10 Hairless and Short-Haired Cat Breeds That Won't Leave Fur Everywhere

If you love cats but the thought of having fur everywhere in the house is putting you off, getting a hairless or short-hair breed might be your best bet.

Breeds with finer hair or very short hair typically shed less than breeds with long hair or with a thicker hair shaft. However, it's important to understand that no cat breed is completely "shed free."

Speaking to Newsweek, Vicki Jo Harrison, president of The International Cat Association (TICA), said: "Most hairless cats are not truly bald and have a peach-fuzz like coat.

Teresa Keiger from the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) told Newsweek: "If it has hair, that hair will eventually die and fall out, just as our own hair does."

Hairless breeds do require a bit more care. The TICA president said: "A cat's hair allows their coat to absorb oils from their skin. As a result, cats with little to no fur need regular baths. Make sure you use a shampoo formulated for cats."

Hairless breeds can also be more sensitive to both the sun and cold temperatures, noted the TICA president. So it's important to keep them warm during the winter and also limit their time in sunny spots, like windows and doors, during peak sun hours.

Here are some hairless and short-haired cat breeds that won't leave fur everywhere.

1. Donskoy

This elegant Russian breed is characterized by an extraterrestrial-like appearance, featuring wrinkles that give them an "extraordinary old and wizened look," TICA said.

While some have either patchy fur or very short peach-fuzz fur, Donskoys are primarily considered a hairless breed.

Some kittens are born completely hairless, while others lose their hair over time. While some may grow a winter coat, it is often fine and not suited for very cold winters, TICA explained.

A Donskoy cat.
A Donskoy cat. iStock/Getty Images Plus

2. Lykoi

Lykoi cats are known for their resemblance to wolves, with their name being a play off the Greek word Lycos meaning wolf, according to TICA.

It is a partially hairless breed, characterized by a mix of hair that ranges from being almost black to almost white.

"The coat of a Lykoi is sparse and may be almost fully coated as kittens. Their coats molt, so at times they may be near naked," TICA said. These cats must be washed often but bathing is simple since they do not have much hair.

 A Lykoi cat.
A Lykoi cat iStock/Getty Images Plus

3. Peterbald

The coat of Peterbald cats ranges from completely bald to a full coat. Grooming practices will vary greatly depending on the coat type but none require a lot of grooming, according to TICA.

The hairless varieties should be bathed more often but owners should be careful not to wash them too often to avoid producing oil on the skin.

"All other coat types should be brushed once a week with a fine-toothed comb to remove dead hair," TICA said.

A Peterbald cat.
A Peterbald cat. iStock/Getty Images Plus

4. Sphynx

This striking breed does not lack hair entirely. TICA said: "Fine down covers the skin of most Sphynx cats, giving the skin a chamois or suede-like texture." Light hair is also visible on the nose and backs of their ears.

While they should be bathed regularly, one of the biggest misconceptions about the breed is that they need to be washed once a week. But overbathing can disrupt the natural PH balance of the skin, "causing an overproduction of sebum to self-regulate," TICA warned.

The CFA's Keiger notes that while they may have very little hair to shed, Sphynx are "not maintenance-free." Skin oils, which would normally get dispersed into the coat, lie on top of the skin of Sphynx. So they require "a gentle wipe down" to keep their skin clean and prevent the oils from accumulating.

TICA said: "Bathing them with a natural, gentle shampoo every few months to remove the build-up of body oils is sufficient to keep the skin healthy and the furniture clean."

A Sphynx cat.
A Sphynx cat. iStock/Getty Images Plus

5. Cornish Rex

The most distinctive feature of the Cornish Rex is its single coat—the short, curled undercoat—so there is less hair overall to shed, said the CFA's Keiger.

Its very short, curly coat lies close to the body and is incredibly soft, similar to the feel of "cut velvet, karakul lamb, rabbit fur or silk," the CFA describes.

