Skip to main content

Cat Coats Hairless

Sphynx cat

Cat Coats Hairless looks like an illogical statement as there is meant to be no coat but as you might know, even in hairless cats, there is a coat (of sorts). Often there is a downy coat particularly in kittens and on the muzzle, nose, tip of tail, for example.

The gene that produces a hairless cat is not confined to the Sphynx cats. I'm talking of the Sphynx (Canadian) and the Don Sphynx (Russian). It is possible to think that these are the only hairless cats, which as stated is not the case. The Donsky is more hairless apparently than the Shynx, perhaps due to the dominant gene producing hairlessness in the Donsky allowing for more efficient breeding.

Another notable hairless or semi-hairless cat is the Peterbald an associate or relative of the Don Sphynx (same founding cat). This cat breed was created in 1993 (a cross between the Don Sphynx and Oriental/Siamese).

There have been numerous occurrences of the manifestation of the phenotype (physical attributes) of the mutant gene over the years as it pops up here and there. There is a link with the Rex coat as well. The Rex coat is crinkly and curly. Some Don Sphynx kittens have a Rex coat until adulthood. The Don Sphynx whiskers are often crinkly and brittle to the point where they snap off. The Rex coat is found on cats such as the Laperm and Devon Rex. The Devon Rexes are prone to baldness (hairlessness) so you can see link between these genetic traits.

Sarah Hartwell records the occurrences of hairless cats on her website. Here are some recorded instances:

1830 - Latin America
1830 - Paraguay "Scant-haired cat"
1902 - Mexican Hairless (Mexico)
1932 - Le Chat Nu (the naked cat) - France
1930s? - "Cat-Dog", Carolina, USA
1950 - Paris France - two hairless cats born to Siamese cat
1963 - Toronto, Canada
1978 - Toronto, Canada - hairless street kittens
1978- England - hairless Birman kittens
1981, 1984 - England - reports of hairless kittens
2002 - Hawaii - Hawaiin Hairless

There are other examples and there will be more no doubt in the future, occurring randomly of their own accord.

The gene that produces the hairlessness is dominant for the Don Sphynx and recessive for the Sphynx. The gene for the Donsky (dominant) is labelled "Hp" and the gene for the recessive (Canadian) Sphynx is labelled "hr". There are apparently two other recessive genes producing hairlessness (there may be more) and these are the French "h" and the British "hd".

Photograph of Sphynx copyright Skithund

From Cat Coats Hairless to Peterbald cat

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Cat Ear Mites

Brown gunge. Yes, I know this is a ferret! It does show the build up of dark brown to black ear wax caused by the presence of the cat ear mites in the outer ear canal. This parasite is not restricted to the domestic cat, which makes this photo valid and a useful illustration (I was unable to find a suitable photo of a cat with the condition). Photo Stacy Lynn Baum under a creative commons license. Ear mites (minute crab like creatures) are one of the causes of inflammation of the outer ear canal (scientific term for this inflammation is Otitis externa ). The outer ear canal is the tube that runs from outside to the ear drum (the pathway for the reception of sound), which can be seen when looking at the ear. Otitis externa affects humans and often swimmers as it is called "swimmer's ear" in humans. This YouTube video show ear mites under a microscope. They are not actually in the ear in this video. There are many possible causes of Otitis externa in c

Feline Mange

I'll write about three types of feline mange (a) feline scabies or head mange (b) demodectic mange and (c) sarcoptic mange. The source material is from Cat Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook - the best on the market . Generalised feline mange? Puerto Rico - Photo by Gotham City Lost And Found Feline Scabies - head mange Head mange or feline scabies, is a fairly rare condition in cats, which is caused by the Notoedres mite (head mite) that only reproduces on cats. The female mites burrow a few millimeters (that is a lot) into the skin around the head, and neck to lay eggs, which hatch and lay their own eggs. Their presence and activities causes intense itching that in turn causes the cat to scratch. The scratching will obviously be noticed and it will cause the skin to become red, scratched and worse infected. Symptoms: hair loss and scabs, thick wrinkled skin and grey/yellow crusts form plus the symptoms of scratching. Feline mange (head mange) is contagious and tr

Cat Anatomy

Cat Anatomy - Photo by Curious Expeditions . The picture above was taken at Wax Anatomical Models at La Specola in Florence, Italy. The photograph is published under a creative commons license kindly granted by the photographer. I am sorry if it is a bit gruesome. It is pretty well all I could find as an illustration that was licensed for publication. Cat Anatomy is a very wide ranging subject. The anatomy of a cat is very similar to human anatomy. If you were writing a biology book for students of biology you would go through every part of the a cat's anatomy in some detail. It would be similar to writing a book about the human anatomy. It would be a thick book and pretty boring for your average internet surfer. So, how do you limit such a big subject and make this post meaningful? The answer I think lies in doing two things: Having a quick general look at cat anatomy - an overview and; Focusing on the areas of cat anatomy that are particular to the cat and of parti