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First time would-be cat owner looking for opinion on hair length!

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm looking to adopt my first cat in the next few weeks and I'd like to be as prepared as possible. I'm aiming to adopt from my local shelter, but one of quirks of doing so is that my SPCA doesn't know the breeds of hardly any of the cats they house. They're all listed as either Domestic Shorthair, Longhair, or Medium hair so I can really depend on any specific breed information on helping me with my choice.

I've been doing some research about cat shedding and I seem to come across a lot of different opinions. I've heard that all cats more or less seem to shed the same amount, despite their hair length -- does that ring true for most experienced cat owners here? I've come across a couple sites that say ironically longer haired cats seemed to actually shed less...?

What hair length / density of hair on a cat would you say is most manageable? I've heard that longhaired cats shed in clumps and is thus apparently easier to clean up; I've also heard shorthaired cats shed much shorter hair and the shedding is thus less noticeable around the house and on your furniture. What's your experience and how often do you groom your cat?

What type would you recommend for a cat newbie like myself? Any opinions welcome and appreciated!
post #2 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by beans_etc View Post
What type would you recommend for a cat newbie like myself?
I recommend that you find the right cat for you, first off, and worry about fur length and shedding later. Fur makes absolutely no difference unless you're unable or unwilling to learn how to groom your cat.

If you've been lurking, than yes, you've probably even recently read that medium and long hairs tend not to be as bad - and it depends, really. Season, whether your cat is only indoors or goes out some, what you feed it, and so on will affect almost all cats.
DMH and DLHs will require more brushing to keep the fur clear of mats, and if you let one out to remove things like sticks and seeds. And though I said "brush", do know that I mean a good detangling comb.

If your cat has fluffy "britches" it can present some problems if there are ever stool issues.

DSHs vary. The shorter the fur and the less dense the undercoat the less fur you should see shed. The thicker the undercoat the more these cats seem to shed and need more brushing to control this.

Regardless of coat you should get your cat used to being regularly groomed - fur combed, claws clipped, and teeth checked/brushed. The time dedicated to this should be the same for all pet cats.
post #3 of 11
I agree with Strange Wings. Find the kitty that touches your heart first. I just look at shedding as a small price to pay for the love my guys give me. There are alot of grooming aides out there that can keep your home fairly fur free. I have a couple of long haired cats and frankly do not find any large clumps of hair.
post #4 of 11
What they said. Every moggie cat is different. Daily grooming will not only cut down on shedding and mats, it will help create a deep bond with you and your kitty(s)

Walk through the shelter and see who chooses you. And hurray for you for adopting from a shelter!
post #5 of 11
welcome to the forum, and please come back and tell us all about your new furbaby when you get her, him or them, home!

Maybe...since you don't have any cats to begin with, you could adopt a pair which should stay together. Nothing breaks my heart more than a pair being split up, but I know it happens. Cats form deep emotional attachments with each other and their humans. It's devastating for them to be split up.

Oops, getting off topic here....
post #6 of 11
I have short hair and long hair cats..My short hair Fatman sheds like a beast if you pet him you end up with floating fur EVERYWHERE!! lol..Personally it doesnt bother me at all Im always sweeping the floors and sweeping off the couch but thats out of habit and not just because of the cats. My long hair doesnt shed as bad but his fur is a constant maintenance because he gets knots in the places he wont let me brush so there are sometimes when he is napping Im sneaking up on him with scissors to trim off knots. If you have a regular cleaning schedule then it shouldnt make a huge difference in the fur aspect of things. The only thing is with a long hair you have to be constant about grooming and making sure there are no knots or clumps in the fur and the always dredded poo sticking to their tooshie..Hercules hasnt had this problem since he was a kitten first using a litter box...

Good luck getting a kitty..We must see some pictures and good job on adopting from a shelter its such a commendable thing to do!
post #7 of 11
Very few kitties at local shelters are of a particular breed. Even those listed as a specific breed - siamese, persian, etc - aren't actual purebreds, but rather domestic cats that have characteristics of those breeds. So that they're listed as DSH, DMH, DLH is 100% normal.

Some cats shed a lot, some cats don't. There isn't really a rhyme or reason I've found. Feed your kitty a quality food, brush him/her often and hopefully you won't have a lot of shedding. Or, eventually you'll just become used to being covered in cat hair
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the great replies~

It's strange to hear from so many people that longhaired cats appear to shed less some times, you'd never think so to look at them, haha. Definitely the kitten who I connect with personality-wise is first priority, though ideally I'd like a medium-haired kitten; I love the way they look compared to the really longhair of a Persian or Himalayan that are just a bit too "poofy" for me.
post #9 of 11
Beware of having a specific idea in mind. In my experience it's the Cat who chooses, so you may find yourself very surprised with who you end up with!
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by beans_etc View Post
Definitely the kitten who I connect with personality-wise is first priority, though ideally I'd like a medium-haired kitten; I love the way they look compared to the really longhair of a Persian or Himalayan that are just a bit too "poofy" for me.
Since you're to be a first time cat owner, why not get an adult cat? They won't love you less, play that much less, or be less "cute" than a kitten. Besides, if you go with an adult you will know exactly what type of coat you're getting - it's not always as easy to tell how fluffy a kitten will be later with moggies.
Personally I prefer getting adult cats, kittens are too much trouble.

If you can get one from a shelter that comes already spay or neutered, all the better.

The last kitty I took in is very kittenish - she's likely around the 2 - 4 year old range. Spends lots of time playing, plays fetch (obsessively), follows me around and spends a good portion of her time stuck to my lap snuggling.
post #11 of 11
Personally I think you should look at personality first, age second (I would second what the others have said about getting an adult if you have little cat experience. Kittens are a lot of work!) and hair length third.

Short hair and medium hair cats are a little less work to keep groomed than long ones, particualrly shorthairs with nice flat coats (see Aya in my signature). You'll have a really hard time if you get a medium or long hair cat that develops a strong dislike for grooming.

Some cats never learn to like the brush, even if you try it with them from kittenhood. Some love it. My Aya can't stand it. She barely likes to be touched either. And she bites. Good thing she's a short hair with no undercoat, I can let her take care of it.

The more you can get them to tolerate brushing the better though as it reduces the likelyhood of hairballs.

This does not mean that she does not shed. I find lots of her "bunny fur" everywhere she likes to sit. And you still have to trim nails.
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