Tiny and Virtually Hairless
Lori Marsh - Last Updated on January 28th 2021
What you Need to Know about the Bambino
Bambino is a relatively new breed to the cat world. It's short legs and typically hairless body brings an exotic look to this breed. With their natural playfulness, Bambino kittens can make great cats for families with children.
Bambino cats are energetic and affectionate, often demanding their owners’ attention. Hence why they gained their name, bambino, which means a child or baby in Italian.
These hairless cats are considered to be a hybrid, dwarf breed of cat. Their skin looks hairless, but these cats do in fact, have a light layer of fur, and some bambino kittens are born with a thicker coat than others.
Due to the Bambino being such a new breed of cats, there are still studies going on about the health of the cats and their kittens.
Appearance Matters. What does a Bambino look like?
These hairless short-legged cats are a new hybrid of the Sphynx and a Munchkin. Bambino cats borrow their medium to long body and structure from their Munchkin heritage. These short-legged cats normally top out between 5 and 9 pounds.
Their back legs are sometimes longer than their front. They have round bodies and a round face to match that is slightly longer than it is wide. Their large ears are set upright on their heads.
More true to the Sphynx, their bodies are spindly. Their whiskers are short and scattered, almost stubble-like. Sometimes they have a "lion tuft" at the end of their tail.
While these cats seem to be all skin, most have a light coat of fuzz, like that of a peach. Bambinos also carry their color on their skin, just like the stripes of tigers. Solid colors are most common, but they can come in various patterns and almost any color that tints their skin.
- Solid black
- Solid white
- Solid cream
- Patched with multiple colors
It's all Personal. The Bambino Character
Don't let these short-legged cats fool you. Their energetic and intelligent nature propels them. These dwarf cats have no problems getting around. At times you may see what's known as a waddle due to the shape of their legs. They will still race through the house and get on top of things without any aid.
Bambino kittens and cats alike are playful and sometimes mischievous. So be sure to have some extra toys handy with this breed. Their high energy level is also great for families and households with children. The breed can be very affectionate and will happily sit in their owners’ lap after a good play session.
Caring for your Bambino Cat
Just like the Sphynx, the Bambino seems to enjoy their grooming time. That's a good thing because these hairless cats need weekly or bi-weekly baths.
Their skin builds up oils that normally get absorbed by a cat's hair. They benefit from special soaps that aid their skin. An aloe or oatmeal is perfect for this breed. If they are not bathed, it can lead to skin conditions.
These oils and a lack of grooming can also lead to acne. There are treatments for these skin problems.
Are Bambinos hypoallergenic?
With their lack of normal fur, most people would believe these cats to be easy on your allergies. They are but they also aren't. Their short peach-fuzz fur does still hold dander that causes allergies. It’s not as bad as cats with longer coats.
They do shed their ultra-fine hair, but it's not a lot. Bambino cats are on the low end of the shedding spectrum. Keeping up with their regular baths will help keep this to a minimum.
Bambino cats might not be hypoallergenic but if you are someone with light allergies, these cats could be a great addition to your family. Just be willing to put in the grooming effort.
The Health and Happiness of your Bambino
Their health as a whole is still being studied and is sometimes deemed a mutation breed. Similar to white tigers, they are a breed species that has been created by recessive traits. The Bambino must have those recessive traits for the hairless gene and the dominant traits for the dwarfism. These genetics can lead to problems if the breeder doesn't know what they are doing.
Litters of these cats can come in many variations. Some can have long legs but all kittens will have the hairless trait. Due to the controversial breeding of these cats, some countries have banned the breed.
As mentioned earlier, their hairless skin can be a bit of a cause for problems. The most common being bacterial infections. The Sphynx has similar problems as well.
Another thing to keep an eye out for is a condition called Lordosis. Dachshund dogs and Corgies are also prone to this. Due to their short legs, their spines will sometimes curve inwards, causing a variety of issues with their vital organs. It can even cause death.
Pectus Excavatum is also sometimes talked about with the Bambino breed. Also known as a hallowed chest. A congenital malformation of the chest. This condition is more common in male cats.
The average lifespan of the Bambino is the same as a typical cat, between 9 and 15 years.
Feline History. Where does the Bambino come from?
The first litter of Bambino kittens was registered in the United States by TICA as an experimental breed. The breed was met with controversy. Some countries have banned the cat due to its genetic nature.
There is no doubt they will appeal to some people. Others believe the Bambino to have an increased chance of health problems and disagrees with the breed.
The International Cat Association has recognized these cats as what they have classified as an experimental breed. However. The Cat Fanciers Association and the American Cat Fanciers Association have not recognized the Bambino as a breed. It’s their way to discourage breeding for aesthetic reasons alone.
Their history is still being written as this breed comes more into the spotlight.