-silver fur is easy to groom and sheds minimally. Korats tend to be more outgoing than Russian Blues, and are vocal when they want something from you. They are very affectionate towards their humans and love to be on your lap—but are happy to sit close by if you’re busy.
The Havana Brown cat has a short, glossy, chestnut brown coat whose breed parentage includes Siamese cats, Russian Blues, and black Domestic Shorthairs. These uniquely colored cats are sociable and intelligent; they’re so outgoing and playful (even learning to play fetch) that they’re often compared to puppies. And while Havana Browns can quickly get bored, they are also very likely to go seek out ways to entertain themselves.
Now you know that there are multiple categories of cats that don’t shed! Let’s hope you can say goodbye to those floaters in your coffee mug…
- Cover photo: Max Simonov via Unsplash
- Peterbald: © Atlantiscats / CC-BY-SA-3.0
- Siamese: Alex Meier via Unsplash
- Javanese: © Nickolas Titkov / CC-BY-SA-3.0