MEET THE BREEDS
NAKED + FURRED
SPHYNX, BAMBINO, ELF, DWELF, AMERICAN CURL, KHAO MANEE
Learn More About Our Naked + Furred Kitten Breeds
Breed history, care, feeding and so much more.
Interview with our kittens to learn about our adoption process.
MEET THE DEMI GEM BREEDS
Q: What is a Sphynx cat?
A: We were first found in Canada in l966, we are naked with large lemon eyes. But know that naked or hairless does not mean completely hairless. Most of us have some peach fuzz or short hair on our nose, ears, back, legs, feet or tail. Sometimes we grow some fuzz during different times of the year and different stages of our life. Some of us have whiskers while others are bald to sparse. The first Sphynx was out crossed with various breeds to expand the gene pool. That is why some Sphynx have the Siamiese seal point parkings, as an example. We have recessive hairlessness, unlike the Russian Donskoys who have dominant hairlessness. That means if a hairless Sphynx is bred to one with fur, all the kittens will have fur. Many breeders have outcrossed us with teh American short hair as they brought overall health. We are really loving and want to be around our families.
Q: How big are Sphynx?
A: Most are 8-12 pounds When we were doing research, we spoke to our puppy families who have Sphynxes and that was the range. We inquired about smaller Sphynx and was told there were couple, meaning less than they could count on 1 hand, who have parents that are on the smaller side. We like smaller so size does matter to us. Our kittens are bred to be in the 4-8 pounds. This way, more of us can cuddle!
Q: What is a Bamino cat?
A: Well, we are naked with short legs. We are the babies of the kitten world, forever acting like a little kitten. We are a new and rare breed intentionally started in 2005 in the USA. Our ancestors are the Sphynx and the furred Munchkins. Breeders took Sphynx cats and mated them to Muchkins. The first set of kittens are known as F1s and all kittens will have fur like a Munchkin. When a short legged F1 is mated to a Sphynx, the kittens are F2 and most have fur while a few are hairless. When a short legged hairless F2 is mated to a Sphynx, their kittens are F3 and approximately half the kittens will be hairless. When a short legged hairless F4 is mated to a Sphynx, all the kittens will be hairless. Some of them will have short legs and others will have the standard legs of a Sphynx. So it takes time to breed Bambino. We inherited the wrinkly hairless skin from the Sphynx and the short legs from the Muchkins. For most of us, the hind legs are longer than the front legs. We are really loving and want to be around our families.
Q: How big are Bambinos?
A: Most Bambinos are 8-12 pounds with short legs giving them a smaller appearance. We like our Demi Gem Bambino Kittens to be in the 4-8 pound range.
Q: If you have short legs, that means you are not as athletic?
A: We have short legs but we are athletic! We are cats after all. We can jump on the kitchen counter so don’t leave yummy food out if you don’t want us to have them! Demi Gem Kittens are smaller but we are just as healthy and athletic as the larger sized Bambinos. We know. “Off the table!” That’s what breeder Dad says while Breeder Moms says, “Look how cute!”
Q: What is an Elf cat?
A: I am a unique breed of cat with naked body and curled ears. We were intentionally created by carefully crossing the hairless Sphynx cats with American Curls. The Shynx brings the hairlessness, playfulness and dog like loyalty while the American Curls brought the curled ears, loving nature and overall great health. This combination has helped to broaden the genetic pool and strengthen our immunity systems. American Curls as a breed are known for their overall health so adding them to us has been a good thing.
Q: Why are some Elf kittens naked and others furred?
A: It depends on how many generations we have been crossed with American Curls. The first set of kittens will be considered F1 (first generation). All of us will be furred and considered hypoallergenic. We all carry the hairless gene. When an F1 is mated to a hairless, these kittens are F2 and some of us will have fur and some of us may be naked. When a naked F2 is mated to a hairless, these kittens are F3 and most of us will be naked. After that, when an F3 is mated to a hairless, all the kittens will be hairless. Now we, F4s, are full Elfs! But no matter how far we are from being a full Elf, we all have great personalities and are so sweet.
Q: How big are Elf cats?
A: Most Elf cats are 8-12 pounds. But Breeder Mom and Dad spent a lot of time looking for Moms and Dads from smaller lines. That means the parents produce smaller cats. They do not look for runts. We are bred to be in the 4-8 pounds range.
Q: Even though you may have fur, you are hypoallergenic?
