Copyright 2002 - 2016, Sarah Hartwell

Fur: Hairless Cats
Fur: Dwarf and Mini Hairless Cats
Fur: Hairless Cats: Fictional Hairless Cats
Fur: Hairless Cats: Mexican Hairless, or Aztec Cat

Once the gene for short legs appeared in the Munchkin, it was possible to combine with other traits, including hairlessness. introduce it into other breeding programs, for example the Minskin which combines the Munchkin's short legs with the Canadian Sphynx's hairlessness. The Minskin, developed by Paul McSorley, combines the Munchkin's short legs with the Canadian Sphynx's hairlessness. It is neither a short-legged Sphynx nor a hairless Munchkin, but has its own unique look. The Minskin began development in 1998 in Boston, Massachusetts and the first cat of the desired Minskin type was born in July 2000. By 2005, about 50 breed-standard Minskins existed with a further 100 Minskin variants (short-legged cats can produce long-legged offspring). It is currently only recognised by TICA in the USA and is classed as a hybrid breed as it is derived from 2 pre-existing breeds. It got its name for "Min" (miniature legs) and "skin" (sparse coat and hairless belly).

The conformation is semi-cobby and the coat type is "cashmere" with furred points. Unlike the Sphynx parent, Minskins are not hairless. "Fur-points" aredefined by the density of the fur on the cats' outer extremities in comparison to the rest of the body. The facial mask, ears, legs and tail have closely packed fur which has a textured satin sheen, especially on the legs. The body is sparser coated and has the look and feel of a soft cashmere garment. The fur-point trait is a recessive trait involving polygenes (multiple genes) that govern the actual length of the coat. The coat is described as non-shed which means minimal or barely noticeable shedding (moulting). As with the Sphynx, Minskins feel warm to the touch. All colours and patterns are allowed and colourpoint is a favourite.

The semi-cobby conformation means Minskins are noticeably stocky and small with a rounded head. The eyes are large and round and the face has a sweet expression and a "hobbit-like" appearance. The appearance remains kitten-like, even when fully grown into a small/medium size cat. As with the Munchkin parent, the short stature and does not impair their mobility or quality of life. As well as having a sweet appearance, the Minskin has a sweet temperament. Minskins are described as being outgoing, sweet, playful (but not destructive) and people-oriented.

Minskin photos courtesy of Paul McSorley, www.minskin.com

Another hybrid of Sphynx and Munchkin has produced the Bambino (Italian for "baby" and alludes to their mischievous personalities) with a wedge-shaped head, wide set eyes, short, squarish muzzle and lynx-tipped ears set well onto the top of the head rather than flared outwards. It is a muscular, medium-boned cat. The coat varies from hairless to peach-fuzz and all colours and patterns are allowed. Bambino Long-Legs variants occur.

The Dwelf also combines curl ears with hairlessness, but adds Munchkin and Highlander (a bobtailed, curl-eared polydactyl breed) to the mix. These combine hairlessness, curled ears and short legs. Non-standard (long legged) Dwelfs resemble the hairless curl-eared Elf breed.

A Sphynxkin was also reported as an intended fully hairless Munchkin/Sphynx crossbreed, but never materialised. The Mynx was reported to be a Manx/Sphynx crossbreed and was strongly discouraged because of side-effects of the Manx gene. The "breeder" was apparently attempting to obtain foundation cats, but there has been no further news of this "breed" so presumably it was not developed further.

For more information on the Munchkin, Minskin and other short-legged breeds please see Short-Legged Cats.