An elf cat with its distinct Sphynx-like skin and curled ears

The Quirky Yet Affectionate Dwelf Cat

The Dwelf cat is a new and incredibly rare breed with a hairless appearance and curled ears, brought by crossing the Sphynx cat and the American Curl. Aside from inheriting its progenitors’ distinct physical features, this cat also combines their best personality traits, making it extremely affectionate, sociable, and intelligent. And, despite looking like it came from an ancient legend, the Dwelf cat is known to quickly immerse with its family and serve as a lovable companion.

Origin of the Dwelf Cat

Kristen Leedom and Karen Nelson are credited for the existence of the breed. In 2004, the two cat enthusiasts imagined their Sphynx cats, sporting cute curled ears. Not long enough, they turned this fantasy into reality by breeding the Sphynx and the American Curl.

Many more breeders joined what the two ladies started, and many generations of the breed are now being introduced in cat shows. The Dwelf cat is now accepted for registration as an experimental breed under The International Cat Association (TICA) and is now rapidly catching the attention of the cat fancy.

Physical Characteristics of the Dwelf Cat

Length: Medium

Weight: 10-15 pounds

Life Expectancy: 12-15 years

Coat Color: All

Type of Coat: Hairless

Eye Color: Gold, green, blue

The Dwelf cats get many of its physical traits from the Sphynx. It has an athletic and nicely muscled body, with prominent cheekbones. They may grow some hair on their eyebrows and whisker pads, but very short and sparse. Like the Sphynx, they have wrinkled skin, more conspicuous on their ears, muzzle, and shoulders. While known to be hairless, they can have a fine down, which can feel like a soft chamois or baby skin to touch. Meanwhile, their American Curl lineage can be seen on their ears. The ears have a wide base, while its end curls backwards in a smooth arc, from 90 to 180 degrees.

An elf cat with its curled ears and wrinkled skin

Dwelf Cat Personality

The Dwelf cats are very affectionate cats that always yearn for human companionship. They can often be found following their owners around the house or curling in their lap. Thriving on attention, they simply want to be in the middle of everything. With that, Dwelf cats are not fit for homes that will leave them for extended periods, as they can easily become sad and anxious.

Elf cats are considered to be an intelligent and highly curious breed. However, such traits often get them into little kinds of mischief like their Sphynx parent. Moreover, these cats are fun-loving and will be happy to play with anything available in their surroundings. So, it is best to provide them with lots of toys to prevent them from turning any stuff in the house into their plaything.

While they are mostly gentle, Dwelf cats also have a big heart for climbing and love to be in high spots around the house. With that, cat trees and stable perches are a must to provide them with safe climbing opportunities.

Lastly, as highly adaptable and sociable cats like the American Curl, Dwelf cats have no issues adjusting to different family structures and household settings. They are amenable to live harmoniously with other pets and will be happy to be their new friend.

Caring for the Dwelf Cat

Dwelf cats may not shed, which is less worrisome for some owners. However, these cats’ hairlessness often entails special grooming requirements. Regular wipe-downs are a must to remove oil secretions from their skin. If not, their skin can quickly turn sticky and dirty and cause them to develop skin problems. They also need occasional baths. Fortunately, most of these cats are good with the activity and even love bathing.

Care doesn’t end in their skin, though, as the house should also be kept clean. Without hair to serve as protection, any bacteria present on the ground or surfaces makes them prone to infection. Moreover, sharp or rough edges should also be covered as their delicate skin can be easily injured.

Like the Sphynx, Dwelf cats should not be left in the sun or cold for too long as they are vulnerable to extreme temperatures. If possible, it is best to keep them as an indoor-only cat to avoid them from getting sunburns. However, if there’s a need to go outside, applying vet-approved sunscreens can help protect them from harmful sun rays. Meanwhile, getting them a jacket or a blanket can keep them warm and cozy during winter.

As a new breed, breed-related genetic issues are yet to be discovered. However, they can be prone to common problems affecting other cat breeds, such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and periodontal disease. Regular consultations with the vet can help detect any potential health concerns and develop a care routine to ensure their optimum health.

While they may have a quirky-looking appearance, these cats boast a wonderful personality that perpetuates its parent breeds’ best traits. They are sociable, highly adaptable, and affectionate, making them a terrific pet to any loving family.