About the Elf Cat Breed
Chances are the Elf cat has heard it all – wrinkled aliens of the cat world, alien cats, and freak cats, to name a few. It takes a special kind of person to love one of these enchanted felines but, those who do, consider themselves some of the luckiest people in the world. While the appearance of the Elf may take some getting used to, this thief of hearts has a personality that is unmatched.
Elf Cat Breed Facts:
Origin: United States
Weight: 10- 15 pounds
Average Litter Size: 1-5 Elves per litter
Grooming Needs: Medium
Life Expectancy: Undetermined
Good With Kids: Yes
Good With Other Animals: Yes
The History of the Elf Cat
Creature from fairy tales…
In fantasy, Elves are semi-divine beings with long life, magic powers and pointed and curved ears. The Elf cat brings these creatures from fairy tales to reality.
Named the Elf cat because of their elf-like appearance (slightly curved ears).
The Elf is a new hybrid, the product of crossing an American Curl with a Sphynx. Permissible out-crosses also include Domestic Short Hair, which is any cat belonging to Felis Domesticus not registered as a recognized breed. The foundation cats, the Sphynx and American Curl breeds, have a single trait that makes them distinct from all other breeds.
The Elf combines these two traits to create a unique breed of cat that is different from each of the parental foundation breeds. These two traits are independent of each other and when combined pose no harm to the health and well being of the new breed Elf.
The Elf Cat was established in 2007 after extensive research went into its health and viability, and obtaining the approval from the geneticists at TICA. Elf breed founders, Karen Nelson and Kristen Leedom would work towards developing a standard of perfection for the Elf Cat and Karen Nelson continued on to write the breed standard that a small group of dedicated breeders are currently working towards.
The first litter of Elf kittens was born and all those involved instantly fell in love with the appearance, personality and social ability of this new breed. Breeders and cat lovers alike wait with great anticipation and much nurturing, as the Elf cat continues on its long journey.
Elf Cat Appearance
Few people realize that the sweet-natured Elf is no more wrinkled than any other breed of cat but there is something about the hairless appearance, along with the curled ears that either repels or attracts their human counterparts.
Surprisingly, the Elf cat is really not hairless at all. Picking one up, many are surprised by how soft, downy, and warm hairless kittens can be – in fact, they are best compared to a warm fuzzy peach in texture. It’s a sensation that makes you just want to cuddle them closer and believe it or not the Elf cat uses that to his advantage. There’s nothing that Elf kittens/cats like more than cuddling.
Another interesting and little-known fact is the wide variety of colors the Elf cat comes in. Found in a rainbow of hues, they are as beautiful and diversified as their furry feline cousins; any color and/or any pattern that can be found in felines is an acceptable color and pattern for your Elf kitten.
Elf Cat Temperament
Elf cats are friendly, intelligent cats that are agile and have personality plus. They respond well to handling and are very interactive not only with their humans but also with other cats and cat-friendly dogs.
The Elf cat has a very unique appearance, but its personality is even more unusual. It is often said that Elf kittens are one part cat, one part dog, one part monkey and one part child – and most people who have had the good fortune to meet one of these individuals are quick to agree.
The Elf is a very loving and loyal member of the household and has a strong tendency to bond with his or her choice in humans or the pet dog. They will follow that individual around faithfully, winding around legs and wagging their tails happily. The Elf will also greet you with a happy chirp when he sees you get out of bed, or arrive back home from a long day at work.
In addition to their love of affection, the Elf also has a great love of mischief. They love to climb, hide and get into all sorts of trouble – everything is a toy regardless of whether it’s a wadded up piece of paper that missed the trashcan, good china, or a family heirloom. If it can be moved, knocked over, or will produce some form of sound (crashing and breaking noises are especially fun), the impish Elf will believe it to be a noisemaker built just for her.
Elf cats can be wonderfully patient and affectionate towards children and other animals. The Elf is not an aggressive animal by any extent. They are lovers, not fighters and their soft skin and lack of fur means they can be easily injured if bitten or scratched by other playful pets. If you do intend to introduce an Elf into your home and you have other pets, supervision is mandatory.
Elf Cat Grooming Requirements
Caring for an Elf cat has to be a walk in the park, right? This is a common misconception many people have about owning a hairless cat. Unfortunately, while the concept of owning a cat that requires no grooming is very nice, is in truth not practical or fair to your pet.
All pets should be groomed at least once a week, even if it’s just checking their ears and rubbing them down with a natural chamois cloth; not only does it help to remove dander and dirt, but it feels good to your pet and is quality bonding time that can also alert you to potential problems before they become serious.
The Elf cat requires regular grooming, not only for the reason just mentioned but also because it is required to remove the natural oils that a cat’s fur would normally absorb. Failing to wipe your Elf cat down regularly can lead to skin problems making them “sticky” to touch and even leading to sore patches, acne, and other skin ailments.
It is also very important to clean your Elf kitten’s ears regularly in order to avoid a buildup of earwax. Left to clog the ear canal, earwax can lead to infection or at the very least, runs the risk of your kitten hurting himself by pawing at his ears.
It’s also highly recommended that you give your Elf a monthly bath. While most cats dislike water, Elf cats usually grow to enjoy their baths provided they are always treated with a kind and patient mannerism and acclimated to it from the time they are kittens. Bathing your pet Elf is no more difficult than bathing a baby and while it sounds like a lot of work, it can be done relatively quickly. Drying the Elf is even quicker – a few minutes snuggle time in a toasty towel and he’s happy and dry as can be.
Elf Cat Health Concerns
The Elf cat is still a very young breed and because of this we are still gathering information about them almost daily. We chose the American Curl to cross with the Sphynx because she is known to be the most genetically free of defects in the purebred cat world.
For that reason combined with what is known as “hybrid vigor,” (where out-crossing to another breed helps to stabilize and strengthen the existing line when bred back, i.e., Sphynx-to American Curl-to Sphynx, Elf to DSH) the Elf should have far fewer health concerns than most purebred cats. With the two breeds combined, the Elf should be a very stable cat.
Is the Elf the Right Breed For You?
When looking for a new pet, one should always give the matter careful consideration. What is your home like? How much time do you have to spend with your pet when you are home? How much of that time will be quality time such as playtime, grooming, clipping claws and cleaning ears? Adopting any pet is a serious commitment and the Elf is no exception.
A common misconception about Sphynx or Elf cats is because they’re “hairless” they are hypoallergenic. Not true! The fact is it all depends on what an individual is allergic to. Some are allergic to fur or dander but many react to a protein found in the saliva of our feline friends, which is spread over the fur (or skin) when a cat grooms himself. If you have allergies, be sure to spend an extensive period of time around Elf cats before determining whether or not to bring one home.
Known for being athletic and naked in appearance, active and robust, out-going and very affectionate, the Elf cat is sure to give you and your family hours of entertainment and unsurpassed love.