The Bambino is a cross between the Sphynx and the Munchkin. The idea was to create a short hairless cat with a lively and affectionate disposition. The breed was officially established in 2005. Its name derives from the Italian word for "baby", as these unique cats look like baby kittens.
Physical characteristicsThe wrinkled hairless appearance and short legs are the breed's two most distinctive features. The back legs can be slightly longer than the front legs. The body is medium to long, with a broad chest and a well-rounded abdomen. Boning is medium. The whippy tail is in good proportion to the rest of the body. Some Bambinos can have a "lion tail" - a puff of hair on the tail tip. The head is a modified wedge with rounded lines, slightly longer than wide. As well as in the Sphynx, the cheekbones and whisker pads are very prominent. The whiskers are sparse and short. The chin is firm. The eyes are large, rounded, and wide spaced. The large ears are set upright, neither too low nor too high. The cat's size and unique physical qualities do not hamper its movements. The weight is 5 to 9 pounds.
TemperamentBambino cats are friendly, intelligent, and affectionate. They love to be handled and cuddled up on the laps of their family members. They get along well with children other pets, provided that the kids are taught to treat the cat respectfully and proper introductions with the other pets are made. Travelling should not be a problem with this breed. Adaptable, these cats adjust to new environments very well.
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Coat and groomingEven though Bambinos appear hairless, they can be covered with a short, fine down. Their wrinkled skin feels like chamois to the touch. Regular grooming is necessary to remove sebaceous secretions from the skin. Weekly baths are also recommended. If grooming and bathing aren't done on a regular basis, the Bambino can become sticky to the touch and/or develop skin problems. Shedding is very little in these cats.
HealthSince the breed is new, more research needs to be done to confirm presence or absence of possible genetic health issues. The lifespan is about 12 years.
Other interesting factsAs well as in the Lambkin Dwarf, Bambino litters produce both short-legged and long-legged kittens.
Bambinos are currently accepted for registration in the Rare and Exotic Feline Registry (REFR). They are also recognized as an experimental new breed by The International Cat Association (TICA) and can be shown as Sphynx, New Trait.