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10 Short-Haired Cat Breeds

Siamese cat playing with laser

When it comes to cat coat types, the length of fur can range from barely-there peach fuzz to several inches long. Many cat owners prefer the relatively low-maintenance short-haired coat length over a furry coat that requires regular grooming.

The most common cat is called the domestic shorthair, a formal name for your friendly neighborhood pet cat. Several purebred cats have a similarly short and easy-to-care-for coat.

If you are looking for a cat breed with more fur than the hairless Sphynx, but less than the fluffy Persian, there are many interesting breeds to consider. Several popular breeds come in both long and short-haired varieties.

Here is your guide to 10 short-haired cat breeds, and why they are all great choices for your next feline friend.

1. Russian Blue

Russian Blue sitting on the rocks
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The Russian Blue has a short but very distinctive coat. It is dense, with a plush, soft texture.

As the breed’s name implies, the Russian Blue’s coat color is blue. It is a solid blue that can vary from dark to light and may also have some silver tipping.

The breed standard calls for vivid green eyes, gray nose leather, and lavender/pink or mauve paw pads, all striking combined with the rich blue coat.

The Russian Blue has an elegant, finely boned body type and a wedge-shaped head with large, widely set eyes.

Although dense and plush, the Russian Blue’s coat does not shed as much as other cat breeds, so occasional grooming with a slicker brush should be all your cat needs.

The Russian Blue is best suited to a calm household. The breed is gentle and affectionate but can be somewhat timid around strangers.


2. American Curl

American curl tabby color sitting
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The American Curl cat breed can be either short or long-haired. The most notable physical characteristic of this breed is not coat, but ear shape.

The American Curl has ears that curl backward, giving the cat a perky and alert facial expression. Kittens are born with straight ears, but they soon begin to curl backward and are set by around 16 weeks of age.

This curling is natural and originates with a mutation found in the first known American Curl, a female named Shulamith, taken in as a stray in the early 1980s. This genetic trait was then passed on to subsequent generations.

The short-haired American Curl can have a wide variety of coat colors and patterns. Although short, the coat is soft and silky, and it lies close to the body with a little undercoat.

The short fur length and minimal undercoat mean that your short-haired American Curl will be a low-shedding cat that requires very little grooming.


3. Siamese

siamese cat sitting on the floor
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No list of short-haired cat breeds would be complete without one of the best known, the Siamese.

One of the most popular purebred cats, the Siamese is famous for its slim and elegant looks, outgoing and vocal personality, and high intelligence.

Siamese cats have what’s known as pointed coats. This means that certain parts of the body are darker than others. Kittens are born with light coats, but points soon begin to appear on the face, ears, legs, feet, and tail.

Deep blue eyes are also a hallmark of the Siamese breed.

This elegant shorthair originated in Thailand, when the country was known as Siam, and quickly became popular with cat lovers around the world.


4. British Shorthair

British shorthair cat Silver chocolate color yellow eyes
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The British Shorthair is often called the teddy bear of cats, and for good reason. The breed is known for its large round head, wide eyes, sturdy body, and dense velvety coat.

The coat comes in a large variety of colors and is low maintenance, requiring occasional brushing during shedding season.

They have calm, quiet personalities and can be a good choice for owners looking for a cat that is content to be home while they are away at work.

Unlike many other cat breeds, male British Shorthairs are noticeably larger than females. A full-grown male can be around 20 pounds.

Breed experts report that the British Shorthair is a very old English cat breed, with origins that go back to ancient Rome.


5. Devon Rex

Devon Rex cat standing in gray background
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The Devon Rex is no ordinary short-haired cat. This breed’s short coat is curly, along with its whiskers.

The Devon Rex’s curls came about through a natural genetic mutation in one male cat. It is unrelated to another wavy-coated cat, the Cornish Rex, although the two breeds look somewhat similar.

Some Devon Rex cats can have extremely short, suede-like coats. Some may also go through a molting period, losing and then regrowing their coats.

