Hairless cats appeal to all sorts of owners for all sorts of reasons. There are those feline lovers who want a cat but are allergic to cat fur. Others simply love their unique and exotic look. And of course there are cat folks who’re keen for cuddles without the fur flying about.
Did you know we can thank a naturally occurring genetic mutation for hairlessness in cats? We’ve rounded up five breeds and share below a whole lot of other facts you need to know about them.
Depending on what information source you’re reading, the first hairless Sphynx was born in the 1960s or 1970s, and very likely in Toronto Canada. Whatever the case, it’s a newish breed. Some people call these cats Egyptian hairless cats due to their name and the way they look.
Sphynx can be very dog-like in character. They’re extremely outgoing, enjoy meeting new people and will come to greet their owners at the door. These guys are very loving, loyal, curious and known for their high intelligence.
The Elf cat is a new breed of cat and extremely rare – a mix between a Sphynx and American Curl. They were created in 2004 by breeders and cat enthusiasts Karen Nelson and Kristen Leedom who wanted to breed a cat with curled ears that retained the personality and physical attributes of their beloved Sphynx cats.
They’re liked not only for being extremely playful and intelligent, but for being social cats than integrate easily into households. Their friendly natures make them a valuable not-so-furry family member.
Perhaps take a look at some of the registered Elf breeders here.
The beautiful, regal looking Peterbald is a Russian cat that’s often called “dog-like” for its loyal and affectionate nature. They’re prone to hanging around their owners and make excellent family pets.
The Peterbald was created in 1994 when a Russian breeder named Olga S Mironova crossed an Oriental Shorthair cat with a Don Sphynx. Despite its popularity, it remains a relatively rare purebred.
This website has a wealth of further information about the Peterbald.
The origin of the Donskoy is very interesting. It’s said that in 1987 a Russian professor saved a kitten from being mistreated by a group of boys. She took her home and named her Varvara. After a few months Varvara began losing her hair, and nothing seemed to stop it despite the professor trying numerous treatments.
Later, Varvara mated with a neighbourhood tomcat. Their kittens, too, started losing their fur. A professional breeder named Irina Nemikina rescued one of the kittens and began a breeding programme. It was later speculated that it was actually a gene responsible for their hairless coats. Nemikina kept breeding them, and later named them Donskoy.
The Donskoy is a friendly, active cat known for being very loyal and affectionate.
Here’s a registered Donskoy breeder you could consider, among others. Again, please always ask around and conduct extensive research before purchasing a cat through a breeder.
A cross between a Donskoy and Scottish Fold, Levkoys are a very new breed created in 2000. Levkoys are friendly, intelligent, and playful, and many can even get along well with other pets.
They are very rare cats, and popular for being sweet tempered and loyal. They are known to be very vocal cats, especially around dinnertime!
From what we’ve read this breed is yet to be recognised by the world’s largest feline registries, but they still make a great fifth addition to our top hairless cats list.
Cat fur allergy reduction tips
Still want a cat but none of these breeds of hairless cats appeals? There are things you can do to reduce or even stop your allergy to cat fur.
Firstly, you can try to reduce the amount of fur on clothes and in your home. Read our tips on how to get pet fur off clothes and furniture. If you’re allergic you’ll need to be super dedicated to the fur removal cause and do it very frequently.
Secondly, you could try over the counter medication or other medical treatments. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist to see what will work for you.
Thirdly, try brushing. Brushing your cat regularly to get rid of excess fur (then disposing of it) is good for you and for them. Brushing removes dirt, grease and dead hair from her coat, removes skin flakes and stimulates blood circulation, improving her skin’s overall condition.
Lastly, you could wait a bit. News is, there’s a cat fur allergy vaccine coming. Scientists from Swiss-based company HypoPet AG invented a vaccine for cats that can stop humans being allergic to them.
It consists of antibodies that bind with the protein allergy inducing protein Fel d1 and lowers its allergy-inducing effect in humans. The scientists safely tested the vaccine on 54 cats, and results proved its ability to disable Fel d1.
Purina has been working on something too – a pet food that reduces the allergens in the cat. Read more about that and other interesting information here.
The promise of such solutions being available in Australia at some point soon will be welcome news for many potential and current pet parents. It’ll be a win for felines too, hopefully leading to a reduction in the number of cats surrendered to shelters due to the allergies of their humans.
Cat lovers need cat insurance
Whether you’re a parent to hairless cats or one of the ‘friendliest cat breeds‘, we know different cat breeds have their own purrrsonalities. And every cat deserves his or her own cat insurance plan to safeguard against costs you know will happen, like vet visits, and those you know might happen, like accidents or illness.
If you’re still deciding, read is PD Insurance any good for pet insurance to discover the benefits and perks we give plenty of pets and their people (though note we exclude some breeds).