'Dogs have owners while cats have staff,' goes a famous saying. Ancient Egyptian royalty considered cats as a holy blessing, while there have been instances during medieval Europe, where beautiful women were judged on their ability to look similar to cats.
Cats come in different breeds, sizes and colors. One of the most mysterious cat breeds is the hairless cat, which appeared from time to time in Europe and United States. Such was the fascination for this breed that many rumors popped out from time to time.
Image courtesy of Pinterest.com
History of Hairless Cat Breeds
The earliest accounts of hairless cats have been in the 18th century in South America, when some locals reported about seeing a strange looking cat, without hair. Later, some people in Paraguay confirmed seeing a species of cats which were hairless, but some locals were not sure if the cats they saw were a new hairless species of cats, or some other small wild animal.
Mexican Hairless Cat Breeds
Later, in the early part of the 19th century, some local Pueblo Indians gifted 2 cats (a male and a female) to a couple from New Mexico region. These Pablo Indians claimed that the cats were survivors of the Aztec cat breed; the point is debated till today.
Unfortunately, the male cat died while the female cat was taken to Europe during the year 1903. Some decades later, there were news bytes of hairless cats being paraded in cats shows in Europe and United States, but these events didn't have any substantial evidence attached to them.
One of the most fascinating and earliest hairless cat breeds was the Mexican hairless breed, which according to various cat lovers went into oblivion, without providing any chances of mating. Also, whenever there was a sighting of a hairless cat couple, those folks somehow mysteriously never mated, or for that matter, if they did mate, they didn't bring any offspring to this world.
Later Breeds of Hairless Cats
Second to the Mexican hairless, the Canadian hairless cats managed to maintain a consistent suspense filled state of affairs. Dubbed as the Sphynx or Sphinx, their traits are contributed by a recessive gene. With much interest from the general public, breeding of these Sphynx cats was in full swing in the 70s, but stopped later. The last lot of this breed was sent to Holland but unfortunately, this pair didn't provide any offspring and some medical journals funnily confirmed that the Sphynx series was lost to fate and lack of mating based chemistry.
But, with active interest, breeding and help from science, many other hairless cat breeds surfaced like Donskoy cat breed, Don Sphynx, Elf cat etc. Medically, hairless cats also have a very small layer of hair.
Hairless cats are different, and they require different level of care as well. Their skin often feels oily as these cats don't have hair to distribute or absorb oil. These are mostly indoor cats, as wind and sun take a toll on its skin. Usage of pet sun block is advised when these cats venture out. Fur lined basket, bed and dressing works well with these coatless cats.
Lastly, these cats are special and hence need special care.