Who said you need fluffy fur to be adorable? These ten hairless cat breeds will prove you wrong. While the majority of us are well familiar with the Sphynx family, many don’t know there are nine more breeds that resemble them thanks to crossbreeding. We assure you will gawk at discovering these kitties with their distant unique features 😍
In Ontario (Canada) during 1966, a white and black cat gave birth to a wrinkled hairless kitten, which they named Prune. After reaching maturity, Prune was introduced to other cats and bred more hairless kittens, introducing the Sphynx line for the world to behold. In 2016, Cat Fanciers’ Association ranked this mystical breed as 8th Most Popular Cat Breed, an honor they attributed to the Sphynx’s friendly persona and good looks. Subsequently, the Journal of Veterinary Behavior ranked Sphynx as the most affectionate amongst cat breeds.
Sphnyxs have a lean body with females weighing 4-5kg and males weighing 5-6kg. Their round abdomen makes them look like a wise Buddha. They have lemon-shaped eyes, extremely crumply skin, deft paws that look like hands when they stretch. But the most prominent of them all is their large ears that can reach 5-7cm in height. Sphynx is generally hairless, but a few have velvety patches of fuzz on their face, legs, and tail. They even come in tortie and tabby shades!
These hairless cats are really social felines, which defies the usual impassive personality associated with cats. They even make great playmates with dogs, though they can be a bit clumsy in the middle of their playfulness. Sphynx is also known for being highly talkative. Moreover, they love attention and is happy to show off, your ultimate greeter for an open house.
In order to continuously develop Sphynx breeds, breeder crossbreed them with shorthaired cats so as to retain a broad and healthy gene pool. Unfortunately, they are still susceptible to heart problems. Do bring them regularly to the veterinarian for a heart scan, just to be sure everything is peachy.
Sphynxs are inquisitive to everything their eyes lay on. So be sure to keep all your expensive trinkets away from their reach 😉
Bambino (Baby Cat)
Back in 2005, A cute cross between a Munchkin and a Sphynx birthed a pint-size wrinkled hairless kitten featuring their trademark lion tail, pointy ears, lemon-shaped eyes and notable short muscled legs. Today, Bambinos are recognised by TICA as an exploratory breed.
Bambino is a dwarf thanks to the contribution of their ancestor, the Munchkin, with females weighing 2-3kg and males weighing 4-5kg. A lot of them are totally hairless, but some have small amounts of fur, primarily on ears, face, legs and tail. Their tiny body requires little space, which will be convenient if you are living in an apartment. Despite their stocky body, Bambinos are able to move normally. In fact, they are an epitome of their italian namesake. They run like a toddler and drift through the corners like a car!
They are physically small but mighty in character. These kitties are not only adorable, but also incredibly cuddly, perfect for cat lovers who prefer kitties that will gladly be at your side every minute of the day. Most of all, you can trust them to get along with kids and other pets as they are outgoing and playful with everyone.
Donskoy (Russian Hairless, Don Spyhnx, Russian Donskoy, or Don Hairless)
Back in 1987, Elena Kovaleva discovered the first Donskoy in Russia. She rescued the kitten after seeing boys bullying it. Later, she named the kitten Varvara. As time passed, Varvara started to lose more and more of her hair. Not long after, Varvara had her own litter of kittens. However, much to Elena’s surprise, the kittens lost their hair just like their mother cat. Naturally, Elena thought it was a kind of disease. But upon meeting a professional breeder, they then realized it was indeed a new breed!
Donskoy’s exquisite features justify their variety of monikers, with sleek muscular build, piercing almond eyes and pronounced wrinkly cheeks on their elastic skin. They also have oval feet and long webbed toes.
According to Petful, there are four different coat types that the Donskoy rocks, namely rubber bald, flocked, velour, and brush. They range from being completely bald, to having fine hair on some spots. But in times of winter, their body can grow a coat to protect them from the chill, which makes them the unique breed of hairless cat breed. As a cherry on top to their queer existence, this Russian cats are bornt with fur, but will shed more and more hair as they age, until they eventually lose all their hair.
These hairless cats are intelligent kitties that are easy to train for some cool tricks that will have your friends awe in wonder. Moreover, the sweet Donskoys love to make friends and enjoy a playful frolic from time to time. They are most known for their royalty that rivals a dog.
Donskoy doesn’t wait for you to give them the interaction and attention they require. Instead, they know to demand for it!
Did you know?
Donskoys’ hairlessness comes from a dominant gene, unlike the Sphynxs who is hairless thanks to a recessive genetic mutation.
In 1993, an Oriental Shorthair cat mated with a Donskoy, and a few month later, gave birth to a siamese-like hairless kitten with felt-like coating.
Peterbald is a rare hairless cat breed that is greatly desired. Sophisticated feline with distinct features, long limbs and slender neck. Their eyes are almond in shape and their elegant ears are large and pointy. Generally, the females weigh 2-3kg while the males weigh 4-5kg. They can vary from having absolutely no hair, having a fine down that either shed or maintain for life, to having a peach-like coat or one with more like a suede leather texture which looks a lot like an average shorthaired cat.
Peterbald acquires high intelligence. Furthermore, these hairless cats are super sweet, and will endlessly shower you with affection in the form of happy cuddles! They also have exuberant agility that makes staying in the spot impossible when they are in a playful mood. And because of their open friendliness, people find it easy to interact with the Peterbalds.
What makes Peterbald special is their pure devotion to you. They sit on your lap during meals and curl up on the bed with you when it comes to bedtime. They will also meow you off in the morning and will be the first to greet you at the door when you come home.
During the early 2000’s, a mix between a male Scottish Fold and a female Donskoy developed a unique looking kitten with a cute pair of floppy ears. Not long after, this newfound breed quickly gained admirers who fell for their exotic appearance. Although they have yet to receive recognition by breeder organizations or international cat fanciers, they receive plenty of love by clubs in Ukraine and Russia.
This hairless cat breed is fit with lean muscles, the males having significantly larger build than females. They have hairless elastic skin that is smooth like velvet, and sport wrinkles all over their long slender body. Their large almond-shaped eyes are beautifully angled, their head a wedge-like shape, and although folded inward, their ears do not touch the head.
Ukrainian Levkoy loves affection and attention, but is not to the point of demanding. They easily find contentment in their own company. Although quite friendly, Ukranian Levkoy is slow to open up. At first, you might see them as being standoffish. But as they get to know you, they are all about cuddles! They are also smart kitties, and a lot of them get along well with other pets. They can be playful, but a laid-back cat all the same.
The really recent arrival of the domestic shorthair cat breeds was hairless kittens with interesting curved ears. This bigger version of the dwelf is a crossbreed between an American Curl and a Sphynx. As of now, Elf is the rarest hybrid of the Sphynx.
Their body agile and strong, with the females weighing 2-4kg and males weighing 4-5kg. They resemble the world’s favourite character, Dobby from the Harry Potter from their large curled ears. They have eyebrows and whiskers that are almost absent, and eyes wide like a walnut. Their soft skin has a downy feel like a peach fuzz. However, not all of them retain similar features, as a few sport fine patches of hair over their ears, nose, slender tail or paws.
Aside from their famous extensively wrinkled skin, they are commonly known by their ears that curled at the tips, and defined cheekbones. These prominent appearances, especially the deep wrinkle on their long head and by their neck, is mostly noticeable on an Elf kitten. However, a well-bred adult can show a similarity as well.
These hairless cats are so much of an extrovert. They are playful with all living things they encounter, and enjoy to explore the wondrous world around them, climbing while at it.
Amongst their rainbow of personality, they are also very patient, though can be quite vocal, explicitly when they demand your attention.
Elf cats hate when you leave them alone for too long. So, if you are thinking of having one, it would be best for them to have a company or two with lots of toys to keep them happy and content.
Did you know?
When outbreeding elf cats, breeders take it really seriously to only undertake it with solid stock that reproduces younglings with an excellent Elf gene pool.
When a Munchkin and American Curl bred procreated with an Elf, tiny kittens with super short legs like the Munckins and curled ears like the Elfs were born. A combination of ‘elf’ and ‘dawrf’ gave them the name Dwelf which suits their appearance.
Dwelf are fairly light, with females weighing 2-3kg, and males weighing 4-3kg. They may be small, but their energy is larger than the tennis ball. They harbor a dog-like personality with their extreme affection and playful antics. However, several mutations that happened in their genes caused Dwelf unavoidable health issues that include skeletal problems. Nevertheless, it doesn’t stop from prancing around the house like no tomorrow!
They got their name from the combination of the words ‘skin’ and ‘miniature’. Minskin also came from breeding of a Munchkin and a Sphynx cat. However size-wise, they are smaller than their cousin Bambino despite both owning short legs, with females weighing 1-2kg and males weighing 2-3kg.
Miskin’s fine fur is sparse on their mini body, particularly at the points (ears, nose, legs and tail). But their abdomen is always hairless.
To sum up, they have the same traits as their close relative with their intelligence, playfulness, and the eagerness to entertain you!
Lykoi (Werewolf cat)
While a sliver of their population are partially hairless, Lykois earn their place in our list as the hairless cat breed. This is due to the fact that they are still most commonly hairless. Man bred them with the intention to produce a domestic cat representing a werewolf. The result met their expectations as Lykois possesses hairless facial, mainly at the center of their face, then the back of their ears, and on the legs and feet.
Lykoi has leathery skin and black coat with silver streaks that glimmer under the moonlight. They retain a primal drive to prey which explains their favourite activity of watching the moves around them before stalking their victim, which could be people, animals, or toys.
In 2015, a cross between an American Bobtail and a Sphynx resulted in a hybrid that has a stumpy tail or completely tailless, and a look almost similar to a Sphynx.
SphynxieBob is not an official breed according to Cat Fancier’s Association and The International Cat Association (TICA), but worth for cat lovers to recognize as they are contributing to the growing variety of hairless cat breeds.
SphnyxieBob is medium in size, with females weighing 4-5kg and males weighing 5-6kg. Their prominent feature is undoubtedly their cute little bobtail. They also share a wrinkled head, hairless elements as a Sphynx cat.
What can we learn?
As you should already be guessing, hairless cat breeds require specific care. Hairless cats do not have a decent amount of fur to provide protection against changing temperature. They are prone to getting easily cold and susceptible to sunburn when exposed to excess amounts of sunlight.
Cat guardians are to make sure that their kitties stay warm. To do this, it’s best to put on a cozy kitty sweater that can help shield their skin from the elements. We advise that you keep your cats indoor at all times since they are not as able to regulate their own body temperature. For the time when they do meet the Great Outdoor and sunny rays, don’t forget to apply ample sunscreen beforehand to keep their skin out of the sun’s reach.
Their lack of hair also increases the tendency for build-up of oils that then triggers a skin condition, as well as staining fabrics and clothes. Due to this reason, put in also a weekly or monthly bath to hinder oil buildup on your pets’ skin.
Lesser hair in their ears may also cause issues such as infections. Therefore, regular cleaning is much needed. Soaking a cotton wool with apple cider vinegar is a good preventive measure for a thorough ear cleaning routine.
Although we do highlight their hypoallergenic tendency, the usual cause of allergy symptoms are from certain proteins coming from cats’ skin cells or their saliva. Having said that, they are still suitable for people with allergies to cats. This is because, hairless cat breeds need frequent bathing, which leads to the subsequent removal of the guilty allergens.
They have fast metabolism!
You may notice from all the breeds above, hairless cats are very active and tend to have a fast metabolism, so it is crucial that you provide them plenty of nutritious food that meets their calorie requirements. But this of course comes with benefits! Their faster metabolism allows for a similarly faster healing of the wounds and scratches on their skin!
You may also realize how affectionate our kitty friends are, with most if not all of them loving companionship. They love to play and snuggle with you, and will pine when left for too long.
Heart disease is an inevitable concern when it comes to hairless cats. However, if you are able to get them from a reputable breeder, adding with proper care, there is a higher possibility for them to live a long healthy life!
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