Cats, shedding, and have I gone mad?

The topic of welcoming a cat into our household has come up recently. Please, COTH, help me sort through all the thoughts running through my head!

We already have two small birds (the size of budgies/parakeets), however, they’re not fond of cuddling (much to my children’s dismay). The chickens, outside, also not big cuddlers. My two kids (who are respectful and know they’ll face my wrath if they’re rough with any of our menagerie!) would love something they can pet and cuddle, and DH and I wouldn’t mind having one around for the company either.

We’ve had dogs in the past (one fluffy Aussie and one lab/beagle cross that would leave you with a handful of hair each time you pet her) and the shedding was just too much. I take a lot of pride in having a clean house, and being able to wear clothes that are not covered in pet fluff and furniture that’s pleasantly intact. Am I mad to be considering a cat? I’ve been casually researching breeds that “shed less” but I’m largely skeptical that’s even a thing.

A Burmese cat has caught my eye (because Petfinder :innocent: ), which is a breed that falls under the category of “sheds less” (if that label is to be believed). So my question to all of you is, is it even worth inquiring about her or do I need to just nip this in the bud right now?

Cats shed. Are you willing to groom a cat every day? That can really minimize the hair to where you’re controlling where it goes. But still, you can expect cat hair on items the cat sleeps on.

How do you feel about hairless cats? No hair! They do get cold & may need sweaters.

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Yes. You’re mad. :grin:

Cats shed. Yes, they are cuddly but the price is fur. Everywhere. It’s a decoration, it’s a condiment, it’s a commitment, it’s a lifestyle. There is no escape. (mutters mwahaha)

I, personally, would not have it any other way.


my niece is married to an obsessive clean freak. She keeps the house very clean, and vaccuums constantly. She has two very short haired dogs and a long haired cat. I know the dogs get bathed regularly, but the cat is another matter. She just got a set of clippers, and tonite told me she had sucessfuly shaved him, at least partially. However, I am over there at least once a week, and I have never seen this cat on any of her furniture. That is an anomaly I am sure because mine are all over everything. Keeping clothes off of flat surfaces will help. Put down a towel or a blanket and try to teach (ha ha a cat!) the cat to lie on that. Cats are so wonderful. But their personalities are very different.

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Not just the fur. Prepare to have your furniture clawed. Our cats over the years have been great shredders of upholstery. You either accept that or keep the cat outdoors full time. Or you arm yourself with a squirt gun and spend the majority of your time following the cat around indoors. Then there are the hair balls, the 2AM zoomies, and the kitty litter tracked everywhere, so you’ll need to always wear shoes.

But to some of us they are worth the aggravations.


le sigh


You can do research, be a responsible/proactive pet owner, and set up your house properly for a cat (cat towers or decorative scratching posts on every level, multiple litterboxes placed strategically, not just where it’s convenient for you, playing/engaging them regularly so they’re not bored out of their skulls overnight, feeding a species-appropriate diet, and yes, grooming regularly - not necessarily every day).

I have 2 cats at the moment (i have had others). Both pandemic kitties. They do not scratch our furniture - they scratch THEIR furniture. They are fastidiously clean. They get their claws clipped and their teeth brushed. We play with them almost every day/evening, and lo and behold, there are no 2 am zoomies or yowlies. They are fed properly and brushed so we have had no hairballs whatsoever (only the occasional elastic thrown up because my daughter left one lying on the floor somewhere… ugh :unamused:).

Here’s the thing - it’s like anything else. You can half-ass it, and yes, the cat will cause you grief and headaches. OR - you can do it properly, be a diligent, responsible pet owner (i.e. not just assuming cats “take care of themselves”), just like you would with a dog - and you will be rewarded ten fold. The hair will be minimal, the clawing will not happen, all the “inconvenient” behaviours cat owners love to whine about will magically not materialize - because you’ve created a healthy, secure environment for them to thrive in, stress-free.

Jackson Galaxy’s videos are a must - he is a wealth of helpful info.

Good luck! Kitties are the bomb. :wink:

ps - ours also go out on a harness and leash, in the backyard, on outings, etc. Gone are the days where cats are the “fat, aloof, bossy house pet”. Have a sleek, playful, happy house panther instead. :crazy_face:


not sure if this is appropiate, but it might be like having kids. Those of us without kids might think, troublesome expensive, noisy, whatever. I do not necessarily subscribe to that but some might. But those who do have them love them unconditionally, without end.
As far as scratching furniture, my two boys are just wonderful. NEVER have scratched the furniture. I bought them a nice scratching post, and they are all over it like a strippers pole. The female however lives to scratch the doorpost of the cat room. I bought her her own post but she will not hear of it. I have to keep a squirt bottle handy for her.


Burmese have, uh, different personalities. Research that first if cuddliness and kid-friendly are desirable characteristics for you.

And second Jackson Galaxy (My Cat from Hell).


I had a Burmese for 21 years. He was my :heart: cat. Very, very smart and dog-like. He did shed, but they are a very short haired cat, so not so bad.

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So many great points to consider already, thanks everyone :heart: My other thought or concern was, are the (caged) birds going to be an issue or too great a temptation for the cat?

