Cats are great low-maintenance pets and if you’re a cat lover, you know that no other animal can quite compare to these curious little creatures.
But for some of us, the shedding and the pet dander become the deal-breaker. Whether you have allergies, or you just can’t handle the thought of cat hair all over everything, don’t fret.
There are more than a few breeds of cat that don’t shed, and some of them are hypoallergenic.
While no cat or dog is 100% hypoallergenic due to proteins found in their saliva, the breeds listed below are as allergy safe as it gets.
From popular, well known breeds, to cats you may have never heard of, here are 8 cat breeds that don’t shed:
There’s something delicate and oddly adorable about a hairless cat.
They have a unique fragile appearance and while they’re not completely hairless, the fine, peach-fuzz like coating they do have can hardly be considered fur.
1. The Sphynx
The Sphynx is a medium-sized cat with an athletic, muscular build. Its skin can have distinct markings and colors, just like its fully-furred counterparts.
The defining characteristics of a Sphynx are the large ears and whip-like tail. Sphynx ears can be up to 3 inches tall.
The Sphynx relies on warm temperatures and even its owner’s body heat to stay warm. Outside, it is vulnerable to sunburn in the summer and hypothermia in the winter.
It will eat up to 2 times more than other breeds of cat in order to maintain a high metabolic rate and regulate its body temperature.
This breed of cat requires regular bathing in order to keep its skin clean and free of oil buildup. Due to the wrinkled texture of their skin, they are unable to effectively groom themselves.
Sphynx cats are hairless, but they are not considered 100% hypoallergenic. The saliva and skin of a Sphynx are sources of the protein that triggers allergic reactions in highly sensitive people.
2. The Peterbald
The Peterbald cat may resemble a Sphynx, but it is its own unique breed.
Peterbalds are the result of crossbreeding the Donskoy and the Oriental Shorthair. These cats originated in Russia and there are actually five kinds of them; not all of them are in fact bald.
The fur types of a Peterbald are:
- Bald – Completely hairless, with no whiskers or eyebrows.
- Flock or Chamois – 90% hairless, with soft skin reminiscent of chamois leather.
- Velour – 70% hairless, with a very soft downy covering up to 1mm in length.
- Brush – A fur type that is unique to this breed and feels like a mix of felt. It consists of wirey hair up to 5mm in length.
- Straight – This type of fur resembles that of an oriental shorthair.
A Peterbald’s coat type can change throughout its life, with the most drastic changes being present from birth through 2 years old.
Like many hairless breeds, the Peterbald requires weekly bathing to keep its skin free of buildup and dirt.
Peterbald cats, like the Sphynx, are not 100% hypoallergenic. The skin and saliva can cause allergic reactions in very sensitive people.
3. The Donskoy
The Donskoy originates from Russia and is also known as The Russian Donskoy, Don Sphynx and Russian Hairless.
They are known for their outgoing personalities and have been said to act like dogs.
Similar in appearance to a Sphynx, Donskoys can have different hair types. The hair types of a Donskoy are:
- Rubber Bald – Completely hairless with a skin texture similar to rubber.
- Flocked or Chamois – Appears bald, but has light peach fuzz and may become completely bald.
- Velour – Born with a bald spot on their head, and light soft fur elsewhere. The hair disappears, but may remain in some areas.
- Brush – Has soft, wiry hair that may only be in certain areas, or may cover the entire body.
Donskoys are medium to large sized cats with oval shaped feet and webbed toes. They have wedge-shaped faces, large eyes and large ears. They require frequent bathing.
These cats are not 100% hypoallergenic, but are a good choice for those with mild to moderate allergies.
4. The Minskin
The Minskin is a cute cat breed that originated as a cross between the Sphynx and the Munchkin, resulting in a mostly hairless, short-legged body.
Minskins are known to be lap cats and are a very affectionate breed. They are rarely completely hairless, often having patches of soft short fur on their face, ears, legs, nose and tail.
Minskins are social animals and tend to do well with children and other pets. They don’t require bathing as often as other hairless breeds.
Visually, they can be considered the Corgi of the cat world. Fully grown, they can be up to 8 inches tall and weigh up to 6 lbs.
Minskins are a great choice for people who want a smaller cat that doesn’t shed or pose a high allergy risk.
5. The Ukrainian Levkoy
This breed is fairly new as far as cat breeds go; it has only existed since 2004.
The Ukrainian Levkoy is characterized by inward folding ears and little to no hair. The breed is the result of crossbreeding Donskoys with Scottish Folds.
Its appearance is considered to be similar to a naked Siamese. These cats are of medium size and have a muscular yet long and slender build.
Full grown, these cats can weigh up to 12 lbs, and while they are considered to be a fairly healthy breed, their newness and rarity makes it just about impossible to determine and specify common diseases, deformities, or illnesses.
If unique and rare things speak to you, the Ukrainian Levkoy is the cat for you. We can just about guarantee you won’t find another one in your city, or maybe even your region.
These breeds have fur that appears similar to any other cat with fur, but they don’t shed seasonally, or at all really.
If hairless cats just aren’t for you, but you still want a cat that never loses its fur, then Rex breeds are here to save the day.
6. The Cornish Rex
The Cornish Rex originates from the United Kingdom.
It has fur that may remind you of a lamb’s fleece in appearance — it is soft, short and curls close to the body. Most Cornish Rex cats also have curly whiskers.
Their body type is long and slender, with an athletic advantage over many other breeds.
They are considered a medium-size breed, but they often appear larger than they are. This is because a Cornish Rex has a slightly curved spine and stands on its back legs, giving it the appearance that it is taller than it really is.
These cats are happiest when cuddled up with their owners, running, jumping or climbing. Fully grown, they reach a maximum weight of around 8 lbs and they come in a variety of colors and coat patterns.
Their fur requires very little maintenance, and they can easily groom themselves. Baths generally aren’t necessary.
7. The Devon Rex
The Devon Rex originates from England and is considered the pixie of the cat world. They are famous for their dainty elvish faces and overly large ears.
Devon Rex cats tend to have mischievous personalities, which only serve to add to their pixie-like ways.
These cats require no grooming and should never be brushed. Their soft fur is delicate, similar to that of a Cornish Rex, and is easily damaged.
Fully grown, a Devon Rex reaches about 8 pounds in weight. They are a semi-social breed that may tend to lean toward shyness.
This breed is one of the most hypoallergenic, and can be a great pet for those prone to severe allergies.
8. The Selkirk Rex
Selkirks originated in the United States, in Montana to be exact, but they also have roots in Hungary.
These cats are laid back and even lazy. They can be short-haired and similar in appearance to other Rex breeds, or long-haired and reminiscent of a woolly sheep.
They are medium to large in size, full-bodied, and weigh up to 15 lbs fully grown.
The very first Selkirk Rex cat was found in a shelter and is believed to have been the result of an unintentional pairing between a Persian and a domestic short-haired cat.
The coat of a Selkirk is very dense, and it does require regular combing to prevent the fur from matting. This is especially the case with long-haired Selkirks.
Each of these cat breeds is distinct in its own way. When choosing a new cat, always research your preferred breed and learn about potential health risks or personality traits that may not suit your lifestyle.
Remember though that just like people, each cat tends to have its own unique personality, and you may find that not all members of an outgoing breed are really outgoing. The same applies to typically shy or antisocial breeds.
Thanks for reading. Do you own a cat breed that doesn’t shed, or are you thinking of adopting one? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.