A: Yes. Families with cat allergies love us! We look so magical with our curled ears. We are the little fairies of the kitten world, athletic, playful and loving. We are the best of the hairless and furred worlds combined. BUT, if you or anyone in your family has allergies, go with naked as everyone’s allergy level is individual. You want to make sure you are around naked or furred Elfs before adopting us.
Q: What is a Dwelf cat?
A: We are the newest of the hairless cat breed. We are the most exotic and are of all the domestic cats, as there are so few of us. It was the intentional breeding of the Sphynx, American Curl and Muchkin breeds to create us. Sometimes instead of American Curl and Muchkins, Elf and Kinkalows were used, as they already carry the hairless gene and have the curled ears and short legs. We have wrinkly naked bodies with curled ears and short legs. Breeder Mom thinks we spread fairy dust! She loves that we are small and look like her. She says, finally a short legged baby that is too cute!
Q: How big are Dwelfs?
A: As Dwelts are so new and breedrs use different size Sphynx, Amerian Curl and Muchkins in their breeding program, there is a big swing in our size. The average size for a Dwelf is 7-10 pounds but we are bred to be in the 4-8 pound range. Eventually, we are going to be bred to be 3-5 pounds. Breeder Mom and Dad’s goal is to breed for the healthiest, prettiest and smallest Dwelfs in the world!
Q: Why are they so expensive?
A: It took a long time to breed us to be the way we are. As a new breed, there are a very few Dwelfs to choose from. Genetic gene pool is limited and a quality breeder wants to avoid inbreeding. If a breeder wants to have Dwelf kittens, it’s either starting from scratch and having several Sphynx, Muchkins and American Curl Kings and Queens for genetic diversity. Then it’s hoping for the best to breed the hairlessness, short legs and curled ears which at the best can take 7-8 years to finally have Dwelf kittens. OR they can start off with Sphynx and Kinkalows and at best take 4-6 years for Dwelf kittens. Others choose to pay exceptionally high prices for Dwelfs with breeding rights and will wait the 2-4 years for kittens. All of this does not guarantee the breeder will have the type of Dwelfs they are looking for as hairlessness, curled ears and short legs does not get passed on to every kitten. All these are best case scenarios. A Dwelf kitten for breeding rights typically cost $4,500 – $6,800 but do run so much higher depending on coloring, size and other traits. We are the newest and rarest and according to Breeder Mom the most magical!
AMERICAN CURL KITTEN
Q: What is an American Curl?
A: We are the true American Cat bred for our curled ears. We are still very new and rare so many people have never heard of us and many veterinarians have not had the pleasure of meeting us. We started when a domestic cat gave birth to one with curled ears which was very unique. A breed loved the look and noticing that the curled ear did not affect the health of the kitten, we were deliberately bred. In order to start the breed, breeders used domestic American cats which are known for their great health. The use of various cats added the genetic diversity which gave us the various colors and markings.
Q: How big are American Curls?
A: We are considered smaller cats between 8-12 pounds. Breeder Mom and Dad are breeding us to be smaller, at the 6-8 pound range.
KHAO MANEE KITTEN
Q: What is a Khao Manee?
A: We are the super rare cats from Thailand, known as white gems due to our white fur. We have sparkly blue, canary yellow or odd eyes. Long ago, only Thai royal families were allowed to have our company as we were considered only for kings. We are also known as auspicious cats, bringing good luck and fortune to our families. There are only 3 known breeders of Khao Manees in the USA and only a handful around the world. These breeders want to preserve our unique traits for future generations to enjoy. We are super rare. But more and more families are discovering our beauty and sweetness. Like the hairless cats, we are smart, outgoing and social.
Q: How big are Khao Manees?
A: Khao Manee is pronouced as Cow Man Nee. We are considered smaller cats between 8-12 pounds. Breeder Mom and Dad are breeding us to the smaller side of the standard.
DEGREE OF HAIRLESSNESS
All hairless cats are not always bald. This is the main misconception of newbies. Hairless is hairless. Wrong! Like other hairless breeds, some are born bald and others are hairy, furred, at birth. The hair texture and quantity may differ from kitten to kitten, even within the same litter. Even for the hairless ones, degree of hairlessness varies from kitten to kitten. For example, the Sphynx can be have some fine short hair on the thighs, tails or ears. Few have a fit of short hair on the nose and feet. Some feel like rubber beach balls, others like peaches and some a combination. It is all fine. This goes for the Elf, Dwelf and Bambinos. Hairless cats can also grow a very fine fuzz like a winter coat, which will fall out when the weather warms up. This winter hair may appear on their chest, tips of their nose and ears, thighs or even on the tip of their tail.
