If you’re looking to bring a new cat into your family, you may have considered a more common breed, like a Persian or a tabby cat. Have you considered a hairless cat? They may be a bit strange, but they are loving and friendly.
When we think of domestic cats, our first thought is of the furry kind, whether they’re sleek or fluffy. Hairless cats are a bit more unusual and are usually much more expensive than their more fluffy relatives.
At Spot Pet Insurance, we know that being a pet parent is a tough job. There are many things to consider before you take on caring for a new furry family member, and we’re here to help.
If you’re thinking about taking on the adventure of adopting a hairless cat, you’ll need to know essential facts about the different breeds and their care. The care needs of a hairless cat are very different from those of a furry one.
What do I need to know about hairless cats?
There are many types of hairless cats, some of which are completely hairless and others with a bit of peach fuzz. Even within different breeds, there can be varying levels of hairlessness.
Hairless cats take a little more time and effort when it comes to their care. The lack of fur means they don’t have a way to get rid of the body oils on their skin, protect their ears from getting too dirty, or keep gunk out of their eyes.
If you adopt a hairless cat, you should bathe them at least once a week. Without regular bathing, the oil from their skin will build up and make them all sticky.
Ear cleaning should occur twice a week. You can do this by using a cotton swab and some ear cleaner made for cat ears. For their eyes, you just need to wipe them gently with a wet cloth.
Hairless cats also need more protection from the weather to avoid skin problems. Since their fur can’t protect them from the cold and the sun, they need a little assistance. You should keep hairless cats indoors. They can get sunburned, so it’s best to keep an eye on them if they’re hanging out in a window. Human sunscreen isn’t good for cats, though, so don’t try using it on your feline friend.
To protect your cat from the sun, you can buy them a sweater to wear. However, you need to remember to remove it when your home gets warm so your cat won’t overheat.
Some hairless cats have health issues specific to their breed, so it might be best to consult with your vet about such issues. Spot Pet Insurance has a 24/7 telehealth service for members that is powered by whiskerDocs. A hairless cat takes time and effort, but they make up for it in affection.
Are hairless cats hypoallergenic?
Most of us assume that cat allergies are connected to their fur and dander. Because hairless cats don’t have fur, one would think that they wouldn’t cause an allergic reaction. Unfortunately, that’s not exactly the case.
Allergies to cats are caused by the Fel d 1 protein. All cats have this protein, so there aren’t really any hypoallergenic (allergy-friendly) cats. The protein is usually in their saliva or secreted through their skin, so the lack of hair doesn’t make much difference.
However, someone with a pollen or dust allergy would be less reactive to a hairless cat. Cats with fur tend to collect pollen and dust in their fur, which causes an allergic reaction in some humans.
Six hairless cat breeds to look into
There are many different breeds of hairless cats. This list contains the major breeds to help you get a general idea of the hairless cat world.
The Sphynx cat breed is probably the most commonly known type of hairless cat. They come from Canada. They are hairless because they have two recessive genetic mutations, although they are often bred with domestic shorthair cats to broaden the gene pool. They are very friendly and enjoy being around people (especially their pet parents). They’re sometimes even described as dog-like.
Sphynx cats are usually wrinkly, and they can have distinctive wrinkle patterns. Most of them are between 8 and 10 inches in height and weigh between 10 and 12 pounds. They’re lean, and they can sometimes have fuzz instead of being completely hairless.
Sphynxes may seem like they would be distant and cold, but they’re actually wonderful and loving additions to any family. They love to cuddle and can even get along with other pets, even some kinds of dogs.
The other most commonly known breed of cat is the Donskoy. This breed has a dominant gene, which means that if they’re bred with any other cat breed, their children will be hairless.
The Donskoy originates in Russia. They’re similar looking to the Sphynx, but Donskoys tend to be much more wrinkly. They also can grow a short coat in winter, which they shed when it gets warm.
A Donskoy can be anywhere from 10 to 12 inches tall and weigh about seven to 15 pounds, making them slightly bigger than a Sphynx. Donskoys are also very sweet and sociable, and they love being around people.
Even if you weren’t considering a hairless cat before, a Donskoy could be a great companion.
Bambinos are one of the officially recognized Sphynx hybrids. Breeders created them by crossing the Sphynx and the Munchkin, which is why they are small in stature. This is also where they get their name from since it means “baby” in Italian.
They weigh from five to nine pounds and are usually seven to eight inches tall. The reason for their small stature is their stumpy little legs, which are much shorter than those you would expect to see on a cat.
If they have fur or fuzz, it will usually be around their ears, face, tail, and legs. Like other hairless cats, they are loving and particularly enjoy playing.
If you have small ones with a love of animals, playing with a bambino can be a great way to exercise your cat and your child. Just provide them with a mouse on a string or other cat toy (and proper supervision).
Elf and Dwelf
Elf cats are unique little kitties. A cross between an American Curl and a Sphynx, the Elf has ears that curl up to a point, much like the creatures they are named after. Surprisingly, Elf cats are not very small compared to other breeds, but a smaller version is known as the Dwelf.
Dwelf cats have the added heritage of a Munchkin and can have health issues related to their small stature and short legs. Other than the issue of height and health, they are similar to the Elf breed in look.
Both can have a light fuzz, and both can be playful and love to have fun. An Elf is between eight to 10 inches and 10 to 15 pounds. A Dwelf typically weighs between four to nine pounds and is six to seven inches tall.
Even though they may look a little strange with their curly pointed ears, they can be a joy about the house.
Peterbalds are an interesting hairless breed because they can have a more visible coat of fine down than other breeds and sometimes live life with a full coat of fur. This Russian breed is a cross between the Donskoy and an Oriental Shorthair.
Their heads tend to be narrow and long, and they have very large ears. They can be about eight to 10 inches tall and weigh between six to 10 pounds. They tend to have long legs.
Peterbalds are very intelligent, curious and social. They like being around other people, much like many other cats among the hairless breeds.
Minskins are among the smaller of the hairless breeds. They are a mix of Sphynx, Munchkin, Devon Rex and Burmese cats. They are fairly similar to the Bambino breed, with short, stumpy legs.
They are more outgoing cats, so they like being around you. They can sometimes have a bit of short fur or downy fuzz, which usually tend to be on the tips of their ears, noses, or tails.
They weigh between four and six pounds and are seven to eight inches tall, so they can be much smaller than the Bambino or even the Dwelf. However, their size does not limit their extroverted nature.
Providing a hairless cat a home
Although hairless cats look like they would be more aloof than their furry counterparts, they are very friendly. Most of them enjoy being around people, and some are quite playful.
You might be looking for a more friendly and extroverted cat than one can usually find, and hairless cats are a perfect choice. You can also find a wide range of shapes and sizes.
There are small cats, like the Dwelf, Bambino, and Minskin. Peterbalds, Donskoys, and Sphynx cats are taller, more elegant breeds. Elf cats have cute and curly pointed ears, as do Dwelfs, giving them a unique look.
If you adopt a hairless cat, you need to put a lot more time and effort into their care. Because they don’t have the fur of other cats, they need more protection from the weather, dirt, and oil from their skin.
Even though they can be a big time investment, hairless cats’ loving and extroverted tendencies can make up for it. As long as you are willing to put the time and the money into being the best pet parent possible for a hairless cat.
We are willing to help you achieve that goal with good insurance or educational materials. You and your pet’s health and happiness are our main concerns, and we want to help in the good times and the bad.