Although the first thing that might come to your mind when you think about cats is a nicely fluffy fur, there are also hairless cat breeds. With their characteristic often wrinkled skin and lovely personalities, they can be just as cute as any other cat. In this article, you will learn about different hairless cat breeds, as well as the special needs of these cats.
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Contrary to what you might think, being an owner of a hairless cat doesn’t mean fewer responsibilities than owning a furry feline companion. Hairless cats need specific care, including grooming care, preventing or healing skin and health conditions that they are prone to. Lack of protective fur also makes the so-called naked cats sensitive to temperatures and their skin susceptible to sunburns.
Hairless cats differ from one another, and their coat might be raging from completely bald to peach-fuzz-like coat. In any case, they lack the protective layer of fur that absorbs oils from the skin. To prevent a sticky and unhealthy build-up of oils on the cats’ bodies, it is recommended to give them regular baths, about once a week, using a mild hydrating cat shampoo. You may also need to use a soft, damp cloth to clean your cat’s skin, paying special attention to areas between deep wrinkles. As some hairless cats lack eyelashes, hence making the eyes more exposed to dirt, wiping them with a cloth might also be necessary.
Counterintuitively, hairless cats are not necessarily hypoallergenic. This is because it is not cats’ hair, but the protein Fel d1 produced by all the cats that’s responsible for causing the allergic reactions. This allergen is present in all cats’ saliva and dander, although its level is much lower in case of hairless cats. Moreover, hairless cats don’t shed like their furry counterparts do, so people with milder allergies might be safe around them.
Hairless cats require special attention when it comes to grooming and bathing in order to keep them healthy. However, they are unfortunately prone to several skin and health conditions, which means that regular visits to a vet are even more important than in the case of other breeds. You should be aware that your cat may need special shampoos as well as topical or oral medications. Apart from that, Sphynx cats are often suffering from heart diseases and muscular dystrophy.
Lack of protective fur does not only lead to oil build-up, but it also means that hairless cats are much more sensitive to temperature and sun exposure. It’s important to point out that they are not outdoor cats, as their skin can get easily sunburnt. You should aim at limiting your cat’s sun exposure, but you may also resort to the use of special topical sunscreens and covering the cat’s skin with clothes. Be mindful, however, that your cat will most probably lick off the sunscreen.
Not only sun, but also cold temperatures are dangerous for hairless cats. Make sure to create warm spots for your cat in your house, at the same time remembering that their oily skin might leave stains on your blankets and sheets. To avoid that, pet clothing might be a good option, if chosen according to the temperature and the season.
One of the general characteristics of hairless cats is their high energy level and fast metabolism, which produces a need for healthy food and enough physical activity. Make sure to buy high-quality food products and provide enough of it for your cat. Apart from that, keep your cat stimulated and entertained by playing with them and giving them cat interactive toys.
Undoubtedly the most popular among the hairless breeds, Sphynx is a result of crossbreeding of shorthair cats, and their hairlessness is caused by a naturally occurring recessive genetic mutation. These cats are great companions that love being around people, and they even get along well with some dogs. They are friendly, adorable, and enthusiastic. Sphynx cats aren’t always totally hairless as some may have a velvety fuzz.
Also known as Russian hairless, Don hairless or Don sphynx, Donskoy gets their hairlessness from a dominant genetic mutation, and they have slightly more wrinkles than Sphynx cats. Personality-wise, this breed is very much sociable and people-oriented. Apart from that, Donskoy cats are very intelligent, which makes them easy to train.
This breed is a mix between a Donskoy and an Oriental Shorthair, which is from where they take their long limbs and elegant look. Apart from their elegance, Peterbald cats are curious and intelligent, but they can also show a lot of affection as they are considered a very social breed. Similarly to Donskoy, Paterbald’s hairlessness gene is dominant and not recessive.
Resulting in a mix between a Sphynx and a Munchkin, this breed gets their hairlessness from the former, but their short legs from the latter. As their name (“baby” or “child” in Italian) suggests, Bambino cats are very small, which adds to their cuteness. They are also very affectionate and quite playful.
Elf cat is a mix of a Sphynx with an American Curl. The breed is friendly and playful. Elf cats tend to be loyal and affectionate, as well as active and outgoing. Their curved ears are a characteristic that sets them apart from other hairless breeds.
In other words a dwarf elf, Dwelf is a miniature Elf cat, resulted in crossbreeding of this breed with a Munchkin. Thanks to that mix, Dwelf has the curved ears of the Elf and characteristic short legs of the Munchkin. This breed is known to have a dog-like personality, which makes them incredibly playful and affectionate.
Even though hairless cats require just as much or even more care than furry ones, they can be wonderful companions. Their friendly and lovable personalities as well as high energy levels make them great family cats. We hope the above information and list of cat breeds helped you decide on the breed to choose.