Hairless Cat Grows Fur

Hairless cat

What happens when a "hairless cat" is no longer hairless? That's one visitor's question as her formerly hairless cat grows fur.

Visitor: My Hairless Cat Grows Fur

Hi,

I have two five-year-old Sphynx cats. My rare white has always gone out in the garden regardless of the weather. He prefers to use the flower borders to do his business rather than his litter tray.

Over the last two years he has grown an immense amount of curly fur. Meantime, his brother that also joins him in the garden remains bald. The white cat is particularly furry around his back, and now has an ordinary full furry tail. Is this nature intervening because he goes outside?

Thanks~~ Marlene

Expert Reply

Hi Marlene,

How interesting. Are these cats full litter brothers or do they just share a single parent? If they are only related through one parent that might explain why only one cat is reverting to a furred type.

Although Sphynx are considered hairless, they actually do have a very fine down, and a bit of light fur on their extremities, but nothing like you're describing. Your cat's repeated exposure during cold weather may indeed have triggered a coat growth response. A search of the history of this breed reveals that the original Mexican Hairless cat would grow a ridge of fur down the length of the back and over the tail during cold weather, so the phenomenon is not completely unheard of.

Another fact to consider is that hairless cats are a genetic mutation that have been popping up in litters of furred cats for ages. This means that there are furry relatives somewhere back in each hairless's heritage, although it might be very far back.

Have you discussed the fur growth with the breeder you adopted your cat from? Breeders are often the best source of info on specific breeds because they work so closely with them. Your breeder may already be familiar with this type of fur growth in the breeding line, and might be able to trace it back to a particular descendant in your cat's pedigree.

Thanks for a very interesting question!

~~ Kelly

Follow Up: Cat Also Has Heart Murmur

Kelly,

Many thanks for your response. In answer to your question they are indeed Brothers from a litter of three. I did attempt to get in touch with the breeder, but they have ceased breeding.

Henry, my fluffy cat, also has an enlarged heart and a loud heart murmur. Prior to my move from London back to the Midlands, I was advised to put him through different tests, etc. I did agree to £600 worth of scans and blood tests and a course of tablets which he refused to take. I have since decided not to put him through any further trauma, and I am grateful that two years later he still races around the garden jumping up for butterflies. Do you have a view on cat heart murmurs?

~~Marlene Yeoman

Expert Reply

Hi Marlene,

As long as you fully understand your cat's heart condition then I say it's up to you how to proceed with future treatment. Some cats live their entire lives with heart murmurs without much incident. However, a serious murmur can eventually can cause damage that leads to one form or another of heart failure.

I'm guessing that if your vet wanted to do a complete work up, he was concerned about the level of your cat's murmur. What you need to do is weigh the risks against your cat's quality of life- something it seems that you've already done. Henry's condition does not sound like it has gotten worse over the last two years, so possibly you made the right decision. Just remain vigilant about his health and take him to the vet straight away if you notice any decline.

Thanks for your question, and I hope Henry continues to live a long and happy life.

~~ Kelly

Hairless Cat Grows Fur