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Feline breed profile: All about Bambino cats

Bambino cat

The Bambino cat breed is a relatively new breed and is a cross between the Sphynx and the Munchkin cat breeds. The result is an adorable cat that has a hairless body and short legs. Bambino cats are known for their affectionate and playful personalities, and their unique appearance makes them a popular choice among cat lovers. 

Table of contents 

History 

Considered a rare and relatively new hybrid breed, the Bambino cat was first introduced in 2005 by Stephanie and Pat Osborne of Arkansas. The Osbornes bred Sphynx cats, carrying the recessive hairless gene, with Munchkin cats that carried the dominant short-legged gene. This new breed of cat ended up being a nearly bald, dwarf cat. They called the new breed bambino (the Italian word for “baby”). 

The International Cat Association (TICA) recognized the Bambino as an “experimental” breed in 2006. However, neither the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) nor the American Cat Fanciers’ Association (ACFA) will allow the breed’s registry because they don’t want to encourage the propagation of genetic abnormalities for aesthetic reasons. 

The intentional breeding of genetically disfigured cats like the short-legged Bambino and Munchkin is a controversial and divisive practice among cat professionals, veterinarians, and the public. Despite this, the Bambino appears to be gaining popularity as a “fad” breed. 

Size and appearance 

Bambino cats are known for their distinctive appearance and small size. They have short legs, which is a trait inherited from the Munchkin breed. They also have hairless coats, or very short fur that resembles suede or peach fuzz, which they inherited from the Sphynx. This unique combination of physical traits gives Bambinos a distinct and charming look that sets them apart from other cat breeds. 

Bambinos are small to medium-sized cats and typically weigh between 5 to 9 pounds. Despite their small size, they are sturdy and muscular, making them agile and athletic. They are typically about 17 inches long. Their large ears and eyes, along with their short legs and hairless body, make them an adorable and eye-catching breed. 

Grooming 

Due to their unique coat, Bambino cats also have unique grooming needs. While it may seem like they require little to no grooming, they still need regular care to maintain their skin health. 

Because of their hairless bodies, Bambinos are more susceptible to sunburn, dryness, and skin irritations. With this, they need to be kept out of direct sunlight and regularly moisturized with a gentle, non-toxic lotion or oil to keep their skin healthy. 

Bambino cats also need regular baths to remove any oil buildup on their skin and to prevent bacterial and fungal skin infections. It’s important to note that Bambinos may produce more oil than other breeds because they lack a normal absorbent coat, so they may require more frequent grooming. It is recommended to bathe them once a week with a mild, fragrance-free shampoo formulated for sensitive skin. Gentle wiping with a damp cloth can also be helpful between baths. 

Bambinos require regular nail trimming and ear cleaning, just like any other cat breed. Since their ears are larger than those of other cats, they may require more frequent cleaning to avoid wax buildup and infections. 

Are Bambino cats hypoallergenic? 

Since these cats are seemingly hairless, some people are attracted to the Bambino for its hypoallergenic potential. No cat is completely hypoallergenic, and the Bambino still produces some dander that may irritate sensitive individuals. However, Bambinos produce relatively less dander than hairier cat breeds, which means that some individuals with mild cat allergies can tolerate being around these felines. 

Activity level 

Bambino cats have a moderate to high energy level and require regular exercise and activity to maintain their physical and mental health, and fend off boredom, destructive behaviors, and obesity. Despite their short legs, Bambinos are known for being athletic, energetic, and surprisingly agile. They enjoy playing with toys and having other forms of kitty enrichment and exercise. 

Bambinos can be entertained with a variety of toys and activities, such as puzzle feeders, interactive toys, and climbing structures. They may also enjoy playing fetch, chasing laser pointers, and interactive play with their owners—what cat doesn’t love a good teaser toy?! 

This cat breed also tends to be social, and they often enjoy the company of their owners and other pets. Providing Bambinos with ample socialization opportunities can help keep them happy and healthy. Interactive play with their owners or spending time with other pets can provide them with the mental stimulation and physical exercise they need to thrive. 

Health 

According to the ASPCA, the average life expectancy for a Bambino cat is between 9 and 15 years. These cats are, however, predisposed to some health issues. Some of the common health problems that Bambino cats may experience include: 

  • Skin problems: Because of their hairless or short fur coat and particularly oily skin, Bambino cats are more susceptible to bacterial and fungal skin irritations, sunburn, and dryness. 
  • Heart conditions: Some Bambino cats may be at risk of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a condition where the heart becomes enlarged and may lead to heart failure. 
  • Urinary tract issues: Bambino cats may be prone to urinary tract infections or blockages, which can cause discomfort and lead to serious health problems if left untreated. 
  • Dental problems: Bambino cats may experience dental issues such as gum disease, tooth decay, and plaque buildup. Regular dental checkups and care are important to maintain their oral health. 
  • Respiratory issues: Bambino cats may be prone to respiratory infections, especially if they are exposed to cold or damp environments. Additionally, Munchkin cats may suffer pectus excavatum, in which the breastbone caves in and creates respiratory problems, as well as loss of appetite and weight loss. 

Overall, Bambinos are considered to be a fairly healthy breed. However, just like all pets, it’s still recommended that they have annual visits to their veterinarian.  

Personality 

Bambino cats are known for their affectionate and outgoing personality. These friendly cats make wonderful pets for families with kids and other animals, often wanting to cuddle and play with everyone. Although not needy or demanding, Bambino cats are likely to follow you around the house, snuggle up next to you on the couch, and love interactive playtime.  

These cats are intelligent and curious. They enjoy exploring their surroundings and figuring out how things work. Bambinos are also known for being vocal cats, so owners should be prepared for their vocalizations such as meows, chirps, and purrs. 

Affectionate and full of character, Bambino cats can make excellent companions. These highly social felines may not like being left alone for long periods of time, however, and can experience separation-related stress. 

How can ElleVet CBD + CBDA help Bambino cats? 

Because they are such “Velcro kitties,” Bambino cats can be prone to experiencing stress related to separation from their owner. ElleVet’s CBD + CBDA feline oil and paste can help their stress levels decrease and return to a normal state of balance. By truly calming without sedating, CBD + CBDA allows cats to relax when apart from their owners and learn that being alone is not something to be afraid of, helping to reduce their stress response over time.  

ElleVet’s CBD + CBDA is also extremely effective in offering support for cats’ itchy skin. Skin problems are common in Bambino cats, so CBD + CBDA can be a helpful in tool in easing discomfort and incessant itching, leading to improved overall well-being. 

As always, consult your veterinarian if your cat shows signs of stress or other health issues. For any questions about ElleVet’s CBD + CBDA products or how CBD can help your feline friend live their best life, give us a call (844-673-7287) or send us an email ( ([email protected]). We are here to help. 

Bottom line on Bambino cats 

Overall, Bambino cats are wonderful family pets full of love and affection. Owners should understand and monitor for signs of stress in their Bambino, particularly separation-related stress. Bambino cats are also prone to developing skin issues, so it is important to maintain a regular grooming routine to keep these cats healthy and happy. 

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