Life with most cats can get a little hairy; their soft fur clings to furniture and clothing like Velcro, and stray hairs may occasionally show up in your dinner. For fastidious cat lovers who prefer a relatively hair-free home, you can have the best of both worlds with one of these no- to low-shedding cat breeds.
A natural genetic mutation discovered in Toronto, Canada, in 1966 when a domestic cat gave birth to a hairless kitten, the sphynx is a charming breed exhibiting various degrees of hairlessness. Some have hair on their ears, nose, toes or tail while others are fuzzy all over like a peach; others may be entirely hairless. Active, fun-loving and engaging companions who get along well with children, dogs and other cats, the captivating sphynx has a strange, other-worldly kind of beauty that enthusiasts find irresistible.
Originally an experimental breed developed in 2005 in the United States, the bambino -- also known as baby cat -- is a hairless, short-legged breed that is a *cross between the sphynx, from which it inherited the hairless gene, and the munchkin, a dwarf breed. This diminutive hybrid is truly a sphynx with short legs, blessed with the same engaging personality** and almost doglike devotion to its family.
Hairless 'Rubber Bald' Donskoy
The hairless, wrinkled-skin rubber bald donskoy -- originally named the don sphynx -- is a cat breed developed in Russia in 1987. Genetically, it carries the hair loss gene. Although four different coat types occur in the breed, the rubber bald is the only one born hairless and remains so throughout life. Fun-loving and devoted to their people, other cats and dogs, the donskoy is a lively, intelligent cat that thrives with constant companionship.
The peterbald is a Russian breed that ranges from completely hairless coats to peach fuzz that do not shed; the breed foundation was a donskoy. Some have longer coats that look like plush velvet and shed very lightly. With a dominant gene for not only hairlessness, but also for hair loss or a diminished coat, these medium-sized cats have a muscular, oriental shorthair body type. Aggressively affectionate, peterbalds need to be with their people as much as possible and also enjoy the company of other cats and dogs.
Hairless Ukrainian Levkoy
A cross between the sphynx and Scottish fold cat breeds, the levkoy is a new relatively new breed developed in the Ukraine. Still quite rare in the West, it has a full coat of fuzzy down and sparse hair on the paws, face, tail and testicles. Sweet-natured, active and vocal, the lob-eared levkoy is an affectionate and loyal companion.
Curly-Coated, Non-Shedding Cornish Rex
The elegant, people-oriented Cornish rex has a soft, wavy coat that looks like crushed velvet or Persian lamb as an adult. The breed's hair is ultra-fine and due to the lack of guard hairs, they are virtually non-shedding. With a sweet temperament and kittenish playfulness well into adulthood, the Cornish rex is an excellent pet for people who can offer constant companionship.
Compared to most short- and long-haired cat breeds, low-shedding cats are easy keepers requiring a lot less maintenance than completely hairless ones like the sphynx who require regular bathing to keep their skin in optimum condition.
**Flock-coated donskoys** appear hairless yet have a **soft, fuzzy, chamois-like texture with hair that may, or may not, shed completely** leaving the donsky bald.
**Velour-coated donskoys** are born with a bald spot on the top of the head. **During their first year, they shed their wiry, wool-like coats** and residual hair remains on the face, legs and tail; over time they may become totally bald.
**Brush-coated donskoys** have a **wavy, wiry coat over the whole body with variations of baldness on the head, neck or back.**They lose only a portion of their coat over time. _All four coat variations of donskoys share the same sociability and gentle temperament._
**Devon rex** is a curly-coated breed with variations in coat density from season to season. Some sport a **shaggy mop of loose curls; others have a shorter, suede-like coat**. They shed quite lightly. Pixie-like and extremely affectionate, the Devon rex is a devoted, doglike feline who loves to be with you every minute of the day.
- **Ragdolls** are big, cuddly cats with plush, silky coats that **shed quite lightly in comparison to other longhairs and even less than many shorthairs**; heaviest shedding is in spring and fall. Their delightful personalities and laid-back temperament make them an ideal family pet. Most happy perched in your lap, ragdolls have **loads of charisma and gorgeous blue eyes** to boot.