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4 hairless cat breeds

Sphynx cat with no hair advice
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Wonderful or just weird? Take a look at these 4 hairless cat breeds and fall in love with their smooth skin. The hairless variety is the most diverse of all cat breeds. 

By Dawn Parrish

When it comes to personal choice, most people are usually for or against hairless cat breeds. They either love them or detest them. Of course, we absolutely love all kitty breeds and make no exception for hairless cats. These kitties with no hair actually make some of the most loyal and affectionate pets you will find.

Why choose a hairless cat breed

First of all, many people choose a hairless cat mainly because they themselves have allergies to felines with fur. Likewise, they can also be allergic to the dry skin of cats, very similar to human dandruff. However, even hairless cat breeds are not hypo-allergenic. The majority of felines don’t need to be bathed as they groom themselves. Certainly, though, a cat with no hair will need a frequent bath to reduce the dandruff (dry skin) that they create. 

The origins of hairless cat breeds

It’s thought that around the turn of the 20th century, hairless felines were first introduced. A group of Pueblo Indians gifted some of these cats to a Mr E.J.Shinick. He bred from these exotic Aztec cats which at the time were given the name “Mexican Hairless Cats”. During the 1930s, in France, a female cat that had normal fur gave birth to a batch of hairless kittens. Popularity increased and in the 1960s, the Sphynx hairless cat breed was introduced. 

Interesting facts about hairless cat breed characteristics All of these hair-free cats have some common features. 

No 1. They are not totally hairless

Their name “hairless” is slightly misleading. Although these felines do actually look to be bald, their bodies are covered in fuzz, albeit it very fine. When touched, the best way to describe them is like a warm peach fruit. 

No 2. Hairless cat breeds are not hypoallergenic

The main cause of allergens is the dander or the saliva, not the hair of a cat. 

No 3. Cat breeds with no hair are more sensitive to changes in temperature

Of course, it’s obvious that a cat with no hair is going to feel cold. Many owners of various hairless cat breeds will provide a jacket or a blanket for them to snuggle under to keep warm. Likewise, a cat with no hair is more susceptible to sunburn risk.

No 4. The skin of a hairless cat is more sensitive and needs special care

A gentle moisturiser can be used to combat dryness on the sensitive skin of a hairless kitten. As surface oil builds up on the cat’s skin, a weekly bath is advised. Similarly, pay special attention to folds of the skin, paws, eyes and ears, where dirt can accumulate. 

All hairless cat breeds can be very friendly and cute. Here are 4 of the most common types, all of them almost bald and lacking fur.  

Sphynx – hairless cat breed

This species has to be the most famous of all the hairless felines. First bred in 1966 from the parent cat named Prune who lived in Canada. This breed is extremely fun-loving and affectionate. Appearing in various colours such as cinnamon, black, white, chocolate, cream and even a spotted variety. Although not totally bald, they do have a light covering of fuzziness. 


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Donskoy – another bald cat species

Originating from Russia around 1987 and also known as a Don Hairless, Russian Donskoy, Russian Hairless and even the Don Sphynx. With very similar characteristics to the Sphynx, however, having a different genetic makeup. While the Sphynx hairless cat breed has a recessive gene, the Donskey takes a dominant gene. These felines are very sociable animals and mix well with other pets. Easily trained to respond to commands and certainly very lovable and loyal kitties. 


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Peterbald – just as the name suggests (hairless)

This rather confusing hairless cat breed can actually, sometimes have hair too. However, the majority do lose their fur and have a peachy, velvet soft skin. Available in many different coat colours and markings. With a long rat-like tail, webbed feet and a long, narrow head, they are rather strange looking cats. A Peterbald kitten will often follow their owners from room to room as they don’t like being alone. This hairless feline has a strangely high metabolism that helps any wounds to heal quicker than normal. 


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Bambino – a tiny, hairless kitty

The name of this cat breed means “baby” and is actually a cross between a Munchkin cat and a Sphynx. Because they are much smaller than other breeds of cats, they find difficulty when trying to jump and climb. However, this doesn’t detract from their playfulness. Classed as a dwarf breed of cat, they weigh anywhere between 4.9 and 8.8 pounds. Almost certainly guaranteed to love cuddles and have a huge personality. 


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First of all, if you are thinking of adopting or buying one of these hairless cat breeds, give the decision plenty of thought. They do take a lot of upkeep and need weekly bathing and skin conditioning treatments. It might be an idea to visit the shelter, or a breeder’s home to meet the kitten or cat first. This is especially important if you are looking for a hairless cat breed because of your own cat hair allergies.