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shedding - long hair vs. short hair

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
The husband and I are continuing our search for our first kitty, and we're wondering about shedding.

Is there any way to know if a certain type of cat sheds more than others? Does the length of the hair matter? Do short haired cats tend to shed more than longer haired ones, or the other way around, or is it really a shot in the dark?

I know you can reduce the shedding by properly grooming. I've already bought a zoom groom, a brush, and have the furminator on my wishlist, but it would be nice to start out a step ahead with a kitty who sheds less than "normal."
post #2 of 18
I'm glad you're looking into everything before bringing your cat home...You're already off to a good start at being a great owner by taking the time to really know what you're getting into.

First off, I have never personally owned a long haired cat. I own three short haired cats (2 with very short, close hair and one with a fluffier undercoat and standard length hair) but, my sister-in-law's cat, puffy, a semi long hair (her hair is about 2,1/2 inches long) did stay with us for a while...

They all seem to shed at about the same rate...the cats with more undercoat (the softer shorter hairs) tended to shed more cottony hair that was more likely to "stick" to things, but all of the cats shed about the same amount of the outter guard hairs. Puffy's hair, because it was longer, was more visible (it is also white, so stands out like crazy on any dark surface).

Cats also "blow" their coat in the beginning of summer, and so at that time, you'll be able to get fists full of hair off a cat each day...Other than that time period (about 4 weeks long), the shedding is less so, and you can get by with weekly brushings.

The "rex" breeds of cats, those with curly hair, shed very little or none (kinda like poodles), so those might be a consideration if you really don't want to have to deal with loose hair everywhere.

I think, more important than the amount of shedding, is how much time you really want to spend grooming (in terms of choosing what hair length to look for in a cat). Although the short hairs might shed as much as a long hair, they can go without brushing if necessary, but with a longhair, you'll have to brush at least 2-3 times a week (in most cases) to prevent matts from forming.

In the end, if you are committed to grooming and feeding a good diet (many times cat at the shelter will have horrible coats with dry loose hair from the low quality food they get, but will improve when you get them on a good steady diet), you'll have far less shedding no matter what coat length you choose.

You might want to consider the hair color though, in terms of it showing up everywhere...puffy's white hairs and my red tabbie's hairs show up much more than the hairs shed by my standard brown tabby and my black cat.

post #3 of 18
I have a medium haired tabby, and she sheds next to nothing. I mean, there's hair floating about, but not handfuls and handfuls of it. We were tossing up between two kitties at the animal shelter, one short and one medium haired, and the woman told us that medium haired cats shed less, PLUS there's a huge advantage.

When I stop petting Mackerel, and there's hair on my hands or my clothes... I just rub my hand against it, and the hair mats up and rolls up into a ball, which can then be deposited into a bin.

Long hair cats are a LOT of work, I'd say go for medium hair. :-P Best of both worlds.

(Mackerel, our cat, HATES the wire zoom groom... but we got a rubber zoom groom and she loves that. :-) )
post #4 of 18
IMO, from what I've seen at the shelter - it depends wholly on the individual cat. On DSH cats, from what I've seen, the "lighter" the coat color the more they seem to shed (meaning the hair shows up more noticably). My white cats are the ones who seem to shed the worst.

I fostered a DLH cat, wowzas talk about hairballs.

I've seen some DMH cats at the shelter who shed like you wouldn't believe - more than my foster kitty even. Just adopted one out Sunday who was shedding like mad - he always had.

Now - high quality food will also reduce shedding, as will grooming. Keep in mind depending on where you get a cat from - stress causes more shedding also.
post #5 of 18
I love this topic! I have 3 different types of coats in my household. My 3rd kitty is the worst, sometimes I think I should have stopped at 2! Just kidding.

Fiona's coat (medium hair) is super fluffy, like a cotton ball and she sheds the least. When she does release hair it is a fuzzy ball that can easily be picked up.

ReeRee is my short hair. Oy! I find they are soooo hard to pickup off of things. He likes to sleep on the sofa so I have tiny little hairs on the sofa all the time. Some people say to put down a blanket but then the BALNKET would have tiny little hairs on it AND need to be washed seperately from everything else...icky. It's a peeve of mine, can't you tell Also when I brush him (i use the zoom groom which he loves!) his hair all flys every which way.

Rocko is my other medium hair. But his is more like hair than fur. It is stick straight on top and has the soft undercoat. He sheds more than Fiona and leaves his long straight hair everywhere...I have short hair so it's funny pulling these long hairs off of my clothes.

I would definately look for another cat with cotton ball hair if I was in the market for one. Not too mention she is soooo super soft and cuddly. or you can get a Sphyx!
post #6 of 18
With my own cats, who are all short-haired, the shedding seems to depend on the density of their fur. Katie, who's solid black, and Claire, solid wide, shed the worst.