Oh, interesting take. I will say we’re more inclined to go for an adult or senior cat over a kitten, something that’s a little more predictable in terms of personality and behaviour because this cat is going to have to enjoy being smothered (lovingly) on a regular basis.

I have 4 cats. My couch and bed are covered with blankets because of hair, claws, and puke. There would be less of this with 1 cat but there would still be some. This doesn’t bother me at all but it bothered my ex somewhat. It just depends on what you and your family are willing to live with. Having a clean house isn’t high on my priority list. :wink:


Caged birds could be totally ignored, or harassed constantly. Depends on the cat. Most will probably show some pointed interest, at the least.

A lot of cats don’t enjoy smothering. Most, maybe. I’ve had one out of probably a dozen, and even then, it’s still very much on his terms.

You know that saying “cats have staff”?


Picking an adult with a developed personality and, hopefully, adequate socialization is a big help in getting the animal you want.

The two Burmese I lived with (not mine) were aloof, high-strung and yowly; from what I understand that’s common with Siamese-type breeds.


No experiance with Burmese cats, or any pure breed cat, lol.

However, we have two, indoor only cats. Having multiple litter boxes in a must. I have 3, the rule is one per cat, +1. I also have a cat tree, several cardboard scratchers and a cabinet that they can get on to get away from the dogs. My cats don’t scratch the furniture, and if they try, I know it’s time to clip their claws.

I have cat hair everywhere. From the fridge to the bed, lol. They don’t get on the table or counters when I can see them, but I guarantee they are up there at night. One cat gets brushed on a regular basis, the other does not. Ivy does not approve of brushing in any form and will scratch and bite to avoid it.

We have bed time zoomies. Around 9:30 - 10PM. They run and chase each other around the house for a bit. This could be minimized by regular playing with them, but our family struggles with that :frowning:

Overall, I spend WAY more time cleaning up after and dealing with the cats than I do the dogs. Give me a snuggly dog any day.

Wow, you have created perfect cats! Mine are a bit rougher around their edges. This one is a feral rescue who loves to escape and climb. But most of the time she chills (or warms). BTW, it took a 33 foot ladder to get her out of that tree.


I have six cats in my house. I thought having cat hair in everything was an eventuality to be accepted, but between regular brushing and my Lefant vacuum robot (similar to a Roomba) which I run every day as I’m showering, the cat hair is significantly reduced. I’m only noticing it now in areas the Lefant can’t reach or my bedding, which is washed once a week anyway so it’s a nonissue. I supplement by vacuuming once every few weeks with my Shark, but the daily running of the Lefant really cuts down manual vacuuming labor. I love it.

I originally bought the Lefant to be a robot-combo with my Litter Robot LR4, which I am enjoying but like all litter amenities, there is a fair amount of litter tracking outside of the litter box — even with a litter mat. I was getting tired of vacuuming up the litter around the bathroom with a handheld, so the Lefant was my solution. It has a lot of different modes, can be manually controlled and is fairly quiet. Within an hour of having it, SO was running it around with a horde of cats hunting after it :joy:

With one cat I really can’t imagine hair in everything, but all animals shed. If they have hair or fur, they shed.

My house is really a glorified cat condo. They don’t scratch my furniture but I don’t have much that is cloth or textile — and they have two dedicated walls where vertical cat shelving is installed. They really like having arboreal places to hang out — I find them constantly on the highest shelves asleep.

If you get a Burmese please share photos. They have long been one of my favorite breeds, but right now my inn is full of TNRs and rescues, and it’s anyone’s guess what breed they all are.


I had a friend once that was going thru a divorce, and needed a place to stash her two wonderful parrots for a couple of months. Would I? um, sure, I’ll give it a shot. Now this was many years and cats ago. IIRC it was Lark and his sister Muff. They were not aggressive. very interested, but never looked like they would attack. However the two I have now? Bug has brought in two live birds in the last month. I had a time getting them out. I had a ball with the parrots, but if you think cats are messy, birds take the cake! I had carpeting at the time and was picking tiny feathers out of the carpet for a long time after they were gone.


I have had DSH cats and siameses in my past.

Hear me out. Shedding can be better controlled with diet. I used to feed your standard kibble then I started to research what a cat should eat. And switched all of my pets to species appropriate diets. They are a bit pricer than your standard kibble, but I noticed a huge difference in the amount of shedding my pets produce.
If you can’t justify the raw/freeze dried raw diet for a cat, a wet food 100% would be better than dry kibble for a cat.

Or perhaps a house bunny is in order? I am sure if you get a baby (I mean bunny) it would get used to being handled.


If you dont really want a cat - dont get a cat! You will resent the hair and scratching etc. I have found that the hair is more widespread maybe because they climb.

You could try smaller pets like rabbits or guienea pigs that are more contained. Just make sure you research their needs.

You might also consider a small poodle or Bichon. Little shedding, just clipping costs.


A tamed house rabbit, guinea pig, or even a rat might be a better fit. Birds in the house with a novice cat owner are likely a recipe for disaster and heartbreak. A rabbit can be taught to use a litter pan (if male, must be neutered).