Eukaryotic cells that lack cell walls often have glycocalyces composed of carbohydrate compounds.  These structures are very loosely bound to the cell membrane and help to anchor cells together (often referred to as the extracellular matrix or basement membrane in multicellular organisms), prevent water loss and aid in cellular communication.

Some eukaryotes, such as some of the protists and parasitic worms can also form protective cysts around themselves when they become dormant due to dehydration or when they infect tissues such as muscle.