Although they have unique needs and challenges, most hairless cat breeds are affectionate, loyal, and playful. While some cats have a natural gene mutation that creates the condition, others are bred for it in a way that can cause health problems because the bloodline is shortened or because their shedding makes them more susceptible to skin diseases.
Hairless cats come in two varieties, fully smooth and peach fuzz, both of which are designed for indoor cats. Like any naked creature outdoors, they can easily burn in the sun. These cats have special grooming needs that may not be for every owner, but you’ll never have to clean them or worry about fur on your clothes and furniture.
10 hairless (and almost naked) cat breeds
The iconic Sphynx cat is a popular choice for people who want a hairless cat. These cats can have mottled skin tones, but they often have a pale pink body tone. The hairlessness and wrinkles in these cats are caused by genetic mutations, but the Sphynx was not selectively bred for this trait until the 1960s; some showed it and some didn’t, so when paired with those who were born without hair, it became a consistent feature. . These cats are very affectionate and love to learn new tricks and spend time with people. They get very oily and require regular bathing or you may end up with breakouts kitty zits – which, by the way, vets don’t recommend because it can make acne worse or spread infection. Get ahead of the problem with a hot lather. They tend to Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, hereditary myopathy, and periodontal disease may also have problems regulating body temperature. A great excuse to buy cat sweaters.
The Bambino cat is a Sphynx crossed with a Munchkin, a cat that naturally has short, stubby legs. This bald cat breed is generally similar to the Sphynx, but with smaller feet. Cats of this breed can also inherit health problems from both the Sphynx and the Munchkin; Sphynx is subject Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, hereditary myopathy and periodontal disease, while Munchkins are prone to bony deformities, including along the spine. These health issues make them a controversial new cat breed of their own, only released in 2005. Like the Sphynx, the Bambino is vulnerable to sun, cold and skin conditions.
Sphynx and Donskoy, sometimes called Russian Hairless, look similar, but their hairlessness comes from different genetic mutations. The Donskoi is usually thinner than the round naked Sphynx, with sharper almond-shaped eyes. Some Donsko cats are born with fur coats, which they may lose to some extent with age; they stand out as f.locked, suede and brushed coats. Flocked Donskoy cats are almost completely hairless, but for a thin coat. Those born “naked” are called “rubber bald”. These cats are very affectionate, love to cuddle and can be as loyal as a dog.
Another carefully bred and prized cat, the Dwelf is a mix of Sphynx, Munchkin and American Curl. The Dwelf is similar to the Bambino, but the most significant visual difference between these hairless cat breeds is the Dwelf’s curly and textured ears. Because the breed is rare, they have a small gene pool, making it difficult to breed healthy cats. They are susceptible to health problems, including skin, heart disease, curvature of the spine, and joint disease.
The Elf cat is a hairless mix of Sphynx and American Curl. These cats have the same curled ears as the Dweelf, with slightly longer legs and very soft wrinkled skin folds. They love to climb and play and are quite social and cuddly. They will definitely demand your attention. Elf was bred by Karen Nelson and Kristen Leedom in 2004, so the breed is quite rare.
Lykoi cats, also known as “wolf cats,” can have varying amounts of fur as a result of a natural genetic mutation discovered in Domestic Shorthairs nearly two decades ago. When their full coat comes in, it is usually black and gray and sparse, resulting in very bare skin. This breed usually has large yellow eyes and large pointed ears with faces similar to the Sphynx. They bond well with one person and other cats, but can be shy at first. Once they warm to you, they are great companions and love to hunt and play fetch.
Minsky is another rare almost naked cat, which is a fairly new breed; the breed is a mix of Munchkin, Burmese, Sphynx and Devon Rex. They often have a thin coat, but you can usually see the classic Sphynx skin folds through it. They are usually quite small, with short legs, even when fully grown, and since they come from a number of other friendly breeds, you can expect them to be affectionate and playful too.
The Peterbald cat originated in Russia and became popular in the mid-1990s. They are still popular, which makes them both rare and expensive. They come in a variety of colors, but are most often gray or have a Siamese cat color point pattern. They are sometimes compared to the Oriental Shorthair, but they have that pure shedding genetic mutation. They can be quite friendly and talkative.
If you want a cat that is both hairless and tailless, the Sphynxiebob, a Sphynx and Bobtail cat mix, is for you. Breeder April Arguin presented the debut of this breed in 2015. home to get their much needed daily attention.
The breed is a cross between a Donsko and a Scottish Fold, resulting in a nearly hairless cat with soft wrinkled skin and large inward-folding ears. They are often long and muscular and are most common in Russia and Ukraine. They come in all different colors but tend to be grey, black or mixed white and black with a piebald pattern. They are quite affectionate and social.
Hairless cat care tips
One of the big requirements of a hairless cat is bathing. Without fur, oil can quickly build up on their skin and they need to be cleaned regularly to avoid breakouts or rashes. Fortunately, most hairless cats can take a gentle bath, especially if you train them at a young age.
Vets will have advice, but choose a pet shampoo without a strong odor and use warm water, never hot. Make sure to wash them thoroughly and then dry them. Since they have no fur, they should be kept warm and not damp. If they have acne, use a mild antibacterial pet soap and contact your vet if things don’t improve.
Naked cats have sensitive skin that can easily tan when exposed to the sun’s UV rays. A pet-safe sunscreen can help protect their skin from damage that can lead to discomfort, pain, and even skin cancer. To avoid sunburn and related skin problems when they are outside or spend time eating toast in the window.
Nails and ears
Hairless cats need help with typical grooming tasks such as nail trimming. They especially need ear cleaning. They don’t have hair in their ears, so they can easily get a wax build-up that completely blocks the ear canal.
Hairless cat FAQ
Do hairless cats catch colds?
Yes, hairless cats catch cold easily and need help regulating their body temperature. It’s good to have some in the winter cozy cat outfit and sweaters for them or make sure your house is properly heated. If the temperature is too cold for you to be comfortable naked, it is probably too cold for your hairless cat.
Are hairless cats hypoallergenic?
There is no such thing as a completely hypoallergenic cat, but since hairless cats don’t shed, it can help with some allergy sensitivities. All cat breeds can produce a protein that causes allergic reactions in their dander, saliva, and even urine. Certain breeds of cats, including some hairy cats, naturally produce less of the protein that causes cat allergies in humans. Bathing your cat regularly will remove dander and other protein-laden dust from your cat’s body.