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15 Short-Haired Cat Breeds – Less Brushing, More Cuddling!

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Many people, myself included, consider longhair cat breeds elegant and gorgeous, but if you can’t bear spending time brushing a lustrous and soft long coat — a shorthair cat is probably better for you.

I have a Siamese, and she always wants me to brush her when she sees me brushing her dog sister. Siamese do shed a bit. Her fur is short, but when I brush her lots and lots of fur comes out.

Longhair cats need to have their coat combed a few times a week to avoid painful and icky mats and tangling. Although, if you can swipe the comb through their fur while you’re watching TV, it’s easy enough.

So many of us can’t live without a cat. We’ve been under their kitty spell ever since the domestication of cats, 10,000 to 12,000 years ago. If you are a fan of large cat breeds as well as shorthaired breeds, we have you covered.

Let’s look at some adorable, shorthaired cat breeds.

Short-Haired Cat Breeds

Meet the elegant world of short-haired cat breeds, where beauty meets low-maintenance charm.

1. Siamese

WEIGHT 6-14 pounds
HEIGHT 8-10 inches tall
COLOR Seal point, chocolate point, lilac point, blue point coat
LIFE SPAN 8-15 years

The Siamese loves attention and is active and playful, likes other pets and gentle kids. Siams are known for their large ears. The Siamese has a lot to say. Mine lets out blood-curdling screams from other areas of the house that make me think she’s being attacked.

They need toys to swat and cat trees to climb. People make a beeline to say hello to my cat when they visit us. Makes my dog crazy!

The Siamese are descendants of the Wichien Maat, a Thai breed and one of the oldest natural cats. Siamese cats are so ancient that they are mentioned in Thai manuscripts from 1350 AD.

2. Devon Rex

shorthair cat
WEIGHT 6–9 pounds
HEIGHT 10–12 inches tall
COLOR Wavy fur in black, blue, chocolate, cinnamon, lilac, white. Devon rex cats can also have tortoiseshell, calico, tabby, pointed, shaded patterns on coats
LIFE SPAN 9-15 years

The Devon Rex has an adorable face with large ears and large eyes. Add in a rumpled, soft coat, and you have a little clown.


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They demand attention, want playmates (get two of them), love toys, are energetic, good with other pets, and mature kids that don’t torture theme. Their fur doesn’t trigger allergies. The Devon Rex is a good passenger and doesn’t like being alone.

This breed was born in the 1950s in Devon, England. A wavy-coated kitten was crossed with a stray tortie mother. The father of this eye-catching breed was a local feral cat with a curly coat.

3. British Shorthair

short hair cat breeds
WEIGHT 9-18 pounds
HEIGHT 12-14 inches tall
COLOR Silky coat in blue-grey (most popular) chocolate, fawn, cinnamon, ginger, black, smoke, lilac coats
LIFE SPAN 12-17 years

The British shorthair has a thick coat and sheds a bit. They have a teddy bear look. They keep busy without demanding attention. The British shorthair doesn’t mind being alone but will sit next to you or follow you around when you’re home.

They are calm. If you like British shorthairs, you’ll like Aaron’s Animals videos featuring a handsome Brit shorthair named Prince Michael.

The British short hair is an ancient breed. They were traced to the Egyptians and made their way to Rome by hopping on ships and going on trade routes. Romans smuggled them out of Egypt, and they crossed with European wildcats.

4. Abyssinian

short hair cats
WEIGHT 6-10 pounds
HEIGHT 8-10 inches tall
COLOR Ruddy, red, blue, fawn coats
LIFE SPAN 9-15 pounds

Abyssinians love attention and enjoy well-behaved kids, friendly dogs, and other animals, including large parrots and ferrets. They are inquisitive and intelligent and enjoy jumping and climbing.

They will take things they find interesting, so if you lose something, your Abyssinian may have relocated it. Abys are energetic but will relax with you, too. They are one of the more popular cat breeds.

Genetic tests indicated that the Abyssinian came from the coasts of Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean. This lovely cat with a lithe body was transported to Europe by British and Dutch traders.

5. Exotic Shorthair

shorthair cats
WEIGHT 10-12 pounds
HEIGHT 10-12 inches tall
COLOR Black, blue/gray, chocolate, sable, cinnamon, cream, fawn, lavender/silver, lilac, red/orange, white coats
LIFE SPAN 8-15 years

Exotic shorthairs are practically the same as Persians but with a shorter coat. This plush-coated beauty is friendly and calm, likes kids, and enjoys living with other animals, but they aren’t very vocal. Exotics get attached to strangers after knowing them for a short period of time. They are also one of the most popular cat breeds.

