Short Hair, Long Hair, and Hairless Cats: Pros & Cons of Each


Last Updated on: August 16, 2023 by Crystal Uys

One of the characteristics that you may consider when choosing the right type of cat to bring into your home is the cat’s coat type and grooming needs. Not only does the coat type determine how much grooming your cat will need, but it will also impact just how much cat hair you’re sweeping up and lint rolling off of your clothes every day. Let’s talk about the pros and cons of each coat type.


Pros & Cons of the 3 Types of Cat Hair:

Short Hair Cats

golden british shorthair cat lying on the floor
Image Credit: SunRay BRI Cattery RU, Shutterstock
Breed Examples Bengal, British Shorthair, Oriental Shorthair
Grooming Supplies Rubber brush or grooming glove, pin or slicker brush

Cats with short hair tend to have the least grooming requirements of all cat coat types. In general, short hair cats are low to moderate shedders, although they do tend to have medium to heavy periods of shedding twice yearly between seasons.

Brushing can help to keep loose hair to a minimum, and a grooming glove is a great option for bonding with your cat while keeping their coat healthy and free of loose hair. Light-colored short hair cats may be prone to developing sunburn, so make sure to provide your cat with plenty of shady areas.

Pros

  • Minimal grooming supplies
  • Lowest grooming needs
  • Low to moderate shedders
  • Easy coat maintenance can make grooming a bonding experience

Cons

  • Shed heavily twice annually
  • Some cats may be prone to sunburn

Long Hair Cats

beautiful norwegian forest cat tortoiseshell sitting in garden in a summer evening
Image Credit: ElisaPutti, Shutterstock
Breed Examples Himalayan, Maine Coon, Persian
Grooming Supplies Pin or slicker brush, de-shedding brush, comb, mat remover

Long-haired cats tend to have moderate to high grooming requirements, and it’s common for some breeds to shed moderately or more throughout the year. Some long coat types are silky and low shedding, though, like the Siberian cat.

Be prepared to invest in multiple tools to keep your cat’s coat healthy and groomed. Routine coat brushing is important for long hair cats to help prevent mats. This is especially important for older cats, obese cats, or other cats that may struggle to groom themselves. Home grooming routines will create a regular bonding opportunity for you and your cat.

Pros

  • Some breeds are low shedding
  • Many cats can prevent mats on their own
  • Regular grooming creates bonding opportunities

Cons

  • Requires multiple grooming tools
  • May shed more than other coat types

Hairless Cats

sphynx cat in wooden cat tree
Image Credit: everytime, Shutterstock
Breed Examples Sphynx, Lykoi, Bambino
Grooming Supplies Gentle cat shampoo, ear cleaning supplies, pet wipes, cat moisturizer, cat shower cap or ear covers

Believe it or not, hairless cats may have the highest grooming needs, although you don’t have to worry about keeping them brushed. Hairless cats tend to develop a buildup of natural oils from the skin. In cats with hair, these oils are distributed across the coat, but for cats with no or very little hair, the oils are distributed and tend to build up in some areas. Routine baths are necessary for hairless cats to keep their skin healthy.

These cats are not more likely than other cats to like water, though, so you will have to work on training your cat to tolerate regular baths. These cats are also prone to sunburn, so make sure to keep your cat’s skin protected. The good news about hairless cats is that you don’t have to worry about them shedding all over your house!

Pros

  • No brushing required
  • No shedding

Cons

  • Highest maintenance
  • Require training to tolerate routine baths
  • Prone to sunburn

Choosing the Right Coat Type for Your Home

There isn’t an exact science in choosing which coat type you feel is most appropriate for your home. You will need to consider a handful of factors before making your final decision, though. How frequently are you willing to dust, sweep, or clean cat hair off of your furniture and clothes? Are you willing to deal with the greasy spots that hairless cats can leave behind on bedding and furniture when it’s time for a bath?

Also, consider any allergies or sensitivities in your home. No cats are truly hypoallergenic, but low-shedding breeds will leave less dander in your home than high-shedding breeds will, making these breeds more suitable for people with allergies and sensitivities.

Don’t forget to think about how much time you’re willing to put into maintaining your cat’s coat. Most short-haired coats, and some long-haired coats, don’t require too much time to manage, but higher maintenance long-haired coats and hairless cats do require very regular home grooming.


Conclusion

There isn’t a right or wrong answer when it comes to which coat type you prefer. Just make sure that you’re willing to meet the needs of whatever cat you choose to bring home. If you don’t think you’ll be able to stick with a regular schedule of brushing or bathing, then it’s likely best to check out some of the lower-maintenance breeds.


Featured Image Credit: Asichka, Shutterstock

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