Hairless Cats (with photos) – All About Hairless Cat Breeds

Hairless Cats (with photos) – All About Hairless Cat Breeds

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Mexican hairless

Hairless cat breeds

The Sphynx is the most well known of the hairless cat breeds, but others have been developed by cross-breeding the Sphynx to other breeds or from cats found in feral or stray populations. Most hairless cat breeds have a small amount of fuzz on their bodies.

  • Sphynx
  • Donskoy
  • Peterbald
  • Elf
  • Ukrainian Levkoy
  • Dwelf
  • Bambino

Throughout the decades, hairless cats have appeared as a spontaneous mutation. The first mention of hairless cats goes back to 1830 in the book A Natural History of the Mammals of Paraguay.

In 1902, local Indians gave Mr and Mrs F. J Shink two bale cats, Nellie and Dick. These cats were referred to as Mexican Hairless. Unfortunately, Dick escaped outside and was killed by a pack of dogs which left Nellie without a male to mate.

The term hairless is a bit of a misnomer as most of them actually, have a peach-like fuzz on the body. The Donskoy and Peterbald come in four coat “types” from bald to full fur.

Hairless cat breeds

There are several breeds of hairless cats in the cat fancy today. The Sphynx, Donskoy (Don Rex) and the Peterbald are the most common.

Other less known breeds include the Ukrainian Levkoy a cross between a Donskoy and a Scottish Fold, the Elf,  a cross between a Sphynx and an American Curl, the Dwelf, a cross between a Sphynx, American Curl and Munchkin and the Bambino, a cross between a Sphynx and a Munchkin.

Sphynx

Sphynx cat

  • Origin: Toronto, 1966 and Minnesota
  • Other names: –

The Sphynx breed originates from four cats. Two from Minnesota who were the bald offspring of a cat named Jezebelle. The other two from a cat in Toronto. These four cats named Epidermis, Dermis, Paloma and Punkie are the descendants of the Sphynx.

The gene responsible for the hairlessness is recessive, which means both parents must pass on a copy of the gene to the offspring.

Donskoy

Donskoy

Image Peter Burka, Flickr

  • From: Rostov-on-Don, Russia
  • Other names: Don Sphynx, Russian Hairless

In 1987, Elena Kovalena rescued a blue tortoiseshell kitten. The kitten, named Varvara lost her coat when she was a few months old, and it never came back. She gave birth to a litter of kittens, one of whom also lost her coat at a few months old. Selective breeding followed to establish the breed.

The gene responsible for the hairlessness in the Donskoy is dominant and only one copy is necessary for offspring to inherit the trait.

Peterbald

Peterbald cat

  • Origins: St Petersburg, Russia, 1994
  • Other names: St Petersburg Hairless

A man-made breed created by crossing a Don Sphynx male to an Oriental female.

As with the Donskoy, the gene responsible for the hairlessness is dominant, only one copy from one parent is necessary to pass on the trait to the offspring.

Elf

Elf cat

  • Origins: United States
  • Other names:

The Elf is a rare breed which was created Karen Nelson and Kristen Leedom, the breed is a hybrid of the Sphynx and American Curl.

Ukrainian Levkoy

Ukrainian Levkoy

  • Origins: Ukraine
  • Other names:

A man-made breed (2000–2011), originally developed by Elena Biriukova who crossed Donskoy females with Scottish Fold males.

Dwelf

Dwelf cat

  • Origins: United States of America
  • Other names:

A hairless, short-legged, curl-eared breed of cat derived from Sphynx, American Curl, and Munchkin cats.

Bambino

Bambino cat

  • Origins: United States of America
  • Other names:

In 2005, Pat and Stephanie Osborne of Holy Moly Cattery received a Sphynx/Munchkin cross and decided to develop this hybrid as a new breed.

Care

Hairless cats don’t have the thick, insulating coat most other breeds do and can be prone to the cold. So if you live in a cold climate, they should be provided with adequate heating.

Also, their skin can be prone to sunburn, so keep them inside during the hot mid-day sun, and if they do have access to an outdoor cat enclosure, there should be adequate shelter for them.

Their skin can be prone to greasiness, and hairless cats generally need to be given a bath weekly.

Are hairless cats hypoallergenic?

There are no hypoallergenic breeds of cat. The cause of allergies is a protein called Fel D1 which is shed by the sebaceous glands in the skin and found in the saliva. The Fel D1 protein is found on dander, minute particles of old skin and fur that are continually being shed from the cat.