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How Much Are Hairless Cats? (Why are they Expensive?)

If you are interested, or just curious, about hairless cats there is a good chance you have wondered, roughly, how much these cats cost, right?

How Much Are Hairless Cats?

Hairless cats vary in price depending on several factors but in general, you can expect to pay an average of $3,500 from a reputable breeder. This also varies depending on breed, geographic location of the breeder, and what tests are performed on the queen and sire.

So, now you know their average price. But, what breeds are regarded as “hairless”? Do these cats smell? Are they OK to go outside with their hairless skin? Keep reading for these answers, and so much more.

What are hairless cats?

How much are hairless cats?

How much are hairless cats?

The term hairless cat can be deceiving. While some hairless breeds and crossbreeds are born hairless and stay hairless like the Sphinx, some are born with hair but it is sparse or they will lose it over a lifetime.

It is commonly thought that hairless cats are all hypoallergenic. This is really deceiving because all cats, even hairless, secrete oils from their scent glands and produce particularly irritating dander called Fel D1. These oils and dander can irritate even the mildest allergy sufferer.

The best way to know if you are going to react to cat-specific dander is to have the breeder or shelter rub the cat in a pillowcase and then sleep on it. You will know by morning if you are allergic to that specific cat.

The 9 Recognized Hairless Breeds

There are 9 recognized breeds of hairless cats but it is widely accepted that all originated in some way from the Sphinx cat, here is a list:

  • Sphinx
  • Peterbald
  • Ukrainian Levkoy
  • Donskoy
  • Bambino
  • Oriental Shorthair
  • Elf Cat
  • American Curl
  • Minskin

As discussed, the sphinx is the most common of the hairless breeds and probably the one most people think of when someone mentions a hairless cat. Sphinx cats, including the above-mentioned breeds, from a novice breeder, can range from $1,500 to $3,500.

An experienced breeder who performs all the necessary tests on the queen and sire can get up to $6,000. An intact male Sphinx can bring the right breeder $10,000!

Their price is reflective of both their rarity and their cost to provide preventative veterinarians services such as genetic testing for common illnesses associated with hairless cats.

Why are hairless cats so expensive?

Breeders have a lot of expenses when they choose to breed this type of cat. That expense is unfortunately passed on to the buyer.

A good and reputable breeder of Sphinx will do the following screenings on the queen and the sire before breeding them:

  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or HCM
  • Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia or PCD
  • Polycystic Kidney Disease or PKD1
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy or PRA
  • Feline Upper Respiratory Disease or URD
  • Feline Infectious Peritonitis or FIP
  • Feline Leukemia Virus or FELV
  • Congenital Myasthenic Syndrome or CMS

I think it is important to remember that not all breeders will do these tests and the cost of the cat should reflect that. Breeders who do no more than the bare minimum are not looking out for your best interest so make sure you can perform any tests they may have excluded.

Why are hairless cats popular?

While is said that this breed dates back hundreds of years ago to when the Aztecs used to breed hairless cats. They have increased in popularity since their re-origination in Toronto, Canada in the 1960s. It is widely known that a genetic mutation resulting in a hairless cat sparked interest among Canadian breeders who then purposely breed for hairlessness. Originally they dubbed them Canadian Hairless.

So what makes them so special besides being bald? My Uncle Bob was bald and no one wrote an article about him. Well, these bald beauties are far from lacking in superb qualities, making them one of the most sought after breeds.

They boast not only a chamois leather coat that is both soft and pleasant for petting but also a quirky almost silly nature. These cats make great pets for any age group and are especially happy in a home with other pets. Social creatures, when they lack attention, can become depressed so having another cat or dog around if you are away from home often become critical.

Are hairless cats smelly?

I would imagine you could say all cats are smelly. They poop in a box and, let’s be us be honest that isn’t always the most fragrant of smells.

Compared to other cats I would say that hairless cats require more daily care but not to prevent them from being smelly. They require a bath once a week to prevent oil from building up on their skin and in their wrinkles causing chronic skin conditions that can produce staff infections quickly.

Regular maintenance of skin and coat aren’t the only things you need to do to keep your hairless cat healthy. Hairless cats need clothes. Yes, I said it, they need to wear clothes. With no skin, they cannot retain their temperature very well so adding an extra layer can save them the shivers when temperatures drop. SUNBURN?

Do Sphynx cats have rough tongues?

Like all cats, Sphynx cats do have rough tongues. They also have incredibly waxy ears so cleaning their ears with a q-tip after bath time is a must.

Sphynx cats are prone to having skin issues when improperly cared for but also they tend to have more periodontal issues so practicing good oral health as a kitten and throughout your cats, life is a step that should not be forgotten.

Are there black hairless cats?

Hairless cats come in a variety of colors and patterns including black, white, red, and brown. The color patterns can even mimic that of calico or tortoiseshell cats.

Classic Sphinx cats have a fleshy almost peach looking skin that is wrinkly and soft.

Can hairless cats go outside?

Hairless cats should not be exposed to the outdoor elements. They have an inability to regulate their own body temperature and when exposed to the outdoors they can get allergens on their skin.

Sunburns are also a good reason to keep your hairless beauty indoors. There are good sunscreens available for animals if you must take your cat outdoors but this should be avoided whenever possible.

Do hairless cats get cold?

Top 10 Cat Breeds

Hairless cats are quite fashionistas. They not only require clothes in the winter but also in the summer because they need protection from the sun.

Hairless cats are big-time snugglers as they are always looking to steal your body heat in an attempt to stay warm. This only adds to the allure of buying a hairless cat.

How long does a hairless cat live?

Perhaps the biggest drawback to owning a hairless Sphinx cat is their short lifespan. An average feline lifespan is upwards of 16 years. Sphinx cats live between 8 and 14 years if they are not genetically predisposed to a disease.

The years spent with your cat will be quality years because Sphinx Cats have a love of life that is impossible to explain. They will bring years of joy to your family and are among the loyalist and energetic of all domestic cats. It is said they are very dog-like and make a good transition pet if you are thinking of going of switching from dogs to cats in your household.

What they lack in the life span department, they gain back in their ability to touch every single moment of your life as they enjoy theirs.

Lindsey Browlingdon