Low-hair cats(warning, depressing)

  • Well, mom’s cat isn’t doing so good. Kidney failure/diabetes the vet says. The cat is like 11 or 12 years old, so it isn’t exactly surprising but it’s still a bummer.
  • After owning cats most of her life, and owning this one for several years, mom found out through allergy testing that she was quite allergic to cat hair. I suggested the next cat be a less-hairy type, even though I knew she wouldn’t go so far as to get rid of the current cat (and I didn’t expect her to). Not exactly a no-hair type, mind you, but one that doesn’t shed very much. Seems like I remember a gray short-hair that is Egyptian or something, that hardly sheds at all. Siamese don’t shed much either, I am told. And what’s that one breed with the freaky big ears?
  • Anyway, it seems kinda rash to be shopping for the next one while this one is still around, I know, but I’m just looking. I have to have solid arguments in place when she starts longing for another one, or she’ll just run out and get another mongrel free from somebody at work - which would normally be okay, except for the hair situation. - MC

Egyptian Mau. They’re beautiful cats too-- the one picture I saw was of a gray cat with intense green eyes.

The cornish rex? Naw. If it’s skinny and lacking in hair you want, you should get a sphinx. :slight_smile:

Which reminds me: I had a great cat book, one that had pictures of all the breeds and talked about hair types and eye colors and temperaments. I can’t find the darn thing anywhere. Sorry I can’t be of more help.

And I’m sorry to hear about the ailing kitty.

I’m not a cat expert, but isn’t it the dander that’s the allergen, rather than the hair? If that’s true, then even a short haired variety wouldn’t help.

Whatever, there are lots of cat lovers here, and one of them will know for sure.

I have a friend who breeds Maus, and she says they’re extremely loveable. The downside is the health problems that go with purebred animals.

If I were your mom, I’d just have a nice cat and take some medication to alleviate the allergy symptoms.

Here’s a link. Apparently it is the dander that’s the problem, but there are ways to get around it.


There is no such thing as a ‘hypoallergenic cat’, as some breeders would have you believe. However, there are breeds that shed less than others, thus lessening the amount of dander spread through the environment that will trigger allergic reactions. A person who is not extremely sensitive can often tolerate living with a low-shedder by following some or all of the suggestions in the article posted by AuntiePam.

The Sphynx and the Rex breeds (there are several) have already been mentioned - there is also another hairless breed called the Peterbald that is becoming more frequently available in the U.S. (it originated in Russia, I believe). You can learn more about the different breeds by going to http://www.tica.org and checking out the links for breed information, TICA members cattery website listings, etc.

Bengals are another good breed for the allergic person - we actually have some scientific evidence to support their low-shedder status. Many Bengals (and those most desired by pet owners) have a very soft, silky coat with a high shine and iridescent glitter, called a ‘pelt’ by Bengal breeders. (Not all Bengals are pelted and glittered, so make sure you check on this if you go kitten shopping.) ‘Glitter’ adds a metallic sparkle to the coat that is found in no other breed or species of cat, although apparently it is seen in ‘satin’ rabbits and mice, and Akhal-Teke horses.

I don’t have the information at my fingertips right now, but last year a graduate student investigated the ‘glitter’ phenomenon as her project. One of the interesting facts she discovered was that the glittered Bengal hairs have small spikes at the base of the hair before it emerges from the skin, anchoring it more firmly so that it doesn’t fall out easily, and is actually harder to pull out (as those of us who were busily plucking cats for samples discovered).

So add Bengals to your list of possible replacements that might be suited to an allergic person’s home. You can learn more about them at http://www.bengalcat.com , which includes an international breeder’s list.

Tell her that cats are evil minions of Lucifer that will sneak into her room at night and steal her breath and soul as she sleeps. :slight_smile:

I heard somewhere that light colored cats cause less alergy problems than dark ones. Sorry I don’t have a site to support that. Sorry to hear about your mom’s cat.

I’m allergic to cats but I thought I’d try a Siamese because they are so sleek. It didn’t work out–Siamese are so cool and friendly that they get up in your face, so it was almost worse than having a stand-offish cat who wouldn’t have anything to do with you. Sorry, but allergic is allergic. :frowning: