Few cat breeds are so obviously unique as the hairless cat breeds. Easily recognized by their smooth bodies, these cats are the subject of much speculation. Rightfully so, they’re really neat cats! They offer as much in personality as they do in their peculiar looks. You’ve probably got some questions about these interesting felines, so we’re going to go over a few things for you.
#1 – There are 5 recognized hairless cat breeds.
These are the Sphynx, Donskoy, Ukrainian Levkoy, Bambino and Peterbald. These are each separate breeds, although some are related, that have their own standards under purebred cat organizations.
#2 – They’re not actually bald.
While all of these breeds often have little to no hair on the majority of their bodies, none of them are completely hairless. These cats are covered by a soft, down-like fuzz, almost like suede. It makes for a really fun experience!
#3 – They can get sunburnt.
While we don’t recommend any cats go outside unsupervised, special care should be taken when it comes to hairless cats. Their skin isn’t covered by a thick, protective coat and they are directly under the sun’s harmful rays. Many hairless cat owners will use sunblock on their cats’ skin to keep them safe and pain-free.
#4 – They still have patterns and colors.
Depending on what the breed standards allow, these cats still have a lot of the unique patterns that regularly coated cats have. For example, the Sphynx can even have tortoiseshell and tabby markings – just without the hair.
#5 – Their hairlessness comes from various traits.
The Sphynx and Donskoy are unrelated and while the Sphynx’s hairlessness comes from a naturally occurring recessive gene, the Donskoy’s is from a dominant gene. The Bambino was made by crossing Sphynx cats and Munchkin cats. The Ukranian Levkoy and Peterbald were created by crossing Donskoy’s with other breeds. Therefore, the genetic root of their baldness varies.
#6 – They’re fun!
Hairless cats have all of the fun attributes of every other cat, just with a few added perks. While the look isn’t for everyone, those who get to know hairless cats learn that they are active, intelligent and affectionate companions that make a great addition to any home.
Cover photo: ▲ r n o via Flickr