21 low shed and CATS that DON’T SHED (for easy GROOMING!)
I love cats, but cats that don't shed have a special place in my heart. One of the hardest parts of owning a cat is keeping up with the grooming, so I set out to learn about the best cat breeds that have short coats or don't shed much. Low shed cats are perfect for families because they take a lot of the work out of owning a cat.
When my friends ask me for recommendations, I always specify cats that don't shed. Eventually, I decided to make a big list of my top picks so that everyone can learn about non shedding cats.
credit: Toni Viemero
The Sphynx is not an Egyptian cat, but the result of a deliberate effort to breed cats with no hair. It is not hairless, but it has no coat. Sphynx cats instead have a very fine down layer that gives them their distinctive looks and feel.
The Sphynx comes in many different colors and patterns, tend to be quite intelligent and affectionate, and has just about the lowest-impact hair of any modern cat breed. Make sure you keep them warm- their lack of a coat means they can't retain heat well, so they love snuggles!
credit: stanze – on the move
The Donskoy is a breed of Russian origin that has similar features to the Sphynx- a thin layer of down instead of an actual coat, giving it a hairless look. Unusual among cats, the Donskoy sweats to shed excess heat, and it is usually quite warm to the touch.
This is because it lacks a coat to help it regulate its body temperature. Donskoy cats are well-known for being able to get along with other pets. That's good news for those of you who have other cats, dogs, or any other pet.
3. Cornish Rex
The Cornish Rex has a true coat, but its fur is short and can be sparse. The fur has a unique pattern that is the result of a genetic mutation that only allows the down layer to grow. The Cornish Rex, therefore, is effectively missing the two outer layers of its coat.
Like other cats without much fur, the Cornish Rex needs help maintaining its body temperature, and it can develop respiratory issues if you don't take extra steps to keep it warm. The Cornish Rex is very affectionate and loves to hang out with people. It is also one of the miniature cat breeds in the world.
The Peterbald is an offshoot of the Russian Donskoy. Peterbalds are a little unpredictable- some of them are born with hair, some are not, and those that are born with hair often lose it as they age. The coloration and patterns of Peterbald coats vary dramatically, but all members of the breed have slender builds and large ears.
Their small heads accentuate their bright eyes. Peterbalds retain the intelligence and sociability of their Donskoy forebears, preferring to be with their owners. I love watching Peterbalds follow their friends around the house!
credit: Daniel Work
The Javanese is the perfect cat for those who want the low maintence of cats that dont shed, but who do not like the bald look of the nearly hairless breeds. There are three layers to a cat's fur- guard, awn, and down.
The Javanese has guard hairs, but not the other two. The guard hairs are the longest in the coat, so they are the most distinctive from a visual perspective. In other words, Javanese cats look much like a typical cat but shed much less! They also love people and food.
credit: Shaun Dunphy
The Bengal is an incredibly cute cat that has a coat that looks thick, but is actually quite thin. Bengals are hybrid breed, part domestic cat, and part wild Asian cat. They are large, but their short fur means they shed very little and need little grooming.
Regarding cat breeds that don't shed, Bengals are top contenders, because they have dramatic, beautiful coats with intricate patterns, unlike many other low-shed cats. Bengals are very talkative and are happy to spend time with their human friends. Even though they don't need much grooming, they love getting all the affection and attention that comes with it!
7. Devon Rex
credit: David Midgley
The Devon Rex is actually not related genetically to the Cornish Rex, but it has similar curly, thin fur. Like the Cornish, the Devon Rex has only the down layer of its fur, so it sheds much less than a typical cat.
The Devon Rex has big, cute ears that, combined with its fur, have given it the nickname of "alien cat." But if you get one of them, you'll find these cats are no strangers, becoming quite close to their owners and family. They are smart, trainable, and love to jump to lofty outposts so they can oversee the household goings-on.
The Laperm is a very interesting breed. It has a long, thick, and wavy coat that sometimes makes the cats look like they just got out of a dryer, but they shed extremely rarely. In addition, they are incredibly intelligent, capable of learning tricks like fetching objects.
The Laperm can display just about any color or pattern in its fur, so you get the appearance of a cat with a big coat without having to spend a lot of time grooming it or keeping up with cleaning hair.
9. Russian Blue
credit: John C Bullas
The Russian Blue has a genuine unique appearance: a blueish gray coat with luminous green eyes. They only shed once or twice a year, so they are easy to manage in terms of hair, and they also produce fewer allergens than most other cats.
Russian Blues tend to be slow to form new bonds, but are very close to the people they love. Intelligent and attentive, Russian Blues are trainable and prefer to spend time with known people rather than getting to know new friends.
credit: Takashi Hososhima
The Siberian is a large cat breed from Russian with a big, thick coat. This cat has a special trick up its sleeve- when it sheds, the fur gets caught in the awn and guard layers, so it won't drop fur all over the place. You do need to brush it frequently, but the fur is very easy to manage, and I love they way they look.
They are extremely powerful cats, with amazing jumping ability and speed, so expect to find them curled up in unexpected places around the house. Siberians can have any color or pattern in their coats and two Siberians might look very different from each other.
