Is That a CAT? What It's Like Owning a Hairless Cat
A hairless cat is often compared to a bat or some alien creature. In reality, they're just naked.
Some cat lovers who suffer runny noses, watery eyes, and itchiness when a cat is around are turning to hairless breeds as a solution. There are no truly hypoallergenic cat breeds (compared to dog breeds such as the Poodle or Schnauzer), as most allergies are to dander (dead skin cells or saliva left after a cat bath) and not the type of hair/fur they're covered in.
Most people can't get over the feeling of touching a hairless cat. Petting a hairless cat has been compared to holding a warm peach, or for the manly cat lover, a chamois cloth.
One such hairless cat is the Sphynx cat. Kittens are always cute, but Sphynx have more skin than body, resulting in a lot of wrinkles. As grownup cats, they’re strong, with good muscle tone and sturdy bones, mostly because they're full of energy. They’re curious, into everything, and love to be the center of attention. Be sure to interact with them a lot, or they’ll come up with their own entertainment, some of it less than desirable.
Hairless cats can get chilled on what others consider a mild day. If humans are not considerate enough to provide a lap, the dog will do as a warm and cushy spot for a nap—whether he likes it or not. At night, Sphynx love to sleep under the covers—think of them a feline hot water bottles, especially nice for humans with arthritis or cold tootsies.
If you prefer a cat with some hair, just not as much as a regular-every-day cat or one of the long-haired poufy breeds, consider the Cornish Rex or Devon Rex. Originally bred in England, Cornish Rex have large ears, high cheekbones and are known for their wavy, close-to-the-skin hair. It has been compared to cut velvet in look but feels like nothing else.
The Devon Rex has a bit more hair, ranging from a thin suede-like coat to a looser, short mop of curls. Rex are wash and wear cats—ears, nails and a bath or wipe down with a damp cloth is the most grooming they require. The wipe down is especially important for allergy sufferers as it will remove that pesky dander to let them breathe more freely.
Because they are such clowns and love to climb, Rex have been compared to monkeys.
For Rex who want to explore the outdoors, sunscreen is needed but definitely not recommended as they will lick it off during grooming. Depending on the ingredients, it could result in illness or worse. Keep visits outside short. Remember on cloudy days, there are still UV rays beaming down on you both.
Instead, check the pet supply store for a little vest and maybe a cap with a visor to cover most of him to prevent sunburn.
Hairless breeds are in tune with their humans. If you have the time, patience and skills to stay one step ahead of them, they’ll reward you a thousand times over.
Sandra Murphy writes magazine articles about all kinds of animals, pets or exotics, marine life too, eco-friendly living and weird topics that catch her fancy. In her spare time, she writes fiction, mostly mysteries with a twist. With all the research, her browser history is intriguing to say the least. She lives in St. Louis with two bossy cats and Ozzie, a very tolerant dog.