The best cat breeds that don't lose much hair

Written by susan sedgwick
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The best cat breeds that don't lose much hair
Despite their long hair, Siberian cats aren't prone to shedding. (Siberian cat image by Indigo Fish from Fotolia.com)

If you want a low-shedding cat because of all the cat hair on your clothing and sofa, you'll find a handful of breeds to fit the bill that will not leave hair all over the place. Contrary to popular belief, low-shedding breeds don't necessarily prevent allergic reactions. Proteins in the animal's dander or saliva generally trigger allergic reactions. That said, some allergy suffers respond well to feline companions of certain low-shedding breeds.

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Cornish Rex

The Cornish Rex is a low-shedder with short, soft curly coat style that's sometimes described as "washboard waves." The breed lacks an insulation guard layer of fur and their hair is so short, they never need grooming. They do tend to feel colder than most breeds. The Cornish Rex has large, distinctive, bat-shaped ears and striking cheekbones. Generally long and lean, they look delicate, but are actually strong, hardy cats with boundless energy. They are intelligent and have friendly, affectionate personalities and a playful spirit. The Cornish Rex is very active and needs ample time and space to play.

Devon Rex

Although the Devon Rex breed looks very similar to a Cornish Rex, the two breeds are unrelated. The Devon Rex has very short hair that ranges from a barely-noticeable fuzz to washboard waves or curls. They hardly shed at all and don't require grooming. Some allergy sufferers can tolerate the breed. The Devon Rex is usually small, weighing under 4.54kg., with slender bodies, large ears and a pixie-like look. Their personalities are active, playful and affectionate. The Devon Rex is an indoor-only breed, but are quite active and can get easily bored. They are a good choice for families with children or other pets.

Siberian

Siberians shed very little--a surprise considering they have long, thick coats. They have slightly oily coats and do shed a bit in the spring and fall. Some allergy sufferers can tolerate Siberians, because they don't produce the protein in feline skin and saliva known to trigger reactions. They have round, expressive eyes and stocky bodies. Siberians are one of the largest cat breeds, weighing up to 11.3kg. Despite their size, they are athletic and agile. They're known for their devoted, doglike personalities; they'll greet you when you come home, follow you from room to room home and happily curl up in your lap. Overall, they've got a quiet, mellow temperament and are a good choice for first-time cat owners.

Sphynx

Also called bald or hairless cats, the Sphynx is an odd-looking breed with a barely-visible coat that is reminiscent of bumfluff. As a result, they don't shed at all, but they have wrinkled skin and large ears that makes them look a bit like feline aliens. They are hairless due to a genetic mutation and their skin tends to be oily. They require daily sponging or regular bathing, sunburn easily and get cold easily. The Sphynx is a small breed, usually weighing under 4.54kg. Although hairless, they produce dander and can trigger a reaction in allergy sufferers. Their personalities are curious, playful, intelligent and they are devoted to their owners.

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