The Best Hairless Cat Breeds for a Unique Pet

hairless cat lying on a bed

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Hairless cat breeds are the result of genetic mutations. Some hairless cats have very fine peach fuzz while others are truly smooth to the touch. These cats require specific care. They often need help to stay warm, and their skin must be protected from the sun. Additionally, some need regular baths to prevent oil buildup on the skin. If you're interested in adopting a hairless cat, here are 10 breeds to consider.

Tip

Some people assume hairless cats are hypoallergenic, but that’s not necessarily true. It’s usually allergens in a cat’s skin or saliva that trigger symptoms.

  • 01 of 10

    Bambino

    hairless bambino cat sitting on couch

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    The Bambino is a pint-sized hairless cat, as its name (which means baby or child in Italian) suggests. This dwarf feline is a cross between the Sphynx and the Munchkin. Some might have a little fur, primarily on the face, ears, legs, and tail. And others are totally hairless. These cats tend to be outgoing, affectionate, and quite playful.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 7 to 8 inches

    Weight: 5 to 9 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Hairless or light fuzz; stocky body; large ears

  • 02 of 10

    Donskoy

    donskoy cat breed on furniture

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    Also known as the Russian hairless, Don hairless, and Don Sphynx, the Donskoy is a unique breed. Unlike the Sphynx, whose hairlessness comes from a recessive genetic mutation, the Donskoy is hairless thanks to a dominant gene. Interestingly, some Donskoy cats develop a partial winter coat when the weather cools, and they shed it once the season changes. 

    Breed Overview

    Height: 10 to 12 inches

    Weight: 7 to 15 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Hairless; wrinkles around cheeks; muscular body

  • 03 of 10

    Dwelf

    The Dwelf comes from crosses among the Munchkin, American curl, and Sphynx cat breeds. Several mutations went into creating this breed’s hairless, compact, and elf-like appearance, which also can contribute to health issues, including skeletal problems. Still, these cats tend to be highly outgoing and engaged with their families, and they love to play.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 6 to 7 inches

    Weight: 4 to 9 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Hairless or light fuzz; short or absent whiskers and eyebrows; short legs; curled ears

  • 04 of 10

    Elf

    hairless elf cat on a blanket

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    As the product of a cross between the Sphynx and American curl breeds, the friendly and playful Elf cat is the larger version of the Dwelf. These cats typically have a downy feel to their soft skin, similar to peach fuzz. Some have light patches of hair over the ears, nose, paws, or tail.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 8 to 10 inches

    Weight: 10 to 15 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Hairless; muscular body; prominent cheek bones; wrinkled skin; curled ears

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  • 05 of 10

    Lykoi

    Also known as the werewolf cat, the lykoi isn’t always totally hairless. Instead, some cats are completely covered in the breed’s distinctive black-gray coat while others are predominantly hairless. Most of these cats lack hair around their faces, on the backs of their ears, and on their legs and feet. 

    Breed Overview

    Height: 8 to 10 inches

    Weight: 4 to 7 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Partially hairless (sparse on face and legs); short tail; black-gray coat

  • 06 of 10

    Minskin

    The Minskin is a short-legged, hairless cat that arose from a cross between a Munchin and a Sphynx—with the Devon Rex and Burmese cat breeds later worked in. These cats often have sparse, fine fur on their bodies, especially at the “points” (the nose, ears, legs, and tail). But their bellies are almost always hairless.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 7 to 8 inches

    Weight: 4 to 6 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Short legs; sparse hair only on the points (ears, nose, legs, tail)

  • 07 of 10

    Peterbald

    peterbald cat

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    The Peterbald is an elegant feline with prominent features and long limbs. It originated from a cross between the Donskoy and Oriental shorthair. Not all Peterbalds are born hairless. Some kittens have a fine, downy coat that they either shed or retain for life. And occasionally, a Peterbald is born with a full coat like a typical cat.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 8 to 10 inches

    Weight: 6 to 10 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Hairless or short fuzz; almond-shaped eyes; large, pointed ears

  • 08 of 10

    Sphynx

    sphynx cat on a wood floor

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    The most well-known hairless cat breed is the Sphynx, which originated in Canada in the 1960s. Resulting from a naturally occurring recessive genetic mutation, the Sphynx was developed through crossbreeding with shorthair cats to create a healthy, broad gene pool. Some Sphynx cats have a downy coat or patches of hair, primarily on the face, legs, and tail.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 8 to 10 inches

    Weight: 10 to 12 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Hairless; wrinkled head; lean build

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  • 09 of 10

    Sphynx Hybrids

    Breeders continue to use the hairless mutation in Sphynx cats to produce new hybrids. For instance, the SphynxieBob, a cross between a Sphynx and an American bobtail, appeared on the scene in 2015. The result looks nearly identical to the Sphynx, but it either has a short tail or is tailless. Although these hybrids aren't officially recognized breeds, they are creating a wider range of hairless cats.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 8 to 10 inches

    Weight: 10 to 12 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Hairless; wrinkled head; bobtail (SphynxieBob)

  • 10 of 10

    Ukrainian Levkoy

    With its hairless body and inward-folding ears, the Ukranian Levkoy has a very unique appearance. These cats were the result of a cross between the Donskoy and Scottish fold cat breeds. They tend to be quite friendly, smart, and playful, and many can even get along well with other pets.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 7 to 10 inches

    Weight: 8 to 12 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Hairless or light fuzz; inward-folding ears; slender, long body