American shorthair cat breeders crossed shorthairs with Persians to create an American shorthair with a silver coat and green eyes. Instead, the hybrids were shorthaired Persian cats. Those were then crossed with Russian Blues and Burmese cats in order to get the short hair gene. Those babies were then bred with Persian cats, and that resulted in Exotic shorthairs with muscular bodies.

It’s like a science experiment!

6. Bombay

long face cat
WEIGHT 8-15 pounds
HEIGHT 9-13 inches tall
COLOR Satiny and black coat
LIFE SPAN 9-15 years

This mini panther is affectionate, friendly, playful, curious, intelligent, and likes kids and other animals. The Exotic shorthair is also fond of puzzle toys, fetch, games, walks on leash, and laps.

A breeder wanted to create a cat breed with a mini panther appearance and bred Burmese and American shorthair cats. She named the breed Bombay in honor of the Indian black leopard. They are the only breed that comes exclusively in black, and they have golden eyes.

7. Russian Blue

short haired cats
WEIGHT 7-12 pounds
HEIGHT 9-11 inches
COLOR Plush, dark grey, silver-tipped coat that looks blue
LIFE SPAN 15-20 years

The beautiful Russian blue is a shorthair cat that is loyal, okay when alone, friendly, likes other animals, easy to train, good for people with allergies, affectionate, has a high prey drive, and doesn’t need a lot of grooming. They are lap cats.

The Russian blue is from Russia and may be a natural breed from the Archangel Isles in Northern Russia. Their thick coats kept them warm in the Arctic Circle winters.

8. Oriental Shorthair

brown short hair cat
WEIGHT 8-12 pounds
HEIGHT 9-11 inches tall
COLOR White, black, gray/blue, brown, orange (300 variations);solid, shaded, smoke, tabby patterns on their coat
LIFE SPAN 12-15 years

The Oriental shorthair is fun, friendly, doesn’t like to be alone too long, very vocal (because of Siamese heritage), affectionate, intelligent, like kids and animals, needs to exercise and play, and doesn’t shed their short hair too much. They have a lithe body. Orientals like to walk on a harness, will play fetch, and do tricks.

After World War II, when many cat and dog breeds were dwindling, English breeders crossed Siams with Russian blues, Brit shorthairs, and Abyssinians to bring the Siams back. The ultimate product was the Oriental.

9. Scottish Fold

types of shorthair cats
WEIGHT 6-13 pounds
HEIGHT 8-10 inches tall
COLOR Long or short coat in black, blue/gray, cream, tan, fawn, lavender/silver, red/orange
LIFE SPAN 11-14 years

The Scottish fold is affectionate, relaxed, easy to train, a good lap cat, can handle being alone, loves kids and other animals, likes to play, and only needs low-maintenance grooming.

The Scottish fold was created in Scotland when a shepherd bred the kitten of a white barn cat with folded ears with a Brit shorthair in 1971. They were first imported by the US in 1971.

10. Bengal

short hair tabby cat
WEIGHT 8-15 pounds
HEIGHT 8-10 inches
COLOR Chocolate, sable, lavender/silver; spotted or marble
LIFE SPAN 9 to 15 years

These cuties have a wild appearance and are playful, friendly, affectionate, loyal, energetic, very intelligent, and like kids and other animals. The Bengal has a high prey drive.

Bengals love to jump and play with interactive toys and water. A cat tree makes them very happy. They have nimble paws that can turn off and on light switches. There’s no stopping them!

Bengals were bred from African wildcats and domestic cats at Loyola University as part of a genetic study. A woman crossed the hybrid with domestic cats in the 1970s, and the Bengal was born.

11. Burmese

brown shorthair cat
WEIGHT 8-12 pounds
HEIGHT 9-13 inches tall
COLOR American: sable, champagne, platinum, blue. European Burmese: chocolate, solid brown, blue, lilac, red, and cream. Tortoiseshell patterns with the base color of chocolate, brown, blue, or lilac.
LIFE SPAN 9-13 years

There are American Burmese cats and European ones. The main difference is their coloring. Also, Americans also have a more rounded head and compact body than Europeans.

The beautiful Burmese is “dog-like,” social, energetic, loves attention, will follow you around the house, and will relax with you when you sit down. They can learn to play fetch. The male Burmese is a little more quiet than the female Burmese, which is more curious and involved with their owners.

These lovely creatures have existed in Southeast Asia for centuries and are mentioned in the ancient text “The Cat-Book Poems” (from 1350-1767). When the first Burmese arrived in the US, someone bred that kitty with a Siamese to create more of them.

