How Many Hairless Cat Breeds are There?

hairless cat

It’s not for everyone; owning a hairless cat does take a truly special person. The vast majority of pet owners enjoy their furry little felines and would much rather see these animals greet them at the end of the day instead of a hairless creature that might almost scare children and confuse people as to what happened to the cat. The most famous of the hairless cat breeds is the Sphynx. This is the famous cat that looks as if he has no hair, even though he actually does have plenty of hair. His fur is actually so short and so fine that it causes him to appear hairless even though he is not. Most people assume that the Sphynx is the only type of cat without hair in the world, but it’s not. There are many hairless cats in the world, and not all are this breed.

What you should know, however, before we go any further with this discussion is that the hairless cat is not a breed. It can happen to any cat – not just the Sphynx – and it’s not caused by a breed. It’s caused by heredity. Much the same way that some men and women are destined to lose their own hair at an earlier age than others, how some have curly hair and some straight, some fine and some thick, the hairless cat is decided completely by its parentage. So when we ask the question how many hairless cat breeds are there; there is only one hairless cat breed recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association. However, there can be any number of hairless cats in any breed.

What Makes a Cat Hairless?

The short answer is genetics. Some cats can produce other hairless cats and then they can reproduce with their family members and other hairless cats to create even more hairless cats. Genetics is what plays a role in the way that cats are created, and that’s how they become hairless. Of course, the Sphynx is a fairly new breed that really began in the 1960s. There were hairless cats before this breed, and they are also considered Sphynx cats with a few minor adjustments to the name. The Sphynx you see today is a combination of the same breed from other countries all bred to create the healthiest and most viable breed for owners to have at home. Good health is imperative when breeding cats, and sometimes it takes a while to find out how best to breed them so that their genes are as strong and healthy as possible.

The Sphynx Creates a Lot of Hairless Cats

Depending on breeders and what they choose to do, they can create hairless cats all over the world. There are many different types of hairless cat not recognized by the CFA that are still cats. For example, the Elf Cat is one that looks a lot like an elf (hence the name). This cat was created by breeding a Sphynx with an American Curl and that resulted in the cat that look s a lot like an elf. It has the pointed ears and the big, droopy eyes of an elf. It’s not the kind of cat for everyone because of its very distinct look and its very wrinkly body. However, it’s said to be the kind of cat that makes a wonderful companion.

Another popular type of hairless cat is the Donskoy. This is a hairless cat that has been around for a long time. It’s a bit easier to breed than the Sphynx because it has a dominant hairless gene rather than the recessive hairlessness of the Sphynx’s genes. This cat has several different names, and it’s from Russia.

The Peterbald is a popular type of hairless cat that was designed by breeding a Russian Hairless cat (a Donskoy) and an American Shorthair cat. This cat looks remarkably like the Sphynx and it’s confusing for many to see these together because they are not certain just how different they really are. It’s often easy for some criminal breeders to create these cats and try to pass them off for Sphynx cats that people will pay big money for despite the fact that you aren’t getting the recognized breed that you believe you are purchasing.

They’re Not Allergy Free

We can’t discuss the hairless cat without discussing the fact that they’re not hypoallergenic. In fact, these cats can and will still aggravate the allergies of many people who suffer from them. For example, this cat has very fine, very thin hair. That’s what makes it look hairless yet it still has hair. If you have allergies, you might still suffer with this cat in the house. However, you might not suffer as much. The reason being is that hairless cats need regular baths, which means much of the pet dander is washed off in the tub. This can help with allergies. Additionally, since hair is not airborne with this type of cat in the house, it’s not as prevalent. It’s easier on those who suffer from allergies to forget about them most of the time since the hair is not as long, not as easily spread and not as obvious as it is with other cat breeds.

Before you make the decision to get a hairless cat of your own, you might want to check to see that the breed you are checking out is the one you want. And you will also want to know that there is a bit more required owning a cat without hair than there is a cat with hair. For example, you’ll need to give his cat frequent baths. You’ll also need to dress this cat and/or keep it warm. It can’t be an outside cat, and it can’t be one that spends a great deal of time in a cold house that’s not warmed when the weather is not favorable. It gets very cold very quickly, and you’ll find it in your bed more often than not.

Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images

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