The Elf cat is a very new and extremely rare hybrid breed originated by crossing the Sphynx with the American Curl. The Elf cat has inherited the hairless appearance of the Sphynx and the curled ears of the American Curl. Karen Nelson and Kristen Leedom are known to be the creators of the breed.
Physical characteristicsThe Elf cat has an athletic and muscular body similar to that of the Sphynx. As well as their hairless ancestor, Elf cats have very prominent cheek bones and whisker pads. The whiskers and eyebrows, if any, are sparse and very short. The skin is intensively wrinkled around the shoulders, ears, and muzzle. This is especially obvious in kittens. The ears are curled backwards, which is a treat inherited from the American Curl. Ear furnishings are missing. The unique ears along with the overall hairless appearance make the most recognizable features of the Elf cat. The long tail is tapering to the tip.
The weight is 10 to 15 pounds.
TemperamentElf Cats were bred to retain the best qualities of their parent breeds. They are intelligent, friendly, social, outgoing and very affectionate. Lively and active but gentle at the same time. Elf cats will thrive on human attention and love. They are loyal and will often be found by your side or on your lap. They do, however, have a mischievous side. They love to climb and play with anything within their reach. Lots of toys are a must if you have an Elf cat. They also love high spots, so make sure you provide your cat with a few high shelves or other high located areas. Elf cats can adapt to almost any home situation easily. They also adjust to other animals remarkably well. However, it's not recommended to leave your cat alone all day long. If you have no choice, consider getting a companion for your Elf cat.
Photo by © Karen Nelson
Coat and groomingElf cats come in all colours and patterns. Even though the breed is considered hairless, short fine hair may be present on the feet, ears, nose, and tail. Moreover, it's possible (but not necessarily) that Elf cats have a down-like fur. This fur doesn't disturb the hairless look of the cat.
Regular grooming is necessary to remove sebaceous secretions from the skin, otherwise the cat can become sticky to the touch or develop skin problems. Bathe your Elf cat when necessary, or give it sponge baths. Most tolerate their baths very well, and some really love it. Elf cats are known to shed very little.
HealthLimit the cat's exposure to the outdoors, especially in extreme weather. Cold weather, as well as overexposure to the hot sun, are hazardous to the cat's health. Overall, Elf cats are healthy and remarkably free of the genetic defects.
Other interesting factsThe Elf cat is accepted for registration with TICA. At TICA Cat Shows, they are shown as Sphynx with new traits.
A special thanks to Karen Nelson for a permission to use her photos.