Short Hair Cat Breeds: The Most Popular Short-Haired Breeds and How to Care for Them

Short hair cat
Jeremy Vaughn
Written by Jeremy Vaughn

Cats are no doubt popular pets, mainly because they’re great companions and they do well indoors. Choosing which cat breed you would like to get as your pet is really a matter of personal preference. But if you’ve got a busy lifestyle, you’ll probably agree that short hair cat breeds are better for you, simply because they require less maintenance.

Many cat parents prefer short-haired cats because they don’t need as much professional grooming as long-haired cats do. If you get a short-haired pet, you won’t need to worry as much about matted hair, hairballs, and shedding. And if a family member suffers from allergies, short-haired cats don’t have as much dander as long-haired ones do.

In this article, we’ll first introduce some of the most popular feline breeds with short hair and discuss their traits to help you decide which cat you should get as your pet. Next, we’ll tell you why short-haired cats also need to be groomed, despite the popular perception that you don’t need to help them with their grooming. Then we’ll also give you some tips on how to care for a short-haired cat.

10 Popular Short-Haired Cats

Although short-haired cats are extremely popular among cat lovers, there are certain breeds that simply stand out. When it comes to popularity, these cats are well loved for their personality and not just their appearance.

#1: Abyssinian

Abyssinian cat

One of the oldest known cat breeds, the Abyssinian traces its origins back to Ancient Egypt. If you’ve ever seen Ancient Egyptian sculptures or paintings depicting cats, you’d immediately recognize the Abyssinian.

Abyssinian cats are medium-sized, weighing between 7 and 10 pounds. Their coats are dense and soft, and they come in a variety of colors. An Abyssinian’s coat color can either be black, chocolate, cinnamon, ruddy, or fawn.

Abyssinian cats are considered people-oriented, although they may not always love staying on your lap. These cats are famous for their intelligence and independence. And yet, the Aby is one of the most loyal pets you’ll ever find.

Although quite gentle, Abyssinian cats can also be very active and energetic. Abyssinian cats are also known to be quiet. And when they do vocalize excessively, it means that there’s something wrong.

#2: British Shorthair

British Shorthair

One of the most famous short hair cats, British Shorthair cats almost always win at cat shows because of their physical features. They have a broadly muscular body. They’re often described as stocky or big-boned.

What’s so cute about British Shorthair cats is that they have short chubby legs. They also tend to have very chubby cheeks, and their rounded whisker pads are simply adorable. Although quite playful, British Shorthair cats also love cuddling next to their cat parents.

British Shorthair cats come in various colors and patterns such as blue, black, white, and cream. Their coats are short, dense, and plush. Male British Shorthair cats can weigh as much as 18 pounds, while females tend to weigh between 9 and 15 pounds.

British Shorthair cats are known for their loyalty. They’re usually calm and easy going. They also tend to be very affectionate and gentle. If you’ve got children or other pets in the household, British Shorthair cats tend to go along well with them.

#3: Exotic Shorthair

Exotic Shorthair

If you actually want a Persian cat but don’t have the time at all to see to your pet’s grooming needs, you should try getting an Exotic Shorthair. This breed is sometimes referred to as the lazy man’s Persian simply because Exotic Shorthair cats are almost exactly the same as Persian cats except that they have very soft, dense, and short hair.

The Exotic Shorthair is considered a medium-sized cat, with an adult weighing anywhere between 7 and 15 pounds. They also come in a variety of coat colors including chinchilla, blue, chocolate, black, lilac, white, silver, red, and cream.

If you want a soft teddy bear, the Exotic Shorthair fits the bill perfectly. Known for their loyalty, Exotic Shorthair cats are affectionate, fun-loving, athletic, yet peaceful, sensitive, and quiet. You’ll seldom hear them vocalizing loudly, and they’re very endearing.

#4: Siamese

Siamese cat

Another extremely popular short hair breed, the Siamese cats are very active, and they love to play a lot. Siamese cats are very striking in appearance, with their sleek lines, extremely aristocratic heads, and deep blue eyes.

They’re also famous for the beautiful contrast of their coat colors, especially on the tips of their ears, their paws, and around their muzzle and eyes.

Siamese cats are medium-sized, with adult males typically weighing between 11 and 15 pounds. Adult females are considerably lighter, at around 8 to 12 pounds. A Siamese cat may either have a seal point, a lilac point, a blue point, or a chocolate point. Their short coats are quite silky, very soft, and glossy.

Siamese cats are very clever. They’re also energetic and extremely agile. With their sleek lines, Siamese cats simply look so graceful and elegant whenever they move.

They’re also known for being sociable and are famous for being people-oriented. You’d often find your Siamese cat sitting on your lap, on the table while you’re having your meal, and even on your bed.

#5: American Shorthair

American Shorthair

If you’re looking for a companion cat so that your child can have a gentle playmate, the American Shorthair should be on your shortlist. Famous for their gentle personalities and cute looks, American Shorthair cats are playful, yet calm and easy going. This is an all-American cat that was originally bred as a working cat.

