Even though they're getting more and more popular, hairless cats still don't get the attention that other cats do. With their bare bodies and hairless cat paws, and long thin hairless tails, their appearance may not be for everyone at first. But we're sure you'll warm up when you get to know them.
Apart from its physical particularity which requires some extra care, the hairless cat is no different from the others. What breeds are involved? How do you take care of it daily?
The "naked" cat does not correspond to the archetype of the cat, which most visualize as an animal with a thick and silky coat.
As its name suggests, the hairless cat is distinguished from its congeners by its almost absent coat, but even if it may have specific needs, particularly about the care of its skin, it leads a life completely normal.
The hairless cat, a “hypoallergenic” companion?
Did you touch a hairless cat paws? Hairless cats have very soft skin that is pleasant to the touch. However, the latter requires protection and care, since it is directly exposed to the elements. Other cats can count on their hair to protect their skin from external aggressions: sun, cold, bad weather, etc.
On the other hand, we may tend to believe that hairless cats are hypoallergenic. In reality, they are not quite. As in all cats, the Fel d1 protein, responsible for allergic reactions, is found on their dander (dead skin) and their saliva in particular, even if in their case, the hairs carrying said allergenic protein is totally or almost non-existent.
Hairless Cat Breeds
3 breeds of hairless cats are officially recognized by most major feline institutions, including the LOOF (Official Book of Feline Origins). These are the Donskoy, the Peterbald and the Sphynx.
A cat of extreme kindness and devoid of any form of aggression, the Donskoy is very affectionate and attached to his master. It is also characterized by its great activity and gluttony.
The historical origins of Donskoy lie in Russia. Its developed musculature is visible thanks to its lack of hair.
The other great particularity of the Donskoy is that this cat loves water very much. Baths and swimming are all moments of pleasure for him.
Like the Donskoy, the Peterbald is a feline breed born in Russia. It is also from the cross between the Donskoy and the Oriental that it was born.
Very sociable, he appreciates the company of children and his congeners. He has a "pot of glue" attitude toward his master since he follows him everywhere. He is also known for his talkative side.
Peterbalds are not all hairless. In addition to the naked variety, there are, in fact, 2 other slightly hairy ones in this breed: "velvet" (short hair) and "brush" (short, curly, and hard hair).
The Sphynx is undoubtedly the best known of the 3 hairless cat breeds. Affectionate and calm, this cat is also very sociable, tolerant, and intelligent.
He has solid health, except for the risk of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, an inherited heart disease, which concerns this breed.
Caring for a hairless cat's physical health: hairless cat paws, and skin
Due to their specificity, hairless cats have very specific needs in terms of protection, hygiene, and food in particular.
They generally produce more sweat and sebum than others, which means paying more attention and care to their skin.
Hairless cats are more sensitive to climatic rigors than their congeners. They must be protected against the cold, but also the sun. There are sun creams for cats (or for cats and dogs) to prevent the damage of UV radiation on their skin. Don't forget to apply sunscreen to hairless cat paws too.
The coat of the cat constitutes a kind of barrier against the sun and the bad weather, but also wounds, infections, and other lesions. Here again, it is important to ensure that the hairless feline is protected from these attacks by providing it with a secure living environment. Multi cat households can be chaotic sometimes. To prevent fights, you can always decorate your house that in mind. Putting cat trees and and cat scratchers help cats to satisfy their instincts and makes them happy.
To help the cat get rid of excess sebum and maintain healthy skin, it is recommended to give it regular baths.
The recommended frequency is a bath every week or every 15 days in lukewarm water. The shampoo is not systematic; it is to be done 4 times a year at most.
The interdigital spaces and the areas under the hairless cat paws must be meticulously cleaned, just like the ears.
Diet and Nutrition
Hairless cats tend to eat more than other cats because maintaining their body temperature requires more energy.
It is therefore essential to ensure the quality of their diet and the quantities, to properly meet their needs while preventing the risk of being overweight.
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