Many people will say cats all look pretty similar. Well, they haven't met the Bambino cat! This is a brand new breed that's already gaining quite the following thanks to its unique appearance. Short legs and a hairless body make this cat one-of-a-kind.
When you get past the Bambino's striking looks, you'll uncover an equally exciting personality. This cat is playful, quirky, energetic, and loving. It's a social kitty that will always want to spend time with you, no matter what that entails. Find out more about the Bambino cat's personality, health, and history to see if it's the right kitty for you.
Bambino Cat Breed Origin & History
In recent years, cat breeders have started mixing existing breeds to create new cat breeds. One of those creations is the Bambino, a cross between the Sphynx cat and the Munchkin. The Bambino carries the recessive hairless gene of the Sphynx and the Munchkin's dominant short-legged gene, creating quite a unique kitty.
Bambino means "baby" in Italian, but this cat originated in North America when Stephanie and Pat Osborne registered the first litter in 2005. The dwarf breed was designated an "Experimental New Breed" by The International Cat Association (TICA) the following year.
Despite the quasi-registration with TICA, the Bambino's development has been controversial. Some believe the cats have an increased chance of health problems due to the breeding of two cats with mutated genes.
We believe that mixing two breeds with inherited conditions to make another could not be said to be in the interests of the animals involved. Breeding such cats is entirely for the benefit of owners with no genuine consideration for the welfare of the cat
- International Cat Care
Because of their controversial bloodline, the Bambino is not recognized by the Cat Fanciers' Association or the American Cat Fanciers' Association. However, feline enthusiasts worldwide adore the breed nonetheless.
The Bambino's health has not been properly studied, so we don't know if their breeding has any impact on their health. Research has shown that Muchkins, their parent breed, might suffer from back problems due to their flexible spines.
Bambino Cat Breed Personality
The Bambino hasn't only inherited its unique looks from the Munchkin and Sphynx — it also has the best of both personalities! The Sphynx is a social cat that craves—no, demands—attention. The Bambino has that same affectionate personality, known for loving its entire family. This is a cat that can get along with almost everyone.
Whether it's snuggling on the couch or following you as you go about your daily chores, the Bambino loves being near its owner. This is not a cat that enjoys being alone, so make sure you have time to spend with your kitty!
Like the Munchkin, the Bambino is known for being rambunctious and playful. Despite their squatty legs, Munchkins loves to run around the house like a little ferret. The Bambino is the same! They are highly energetic and love exploring every spot in the house, often finding strange places to squeeze into or climb on top of.
Keep your Bambino occupied with toys, toys, and more toys. They can spend hours chasing after toys, jumping for ribbons, and speeding throughout the house.
Bambino Characteristics (Physical)
There's no denying that the Bambino has a unique appearance. The first thing you will notice about the Bambino is its hairless body. The next, its short legs! But there's more to the Bambino than its mutations!
Bambino Cat Size
The Bambino is a dwarf breed, meaning they are quite small. Most stand around eight inches high. Some may even be smaller!
Adult Bambino cats (both male and female) typically weigh between five and nine pounds.
This breed has a very similar head to the Sphynx, including its facial features and ears. They have a distinct head shape that features sharp cheekbones, a prominent whisker pad, and a strong chin.
This feline has large eyes that are often described as lemon-shaped. No color is specified since there are not many breed standards for this newly created kitty. Still, you will often see blue, inquisitive eyes.
The Bambino has large ears that face forward and appear quite alert. Sometimes they are described as lynx-tipped, due to the little tufts on the top.
Legs & Paws
You might have noticed that the Bambino has very stubby, chubby short legs! The bone in the breed's upper legs is short, meaning you'll see plenty of waddling. But that doesn't stop these cats from getting around—far from it!
Bambinos are a hairless breed, of course! They have wrinkled, loose skin that's either genuinely hairless or covered in peach fuzz. The tip of their ears, part of their face, and the tip of their tail will often have a bit more noticeable fur. Their lack of hair allows you to see this cat's skin color, which is usually pink with some black.
