A new experimental and controversial cat breed, the Bambino is a hairless cat with short stature, giving it a dwarf-like appearance. But despite its miniature size, this cat has a big heart and boasts an energetic, outgoing, and affectionate personality. Showering it with playtime and attention will help it flourish and bring out the best from this breed. Summing all traits, the Bambino cat makes a terrific family pet – no wonder that it is now gaining many fans in the cat fancy.
Origin of the Bambino Cat
Bambino is an Italian word that translates to “baby,” which is characteristic of the breed’s lack of fur and short legs. The Bambino cat emerged from crossing the hairless Sphynx cat and short-legged Munchkin cat, retaining the former’s recessive gene and the latter’s dominant gene.
Holy Molly Cattery’s Pat and Stephanie Osborne are credited for developing the breed, whose first litter has only been registered in 2005.
Despite their cute appearance, the Bambino cat’s development has raised the eyebrows of many cat enthusiasts and professionals. Many of them deemed that deliberately breeding the progenitors’ genetic deformities poses greater risks of health problems in the future.
In 2006, the International Cat Association recognized the Bambino cat as an experimental breed. Meanwhile, other cat registries and associations don’t want to acknowledge the breed, saying that they don’t want to promote breeding genetic oddities for aesthetic purposes.
Physical Characteristics of the Bambino Cat
Weight: 5 to 9 pounds
Life Expectancy: 9 to 15 years
Coat Color: Black, white, cream, brown
Type of Coat: Hairless
Eye Color: Blue
The Bambino cat has a small build with short, stubby legs. It has a unique waddling gait, but it doesn’t deter this kitty from moving as it can still get around with ease and speed. Its head is more Sphynx-like, triangular-shaped with huge eyes. Meanwhile, the skin is wrinkled and loose. But while known to be hairless, some Bambino cats may sport a fine layer of down, which is velvety to touch.
The ears are large and forward-facing, giving this cat an alert look. Little tufts of hair may occur on ears’ tips, resembling that of a Lynx. Lastly, the tail is long, slender, tapering from the base to pointed end, which may also have a small bit of fur, like that of a lion.
Bambino Cat Personality
Bambino cats are known for their outgoing, mischievous, and boisterous demeanor. These kitties will gladly play with toys, jump and run around the house, and explore every nook in their home.
Their size is a non-issue as they act like normal cats but often compared to little monkeys with their unending exuberance. With that, it is best to provide them with ample space, cat trees, scratching posts, puzzles, and interactive toys to satisfy their playful instincts.
The Bambino’s fun-loving side is complemented by its affectionate personality, making them ideal family pets. They quickly build strong relationships with humans and will be happy to follow them around, curl on their lap, or engage them for some activity. These kitties can also be talkative, so their owners must always be ready for some lengthy conversations.
As an adaptable breed, the Bambino cats won’t have problems adjusting to new routines and environments. They are also amenable to live with children or pets. As long as they are treated with respect and kindness, expect these kitties to get along harmoniously with everyone.
Caring for the Bambino Cat
Bambino cats may be hairless, but it doesn’t mean that they are easier to groom. In fact, these kitties often need much more grooming to keep their coat healthy.
Since they lack absorbent fur, their skin is naturally more oily, making them more prone to bacterial infections and other skin problems. Owners should bathe them regularly and wipe them down daily to keep them clean.
Moreover, since their skin is exposed, Bambinos should not be left under the sun for extended periods as they can quickly get sunburns. Plus, they are also vulnerable to cold weather. With that, applying a vet-approved sunscreen can help protect them when going outdoors, while dressing them with a sweater can keep them warm during winter.
Other parts to look out for are their ears and eyes. Any dirt or debris build-up must be cleaned to prevent any infection. As with any other feline breeds, Bambino cats are also prone to developing periodontal disease. Brushing their teeth weekly using vet-approved toothpaste can help avoid such a condition.
With a little history, there is not much information available on specific inheritable conditions affecting Bambino cats. But, it is best to watch out for issues already impacting their parent breeds, such as Munchkin’s spine and respiratory problems and the Sphynx’s skin condition. A regular visit to the vet can help detect or prevent any health concern before they go out of hand.
Bambino cats are ideal for families looking for a characterful feline companion. If lavished with love and attention, these kitties are ready to return the affection tenfold and radiate joy into its loving home.