An adult male American Shorthair may grow as big as 15 pounds, but adult females tend to weigh from 8 to 12 pounds only. These cats have short, dense, hard coats that are quite lustrous; it’s usually a pleasure petting them. Considered as a working breed, American Shorthair cats tend to be strongly built.

American Shorthair cats may be blue, black, silver, brown, white, or red, and they may have various patterns and shadings. These cats require very little maintenance, and they’re also known for their robust health. With your tender loving care, your American Shorthair can live for as long as 15 years or maybe even longer.

#6: Devon Rex

Devon Rex

If you hate the idea of living a quiet life and would love a pet that would keep you constantly entertained, you should go for a Devon Rex. Some say that the personality of a Devon Rex is a mix between a monkey, a dog, a cat, plus a dash of Dennis the Menace. You can just imagine how mischievous a Devon Rex can be.

And yet they’re adorable companions. With their elfin face, very large impish eyes, and oversized ears, they’re also sometimes referred to as Pixie cats. What’s interesting about this breed is that they sport short and silky soft hair that’s actually curly.

Devon Rex cats are loved for their ability to have fun while enjoying life to the fullest. Extremely active and playful, these cats learn new tricks easily, and they’re always ready to play a game of fetch or to entertain you by engaging in silly antics. Although they’re quite mischievous, they’re also very social and loyal.

Some cat parents say that the Devon Rex often resembles a dog in the sense that these cats are usually intensely loyal and human loving. If you’ve got a Devon Rex, you’ll almost always find your pet beside you, whether you’re eating, sleeping, or just sitting on the couch. And they won’t hesitate at all to sit on your lap.

They’re not loud, but you’ll often find a Devon Rex happily cooing or trilling as she follows you around the house or accompanies you while you’re doing household chores.

These fun-loving small to medium-sized cats can weigh between 5 to 8 pounds for adult females and 8-10 pounds for adult males. Their coats come in white, blue, black, cream, fawn, red, lavender, or chocolate.

#7: Oriental Shorthair

Oriental Shorthair

If you’re looking for a cat that has a colorful personality, you wouldn’t go wrong with an Oriental Shorthair. Medium-sized, Oriental Shorthair cats can weigh 5 to 10 pounds. Their bodies are sleek and elegant, and they have almond-shaped eyes and flaring ears.

Their personalities are just as colorful as their coats and patterns. Oriental Shorthair coat colors come in blue, cinnamon, chestnut, ebony, cream, lavender, fawn, white, and red. And they may also have various patterns and shadings.

There are actually over 600 combinations of coat color, coat length, and coat pattern that you can choose from, so you’ll surely find an Oriental Shorthair that will match your taste and personality. Whatever the color or pattern, Oriental Shorthairs sport a short, fine, and glossy coat.

What’s extremely interesting about the Oriental Shorthair is that once she bonds with you, she will loyally follow you everywhere you go and keep you company no matter what you’re doing. They’re known to be curious and intelligent. Oriental Shorthair cats are playful and spirited.

#8: Burmese

Burmese cat

If you’re looking for a cat that only needs petting for their grooming needs, then Burmese cats are your best bet. They’re known to be very affectionate, social, playful, and lively. Burmese cats are also highly interactive, very curious, and quite smart. They’re also gentle and soft-spoken, but very confident when it comes to letting you know what they want.

There are four Burmese coat colors that are accepted by the Cat Fanciers’ Association, and these include sable, champagne, platinum, and blue. No matter which coat color your Burmese cat has, it’s bound to be short and silky, as well as glossy like satin.

Burmese cats are medium-sized, and they can weigh anywhere from 6 to 12 pounds. These cats crave attention, affection, and close contact with their owners, and they’d be happy to follow you anywhere.

One of the most endearing traits of Burmese cats is their large, expressive eyes that make them look so innocent and appealing at the same time.

#9: Cornish Rex

Cornish Rex

For cat lovers who would like to have an affectionate and active pet, the Cornish Rex would be a great choice. Just like the Devon Rex, Cornish Rex cats also sport short, curly hair that’s extremely soft and silky.

These medium-sized cats can weigh from 5 to 9 pounds. And their coat colors can be white, blue, black, cream, silver, red, lavender, or chocolate. Cornish Rex cats have arched bodies, and they also have a curved profile. Cornish Rex cats have large eyes and ears. They have high cheekbones and an egg-shaped head.

With their whippet-like bodies, Cornish Rex cats love to sprint, leap, and climb. In fact, they’re very active and agile, and they like playing games like fetching. They’re also very curious and intelligent.

#10: Tonkinese

Tonkinese cats

If you’re looking for a cat to keep you company, Tonkinese cats are popular as companion cats. They’re affectionate, playful, active, social, and yet they’re also known for their warm and loving personalities.

