Recently appeared, the elf cat it has already won the love of many people. It is a hybrid breed that combines the physical and personality traits of cats Sphynx And American Curl. Extremely sociable and friendly, they are perfect pets that easily become attached to their owner and the rest of the family. Its main characteristics are the absence of fur and folded ears. In fact, he looks a lot like Dobby, the famous elf from the Harry Potter saga.
Story of the elf cat
The elf cat is a new and rather rare breed. Cat breeders and enthusiasts Karen Nelson and Kristen Leedom are the creators of the breed. In 2004 Nelson and Leedom teamed up in the vision of creating / breeding a cat that had curled ears and the personality and physical attributes of their beloved Sphynx cats (or Canadian sphinxes).
The elf cat was thus successfully developed from the crossing of cat breeds Sphynx And American Curl. Each of these two breeds is characterized by specific distinctive traits, and the elf cat has been “designed” to combine these characteristics into a single being.
The most distinctive features of this cat are:
- the curled earstaken from the American Curl
- Being withour hairexactly like the Sphynx
Regarding this last characteristic, in reality, the elf cat, just like the Sphynx, is not completely hairless. Its skin can be covered with a very fine fur, practically imperceptible, both to the sight and to the touch.
Elves are one of the younger races recognized, they were recognized and included as experimental in 2007, and have since been successfully bred not only in the United States.
Many of the elven cats, which for generations have exhibited the originally intended traits, are starting to be introduced in the exhibition halls of the International Cat Association (TICA), the only organization that, to date, recognizes this breed.
Elf cat, physical characteristics
Of medium to large build, the elf cat has an athletic and muscular body, with a pronounced bulge of the abdomen. In this it is very similar to the Sphynx, from which it also inherited the prominent cheekbones. In general, it is a feline with rather harmonious shapes.
The two main characteristics, namely the absence of hair and the curled ears, combined with the prominence of the features of the muzzle, make it very similar to the character Dobby of the Harry Potter saga.
But let’s see more specifically what are the main characteristics of the various parts of the body.
- Structure: medium-large
- Weight: males can reach 8 kg while females 6 kg. The average is between 3.6 and 6.8 kg
- Physicist: muscular but elegant and harmonious
- Mustache and eyebrows: short and sparse
- Skin: hairless and very thick, has a grain reminiscent of suede. It is quite wrinkled especially around the shoulders, ears and muzzle
- Skin colour: opaque, usually beige, white or black
- Ears: large and with a pyramidal base, they are curled back (characteristic of the American Curl prey). They have a slope of 90-180 degrees, with a stable part of the cartilage at one third of the length of the entire auditory organ
- Tail: long out of proportion to the rest of the body. It has a pointed shape
- Legs: graceful
- Legs: longer than those of other hairless cats
- Head: wedge-shaped and sharp at the chin
- Cheekbones: rather pronounced
- Nose: straight and well defined
- Eyes: almond-shaped and very expressive, they can be green, blue or yellow
- Life expectation: from 8 to 14 years
Let’s now turn to the breed deficiencies described in the standard developed by breeders:
- curvature and deformation of the tail
- excessively narrow head
- lack of a ‘nick’ in the bridge of the nose
- too low bending in the head
- excessively massive physique
- copious amounts of wool just above the ankles
Much active and curious, the elf cat seeks contact with man. He is very attached to his master, showing him affection and also some fidelity.
Patient with children, he loves affection, which is why he cannot stay too long without the company of his owners.
Kittens are quite mischievous. Elf cats love height and are very playful. They easily adapt to most home environments and family structures; they also adapt very well to any other pets in the house.
Among all cat breeds, they are considered to be among the most intelligent.
Diseases and health problems
As with all breeding breeds, potential elven cat owners may have concerns about the possible manifestation of genetic diseases. At the moment, however, there is no information on the existence of problems in this regard.
Furthermore, with some certainty, it is possible to say that elf cats live on average 15 years.
Like other hairless breeds, elves have one very sensitive skin to various stimuli. Very frequent are, for example, dermatitis, skin rashes, desquamation, sunburn, particular sensitivity to heat and cold … Being so delicate, the skin of the elf cat can be injured very easily, for example, even just while playing with another cat.
Elf cat care
The elf cat has no particular congenital health problems; however, due to the almost total lack of hair, it tends to have a rather delicate skin, and therefore needs some special care and precautions.
It is recommended to proceed with one thorough cleaning at least twice a week to remove excess sebaceous secretions. For this operation, use a cloth or sponge soaked in water and a suitable detergent. Finally rinse with warm water. Pay particular attention to areas with creases. Dust and scales of the epidermis tend to accumulate right here.
Also, don’t expose your cat to temperatures too stiff oa Sun particularly intense.
We summarize below the basic rules on how to behave for basic cleaning operations:
- should be washed regularly to avoid skin infections
- it should always be kept away from light to avoid skin irritation
- place his basket away from drafts
- maintain a comfortable room temperature, not lower than 20 degrees
- do not leave the heat-loving pet unattended when the electric fireplace or heating is on
- darken the windows with curtains or blinds to prevent the cat from getting tanned or, worse, getting burned
To keep the elf warm, you can use special clothing for animals.
Cleaning the ears
Separate discussion for the cleaning of the very particular ears of the elf cat that require aspecial attention. Every week they must be carefully treated inside with a special cotton swab lubricated with vaseline or special lotion. To carry out this operation, it is good to have the support of a second person as there is a risk of harming the animal.
Avoid the classic cotton buds that we use for us.
If you find any signs of inflammation, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Elf cats have bulging eyeballs. For this reason, they should undergo high level eye hygiene. At least they should be treated 2 times a dayin the morning and in the evening with a cotton pad soaked in lotion.
Warm leaves can also be used you or decoction from chamomile flowers.
If there are brown marks or bloody, purulent drops, contact your veterinarian.
If the animal receives little solid food, it is easy for tartar to form on the enamel.
Excess cornified layer should be cut with the help of wire cutters. The length of the tip to be removed should not exceed 2 mm as the blood vessels can be positioned right above.
Diet and nutrition
To feed an elf cat in a healthy and correct way, one should first of all rely on the recommendations of the veterinarian and then also on the preferences of the animal itself.
A balanced diet must provide a good energy supply as well prevent the development of obesitya factor of great danger for animals in general.
Usually, a cat’s feeding must provide the 60% of components proteins of animal origin (chicken, turkey, beef, veal), but also ricotta and kefirabout 10% fat and the remaining 30% carbohydrates.
Very important are also the vegetables, from which the animal will get fiber and vitamins. Ideal are for example carrots, courgettes and cauliflowers.
Avoid all smoked, salty, sweet and fatty foods.
- Kittens should eat up to 5 times a day; adult animals only 2-3 times a day
- prepare small portions. Elves tend to eat food greedily and without chewing, which leads to digestive problems. A reference value is 250 ml per serving, or, calculating the amount of food on the basis of the animal’s weight: 40 g of food for each kilogram of body weight
The cost of the elf cat is not negligible. On average, it costs around 2,000 $.
More information and guides on cats
Other information sheets that you might be interested in on the different cat breeds:
Other guides to take care of the cat in a natural way:
Elf cat: the new hybrid hairless breed with curious ears