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Hairless Cats (Sphynx)

Catherine Forman

I'm too sexy for my fur. Sorry, couldn't resist.

Okay, hairless cats aren't totally hairless. Like a peach, they've got fuzz. Down, if you will. The sensation of touching a hairless cat has been compared to warm velvet, or a hot water bottle.

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Sphynx cat.

While there are a few types of hairless dog, there is only really one type of hairless cat: the Sphynx. The Sphynx (or Canadian Sphynx) cat breed was born in 1966 as a result of a natural genetic mutation. Through careful breedings, these naked kitties were born! And despite their lack of hair, the Sphynx cat is rather hearty. Sphynx variations also come from Russia (with love!) as the Don Sphynx or Peterbald Sphynx.

Caring for a hairless cat will actually involve more bathing than caring for a shorthaired or longhaired cat. Hairless breeds don't have fur to absorb excess skin oils. But, on the plus side, you won't have as much of a hairball problem, either.

And contrary to popular belief, a hairless cat (or hairless dog, for that matter) is NOT a hypoallergenic pet. Most people with allergies don't have issues with the hair; they have issues with the dander, flakes of dead skin that also carry certain skin oils and proteins. That's what causes the allergy issue: skin. So if your pet has skin, you may still see allergy problems. Maybe fewer allergy problems, because a hairless cat (or dog) doesn't have long fur to trap the dander. They just have the dander.

And just to dispel another hairless cat myth, no, they aren't cold. Not all the time. Most Sphynxes are smart enough to find a warm lap to sit on or some laundry fresh from the dryer to burrow into. Keep this in mind: if you are warm enough, your cat is warm enough. If you're cold, your cat is probably cold too.

If you have your heart set on a hairless cat, get ready to wait. The waiting lists for Sphynx kittens are long. Check with your local shelter and breed rescue organizations if you desperately want a purebred.

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