Tonkinese cats are medium-sized, with adult males weighing between 8 to 12 pounds, while adult females weigh about 6 to 8 pounds. Tonkinese cats get along well with children, other pets, and even guests in your home. They’re not shy about jumping on to your lap and staying there while they nap.

Very playful, Tonkinese cats hate being bored, so you might find them getting into mischief from time to time. Because of their mischievousness, and also because they crave human affection and company, Tonkinese cats shouldn’t be left alone for a long time.

Do You Need to Groom Short-Haired Cats?

siamese cat lying

Although cats with short hair tend to require less grooming and maintenance than their long-haired counterparts, there are still a lot of reasons why you will need to groom your pet. At least, from time to time.

  • Dead Hair. Even short-haired cats also have dead hair. It’s not true that just because they have short hair, they don’t shed anymore. As with any other cat, short-haired cats also grow and shed their hair. Brushing your short-haired pet will help you get rid of the dead hair.
  • Hairballs. If you want to avoid hairballs, grooming your short-haired pet every once in a while will help lower the chances of hairballs forming. This will also help you keep their coat looking soft and beautiful.
  • Quality Time. Brushing your short-haired cat on a regular basis is one way of spending quality relaxing time with your pet.
  • Massage. Brushing your short-haired pet also gives them the benefits of getting a massage. If you use a rubber curry comb, it will stimulate your cat’s skin to produce more natural oils that will help keep your pet’s coat smooth and shiny.
  • Remove Dirt and Dander. Rubber curry combs are also great for removing dander and dirt that may have accumulated on your pet’s coat. If your short-haired pet is already quite old or is sick, she may not be able to groom herself properly so she won’t be able to completely get rid of the dirt on her coat.

Grooming Tips for Short-Haired Cats

Oriental Shorthair grooming

Some short-haired cats are fussy about being groomed. They probably feel that since they have such short hair, they don’t need your help in cleaning their coat. To make it more enjoyable for you and your pet, here are some tips for grooming a short-haired cat.

  • Muss up her fur. Using your hands, muss up your pet’s fur. This will not only help air the areas under her coat, but it will also help reduce your pet’s anxiety about being groomed. If you do it in a playful manner, your pet can start thinking of it as just another form of playing.
  • Brush in the opposite direction to remove dead hair. The main benefit that your short-haired pet gets from being brushed regularly is that you’re helping her get rid of dead hair, dust, and dirt from her By brushing in the opposite direction of the hair growth, you can get rid of more dead hair.
  • Brush in the direction of hair growth. After removing all the dead hair, brush your pet’s hair again. This time, though, do it while following the direction of hair growth. This will allow your pet’s hair to rest back in its natural position.
  • Combine brushing and massages. To help your pet relax while being groomed, massage your pet while brushing her Lightly rubbing her legs, back, and head will make it a very pleasant and relaxing experience for your pet.
  • Don’t forget the treats and warm words. Treats and words of encouragement and affection will help keep your cat calm and comfortable while being groomed. This will also help your cat associate grooming with positive memories.
  • Frequency. Depending on your cat’s tolerance for grooming, you can do it as often as you would like or as often as your pet would permit. Generally, a short-haired cat will need to be brushed only once or twice a week.
  • Bathing. The good news is that with short-haired cats, you’ll probably take less time and experience less trouble bathing them since their coat is easy to clean. If your pet doesn’t like being immersed in water, using a wet washcloth to wipe your pet’s coat should work as well.
  • Use short-bristled brushes. For short-haired cats, brushes with short bristles work just great. Try looking for one with rounded tips and plastic bristles.
  • Mitt brushes. If your pet doesn’t like being brushed but loves being petted, you can use a mitt brush. Your pet will feel as if you’re just petting them so she’ll be less fussy about being brushed. Plus, mitt brushes are great for removing dirt and dead hair.
  • Dual-sided brushes. These are also great for grooming short-haired cats. Use the side that has soft bristles to remove dust and dirt from your pet’s fur and to make it shiny again. You can use the side that has hard bristles for your pet’s regular brushing.
  • Litter trouble. Another advantage of having a short-haired cat is that they rarely get litter stuck to their fur. But if it does happen, check their stool if it’s soft. If it is, then it could mean that there’s a problem with your pet’s diet. Check with your vet to make sure.

Wrap Up

brown cornish rex

Having a short-haired cat for a pet can be such a joy. And caring for a short-haired cat is so easy and convenient. Do you have a favorite short hair cat breed? Or maybe you have some tips for grooming short-haired cats? Please feel free to share your comments and suggestions with us, and check out our article on hairless cat breeds if you love this type too.

About the author
Jeremy Vaughn
Jeremy Vaughn

Jeremy Vaughn is a member of Canadian Professional Pet Stylists, who lives in Winnipeg. Creating new looks for cats and other pets is his passion. Jeremy shares his house with the wife and wonderful Siamese cat.