These Cat Breeds That Don’t Shed Will Save Your Couch (And Possibly Your Sinuses)

By: Ashley DavidsonUpdated:

Cats That Don't Shed
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These Cat Breeds That Don’t Shed Will Save Your Couch (And Possibly Your Sinuses)

If you’re a cat allergy sufferer who happens to love cats, we have good news: There are a handful of hairless cat breeds and cat breeds that don’t shed much that may help alleviate your itchy eyes and runny nose—or at least save you money on lint rollers.

Are There Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds?

Unfortunately, there are no truly hypoallergenic cat breeds. That’s because an allergenic protein called Fel d 1 is created in cats’ sebaceous glands in their skin, as well as in their saliva, dander and urine. Since all cats have these things, they all produce Fel d 1—and that means you expose yourself to them every time you touch any cat, says Chris Menges, DVM, MPH, chief veterinary officer of Basepaws in El Segundo, California. Even hairless cat breeds create this allergen in their saliva and skin.

Cat allergens also collect on carpets, walls and clothes, adds Estee Vogel, PA-C, an ear, nose and throat specialist with South Florida ENT Associates.

While Vogel says that even the tiniest amount of this protein can cause a reaction for some allergy sufferers, others may experience fewer allergy symptoms around cats that don’t shed or shed less, since they aren’t spreading as many allergens throughout a home via saliva-contaminated hair.

So if you have a history of allergic reactions to cats but still wish to have one in your home, it might be worth looking into hairless cat breeds or cat breeds that don’t shed as frequently.

Managing Your Cat Allergies

The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology says that avoiding cats is the best way to manage an allergy to the species. But if you just can’t stay away from these sweet and snuggly animals (hey, we get it) here’s what you can do to help with the side effects.

Vogel says cat allergy treatments are readily available in the form of antihistamines, such as Claritin and Zyrtec, intranasal steroid sprays like Flonase and Nasonex, or other various over-the-counter oral and spray decongestants. Vogel recommends consulting with an allergist to determine what would be best for you.

To lessen the effects of allergies for themselves and others, pet parents should also:

  • Wash your hands after petting or playing with your cat.
  • Use a lint roller to remove excess hair from clothes.
  • Vacuum and dust your home often to help remove excess hair and consider using a HEPA (or high-efficiency particulate air) grade filter in your vacuum to capture and filter especially fine particles.
  • Keep your cat groomed and bathed regularly to lessen loose hair and dander.

Living with cats and cat allergies can be tricky, but it is possible. Take a lesson from this cat veterinarian with severe cat allergies, or this cat parent living with cat allergies and eight—eight!—cats.

20 Cat Breeds That Don’t Shed (Or, At Least, Shed Less)

One of these cats may be the perfect pet for you, ​​whether you suffer from allergies or simply don’t wish to accessorize your all-black outfits with cat hair. 

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Sphynx

The Sphynx is a naturally hairless cat thanks to a genetic mutation and a top choice for people hoping to lessen their cat allergies. Teresa Keiger with The Cat Fanciers’ Association says some Sphynx have a little peach fuzz-like fur on their body. Like all hairless cats, they will require some basic grooming. Keiger explains that like people, all cats’ skin secretes oil, and gently wiping their body will help reduce this oil. She says these kitties make great snuggle partners.
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Cornish Rex

Though the Cornish Rex has hair, this cat’s coat sheds less than other breeds, Keiger says. Their fur is curly, very short and lies close to the body. The Cornish Rex is also a very playful breed, so they could be the perfect choice for someone who wants an active playmate for themselves or their other pets.

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Devon Rex

The Devon Rex is another curly-haired breed with a short coat. Kieger says these cats will develop a very tight bond with their owner, and they love attention. Of course, all that love will mean more hair, saliva and allergens on your clothes, so if you’re especially sensitive, consult your doctor.
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Burmese

The Burmese is a small cat with a short, fine coat that naturally has less hair than other breeds. According to the Cat Fanciers’ Association, they have a lot of affection for their people, wanting to be by their side as much as they can—but without being overly demanding. Some Burmese will even play fetch with a toy!

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Birman

One look at this breed’s fabulously fluffy coat probably has you imagining hair covering every clingy surface in your home, but The Cat Fanciers’ Association allbreed judge, Hope Gonano, says the breed is relatively low-shedding thanks to its non-matting coat which requires minimal grooming. Additionally, Birmans are intelligent, gentle and affectionate by nature. They respond well to training and can adapt to living with children and other pets in your home.

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Exotic Shorthair

Often described as a short-haired Persian, the Exotic Shorthair’s thick, dense coat is shed minimally, says Gonano, although they do require some combing to properly remove any dead hair. A calm, relaxed breed, Exotic Shorthairs are affectionate and can adapt easily to an apartment setting or country living.

