12 Hairless Cat Myths Solved

hairless cats

Hairless cats are a bit creepy, it’s true. Many people will pass right over these cats simply because they are so, well, hairless. They’re not fluffy and sweet looking in the way that other cats are, which is one of the reasons that these cats are not found in nearly as many houses as other cats. The fact of the matter, however, is that this is a cat breed that’s no different than any other cat breed. They are commonly known as the Sphynx; and they make great pets. Before you make the decision to forgo owning a cat with no hair, here are a few facts about the hairless cats that are debunked from some of the most common myths about these creatures, as well as a few surprising bits of information regarding the cat you definitely did not know.

Hairless Cats Did Not Cause the Black Death Plague

There was a rumor that hairless cats were once thought to be linked to witchcraft and other unmentionable scary things. This did cause Pope Gregory IX to believe that hairless cats, and those with hair, were linked somehow to the Devil, so he made it a law that all cats that were found in the area in which he lived would be killed immediately. It was at that time that cats were hung, burned, and killed in any way that they could be killed so that they didn’t bring their Satanic ways into the world. However, what happened in return was not the fault of the cat. Since the cats were being killed and there were no cats around to kill rats, rats overtook the city. What happened was a result of the death of cats that they certainly did not want; rats were known to carry the plague, and they began passing it to people since people were killing the cats that killed them. It spread the black death around European countries so fast that hundreds of thousands of people died as a result.

They’re Not More Expensive

What a crazy myth! Some hairless cats are more expensive because they are purchased from breeders who ask exorbitant prices. However, there are no facts associated with the fact that these cats are more expensive than other cats. In fact, they’re actually a little less expensive over the course of ownership simply because they are cats that have on fur. What does this mean? This means you will spend less money on grooming, cleaning and protecting your cat from issues. You will have fewer issues with your cat getting fleas or ticks, which means you won’t pay for medication or vet visits for these reasons. You will have fewer issues with your cats getting fur balls and getting sick in your home. You will not need to purchase shampoo for them, or even a brush. When you add up all the little things associated with caring for a cat that does have fur, you’re going to find that the hairless cat is actually a little less expensive to own over time.

They’re Not Lazy

Some people associate laziness with cats that have no hair because they don’t like to go outside. The truth is that hairless cats shouldn’t spend much time outside. They have no fur to protect their skin from the sun, which makes them prone to burns and things like skin cancer, which can kill them. They’re also going to become a lot colder than other cats when the weather is cold, which is why so many hairless cat owners choose to get their cats something simple like a coat or jacket or sweater. Additionally, they are animals that are prone to spending 2/3 of their lives sleeping, which is true of all cats; not just your hairless cat. The other 1/3 of their lives is spent either eating or grooming, and believe it or not, hairless cats do groom themselves. It’s part of the reason they are so much cleaner than humans. They’re obsessed with cleanliness and all that it entails.

They Don’t Die Sooner than Other Cats

They technically don’t have a lifespan any longer than that of any other cat in the world, but the longest living hairless cat on record did live an astounding life. This is a cat that lived an impressive 34 years two months and a few days. This cat was named Granpa Rexs Allen, and he’s the oldest hairless cat in the world – or he was until he died. It’s a big misconception that some people have about these cats simply because they are different. They do not die sooner simply because they look different. Their lack of hair is not a health issue that causes them to die at a young age. It’s a genetic thing, but it’s not a health thing that anyone has to worry about. Let Granpa himself tell you just how healthy and long these hairless cats can actually live in their lives.

They’re Not Hairless

Well, this comes as a shock to people who want a hairless cat. The fact is simple; these are not cats that don’t have hair. They are cats that don’t have visible hair. They have a very fine coat that looks almost like suede, but it’s not very easy to see unless you are very close the cat. It can, however, be easily felt. It’s not as soft or fluffy or furry as the everyday cat, but it is a cat with hair.