The Devon Rex has a reputation for being a hypoallergenic breed, but if you have cat allergies, be aware that no animal can be guaranteed to be 100% hypoallergenic. Spend time with the breed before acquiring your cat if you have allergies.

Fans of the Devon Rex love this breed’s impish looks and personality. Expect a lively, active cat that thrives on company and attention.


6. Singapura

Singapura on grey background
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Like many other short-haired oriental cat breeds, the Singapura is a dainty little cat with a big, outgoing personality.

The Singapura is sociable, intelligent, energetic, and affectionate, a good choice for families with children and other pets.

The Singapura is known for its unique coat coloration. It is called sable ticked tabby. The overall color is a warm sable with tabby markings; ticking means that each hair has bands of light and dark color.

Singapuras are small but athletic. A full-grown female can be as small as 4 pounds. They like to jump to high places, and that small size means you might find your cat snuggled in a shoebox or other compact spot.


7. Exotic

exotic shorthair cat on couch
Image Credit: Robyn Randell, Pixabay

Did you know there’s a short-haired cat breed with the same sweet face and personality as the long-haired Persian? Meet the Exotic (sometimes called the Exotic Shorthair), a low-maintenance version of the Persian.

Exotics are bred to have the same calm temperament and cute round face as Persians, but without the grooming requirements that come with a long, fluffy coat.

The Exotic’s coat is short but very soft, thick, and plush. There is an undercoat so some maintenance is needed, but the Exotic’s fur will not mat like the fur of a Persian or other long-haired breeds.

The Exotic makes a good companion for an owner seeking a quiet and relaxed cat, but one that still enjoys cuddles and playtime.


8. Bengal

Bengal cat hunting outdoor
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The Bengal is a popular short-haired cat breed with a strikingly patterned coat that makes it look like a little wild cat.

The Bengal is the only domestic cat that has rosette coat markings like a Leopard or Ocelot. The coat is short, soft, and silky to the touch.

Bengals are large, active, and inquisitive cats. They love to jump, play, explore, and involve themselves in your daily routine.

The original Bengals were created in the 1960s by breeding domestic cats with a small wild cat with a spotted coat called the Asian Leopard Cat.

Today’s Bengals are fully domesticated and are bred Bengal to Bengal with no wild cat in the mix. Your Bengal will have an exotic look with the playful and affectionate personality of a domestic cat.


9. Korat

Korat laying on sofa
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The Korat is a very old breed from the Korat province of Thailand. Breed experts note that among all recognized cat breeds, the Korat’s appearance has changed very little over the years.

The Korat has a short, sleek coat that is low-shedding and easy to maintain. The coat is always a rich blue color with silver tipping to give it a shiny look.

It is a small but solidly built cat known for its heart-shaped head and large expressive eyes that are usually light green.

The Korat is known as the “Good Luck Cat” of Thailand, and the breed makes a loving and playful companion for families with children.


10. Japanese Bobtail

Black Japanese Bobtail lying down on wicker basket
Image Credit: NANCY AYUMI KUNIHIRO, Shutterstock

This cute cat breed from Japan comes in both long and short-haired varieties. As the name implies, the Japanese Bobtail is known for its unique bunny-like tail.

The naturally occurring bobbed tail is different in every individual cat and is caused by a series of curves and kinks. Sometimes the bones are fused and sometimes there is a bit of flexibility and movement.

This pom-pom tail—combined with an affectionate, lively personality and an alert, perky face—contributes to the breed’s charm.

The short-haired Japanese Bobtail has a soft and silky coat that can be a bit longer than the average short-haired cat. It will need a once or twice a week combing, especially during shedding season, but is lower maintenance than the long-haired version.

The coat is often a distinctive tricolor known as mi-ke: mostly white with some black and/or red markings on the head, body, and tail.


Featured Image Credit: Lemalisa, Shutterstock

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