If you're crazy about cats but not so crazy about the shedding, you may be considering a bengal cat. Because of their link to wild Asian leopard cats, bengals have more of a pelt than a typical fur coat. But that doesn't mean the coat doesn't shed.
Some bengal breeders are adamant that bengal cats don't shed at all, while others will reluctantly admit that bengals do shed, although minimally. Truthfully, though, anything with hair will shed -- including your bengal and you. Bengal cats have soft coats that lie low, next to their bodies. The bottom line: Bengal cats shed less than many other breeds, but they still do shed.
Grooming your bengal cat can keep shedding to a minimum. Weekly brushing is recommended, but more frequent brushing will increase the bond between you and your bengal. His breed is known for being affectionate; he'll shamelessly accept all the attention you'll lavish on him. This cat will especially appreciate some extra brushing sessions, which will benefit everyone: More brushing means less shedding, therefore less hair on the furniture and in your cat when he grooms himself. He'll revel in every second of one-on-one time with you.
If Shedding Becomes a Problem
Because the bengal cat is a breed that isn't known to shed excessively, it could be a sign that something's wrong healthwise if he does start to lose more hair than normal. The first place to look for the cause is at your bengal cat's diet. But if you're already feeding him a quality cat food that provides sufficient nutrition, then anxiety or stress might be cause for your spotted kitty to be shedding more than usual. Consider if anything has changed in your cat's world that would upset or stress him.
Even if you're able to pinpoint and eliminate the cause of your bengal's anxiety, a trip to the vet is warranted. She might want to prescribe a vitamin or other supplement, such as an omega-3 fatty acid, to help maintain your cat's health and improve the condition of his coat while reducing the amount of shedding.
Other Minimally Shedding Breeds
There are a few other choices are when it comes to minimally shedding cat breeds. The Devon rex and Cornish rex cats have extremely short fur, and it's curly, too; they're known for their minimal shedding. If you love living with a cat but absolutely cannot take the shedding, then maybe you should consider a sphynx. Most of them are truly hairless, while some have only a baby-fine layer of down. Even if you get a sphynx kitty with a tiny amount of peach fuzz, you'll never notice if she sheds at all. You may have to take up knitting, though, to keep her clothed in chilly weather.
Elle Di Jensen has been a writer and editor since 1990. She began working in the fitness industry in 1987, and her experience includes editing and publishing a workout manual. She has an extended family of pets, including special needs animals. Jensen attended Idaho and Boise State Universities. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications.