A Visual Guide to Hairless Cat Breeds
Sleek and slinky, these enigmatic felines prove that bald is beautiful. Consider adopting one of them, including the Sphynx, Peterbalds, and Bambinos, among others.
Have you ever considered adopting a hairless cat? Certainly, they're not your typical tabby. They're sleek, slim, noticeably naked, and, to many, a mystery.
Hairless cats are commonly believed to be hypoallergenic. However, according to Jessica Jane MacMurchy, adoption coordinator at Animal Charity of Ohio, this isn't the case. "Oftentimes, people who are longing for a feline family member that have allergies tend to think of seeking out specialty breeders for a hairless cat," she says. "While there are many breeds of hairless cats, typically these aren't considered 'hypoallergenic.' Typically, allergens from cats can come from saliva, standard dander from skin, or even cat litter." MacMurchy explains that the Sphynx, Peterbald, Bambino, Donskoy, Elf, and Dwelf are all popular breeds. Interestingly, it's common for hairless cats to have light peach fuzz or sparse hairs on their nose, ears, tails, and feet.
MacMurchy emphasizes the importance of researching a potential breeder. "Check referrals and physically see that they are using responsible breeder procedures," she says. "It is also important to make sure your new feline is coming from fully-vetted parents that are vaccinated and tested for feline diseases." After welcoming your new hairless cat, there are unique care takings required for owning a pet with little to no fur. "Hairless cats do need to follow a proper wholesome nutrition plan," she adds, "as well as a skin care routine to protect their skin from sunburn, cold temperatures, and allergens."
So, looking to adopt a hairless cat? Here are a few breeds to consider.
The Sphynx evokes imagery of the Egyptian mythical creature but these cats are lively, playful, and known to cause a bit of mischief. Before you consider adopting one, know they require lots of attention.
Elf cats, appearing as if they leaped out of a J.R.R Tolkien novel, are a new and relatively rare hybrid born of a Sphynx and American curl. Aside from having no fur, the Elf cat's ears set this breed apart from other hairless varieties.
Bred between a Peterbald and Siamese, the Donosky cats are sharp, witty, and curious cats. Also known as Don Sphynx or the Russian Hairless, this medium-sized, muscular cat is oftentimes born with one of four coat types but carries a dominant hair loss gene that causes their birth coat to fall out.
Dwelf hairless cats are dwarf cats—small in size but big on personality. These cats are born with a multitude of inherited traits: the short legs of a Munchkin, the hairless body of a Sphynx, and the curled ears of an American Curl.
Cat owners can agree that owning a cat with cropped, flat ears is rare. However, the cropped (almost smashed-like) ear is a distinguishing characteristic of the Ukrainian Levkoy bred between a Scottish fold and Donskoy.
For those who are on the fence about owning a completely hairless cat, this breed, the Minskin might be a good compromise. Why? Minkins, bred between a Munchkin and Sphynx, have hair on their paws.
The Bambino (Italian for "baby") lives up to its name as this mostly hairless breed has a stout stature but loving personality. The bambino, a cross between a Sphynx and Munchkin, will tempt cat lovers with their large bright eyes.
If you're looking for a devoted family pet, the Peterbald, hairless variety maybe what you're looking for. A cross between a Don Sphynx and Oriental Shorthair cat, and while they're close to hairless, their shorthair exterior has been compared to the feeling of soft velour.