12. Chartreux

cat with short ears
WEIGHT 7-17 pounds
HEIGHT 9-11 inches
COLOR Blue/gray soft and water-repellent coats
LIFE SPAN 11-15 years

The Chartreux is an agile hunter, relaxed, attentive, gentle, intelligent, quiet, loyal, affectionate, and loves to play. They also love to swim.

They have a little perma-smile because their lips curve upward. Experts have traced the Chartreux’s existence to the 1500s.

13. Tonkinese

short-haired cat
WEIGHT 6-12 pounds
HEIGHT 7-10 inches tall
COLOR Blue/gray, chocolate, sable, cream, tan; may have color point patterns
LIFE SPAN 15-20 years

Tonkinese cats are friendly, intelligent, active, love humans, don’t demand attention, relaxed, not too vocal and like being pet, held, talked to, and interactive playing. They are great family cats that love respectful children and other animals. Tonkinese cats need exercise to burn off their energy.

Siamese and Burmese lovers aspired to create a cat that looked a lot like a Siamese but was mellow like a Burmese. In 1930, before the breed was established, a female cat named Wong Mau was imported from Burma. They thought she was an inferior Siam, but genetic testing later proved that she was a Siam/Burmese mix.

14. American Shorthair

short fur cat
WEIGHT 6–15 pounds
HEIGHT 8-10 inches tall
COLOR Black, blue/gray, chocolate, sable, cream, tan, red/orange, white coat
LIFE SPAN 15-20 years

The American Shorthair is gentle, friendly, low-maintenance, sweet, and likes children and other animals. They’ll get rid of any mice that wander into your basement. The American shorthair makes a good family pet. They like to climb cat trees and attack their toys. American shorthair cats are cuddly and have beautiful round faces.

It’s believed that American short-haired cats were on the Mayflower and employed as mousers. When American shorthaired cats came on land to explore (satisfying their endless curiosity) the US, some found homes where they served as mousers and adored family members.

15. Egyptian Mau

domestic shorthair breeds
WEIGHT 8-12 pounds
HEIGHT 7-11 inches
COLOR Spotted coat comes in silver, bronze, or smoke (black-tipped, pale silver fur); Solid black, blue silver, blue spotted, blue smoke, and solid blue aren’t accepted in cat shows
LIFE SPAN 9-13 years

The Egyptian Maus looks like a wild cat. They gravitate toward high places where they can observe the environment — which they think they own. Mau means “cat” in Egyptian. They are active, love to jump and climb, need perches and cat trees, or will just jump onto high surfaces in your home. They like to be brushed.

A noblewoman returned to Italy from Egypt with a tabby cat in 1953. That Tabby cat was bred to a male tabby that had also been brought to Italy from Egypt, and the first Egyptian Mau was created.

These tabbies resemble ancient Egyptians’ tabbies, as seen in the Book of the Dead, in which Ra, the God of the Sun, is a spotted tabby cat. There are five types of Tabby Cats.

Do Short Hair Cats Shed?

They do shed. I brush my Siam, and fur keeps coming out. They don’t shed as much as longhair cat breeds. A shorthaired cat breed with an undercoat, like the Scottish Fold and the Manx, sheds a lot.

FAQs

What Is the Best Short-Haired Cat?

It depends on what you want in a cat. Some produce less dander, like the Russian blue and Devon Rex. Some are a little more cuddly (Russian Blue, Chartreux, Bengal, Scottish Fold, Oriental, and Bombay.

Some need a lot of playtime, like the Orientals and the Tonkinese cats. You need to think about what you want in a cat and which breed matches your ideal kitty traits.

What Is the Calmest Cat Breed?

The American shorthair and British shorthair cats are both very relaxed. They are pretty similar kitties, but the British is a bit smaller, slender, and silver blue.

What Is the Friendliest Shorthair Cat?

The Siamese is very friendly. They are interested in guests and follow their owners around — especially into the kitchen for snacks, in my experience.

Final Thoughts 

Do you know how many cats there are in the US? There are around 60.2 million to 62 million pet cats. According to Petfinder, 90% of cats are short-haired cats. If you’d like to learn more fun facts about cats, check out this Cat Statistics with factoids and trivia that most people don’t know.

Unveiling the most popular pets, you’ll find that more people are dog owners than cat owners. Cats are very easy to care for– especially short-haired cats!

The domestic shorthair cat, often referred to as a domestic short-haired cat or DSH is a versatile and beloved feline breed known for its short, easy-to-maintain coat.

Shorthaired cat breeds generally shed less, so you won’t find long strands of cat hair all over your house. They are low maintenance in the grooming department. Most are very affectionate, friendly, good with other animals and children, and make great family members.

Check references for breeders and check online for breed rescue groups if you want to give a deserving cat a home.

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