The Minskin is a relatively new breed of cat that is the result of crossbreeding a Munchkin cat and a Sphynx cat. The latter is known for virtually having no hair, and are considered to be very gentle. The result of this mix is a cat with hairy parts on their face, ears, tail, and legs, and the absence of hair on their belly.
1. They are hypoallergenic.
This is one of the reasons for creating this mixed breed, as there are many cat lovers who simply are allergic to the cat’s fur. Hairless breeds such as the Sphynx are not to everyone’s personal taste, so this hybrid is a good solution to the problem. This idea also mimics the very popular Siamese cat that has hair restricted to specific places on its body.
2. It took 5 years to get the new breed going.
The first Minskin was bred in 2000, but it took until 2005 for there to be a total of 50. Practically speaking, the Minskin has been around for about a decade and continues to be a favorite among cat owners, allergic and non-allergic.
3. Its life expectancy is estimated to be between 12 and 14 years.
As a word of caution, this is a number that needs to be considered with a grain of salt. The reason is that 10 – 20 years may not be enough time to fully discover recessive genetic traits that may shorten its life expectancy or develop a life threatening problem later in its life. This is the best available information, so potential owners should keep tabbies on future news about the breed.
4. They are not outdoor cats.
One characteristic of hairless cats is that their exposed skin is subject to becoming sunburned easily. While you can take them out to play and romp, on days when it is very cold or sunny days that will tan their hide, you need to get them indoors and keep them indoors.
5. They have a temperament suitable for families with children.
This is an important feature of the breed, as it will spend a considerable amount of its time indoors. Friendly to strangers, they also can be a part of a home pet zoo that includes dogs and other cats as they get along well in the territory of other animals.
6. An above average amount of maintenance is required.
The major reason for this is about the hairless areas on their body. Beyond just keeping it from exposure to the weather elements, not taking care of these hairless areas properly has the potential for the cat to develop a yeast infection. A condition known as pectus excavatum has been a known problem, where a deformity of the chest wall is present.
7. They are not heavy shedders.
This is the other side of cat maintenance. As they are part hairless, shedding is almost never a problem regardless of the time of the season. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t brush their furred parts as a sign of affection and love, but given the size of the cat that shouldn’t take very long. If you start finding small clumps of hair here and there, it’s time you paid them some mind.
8. Their intelligence level is above average.
One thing you will quickly realize about the Minskin is their tendency to love to solve problems. Many owners recommend putting a small climbing tree in a remote corner and letting the use it for climbing and generally being playful. They are among the more intelligent breeds of cats.
9. Being naturally athletic, they need to have room to romp.
This breed of cat will find its way up the table, on the countertop, and at the top of the bed to demonstrate their athletic prowess. It’s fun to watch, but before getting one know that keeping that fragile family heirloom sitting on the cabinet may not be practical.
10. Training them is very easy.
Relative to most other breeds, the Minskin takes to early training very quickly. The key here is early, as if you leave them to their own devices they will develop bad, and potentially destructive, habits that will be very difficult to break later on.
Considering all of these didn’t-know-but-needed-to-knows about Minskin cats, there are a lot of pluses for having one join the family. Easy to maintain, friendly, and intelligent, your major job with them is keeping them healthy and happy through limiting their exposure to the outside and playing with them for about 15 minutes a day. They will keep themselves occupied – as long as they see you’re around at feeding time.