A pair of Cornish Rex kittens.
A pair of Cornish Rex kittens.

6. Bombay

The Bombay has a tight, glossy coat that requires only regular combing to keep its loose hairs at bay, Keiger said.

Its short coat sheds very little, so does not need much up-keep. An occasional bath will help keep the coat sharp, while a quick rubdown with a rubber brush will remove loose hairs, TICA advises.

A black Bombay kitten in a pot.
A black Bombay kitten sitting in a plant pot. iStock/Getty Images Plus

7. Bengal

The Bengal's short coat is known for its distinctive marbling and is the only domestic cat breed whose coat has rosettes like the markings on leopards, jaguars and ocelots, according to the CFA.

TICA's Roeann Fulkerson said: "Short-haired Bengals don't require much grooming as their short hair results in little shedding.

A Bengal cat laying on a bed.
A Bengal cat laying on a bed. iStock/Getty Images Plus

8. Singapura

The Singapura, which is the Malaysian word for Singapore, hails from the Southeast Asian country.

The breed features a unique combination of a ticked coat pattern and a dark brown color, which are both indigenous to Southeast Asia, notes the CFA.

Their short-haired coat require little to no maintenance. "If the cat is healthy, bathing is not necessary. Frequent brushing is something they love," said TICA's Fulkerson.

Singapura cat breed
Singapura cat breed Associated Press, Getty Images

9. Snowshoe

The Snowshoe breed has a short coat that's easy to groom, with most typically grooming themselves unless they're not feeling well or are stressed, says TICA.

"It is a good idea to brush their coat once a week to remove dead hair and distribute skin oils," said TICA's Fulkerson.

A snowshoe cat at home.
A snowshoe cat at home. iStock/Getty Images Plus

10. Devon Rex

The Devon Rex's coat ranges from wildly curly to a soft suede-like down. Some kittens drop much of their coat during the development stage, while some adult coats change seasonally.

TICA's Fulkerson said: "Devons have a short wavy coat with modified guard hairs and little undercoat. They shed very little."

While these low-maintenance, "wash-and-wear" cats do shed, their shedding tends to be less obtrusive than that of other cats, the CFA says.

Fulkerson said: "They don't require much grooming and in many cases, brushing your hand over the coat is all they need."

A pair of Devon Rex cats.
A pair of Devon Rex cats sitting on a blanket. iStock/Getty Images Plus

Tips to Reduce Cat Shedding

There are several ways to help minimize cat shedding around the house.

Regular Brushing

Brushing your cat regularly is the easiest way to reduce the amount of fur your cat sheds. "Regular brushing also removes dirt, dead hair, and dander, all of which increases the chances of your cat from having unhealthy skin," said the TICA president.

The CFA's Keiger said: "Combing/brushing cats regularly also gets out the dead hair that your cat would otherwise shed." It also gives you some good "one on one" time with your cat and keeps their coat in good condition, she added.

Healthy Diet

Keiger said nutrition is essential for a cat's coat. "Keeping a cat in good health and condition goes a long way in keeping the cat's coat healthy and thus, shedding at a lower rate.

A simple change in diet, such as adding more omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, can improve the overall health of your cat's hair follicles and reduce shedding, said the TICA president.

Hydration

Keeping your cat well-hydrated improves the overall condition of their coat and can help reduce shedding.

The TICA president said: "The amount your cat needs will depend on the weather, your cat's weight, and their activity level, but the general rule of thumb is approximately 3.5 to 4.5 ounces of water per five pounds of their body weight.

"Cats prefer cold tap water that is clean. It's a good idea to change their water at least once a day," she added.

Minimize Stress

Stress, allergies, arthritis and obesity can all cause your cat to shed more than normal.

"Major changes, like moving into a new house or adding a new baby or pet, a change in household routine, can cause anxiety for your cat and increase shedding," said the TICA president.

A cat on a couch.
A person using a lint roller to remove cat fur from a couch. iStock/Getty Images Plus