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Cats are often referred to as long-haired or short-haired but some are actually considered hairless. These breeds can range from completely bald to having a fine downy coat. Anyone looking to bring home one of these unique kitties has a few breeds to consider.

General Cat Care #1: Before You Bring Your Cat Home
You will need food, food dish, water bowl, interactive toys, brush, comb, safety cat collar, scratching post, litter and litter box.
General Cat Care #2: Feeding
An adult cat should be fed one large or two smaller meals each day. Kittens from 6 to 12 weeks need to be fed four times a day. Kittens from three to six months need to be fed three times a day. You can either feed specific meals, throwing away any leftover canned food after 30 minutes or free-feed dry food (keeping food out all the time).

Feed your cat a high-quality, brand-name kitten or cat food (avoid generic brands) two to three times a day. Kittens can be fed human baby food for a short time if they won’t eat kitten food softened by soaking in warm water. Use turkey or chicken baby food made for children six months and older. Gradually mix with cat food. Cow’s milk is not necessary and can cause diarrhea in kittens and cats. Provide fresh, clean water at all times. Wash and refill water bowls daily.

The Sphynx is a breed with a fine downy coat. It's often described as being the same texture as chamois. Their skin has a pattern just like their fur would have if they had any. It will appear to be solid, tabby or even another pattern. This breed was created in the 1960's by selective breeding of naturally hairless cats. They have large ears, a wedge shaped head and large lemon-shaped eyes. They are very muscular with a medium size body. Sphynx cats are extroverts who love attention and are very affectionate.

The Bambino is considered an experimental breed. It was first registered with the International Cat Association in 2005. These cats were created by crossing a Sphynx with a Munchkin, a breed with a reduced leg size and large upright ears. This typically produces a hairless cat with short legs. Their skin is usually white or pink so protection from the sun is necessary. Being hairless also means they are vulnerable to the cold.

General Cat Care #3: Grooming
Most cats stay relatively clean and rarely need a bath, but they do need to be brushed or combed. Frequent brushing helps keep your cat’s coat clean, reduces the amount of shedding and cuts down on the incidence of hairballs
General Cat Care #4: Handling
To pick up your cat, place one hand behind the front legs and another under the hindquarters. Lift gently. Never pick up a cat by the scruff of the neck (behind the ears) or by the front legs without supporting the rear end.
General Cat Care #5: Housing
Cats should have a clean, dry place of their own in the house. Line your cat’s bed with a soft, warm blanket or towel. Be sure to wash the bedding often. Please keep your cat indoors. If your companion animal is allowed outside, he can contract diseases, get ticks or parasites, become lost or get hit by a car, hurt in a fight or poisoned. Also, cats prey on wildlife.

The Donskoy was first registered in 1987 and originated in Rostov-on -Don, Russia. It was officially recognized as an international breed in 1997. It has a similar appearance to the Sphynx but the lack of hair is caused by a different gene. These are medium sized cats with almond shaped eyes, large ears and a muscular build. Their skin is oily due to their lack of hair so some grooming is necessary.

The Peterbald is another created breed from Russia. This breed is a cross between a Donskoy and an Oriental Shorthair. They have the looks and body shape of an oriental breed but are hairless. They are recognized by their slim muscular bodies, almond shaped eyes, wide set big ears and wedge shaped muzzle.

The Ukrainian Levkoy has a very different look than any other cat. It has ears that fold inward similar to the Scottish Fold as well as being hairless. It is mainly found in the Ukraine and Russia and only recognized by the Ukrainian and Russian cat clubs. This is perhaps the strangest looking cat you'll ever see.

The Lykoi was developed in Memphis Tennessee. It is a naturally occurring mutation of a domestic shorthair. They are black with a wedge shaped head and sleek elegant body. It is typically hairless with markings that resemble a werewolf, giving them their name.

Being hairless does not mean these cat are low maintenance. They need protection from the sun as they can suffer from sunburn and are very susceptible to the cold. Even though they don't have hair, they usually require bathing or washing. Their bodies still produce sebum, a substance used to keep fur in good condition. If not cared for, it can cause dry, flaky skin and sometimes sore spots.

General Cat Care #6: Identification
If allowed outdoors (again, we caution against it!), your cat needs to wear a safety collar and an ID tag. A safety collar with an elastic panel will allow your cat to break loose if the collar gets caught on something. An ID tag or an implanted microchip can help insure that your cat is returned if he or she becomes lost.
General Cat Care #7: Litter Box
All indoor cats need a litter box, which should be placed in a quiet, accessible location. A bathroom or utility room is a good place for your cat’s box. In a multi-level home, one box per floor is recommended. Avoid moving the box unless absolutely necessary. Then do so slowly, a few inches a day. Cats won’t use a messy, SMELLY litter box. Scoop solids out of the box at least once a day. Dump everything, wash with a mild detergent (don’t use ammonia) and refill at least once a week, less frequently if using clumping litter. Don’t use deodorants or scents in the litter or litter box (especially avoid lemon scent).
Updated: February 24, 2017 — 5:42 pm

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