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?
Meet the Dwelf: 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.
If you are thinking they look a bit Egyptian, you might be onto something. Have a look at some fun and unique Egyptian names for your cat, while we explore this unique breed of feisty fury.
- 1 Dwelf Cat History
- 2 Dwelf Cat Physiology
- 3 Dwelf Cat Care
- 4 Dwelf Cat – All Sorted
Dwelf Cat 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 fluff only recently under its Experimental New Breeds category, just a testament to their young age as a breed.
1. Origin – Where Did They Come 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 were bred after the year 2005 when the Bambino breed was created, as they are very closely related to this breed.
2. A 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.
3. A Different Kind of Breed
The cuddly Dwelf achieved its unique look from 3 different breeds: Munchkin, Sphynx, and American Curl. 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. They Cost a Pretty Penny
As these are designer kitties, you can expect to cough up quite a bit to bring one of them into your life. As of now, 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+.
Dwelf Cat Physiology
Now, these small kitties may look cute with their stocky little bodies and legs, but the Dwelf is actually quite a distinct breed of cat, with its own 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 wholly unique and their own class of cute.
5. They are Hairless and Beautiful
As you may have noticed, they are generally hairless (owed to their Sphynx lineage). While the rumors run rampant that these types of hairless 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 the breeds it’s made from.
7. Differences/Variations of the Dwelf
Wrinkles galore. As with the Sphynx it was bred from, 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. It can either be natural skin color, as is the most common and recognizable, or it can be black (actually a dark grey). They can also have different or darker markings on their faces.
8. 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, social, and love being around people. Get them playing with an assortment of different toys and games.
Include them in family activities, talk with them (they talk back), and just generally pay them a lot of attention. They will return the love ten-fold 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.
9. Is The Dwelf Cat 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 a cat does, they groom themselves constantly, which means this protein most likely covers their entire bodies. Now while some people are allergic to the hair (the fine undercoat) others can be allergic to the protein. So, to be clear: they are potentially hypoallergenic, 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?
As a general note, the short ones are not fussy with food and they don’t need any special foods 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.
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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.
Their skin itself is also quite delicate, and you should avoid direct/too much sunlight. Additionally, since they don’t have fur to keep them warm and toasty, they can get cold easily. It is, therefore, best to keep them indoors completely during winter times and keep them toasty with a soft pet blanket.
12. Notable Illnesses or Problems in the Dwelf
Cats in general, as with all animals, 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 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 they 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. They love playing, so the extra sources of entertainment, as well as some new friends, will help keep them happy as a clam.
Dwelf Cat – All Sorted
Now that you are informed of 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.
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