6 Types of Hairless Cats and How to Care For Them

Janelle Leeson

Janelle Leeson

. Reviewed by Veronica Higgs, DVM
Updated Apr. 18, 2024
pink hairless sphynx cat sitting on a couch

Adobe Stock/Довидович Михаил

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Hairless Cat Breeds

Fluffy, short-haired, and even curly-haired cats are some of the most popular pets, but there's also a unique group with a minimalist look: hairless cats. These head-turning felines might have soft, downy fur or be completely void of hair.

While their hairless appearance might suggest low-maintenance care, these special cats require routine grooming and extra attention to protect them from the sun, heat, and cold.

However, fans of these bald beauties say the extra effort is well worth it. Here are six hairless cat breeds to get to know. 

Hairless Cat Breeds

1. Sphynx

pink sphynx cat looking down at the camera in a living room
Photo credit: Nils Jacobi/iStock / Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

They might appear to be completely nude, but the Sphynx is actually covered in fine fur. April Arguin, breeder and founder of LiLNudists Cattery, says the Sphynx feels like chamois, which makes them pleasantly warm to the touch and perfect for cuddling on chilly mornings.

Some have whiskers and eyebrows while others do not, but they all have charming wrinkles and long toes. But take note: Sphynx cats have a lot to say.

2. Bambino

pink and gray bambino cat licking his lips
Photo credit: Adobe Stock/Anne Richard

A newcomer to the hairless cat scene, Bambinos were founded in 2005. Not yet accepted as an official breed by the Cat Fanciers Association—they’re considered an “experimental breed”—a Bambino cat is a cross of the hairless Sphynx and short-legged Munchkin.

“They truly desire a lot of interaction and attention from their human companion,” Arguin says. Welcoming one home (or two for companionship, as Arguin suggests) requires a commitment to daily play.

Bambinos do come with a hefty price tag—expect to pay $2,000 to $2,800 for this unique feline. Another important note: While they’re an undeniably cute hairless cat, Bambinos are prone to joint problems due to their stubby stature. 

3. Peterbald

gray peterbald cat wearing a sweater on a leash
Photo credit: Adobe Stock/Evgeny

This hairless cat breed is all ears—really, they have big perky ears that seem much too large for their wedge-shaped head. Peterbalds are rare outside of Russia, but friendly and full of energy. They like to play fetch and follow on their humans’ heels.

But not all Peterbalds are bald; the breed ranges from completely bare to fuzzy, curly-haired, or even wiry fur of varying lengths. Some Peterbald cats may even have a short or long coat like any other non-hairless cat breed. 

4. Donskoy 

pink hairless cat with blue eyes perched on the back of a couch
Photo credit: Adobe Stock/yolya_ilyasova

Donskoy cats come in four varieties: 

  • Rubber bald: Born bald and remain so throughout their life

  • Flocked: Born with a downy, peach-fuzz coat; some flocked Donskoy cats eventually shed their fuzz and become bald

  • Velour: Born with a bald spot just on their heads

  • Brush: They have bald spots throughout their coat

With a sweet personality and smarts, this sometimes-hairless cat makes for a friendly family companion in homes with kids and other pets. 

5. Lykoi

gray lykoi cat lying on his side and looking at the camera
Photo credit: Angela Emanuelsson/iStock / Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

Also known as the werewolf cat, the Lykoi has a sparse coat that molts from time to time—a phenomenon called “wolfing out.” When they do have fur, it's incredibly soft, making their frequent cuddle sessions even more delightful. Being a pet parent to a cat that’s so unique, however, comes at a price. Lykoi kittens start around $1,000.

6. Ukrainian Levkoy 

hairless ukrainian levkoy kitten standing in front of a window backdrop
Photo credit: Adobe Stock/Светлана Валуйская

If the folded ears of this hairless cat look familiar, it’s because this breed is a close cousin of the Scottish Fold. Because the Ukrainian Levkoy is a relatively new cat breed (established in 2004) their long-term health has yet to be fully understood. However, the Scottish Fold's predisposition to joint and cartilage problems suggests similar risks for Ukrainian Levkoy cats.

While folded ears are a highly sought-after trait (and expensive, reaching $2,000 per kitten), not all Ukrainian Levkoy cats express the gene. Regardless of ear type, they tend to be stoic cats, often enjoying the company of others in quiet solitude. 

Caring for a Hairless Cat

Adding a hairless cat to your family comes with some special considerations. For instance, their lack of fur means hairless cat breeds are susceptible to sunburn and that they can’t regulate their body temperature as well as cats with fur. Sunscreen, window UV filters, cooling mats in summer, and cozy sweaters in winter are all part of keeping your hairless cat comfortable.

And while they tend to get a little greasy, frequent baths can dry out their skin. Talk to your vet about a recommended skincare routine for your hairless cat, which might include regular wipe-downs or occasional baths with special shampoos that replenish their natural oils. Their ears and nails also need more frequent cleaning due to increased wax and oil buildup, Arguin says. 

Hairless cat breeds may require a little more TLC, but if you’re up for the task, these unique cats are worth it. 

Hairless Cat FAQs

Are hairless cats hypoallergenic?

No cat is truly hypoallergenic, because the allergens that trigger reactions are present in a cat's saliva, urine, and dander regardless of their fur length. However, hairless cats are considered some of the best cats for people with allergies, due to reduced dander in the environment. Before welcoming any cat home, consult your doctor about allergy management strategies. 

How much are hairless cats?

Expect to pay $1,000 to $2,000 for a hairless kitten due to their rarity. Finding one at a shelter is uncommon, but there might be specialized rescues in your area with adoptable hairless cats.

Are hairless cats friendly?

Like all cats, a hairless cat's friendliness depends heavily on their socialization as a kitten. Early exposure to people, other pets, and new experiences helps them become adaptable and friendly companions. Paired with positive reinforcement, hairless cats can be just as loving as any other breed.

Janelle Leeson


Janelle Leeson

Freelance Writer

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