FUR AND SKIN COLORS
For Sphynx, Elf, Dwelf, Bambino and Donskoys, all colors and patterns are allowed, from white to black and every color combination in between. Of course some colors are very rare.
For Khao Manees, white is ideal but a cream, bi color and other color combinations have been seen when 2 Khao Manees have been bred.
For American Curls, Kinkalows and Muchkins, all color and patterns are allowed.
Keep in mind that skin coloring on hairless cats will intensify with sunlight. YES they do tan or can sun burn so be careful depending on the coloring. Better to give them early morning sun or late afternoon sun as they do love to suntan rather than using sunblock. Natural is always better! A blog entry on cat coat coloring and the coloring of hairless cats will be posted on our BLOG page.
The hairless breeds are for the most part are strong boned, muscular, medium sized cat with soft hairless wrinkled skin that is hot to the touch but there are many that are lighter and finer build. They would be considered a smaller sized cat. Their body is pear shaped. The Sphynx, Elf and Donskoys have back legs slightly longer than the front legs. The Dwelf, Kinkalow and Muchkins have very short front legs and shorter hind legs. The hairless ones’s skin are very elastic and wrinkly. Wrinkles are on the head, neck, belly, legs and tail. The ears sit high and are very large, wide open and upright with the tips being rounded for Sphynx, Bambino and Donskoy. For Elf, Dwelf, American Curl and Kinkalows, the ears should fold back at the tips. The ear cartilage is strong and stiff but be sure to not to break it.. All Eyes are big and round, except for the Donskoy which have very almond shaped and slanted eyes. Most times, their eyes are half closed and when they are happy, they have them shut closed as to concentrate on their pleasure. At Demi GEM Kittens, our focus is to breed healthy, strong and medium to finer build kittens in a smaller size.
Their life expectancy is 12+ years.
WARMTH FOR HAIRLESS CATS
All hairless cats are in door cats. Being naked and living out in the wild does not go hand in hand. They need to stay warm and protected from natural predators. They are naked so they are affected by their environment more than cats with fur. So keep the home temperature warmer than colder. If you are comfortable in the temperature of your home your cat will be comfortable too. To ensure your cat has adequate heat, we keep the house temperature at 69-72 in the winter with access to a heat pad, the fireplace warmth, the master bedroom bed, sofas and pet beds at all times. You can use a heat pad or heated pet bed. Cozy blankets and cuddle pet beds, ones with raised sides, are a must for them in the home. Of course, being able to go under the covers on the big bed is a must. Our bed is left with the blanket caved so they can go into it anytime of the day. Many will wait on the bed at nighttime ready to get under the covers. You will always know where your hairless Elf, Dwelf, Bambino, Sphynx or Don Sphynx are because they will be by you. They should be call velcro cats. Additionally, use cotton shirts, natural fiber sweaters and pajamas during the winter or when it is chilly. Always use natural materials, like cotton, angora, alpaca or cashmere to keep the skin healthy and protect their skin. A second layer like a sweater, shirt or pajamas made of fleece or other material can be used over the first natural layer. Winer or summer, most hairless cats love the sun and enjoy sun tanning! So give them a cozy spot in the sun with couple of hours of early morning or late afternoon sunshine. Do not let them sit in the summer noon day sun as the lighter skinned one will burn. It’s better to offer limited sun than use sunblock.
SKIN CARE FOR HAIRLESS CATS
Sphynx, Elf, Dwelf, Bambino and Don Sphynx cats are hairless and needs to be bathed on a weekly basis. After all if they are sleeping in bed with you and sitting on your lap or curled near your neck, don’t you want them clean? Always bath when you are relaxed and have the time to enjoy the bathing too. Some are really good right from the get go while others learn to get used to it and even enjoy bath time. Always use warm water, like for a human baby, by testing the water with your wrist before putting your cat into the sink or tub. Use a rubber mat in the sink or tub so the kitty can stand and grip the bottom if they like. Wet the kitty with the warm bath water. Then put some kitten shampoo on a personal bathing mitt or wash cloth. Wash the kitten. NEVER use human shampoo as they are not meant for cats. Humans and cats or dogs have different ph levels so using human products can dry out the skin or even be toxic. We like to use the mildest cat shampoo with an exfoliating glove to wash our Sphynx. A reminder to clean out their bum area. Always use clean warm water to rinse of the cat before wrapping in a warm towel.
Read our blog about giving a cat a bath, cleaning the ears and trimming the nails.