I've never owned a long-haired cat, but have fostered several over the past year. I've actually found that with proper grooming, they don't shed as much as they do leave small clumps of fur behind. It's a heck of a lot easier to clean up than the short, fine hairs my crew leaves all over everything.
post #7 of 18
My Bodhi has what I guess would be considered medium length hair. His hair is super shiny and soft and almost looks like human hair on his back with fluffy cotton-ball type hair on his belly, legs, and ruff. I have to say that he doesn't shed much at all except that he has left about 3 little balls of fur in the floor over the past 3 weeks like the others have mentioned. They're easy to just pick up though and toss in the trash. I am very pleased with the lack of shedding he seems to be doing. I brush him with wire type brush about 3 times a week so far. Seems to be doing well for him! Good luck finding the perfect kitty!
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the feedback all! I suppose we'll just snuggle alot with all the cats at the shelter and see which one loves us the most AND leaves behind the least hair I went cat hunting this weekend, and my black pea coat is still covered with kitty hair, even after attempting to brush it with one of those pet hair removal mitts -

On a related note - I'm already planning on feeding him/her high quality, low grain dry food (planning on trying Solid Gold, Wellness and Taste of the Wild). Would adding wet food a few times a week reduce shedding even more? We can't really afford the good wet food daily.
post #9 of 18
Originally Posted by rahma View Post
Do short haired cats tend to shed more than longer haired ones, or the other way around, or is it really a shot in the dark?
but it would be nice to start out a step ahead with a kitty who sheds less than "normal."
You forgot no hair

You are on the right track of going to the shelter and finding out that way And feeding a high quality diet. They need wet food, it is good for them. You can soak the kibble in water, but as with wet food, they need to eat it quickly so it doesn't go bad.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Oh man, that poor kitty would freeze up here in minnesota

Which brings to mind something my husband asked - can we take the cat for a walk outside in the winter? Now, ignoring the fact that the husband thinks he can just slap a leash on the cat and go without any leash training, um, no honey, unless we got a norweigan forest cat or a main coon, I think our kitty will stay inside until spring
post #11 of 18
Depending on the breed, longhairs can be more work.
I have both, and the short hairs definitely shed more.
My long hair is a Norwegian Forest, and they require very little coat care, combing once or twice a week.
Norwegians, Maine Coons and other forest breeds blow their coats once a year and require more combing during that time, but are otherwise no more work than caring for a short coat
post #12 of 18
Sunny is a long haired kitty and I don't notice hardly any shedding on his part. In fact, I usually hold him fully dressed and ready to leave and if I happen to find a hair from him on me, it always surprises me. He sheds very little if at all. In fact, I shed more than he does.

We have ferals that we care for and one of them named Hercules likes to rub himself on my legs. They are usually covered in kitty hair. The other 7 don't seem to shed at all however.

I guess it just depends on the cat.
post #13 of 18
Quote: On a related note - I'm already planning on feeding him/her high quality, low grain dry food (planning on trying Solid Gold, Wellness and Taste of the Wild). Would adding wet food a few times a week reduce shedding even more? We can't really afford the good wet food daily.

I feed high quality dry, only 1/4" cup each usually at least 2 types at
one time, and cheaper wet food, Fancy feast and a couple others 1/2
small can a day. My theory is cats really do need wet food / adding
a bit of water ( I used distilled bottle only).
I would suggest even a 1/2 - 3/4 small can daily. It really only adds
about $5 a week to my budget, but better then a cat with a UTI
and vet bills.\\

Re: shedding I have a black short hair and she sheds plenty but loves
to be brushed, I also invest in those sticky rollers. haha.
post #14 of 18
I'm not really sure. I only owned one longhair cat (Turkish Angora) and could not stand the grooming. Most of my cats were shorthairs with varying thickness.

I would say that cats with a thinner density or more of a single tight laying coat are cats that shed less. This would be your Rexes, Orientals, Ocicats, Bengals. The other ones like British SH, American SH, etc would have a denser coat and more shedding.

I did own Russian Blues and even tho they had a thicker coat, they didn't seem to shed much.
post #15 of 18
Thingy is a brown mackerel torbie and sheds for Britain - cat hair everywhere. She should be bald but there's always more damned hair! I brush her at least 3 times a week and she still leaves hair everywhere. She adores being groomed though and her coat feels wonderfully soft and silky after a grooming (though she'd never make a show cat!). If I leave her too long, she gets dreadful knotting in her undercoat but she's pretty patient when I tease clumps out, only giving a quiet warning yelp if it hurts a bit.
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
My husband had cats as a child back in egypt, and he claims they never shed. I've already had a friend offer to send me a Cairo street kitty (Cairo is a hard place for a cat lover, scraggly little street kitties everywhere) There actually is an egyptian mau rescue program to adopt cats out of Egypt, but I just don't think I could take a cat without knowing if it would like me first.
post #17 of 18
The last 2 cats I got did not know us and they turned out fine.
I have a Sphynx coming in Dec.
We have to get her at the airport.
Sphynx do not shed because they do not really have much fur.
My Russian Blue mix dosent shed very much at all either.
My Meeko who is part russian blue but dosent look it sheds so much.
She is a tabby with red in her.
Coco my siamese mix hardley sheds at all and she has medium fur.
Oreo is not so bad either.
post #18 of 18


I have owned all types of cats........but for some reason it seems like my long haired cats shed LESS....I know it does not make a lot of sense...but it is true. I picked this one up from a friend at 5 mths old....He has really and truly never shed much at all!  He stays in unless I take him out on a lease....He is only brushed a few times a month, he eats Iams indoor lowfat food.....He just does not shed.

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