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Russian Blue

Another minimal shedder, Russian Blues generally shed over a two- to three-week period just once or twice a year, Gonano says, and are easy to groom. They have a soft, dense double coat that is a distinctive silver blue. A medium-sized breed with a graceful, muscular build, the Russian Blue has a gentle temperament and is known for being easy to train.
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Siamese

According to Gonano, Siamese cats have low-maintenance coats that can be cared for by brushing with a fine-tooth comb. Once their dead hair is removed, they’ll shed minimally. With large ears, distinctive blue eyes and a sleek, slim figure, the Siamese comes in seal, chocolate, blue and lilac point, and loves being around and chatting with their people.

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Oriental Shorthair

Because of their connection to the Siamese family, Oriental Shorthairs are similarly easy to groom, says Gonano. Long and slender like the Siamese, Oriental Shorthairs differ in their coloring, which can come in over 300 colors and patterns that include ebony, white, bi-color and tabby. A loving, entertaining breed, these kitties like to be the center of attention and can become sensitive if ignored or left alone too often.
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Donskoy

According to The International Cat Association, this elegant breed can be found with four different coat types that come in a variety of colors. All but one coat type usually results in hairlessness, making the Donskoy a great low-shed option. Some Donskoys have patchy fur or short peach-fuzz that can be very soft to the touch. They are sociable cats who enjoy being the center of attention.
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Bengal

The distinctive Bengal is known for its stunning coat whose vivid spots and leopard-like marbling will remind you of this cat’s wild cousins. This same coat, which is velvety soft to the touch, sheds minimally. According to The Cat Fancier's Association, Bengals are curious, athletic and affectionate. These cats love to play and are great for pet parents who enjoy an engaging and intelligent companion.

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Bombay

The sleek, black coat of the Bombay makes this cat look like a mini panther. And luckily, as the International Cat Association notes, their short, tight coat sheds very little compared to other cat breeds and needs minimal maintenance. Occasional brushing should keep their shiny fur in tip-top form. The Bombay is a smart, inquisitive and outgoing companion. This friendly and easy-going cat can do well in busy homes with a family to keep them entertained.

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Peterbald

According to The International Cat Association, Peterbalds may be totally hairless or have a variety of coats ranging from short peach fuzz to slightly dense and velvety—but all varieties are low-shedding. This adorable cat has an inquisitive look thanks to its large, batlike ears. Peterbalds are known to be very smart, vocal and incredibly affectionate—if you want a cat who won’t leave your side, this friendly breed is a great low-shedding option.
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Ocicat

The gorgeous spotted coat of the Ocicat is low maintenance and sheds minimally compared to other breeds. Keiger says this breed has a tight coat. The International Cat Association recommends a weekly brushing with a rubber brush to remove any dead hair. All ocicats have a spotted pattern that comes in a variety of different colors including brown, chocolate, cinnamon, blue, lilac and fawn. Energetic and devoted, Ocicats are happiest in an active home with pet parents who are fond of regular playtime.
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Singapura

The International Cat Association says the Singapura, the smallest breed of cat, is also one of the lowest-shedding cat breeds. This cat packs a delightful personality into their petite package. All Singapuras are a single color—their short, soft, brown coat sheds lightly to moderately at most, and requires very little grooming. This intelligent and curious little cat is equally happy to play or to curl up close to their person.

Minskin

A cross between the Sphynx and Munchkin breeds, Minskins have a sparse coat with patches of dense, soft fur often on their face, ears, nose, legs and tails. According to The International Cat Association, their minimal coat sheds very little and comes in all colors and patterns. Minskins are generally outgoing and love being around people and other animals. Though they have short legs, they are very athletic and playful and have no trouble keeping up with their longer-legged counterparts.
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Korat

The Cat Fancier's Association notes that the Korat’s silver-tipped blue fur consists of a single coat that lies close to the body. Thanks to this short, tight coat, the Korat tends to shed less than other cats. You'll appreciate their soft, low-shedding coat as this cute companion loves to cuddle and will stick close by your side. Korats are playful and intelligent but also love to chill.

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Colorpoint Shorthair

A close relative of the Siamese, Colorpoint Shorthairs have a short, sleek coat that requires little grooming and sheds minimally. Colorpoints are talkative and affectionate so if you want a feline shadow who follows you around the house, this breed is a good option. They are also highly intelligent, and some even enjoy games like fetch.
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Tonkinese

Tonkinese cats have a soft, minimally shedding coat that is short, silky and perfect for petting. The Cat Fancier's Association notes that they come in 12 coat colors with various patterns. Verbose, inquisitive and always happy to have a buddy, the Tonkinese is a great companion who will entertain their pet parents with their fun-loving antics.

While no cat is truly hypoallergenic, people who both love and are allergic to cats might still be able to have one in their home by choosing a low-shedding breed. Of course, consider the severity of your allergies and consult your doctor before getting a cat.

Here’s hoping you’ll be able to snuggle up soon with one of these minimally shedding kitties! Your sinuses (and your furniture) will thank you.

 

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By: Ashley DavidsonUpdated:

Cat Breeds