EAR CARE FOR HAIRLESS AND AMERICAN CURL CATS
Hairless cats need weekly ear cleaning, as well as the American Curl cats. Use ear wash and gently clean out the ears with Q-tips. With the hairless breeds, the ears get very dirty so this is important to do. American Curls who helped to produce the Elf and Dwelf kittens have naturally curled ears. The too need to be cleaned out each week. I prefer to do ear cleaning after they are relaxed from bathing and we are sitting on the sofa. This way, I am comfortable and so is my cat. Be sure to really clean. You will know because the Q-tip will be clean by the time you are done.
FACE AND EYE CARE FOR ALL CATS
Hairless breeds are naked and wrinkly so wash the wrinkles each day. Use a soft damp cloth or damp cotton pad and wipe. They do not have eye lashes so their eye areas and eye lids must be cleaned daily. You may have to hold the face and really check to see if the eyes are clean. For furred cats, it is a good idea to check their face and eyes for boogers, goop or anything else on a regular basis. On an all white cat, any dirt will show up. They get used to it and they even enjoy the personal pampering of beautification time.
Hairless cats get dirty nails. Black goop sticks to the nails and it is ugly. So they need to be cleaned. See our blog about cat bath and grooming for full details on cleaning the nails. Some are great and others hate it. For the ones that are really good, I do it when I want as part of love time. For the ones that resist, I wrap them firmly with a towel and quickly but efficiently trim the nails. Bring out a paw and gently press down on a knuckle so the nail shots out. Use a cotton cloth or make up pads to clean around each toe. I personally use my nails to remove the goop and then use the cloth to wipe clean. We have one Sphynx girl who really enjoys her pedicures and just sits on my lap with her eyes closed and purring. Then take off about ¼ to less than 1/3 of the tip of the nails. Don’t over cut. It’s to just take of the tips. The cats with fur do not get the black goop around the nails as the fur keeps the oils off the nails but it is always a good idea to check once in a while.
Daily brushing with a Veterinarian approved toothpaste will help avoid future periodontal disease and tooth decay.
Sphynx, Bambino, Elf, Dwelf, Donskoys, Muchkins, Kinkalow, American Curl and Khao Manees love food! They are not picky but it’s very important to feed the highest protein and grain free food, as well as nutritional supplements each day.
Our kittens get a mix of Whole Earth Farms Grain Free Recipe Dry Cat Food, Merrick Before Grain Dry Cat Food and Taste of the Wild Feline Rocky Mountain with Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain-Free Variety Pack Cat Food – 4 Flavors (Salmon, Duck, Turkey, and Chicken) mixed in with an immunity building power.
We mix our own food as we do not find one brand of dry food gives our kittens the top quality we are looking for. Our puppies eat an amazing diet and we wanted our kittens to get as close to that level of diet as possible.
Even though we mix our own formula of food, it does not give our pet the top quality nutrition we want. So we sprinkle NuVet Plus Vitamin Supplement for CATS and KITTENS in granular form. It is ½ serving for kittens as they are under 5 pounds and 1 serving per day for adults 5 pounds and over. It is “a high quality product that incorporates a precise formula of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, herbs and antioxidants that performs synergistically to bring together all the vital ingredients required to improve your pet’s health and keep them healthy. NuVet Plus® is made using only Natural, Human Grade ingredients that are formulated in a FDA registered Pharmaceutical Laboratory. We use a special “paddle dried”, whole chicken liver that provides vitamin potency as well as a taste your pet will love.” You can read more about the powerful benefits of using this natural immunity builder: www.nuvet.com/81723 It can only be ordered through a Pet Professional.
Our adults will try to steal bread, cake, pizza, carrots, apples and of course meat. If they can jump on the counter during meal times, they will do their best to get a nibble. Tim shoos them away but I will give them a bit of meat. Tim and I agree to disagree about extra treats. If food falls on the floor, it’s the pet’s treat, as long as it is not harmful to them. So when it is cooking time, the cats and dogs hang around the kitchen just waiting to see what is inevitably going to fall down. We do agree on giving them good treats which is the natural treats we give to our puppies. It’s cute how the puppies will look so attentive when they know they are getting a treat while the kittens are curious but need to play with the treat before eating it. For our cats and kittens, they love the dehydrated strips of duck or chicken. We order our treats from www.pawtree.com/bestpuppydogfood
Tim and I are always available to our kitten families, any time of the day or night, if they have any questions on care, supplies or any other questions or advice they may need help or guidance with.
“I declare I would rather be a kitten and cry, ‘Mew!’ than live as I see many of my female acquaintances do, tearing each other’s characters to pieces, and wearing out their lives in vanity and vexation of spirit.” Jane Welsh Carlyle