When you think about cats, you think longhaired or shorthaired with patterned fur that is soft and cuddly. But there is a third category and it is one that takes a little getting used to - hairless cats that don't have fur in the traditional sense.
|Adult Female Sphynx Cat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
The Sphynx is perhaps the most well known of the hairless breeds and was developed in the 1960s. While it is known as hairless, it actually has a very fine downy fur that is said to feel like chamois. The skin follows the pattern that would have been on their fur if they had any so may be solid colours, pointed, tabby or any other variations. They have a wedge shaped head and large lemon-shaped eyes with large ears. They are of medium size and have a very muscular body. They are known to be outgoing and extroverts who like attention and are affectionate with their owners. They also need protection against the extremes of climate due to their hairlessness.
|Donskoy Sphinx (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
The Donskoy is a hairless cat breed that originated in Russia and was first registered in 1987 when a hairless cat was bred in Rostov-on-Don. Its lack of hair is caused by a different gene than that of the Sphynx and the breed was officially recognised as an international breed in 1997. They are medium sized cats that have large ears, almond shaped eyes and are muscular in their build. They need care from their owner because their lack of hair makes their skin oily so need grooming to deal with this.
The Levkoy is perhaps the oddest looking cat on the planet! Not only is it hairless but it also has ears that fold inwards similar to breeds such as the Scottish Fold. This combination of genetic traits makes for a cat that is very different to all others. It is only recognised by Ukrainian and Russian cat clubs and isn't found outside this area in any great numbers.
The Lykoi is a breed of cat that was developed in Memphis Tennessee and is a naturally occurring mutation of the domestic shorthair. It is usually virtually hairless and its markings are said to resemble a werewolf, hence its name. It is black in colour with a wedge shaped head and a lithe, elegant body shape.
The Bambino is a recent cat breed, first registered with The International Cat Association in 2005 as an experimental breed. The cats combine the short leg stature of the Munchkin and its large upright ears with the hairlessness of the Sphynx. Their skin tends to be white or pink, meaning they need to be protected from sunlight and are vulnerable to cold temperatures.
|If you don't have a Peterbald you just have a CAT! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
The Peterbald is another recently created breed that was first noted in 1994 in St Petersburg, Russia. It was created by mating a Donskoy to an Oriental Shorthair to creature a hairless cat that had the looks and body shape of an oriental breed. It was accepted onto the world stage in 2009. These cats are slim and muscular with almond shaped eyes, a wedge shaped muzzle and big ears that are widely set apart.