Copyright 2002 - 2016, Sarah Hartwell

As well as the genuine hairless cat breeds, there are a number of non-existent breeds mentioned on web-pages or in magazines. Some of these non-existent cats have caused a stir of quite the wrong kind, and although they don't actually exist, numerous people have either tried to obtain one or claim to "know somebody who has one".

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


The root of the mythical Chinese Hairless cat might be Monsieur Patrick Challan, a French antique breeder who apparently attempted to revive hairless cats as a breed (undated report). He speculated that his cats were Sphynx cats, which lived in China in ancient times and which were descended from a liaison between a cat and a "beautiful midget hairless dog". He stated, by way of support to these claims, that his five nude cats (chats nus) were never afraid of dogs and approached them in a friendly, playful manner. Monsieur Challan's research apparently found that bald cats had appeared in the writings of a few English authors and that they had been sighted in Canada just after that country was conquered by the British. This historical link, never mind the hysterical dog-cat claim, resulted in Monsieur Challan being offered up to $50,000 for his nude cats. These offers were rejected by Challan who wanted to breed the cats himself. He may not have resurrected the hairless cat breed, but he seems to have created a mythical Chinese Hairless Cat myth. I can find no mention of a Patrick Challan in Sphynx literature, although a Patrique Challain of Paris bought 5 Sphynx kittens from a Dutch breeder in 1983.

Later reports of the supposed "Chinese Hairless Cat" appear to be garbled versions of the Egyptian Hairless, or confused with the Chinese Crested (or Hairless) Dog (which does exist). Having said this, no doubt someone somewhere will spot a marketing opportunity and create breeds by these names!


The "Egyptian Hairless Cat" was invented around 2001 by the TV show "Friends" and mistakenly reported as fact on some veterinary websites and on usenet. The show depicted it as hypoallergenic. Hairless cats are not hypoallergenic since the allergen is in the saliva and dander, not the fur itself. It was irresponsible of the show to mislead viewers into believing the hypoallergenic myth as well as creating a belief in a non-existent cat "breed". Although the name "Sphynx" might suggest an Egyptian origin, there are currently no hairless varieities originating from Egypt.


This non-existent breed was mentioned in a Russian book of domestic animals printed for children. Quite how the writers came up with a "Kenyan Hairless Cat" isn't known, but it does not exist.