Most cat owners have a tough time handling shedding in cats. Finding cat hair all over the house can get quite irksome in terms of health and sanitation. To deal with this predicament, many people prefer to go in for cat breeds that don’t shed.
First things first, and I hate to break this to you but – all cats shed, irrespective of their breed. So, there is nothing as a “non-shedding” cat. Shedding is a natural event in the life of every cat. Yes, vacuuming all that hair off the carpet does not really make a cat owner happy; but then, it is essential to understand that shedding its fur is good for the cat.
The process actually helps a cat replenish its fur and remove the dead hair from its body. Also, the ability to shed an inappropriate coat and build a new one help cats prepare for warm or cold weather and survive major temperature changes in its habitat. That being said, there are some breeds that shed quite less. These are usually the purebred hairless cats or cats with fewer layers of a fur coat.
List of Cat Breeds that don’t Shed
This hairless cat breed is certainly quite a looker with its short, suede-like coat and a “totally naked” appearance. These peculiar looking cats first originated in Canada in 1966 as a result of a natural mutation. Since then, cat breeders have bred the Sphynx to normal coated cats and then back to hairless for more than thirty years. Although these cats might look totally hairless, they do have a coat of fine downy hair covering their bodies. The Sphynx is the only breed to possess sweat glands which causes them to have skin secretions which discolor their skin. Thus regular bathing and cleaning is essential for a Sphynx cat.
Although they might look it, Cornish Rex cats are not from outer space. Their washboard waves coat is short and has a velvety feel to it. The shedding in these cats is minimal and these affectionate, people-friendly cats make for excellent pets.
This hairless cat was discovered in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don and owes its hairlessness to a dominant gene. Unlike a Sphynx, a Don Sphynx is completely hairless, with absolutely no hair on its body.
Found in 1959 in England, the Devon Rex has a curly shaggy mop of loose curls or a thin suede-like coat with some areas that are nearly bare. Although this cat sheds like any other breed, the absence of guard hair makes the shedding less obtrusive than that of many cats. This small cat breed with a hypoallergenic coat is not only great for people suffering from allergies, but is actually a delightful, mischievous little bundle of joy.
The elegant and slim Peterbald breed is a cross between the Don Sphynx and the Oriental short hair. It was bred in 1994 in St. Petersburg in Russia. Many cats within this breed have the most obvious coat of all the hairless cat breeds, available in all sorts of colors and markings. They can be categorized as either bald (completely hairless), flock (short, downy hair), velour (hair that is one to five millimeters long), and brush (curly, wiry hair). Most of these cats lose their hair over time.
Non-shedding Cat Breeds in Development
Due to the popularity of established non-shedding cat breeds, many researchers are now focusing on developing more non-shedding breeds. However, this does not mean cat cells are isolated and grown in a lab to give you a hairless cat, NO! Most non-shedding breeds that exist today came to be through mutations in normal cats. This is a process that still goes on. Every once in a while, you might find a hairless kitten in the litter of a furry cat. It is usually such kittens that are then given special attention and reared to develop into hairless adult cats. The adults are then mated with other existing hairless cats, or normal furry cats as well. Finally, there comes a stage when the litter of one of the generation is (almost) completely non-shedding, and then the breed is established as a non-shedding breed.
Following this pattern, several non-shedding cat breeds are in the developing stages right now. Here is a list of new, less popular or developing non-shedding cat species. Mind you, they are pretty expensive.
- Elf Cats – These come to be by breeding a Sphynx with American Curls
- Bambino Cats – They are a cross between a Sphynx and a Munchkin cat
- Kohana Cats – This breed is also known as the Hawaiian Hairless and is alleged to be a form of the Canadian Sphynx. Though, certain unconfirmed results suggest that it is a result of mating a Don Sphynx and a Canadian Sphynx.
It is important to remember, however, that allergy to cat hair is not because of the fur, but rather because of a protein present in the saliva of cats. When cats lick their fur to clean it, this protein gets deposited in the fur. So before you can go and invest all that money on buying purebred non-shedding cats and kittens, keep in mind that caring for a non shedding cat breed can be quite an effort. Sticking to the short-haired breeds might make the cat’s shedding more tolerable for you.