They’re Not Hypoallergenic

Let’s get something straight about this hairless cat myth; there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic cat. It’s just not possible. However, it is true that some people who typically have cat allergies do not experience as much of an issue with allergies when they are around a hairless cat. The lack of long hair means that less dander and other things get stuck on the cat’s fur. This means that the cat doesn’t cause as many issues when people breathe around them. They don’t leave much behind when they sit on the rug or furniture, so they’re better for people with allergies, but they’re not something that’s going to cause allergic owners to lose their allergies when the cats are in the house.

hairless cats

They’re Not Shy

The hairless cat is not a shy cat. In fact, it’s a very vain cat. It loves to be the center of attention and seems to have no idea it doesn’t look like other cats with pretty coats. This cat has plenty of self-confidence and will not miss any opportunity to put itself in the center of attention at any gathering. It’s not the kind of cat that is going to bother with trying to stay out of the limelight when you are entertaining people or have other people in the house. You can expect your hairless cat to make a grand entrance anytime someone new walks through the door, when guests are gathered and when there is entertaining to be had. These cats are very confident, friendly and they love attention. The more they get, the more they will demand.

They’re Not Slimy

One of the biggest misconceptions about the hairless cat is that it is a cat that’s slimy to touch. Most people will not even get near this cat because they feel it’s going to be slimy or feel more like a reptile than a cat, but it’s not true. They are actually very, very soft and very warm. Just because they have no fur doesn’t mean they’re not warm to touch; they’re not cold cats. They’re still mammals that produce body heat, which you can feel in their skin when you do touch them. These cats are very soft and affectionate, and love to be pet. You’ll probably be surprised the first time you touch one, because it is natural to wonder what it’s going to feel like the first time you place your hand on the skin of one of these interesting looking cats.

They’re Not Egyptian

There is a myth out there that cats, particularly those without hair, hail from Egypt. This myth started many centuries ago and has followed cats throughout their lives, generation to generation. However, it’s just not true. Historians are wrong. Cats were not made “pets” in ancient Egypt (4,000 years ago if you ask historians). In fact, they were written about in timelines from drawings depicted from the time. However, they were actually animals that came from Iraq, Turkey and Israel; and they were domesticated nearly 6,000 years before Egyptian artwork said they were domesticated. So, historians are not always correct until they are correct.

They’re Not Prone to Obesity

Just because these hairless cats have no hair to hid their other imperfections doesn’t mean they are more likely to be fat than any other cat, but there is a rumor floating around that these cats are likely to gain a lot of weight if they are not carefully watched and kept on a strict diet. It’s simply not the truth. These cats are not overweight types because they have an insanely fast metabolism. In fact, when you compare a hairless cat to other breeds, they have a much faster than usual metabolism. They have a huge diet in comparison to their size, which is probably what leads so many people to believe these cats are prone to weight problems. Yes, they eat a lot in proportion to their body size, but that is only because they have such a significant metabolism. It’s unknown why this cat has such a strong metabolism, just that it does. Additionally, they will burn more calories when it is cold outside and in because they burn more calories trying to heat their bodies. You will need to feed them a much larger diet in the winter than any other time of year.

They’re Not Aloof

They’re not aloof and it does not take a lot of time to win over a hairless cat. These cats are notoriously friendly and open, as we discussed earlier. However, some people choose to ignore this cat because they feel it is not one that will take to the family right away, but this could not be further from the truth. This is the type of cat that will be friendly and wonderful to anyone. It’s the kind of cat that will open up to you and become your lifelong companion if you feed it, play with it and give it a few toys. It’s a very low-maintenance cat, which is why these things – forms of bribery if you will – work so well.

They’re Not Meant for the Outdoors

If you want a cat to keep your yard free of mice and other creatures, this is not the cat for you. The hairless cat does not care much for the outdoors as a whole. Noticeably absent on a hairless cat is hair. This is something that protects their skin from the dangerous rays of the sun, which can cause skin cancer. They are the same as people in that too much sun exposure can cause them to become sick and damage their skin. They are more likely than any other cat to develop skin cancer thanks to their hairless bodies. This causes them to need to stay indoors more than any other cat. That doesn’t mean they can’t go outside or even spend any time outside. However, it does mean that they need outdoor shelter.

If you are planning on leaving your cat outside for long periods of time, you will need to provide the cat with a shelter that protects it from the sun on all sides. It should also have flooring as these cats are not fond of the dirt and grass. They prefer something soft and clean, and if you’re going to leave your hairless cat outside, you better do it in luxury. This is not a cat that will survive happily in subpar conditions. Just consider it a snotty cat in that sense.

Photos by Getty Images

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