Bambino Cat Lifespan
Despite the controversy, Bambino cats can live up to 15 years with proper care and regular vet visits.
Bambino Cat Health Problems
Bambinos often carry hereditary diseases from both the Sphynx and Munchkin. Regular veterinary checkups are crucial for keeping this kitty healthy!
The most common heart disease in cats is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This is when the cat's heart muscles thicken, making it harder for the organ to pump blood. If you notice your Bambino being lethargic or struggling to breathe, immediately bring them to the vet.
Due to their lack of fur protection, Bambinos can get sunburns and melanoma quite easily. Regular bathing can help avoid some of their other common skin problems, like acne and oily skin.
Some Bambinos may have an overly curved spine. This spinal curve can be corrected, depending on severity. Always visit your vet if you think that your cat has an abnormal posture.
This is a malformation of the thorax (chest cavity). It gives your cat's body a "bowed" appearance. This condition is present at both. Pectus excavatum is more common in male cats.
The Bambino, much like the Sphynx, is prone to dirt buildup on their hairless skin. This can lead to acne. Check for blackheads when you bathe your cat. You can scrub your Bambino's skin lightly with a mild, vet-approved antibacterial soap.
Bambino Cat Breed Care
The Bambino might not have fur to brush, but they require plenty of grooming and care due to exposed skin. Without hair, Bambinos will absorb their skin's oils, meaning they will need regular baths to maintain clean skin. But bathing can also cause skin issues if you don't completely wash off shampoo or pat thoroughly dry them.
While washing your Bambino, always check their ears for canal blockages. Since they lack hair, dirt can accumulate inside this short-legged feline's ears. Use a soft cloth or an approved wet wipe to gently remove anything you see. You can also check their eyes for dust. When trimming their nails, check for any debris between their toes.
The Bambino is strictly an indoor cat. Their lack of fur makes them very vulnerable to hot and cold. Since they can easily overheat and get sunburns, limit their exposure to the sun whenever possible.
When it's cold, provide your hairless kitty with blankets and warm clothing. Just remember to wash their clothes since the Bambino's skin can get oily and sweaty.
Bambino cats are quite tiny, being a dwarf cat and all. So, they might not need as much food or cat treats as the average feline. Check the product's label to see how much food is suggested for its weight each day. Contact your veterinarian for more information on feeding a Bambino cat a proper diet.
Always look for cat food with quality ingredients. The first ingredient should always be protein, like turkey, salmon, or chicken. Avoid brands where the first ingredient is something like "chicken meal."
Avoid food brands with excessive amounts of carbohydrates, like corn and wheat. Cats don't need these in their diets, so they are "fillers."
A healthy alternative is wet food, which is low in carbohydrates and it contains over 70% water. This is a great way to give your cat the liquids they need and ensure they don't become dehydrated. Also, keep an eye out for cat treats made with quality ingredients.
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Children & Other Pets
The Bambino is a sweet soul who loves basically everyone they meet. This means that your Bambino will definitely get along with other pets. This includes other cats, dogs, and even small animals. Remember to introduce your cats carefully, taking the time to let them get to know each other without rushing to introduce them.
Always watch your dog's interaction with your Bambino. Even the most well-mannered dogs might be too much to handle for the Bambino. Since both are active and playful, they will enjoy racing around the house and goofing off together. But if your dog gets too rough, step in immediately.
Same with children. Kids love playing with Bambino cats, watching them race down the hall after toys for hours. But always watch younger kids when they interact with the Bambino. It's a tiny kitty that shouldn't have its ears or tail pulled.
More About The Bambino Cat Breed
The Bambino cat might be tiny — but it comes with a hefty price tag. They are often up to $3,000! This is also due to their rarity. You might need to travel pretty far to find one of these unique kitties. Many breeders will often have a long waitlist as well. Make sure you are only adopting from trusted breeders who can guarantee the health of their litters.
When you finally find a Bambino cat, never let this kitty go! It's a social kitty that has endless affection and energy. You will love snuggling with your Bambino while watching a movie and watching them race down the hall with their stubby legs. This is a mischievous kitty with a lot of love to give.