Hairless cats and dogs seem ideal: no shedding, no fleas, low maintenance, no allergies, right? Not exactly.
It turns out that some hairless pets, like the Sphynx cat, are actually higher-maintenance than their furry counterparts.
“Because of their lack of absorbent coat,” says The International Cat Association (TICA), “Sphynx tend to get oily and need to be bathed often.” (Not sure how to bathe a cat? Check out our expert tips.)
Likewise, the Peterbald cat, and in particular the “Ultra Bald” Peterbald, needs regular bathing, and in some cases daily cleaning to prevent dirt and oil from building up and clogging pores. TICA also notes that hairless cats’ skin will sunburn, just like human skin.
Some breeds of hairless dogs are also more prone to skin problems.
“The Chinese Crested is prone to more frequent skin irritations, allergies and sunburn than a coated dog would experience,” says the American Kennel Club, “and its owner should always take precautions to prevent this.”
Hairless pets aren’t necessarily hypo-allergenic, either, says allergy-free, either, says says Dr. Patrick Hensel, DVM, DACVD, associate professor of veterinary dermatology at the University of Georgia.
“There’s a question whether it’s the actual hair people are allergic to or the skin scales that are shed,” Dr. Hensel told Vet Street. “We’re not 100 percent sure.”
Beyond the care requirements and allergy issues, there’s also the issue of whether you truly want a hairless pet. Snuggling and petting will obviously feel different. The Ultra Bald Peterbald, by the way, prefers massage to stroking, probably because its skin is actually sticky.
And then there’s the real question: are these animals adorably elf-like, or hideously rat-like? I seem to be wavering between the two.
Check out these photos, and you be the judge.
What do you think? Adorably elf-like? Or hideously rat-like? Or possibly both? Let me know in the comments!
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