It’s a Sphynx! It’s a Munchkin! No, wait, it’s a Sphynchkin! As popular and notable as Sphynx and Munchkin cats can be, have you ever thought about what they would look like combined? If you have, then it’s time to meet the Dwelf cat in all its miniature beauty.
They are small in stature but have a whole lot of personality behind those stubby little legs. Standing on their own legs (albeit short ones) as a notable breed is no easy task, but that’s exactly what the Dwelf has achieved.
Although it’s easy to mistake these cute bundles of joy for pint-sized Sphynx, they are much more than that. From how to care for them to their peculiar personalities, get ready to learn all there is to know about the Dwelf cat, one of the cutest small cats in the world.
Dwelf Cat Breed History
The Dwelf is a rather new breed of cat, with many cat registries not even accepting it yet. The International Cat Association (TICA) has acknowledged and accepted these cuddly balls of happiness only recently under its Experimental New Breeds category, which is a testament to their young age as a breed.
1. What Is a Dwelf Cat and Where Is It From?
They were bred in the United States, but pretty much everything else about their origin is a mystery. It is safe to say that they appeared after 2005, around the same time the Bambino breed started kicking about, as they are very closely related to this breed.
2. This Hairless Cats Name Is Where It Starts
Do you know those celebrity names that just combine the two, like Brangelina? Well, if you take “dwarf” and “elf,” you get Dwelf! This stems mainly from their unique looks and stature, as they are small (dwarf) cats with adorable (elf-like) appearances.
So, in all honesty, the Dwelf meaning is a lot simpler than you may have first thought.
3. This Dwelf Hairless Cat Is a Different Kind of Breed
This unique-looking cat gets a lot of its charms from three different breeds: Munchkins, Sphynxes, and American Curls. Their most prominent features are that of the Sphynx, as they mainly look like miniature versions of those hairless cuties with the ears of the American Curl.
4. Dwelf Cat Prices May Break the Bank
As these are designer kitties, you can expect to cough up quite a bit to bring one of them into your life. Currently, they are only bred in America and are quite a rare breed. Specifically “designed” and bred for a certain look, these felines can set you back anything from $1000+.
A Dwelfs Physiology
Now, these small kitties may look cute with their stocky little bodies and legs. Still, the Dwelf is actually quite a distinct breed of cat with some peculiar traits and attributes. Dwarfism in cats is generally rare, with some Munchkins even being close to “normal” size.
Dwelfs may share certain aspects with other, more popular breeds, but they are very special and create a whole new class of cute.
5. They Are Beautiful Hairless Cats
As you may have noticed, they are generally hairless (owed to their Sphynx lineage). While the rumors run rampant that these types of hairless indoor cat breeds can’t grow hair, this is false. They are definitely capable and often have fine, downy hairs all over their bodies.
When touching this fluff, it almost resembles suede. Something to note: their whiskers and eyebrows are also short or non-existent.
6. Size, Age, and Other Traits
As is the norm with dwarf breeds, don’t expect these rug-huggers to be towering above anything (except maybe a carpet). Their legs are short and stubby but strong nonetheless, and they are anything but fragile, with thick necks and muscular bodies.
Their tails are long and thin and are usually pointed at the tip (you might even spot a bit of fluff adorning it). Generally speaking, a designer cat and “mixed” breeds like the Dwelf can live for 9-15 years, based on their heritage. A full-grown Dwelf cat is no bigger than seven inches tall — how cute!
7. Dwelf Kitten Variations
Wrinkles galore. As with the Sphynx, Dwelf cats have lots of adorable wrinkles on their skin. The number, shape, and even frequency of the wrinkles can vary greatly from cat to cat, often almost seeming like it can be a mutation all on its own.
In terms of coloring, as they are hairless, the main color difference comes in their skin. They can be a pink hairless cat — the most common and recognizable — or black (usually looks more like a dark gray Dwelf cat). They can also have different or darker markings on their faces.
8. The Dwarf Elf Cat Personality and Quirks
Included in the list of “puppy cats,” Dwelfs are just the most adorable, friendly, and intelligent kitties you can welcome into your home. They are very playful and social, so getting them to play with an assortment of toys won’t be too hard. They love being around people.
Include them in family activities, talk with them (they’ll meow back), and just generally pay them a lot of attention. They will return the love tenfold and entertain you with their endless antics and games.
Their higher-than-average intelligence is something to note, as they need good mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy. This is where cat puzzles can be super helpful when you’re not at home.
9. Are Dwelf Kittens Hypoallergenic?
While many of those who suffer from allergies want this to be true, unfortunately, it is not. While these cuties don’t shed any hair, the allergies are still present in their saliva. The main trouble-causer is the Fel D1 protein.
As cats do, they constantly tend their beautiful (albeit fine) coats, which means this protein most likely covers their entire bodies. While some people are allergic to the hair (the fine undercoat), others can be allergic to the protein. So, they are potentially hypoallergenic cats, but not completely so.
Dwelf Cat Care
Caring for your shorty is not a task to be taken lightly. While Dwelfs are not super high maintenance, there are still a few things you should take note of when bringing one home.
10. Special Dietary Needs?
Generally, these short ones aren’t fussy with food and don’t need special diets or minerals to thrive. So if you have a new Dwelf kitten in the house, look at some of the best dry kitten foods to fill their tummies and put a (toothy) smile on their mugs.
11. Dwelf Health and Grooming Needs
As with Sphynx cats, you are in for a higher-than-average grooming routine with the Dwelf. Their body constantly builds up oils and dirt, which settles on the skin, especially between the wrinkles.
Because of this, it is recommended to bathe them at least once a week to help get rid of the grime. Knowing how to groom them (if necessary) is also necessary, as their fine fur only requires a soft-bristled brush.
Their skin is also quite delicate, and you should avoid direct or too much sunlight. It’s also a good idea to put cat sunscreen on each day in case they do go on an adventure.
Additionally, since they don’t have fur to keep them warm and toasty, they can get cold easily. It’s best to keep them indoors completely during winter so they stay snug in a soft pet blanket.
12. Notable Illnesses or Problems in Dwelf Cats
Generally, cats have certain conditions that are genetic to their specific breeds. These can be passed from parent to child, and you may notice it in your cat, or they might never experience these issues.
A common problem with dwarf cats is spinal Lordosis, where the spine curves inward. Some other issues include Pectus Excavatum, which is a deformity in the chest, causing it to be sunken in, as well as HCM. Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy is an issue common with Sphynx cats, which causes their heart muscle to thicken, in turn causing weakness and lethargy in cats.
13. Do These Bald Cats Mix Well With Other Pets and Kids?
As they love attention no matter the source, Dwelfs are absolutely fine with other pets, as well as with kids. This makes them the perfect family cat, as they love entertaining everyone, be it the dogs or visiting grandparents.
A Quick Wrap Up on the Dwelf Cat
Now that you are well-informed on all you need to bring a Dwelf home, the only question is how many? As kittens love companions and Dwelfs love attention and playing, it seems like looking after your new kitten (or should I say kittens) will be a piece of cake.
Just remember plenty of cuddles, playtime, and lots of baths. They have been known to be rather fond of baths, so include it as a part of playtime, and you will have a water lover on your hands in no time.