It’s National Bald Is Beautiful Day, so we’re honoring the bald and beautiful of the cat world! These 8 hairless cat breeds prove that you don’t need fur to be fabulous. Most people are familiar with the Sphynx cat, but there are many other hairless cat breeds to learn about and—frankly—gawk at.
Undoubtedly the most popular of the hairless cat breeds is the Sphynx cat. In 1966, a black and white cat gave birth to a wrinkled hairless kitten in Ontario, Canada. Named Prune, the kitten was eventually bred to other cats in an attempt to create more hairless kittens. Thus, the Sphynx line began! Sphynx are typically hairless, but may have a fine down on their body. Their distinctive large ears may reach 2-3 inches in height. The Sphynx cat is known for her highly social, attention-loving, and inquisitive personality.
The Peterbald is a rare, yet highly desired breed of hairless cat. This breed began when an Oriental Shorthair was bred to a hairless Donskoy cat in 1993. They may be totally hairless, have a fine down, or even a coat like a peach or piece of suede leather. The Peterbald is known for being a very intelligent and extremely affectionate lap cat.
Bambino cats are a cross between a Sphynx and a Munchkin, thus featuring the two trademark characteristics of hairlessness and short legs. Also known as “baby cats,” their small size and short legs do not hamper their movement. Bambinos are friendly, intelligent, and affectionate little lap cats.
Similar to Bambinos, the Minskin breed is derived from crossing a Sphynx and a Munchkin cat. Minskins tend to be an even smaller breed, with short legs and patches of fur on some parts of their stocky body. They are intelligent, playful, and entertaining cats. The name “Minskin” comes from a combination of the words “miniature” and “skin.”
Another tiny member on our list of hairless cat breeds is the Dwelf, a name that comes from a combination of the words “dwarf” and “elf.” Dwelf cats get their short legs from the Munchkin, their hairlessness from the Sphynx, and their distinctive curled ears from the American Curl. This breed is reported to be playful, active, and almost dog-like in terms of their personality.
The Donskoy, sometimes called the Don Sphynx, is unique on our list of hairless cat breeds in that he can grow a winter coat. In fact, this Russian cat may be born with fur and lose all his hair as he ages. Sometimes described as “reminiscent of aliens,” the Donskoy has very elastic skin with pronounced wrinkles. This breed is intelligent, friendly, and active.
The Ukrainian Levkoy is a recent man-made breed developed by crossing hairless Donskoy females with Scottish Fold males. These hairless cats have distinct, inward-folding ears and a muscular yet slender body. Their soft, elastic skin appears quite wrinkled. The Ukrainian Levkoy is a very sociable yet laid-back cat.
Although the Lykoi is often only partially hairless, this unique cat deserves a place on our list of hairless cat breeds. The Lykoi is bred to look like a werewolf with his hairless face, leathery skin, and gleaming silvery-black coat. He retains a strong prey drive and loves stalking people, other animals, and, if necessary, his toys.
Caring for your hairless cat
Many people mistakenly assume that no fur equals no grooming requirements. In reality, hairless cat breeds still require grooming: Instead of brushing the fur, you’ll need to give your cat weekly sponge baths to remove sebaceous oils from their skin. Cats with fur usually absorb these oils; hairless cats that are not wiped down may feel sticky to the touch and develop skin problems.
Furthermore, your hairless cat needs to be protected from the sun and harsh weather conditions. Talk to your veterinarian about cat-friendly sunscreen, and invest in some cat sweaters for those cold winter days—your kitty is naked, after all!