The Korat is a cat breed from Thailand. It has a silvery-blue color that is reminiscent of a Russian Blue cat, as well as green eyes. The Korat has a short coat with only a single layer, so it doesn't have much fur to shed.
Korats are brilliant and prefer having a few close friends to being social with anyone who walks in the door. Korats have a strong will and are not the easiest cats to train, but it can be done if they trust and respect you.
12. Colorpoint Shorthair
It is not clear from the name, but the Colorpoint Shorthair is actually a very close relative to the Siamese cat breed. The only difference is that the Colorpoint Shorthair has a wider variety of available colorations, specifically in that they can display point colors over their original Siamese base colors.
The Colorpoint Shorthair has a short coat that rarely drops off- brush it frequently to get rid of shed hair. They love to follow their friends around the house, but tend to be nervous around strangers or unusual noises, so don't be surprised if you can't find them when new people visit.
13. Japanese Bobtail
credit: Shou-Hui Wang
The Japanese Bobtail is an ancient breed of Japanese cat that is known for its unusual tail: it is very short, or bobbed, and looks like a rabbit's tail. The Japanese Bobtail has short hair and infrequently sheds , making them easy to care for and groom.
The breed is both intelligent and social, and can learn tricks and tasks like dogs. The cats prefer to be with people and have big, triangular ears that give them a very cute look. They also have many different meows and love to converse with their owners.
credit: Felicity Rainnie
The Siamese is a well-known and popular cat breed that originated in Thailand but has since spread all over the world. Siamese cats have a coat that traps all shed fur, so you just need to brush them occasionally to get rid of old fur- they won't leave it around the house.
Siamese cats tend to be slender in all respects. They are friendly and like people, but most Siamese cats choose one person to be their best friend for life. Siamese cats like to hang out with both people and other cats.
The Oriental cat is one of many variants on the Siamese. The primary difference is color and pattern of the coat: there are more than 300 different combinations that mark a cat as Oriental instead of Siamese.
The Oriental, like the Siamese, has a short coat that rarely drops any fur at all. You have to brush them to pull off the shed fur, but this is much easier and faster than tracking down hair clumps with a broom or vacuum. The Orientals are social and equally comfortable with people or cats, so don't be afraid to get more than one!
The Birman came from Burma but became popular in the West due to the efforts of breeders in France. The breed has a thick, long coat, but they lack any undercoat, so they shed very little and never matt. In terms of color, the Birman usually has a colored face and legs, off-white body, and white paws.
They have prominent noses and ears, giving them an alert and intelligent face. Your Birman will be happy to spend their time with adults, kids, and other pets, and you can also give them some basic training.
17. Exotic Shorthair
credit: Bryant Wong
The Exotic Shorthair is very similar to the Persian, except that it has a short coat. The Exotic Shorthair's coat is also very dense, so any fur it sheds sticks right in the coat. You can just use a brush to remove the shed hair, and it won't end up on your furniture or clothes.
Exotic Shorthairs are very close to their owners and become sometimes upset if they can't hear or see a sign of their human friends. Otherwise, they tend to be relaxed cats that are not prone to nervousness or anxiety.
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The Bombay cat is a cousin of the Burmese breed. It has short, black fur and copper-colored eyes. The short coat drops fur quite rarely, so regular brushings are enough to keep fur off the floor.
Aside from its striking, panther-like appearance, the Bombay is known for being extremely social, mingling with family and guests alike. Bombay cats get along with anyone in the family, including other cats, dogs, or any other pet. They are also very playful and love to make up games with their owners.
The Tonkinese cat is a cross between the Siamese and Burmese breeds. Like the Siamese, the Tonkinese has a short, tight coat that traps all shed fur. This makes them a very convenient breed to care for. They have a lot of muscles, which makes them feel heavier than they should be, and are less slender than their Siamese ancestors.
Tonkinese cats are social and intelligent, but get bored easily if nobody is around to play with them. They use their muscles to jump quite high and far, and they also love to play fetch with their owners.
credit Robert Couse-Baker
The Burmese cat is a breed of Thai origin which is similar to the Siamese, but not as slender. The most distinctive trait of the Burmese is muscularity- they feel hefty because so much of their weight is muscle.
They come in many colors, but their coat is short and thick, so all they need is an occasional brush-down to get rid of any trapped fur. The Burmese are a social and playful cat and love to play with their owners like dogs, but they don't fare well when you leave them by themselves.
21. Turkish Angora
credit: Ruth Johnston
The Turkish Angora is, as the name suggests, a breed of Turkish origin. The Turkish Angora is always white and has a long, silky coat. However, the breed lacks an undercoat, so despite being a longhair cat breed it actually sheds very little.
The Turkish Angora is a friendly and intelligent cat, and it is one of the easiest breeds to train. They love to be with people and to be as high up as possible so they can keep an eye on everything that happens inside and outside the house.
I hope you enjoyed this list. I did all the research I could to help you find the best, low-maintenance cat breeds. There are two main questions to think about for cat grooming: "When do cats shed?" and "What kind of coat do the cats have?" Those two questions tell you how much upkeep you need to do for your cats and also tell you a little bit about how many allergens they release.
All of these breeds are not just easy to clean up after- I also believe them to be the most intelligent and friendly breeds. Comments? Questions? Go wild in the comments section and be sure to share this article with your friends!