Bambino cat

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The Bambino is a breed of cat that was created as a cross between the Sphynx and the Munchkin breeds. The Bambino cat has short legs, large upright ears, and is usually hairless.[1] However, some Bambino cats do have fur.[2] In 2005, The International Cat Association (TICA) registered Bambinos as an experimental breed.[3]


The first litter of Bambino kittens was registered in 2005 by The International Cat Association (TICA) as an experimental breed.[3]

"Bambino" in Italian translates to "baby", referring to the cat's appearance of making it look like a kitten. The Bambino has short legs it inherits from the Munchkin, and huge upright ears, as well as having the hairlessness of the Sphynx.

Physical characteristics[edit]

The wrinkled hairless appearance and short legs are the breed's two most distinctive features. Though Bambinos can be coated with fur,[2] this, however, is referred to as a "coated Bambino".

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.

Their weight is typically 5 to 9 pounds (2–4kg).[1]

Coat and grooming[edit]

Even though some Bambinos appear hairless, they typically are covered with a fine downy fur.[1] Their wrinkled skin feels like chamois or suede to the touch.[1] Regular grooming is necessary to remove sebaceous secretions from the skin, and baths are recommended.[4][1] If grooming and bathing aren't done on a regular basis, the Bambino can become excessively dirty, oily, and sticky to the touch and/or develop skin conditions.[4]

The Bambino skin is vulnerable to temperature and sun, and they must be kept as an indoor cat.[1] Contrary to popular belief, Bambino cats are not hypoallergenic.[4] Though most people with allergies can tolerate the Bambino because it produces less dander than that of other cat breeds.[5]

Genetics and health[edit]

Bambino is called a mutation breed because it is a breed that requires both recessive mutations for the hairless gene, and dominant mutations for the dwarfed limbs.[6] Mutation breeding can be disastrous to the health of the produced kitten, if not done by an experienced breeder.[6]

Typically Bambino litters produce both kittens that resemble and do not resemble the parents,[6] and which can result in litters of short-legged and long-legged kittens, as the Bambino genetics are heterozygous for the short leg gene.[citation needed] Bambino litters cannot produce furry kittens as the hairless gene is recessive, and so each bambino has two copies of the hairless gene.[citation needed]

Due to the concern of animal welfare, the breeding of Bambino cats is not legal in all countries.[7] Some examples of Bambino breeding restrictions are Germany and the Federal German Animal Protection Act of 1999,[7] and the Netherlands and the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA).[8][9]


Since the breed is new, more research needs to be done to confirm the presence or absence of possible genetic health issues. However, common health problems typical of the related Munchkin breed of cat are well-known, the most common being an above higher average of lordosis (excessive curvature of the spine)[10][11] and pectus excavatum (hollowed chest).[12][13]

The Bambino breed is prone to developing bacterial skin conditions and infections due to the hairlessness and skin folds, as well as an inability to regulate the oiliness of their skin.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g The Cat Encyclopedia: The Definitive Visual Guide. Penguin. 2014. p. 155. ISBN 9780744030273.
  2. ^ a b "Bambino". CatBreedList. Retrieved March 4, 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Bambino Cat: History, Characteristics And Care". The Cat Foods. 2020-01-24. Archived from the original on 2020-01-28. Retrieved 2020-01-28.
  4. ^ a b c d "Learn About the Controversial Bambino Cat". The Spruce Pets. Retrieved 2020-09-16. Skin Conditions: As already mentioned, the Bambino, like the Sphynx, is more likely to develop bacterial skin conditions and infections. This results from their inability to regulate the oiliness of their skin, and their increased number of folds.
  5. ^ "The Bambino Cat". CatBreedJunction. Retrieved March 4, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c The Cat Breeders Handbook (2 ed.). Oroville, California: TIBCC. 2009. pp. 36–37. ISBN 978-0979280726 – via Google Books.
  7. ^ a b Kaymak, Nuesret (2019). All Cat Breeds of This World: All Approved Cat Breeds. Germany: Atelier Kaymak UG. p. 29. ISBN 978-3-96183-036-7.
  8. ^ Broad, Michael (2019-08-05). "Bambino cat breeder ordered to stop by Dutch authorities". Pictures of Cats (PoC). Retrieved 2020-09-16.
  9. ^ "Couple given official warning for breeding 'sad' hairless cat". 2019-08-02. Retrieved 2020-09-16.
  10. ^ Raiford, Tiffany (2014-11-12). "Controversial Munchkin Cat Health Problems and Misconceptions Addressed". Kittentoob. Retrieved 2019-03-24.
  11. ^ "Munchkin Cat Health Problems". VetInfo. Retrieved 2019-03-24. Munchkin kittens, however, are vulnerable to lordosis, a rare spinal condition in which the spinal muscles grow short, allowing the spine to sink down into the body. Lordosis may be mild or severe, and if it's bad enough, the kitten won't live past three months of age. Many breeders feel that lordosis is a genetic disorder, but it's not specific to the Munchkin cat; many other breeds of cat suffer from lordosis.
  12. ^ Wedderburn, Pete (October 2008). "Cat breeds–Trophies with hidden problems". Journal of Small Animal Practice. BSAVA Companion. 49 (10): 7–9. doi:10.1111/j.1748-5827.2008.00680.x. This selection for an albeit naturally occurring mutation, resulting in pseudoachondroplasia, has resulted in a breed which appears to have an increased incidence of pectus excavatum and spinal lordosis, both problems commonly seen in human patients with pseudoachondroplasia.
  13. ^ Hubler, M.; Langley-Hobbs, S.J. (2009). "Hereditary and congenital musculoskeletal diseases". In Montavon, P.M.; Voss, K.; Langley-Hobbs, S.J. (eds.). Feline Orthopedic Surgery and Musculoskeletal Disease. Saunders Ltd. pp. 41–53. doi:10.1016/B978-0-7020-2986-8.00010-0. ISBN 978-0-7020-2986-8. There may be a familial tendency to thoracic wall deformities (pectus excavatum, unilateral thoracic wall concavity) in Bengal kittens, and chondrodystrophic Munchkin cats may also have an increased incidence of pectus excavatum and spinal lordosis.