Bambino Cat (The Hairless Sphynx & Munchkin Cat Mix): Info, Pictures, Characteristics & Facts
|Height||12-18 inches (length), 5-7 inches (height)|
|Colors||Cream, white, gray, black, brown|
|Suitable for||Individuals, families, moderate allergy sufferers|
|Temperament||Loving, affectionate, playful, mischievous|
The Bambino is a cross between the hairless Sphynx and the short-legged Munchkin. There is a short history for the Bambino since they were first produced in 2005. The Bambino has short legs, large upright ears, and is mostly hairless with some “peach fuzz” all over. Their color can vary from white to cream, to gray, black, and brown.
They are much longer than they are tall, averaging 12 to 18 inches in length and 5 to 7 inches in height. Bambinos typically weigh somewhere between 5 and 10 pounds and on average, have a lifespan of 10 to 14 years old.
The name “Bambino,” which means “baby” in Italian, was given to these cats because even as fully grown adults, they still look like kittens. They are well known for their loving and affectionate personalities. They do great in all types of homes, even with small children. They are typically very playful, mischievous, and fun.
The Bambino has been met with controversy because of some health considerations among cat experts. They must be kept as indoor cats, as they are extremely sensitive to weather conditions. Their skin is vulnerable to sunburns, scrapes, cuts, and bumps and their lack of coat leaves them sensitive to the cold. It is recommended to have sweaters on hand for wintertime.
Bambinos are also prone to some health issues due to their short legs and long body. They may end up being a bit more expensive concerning veterinary care than the average cat. You will want to ensure you are fully prepared to house and care for these sensitive little cuties before bringing one home.
3 Little-Known Facts About the Bambino Cat
1. Bambino Cats Won’t Necessarily Be Hairless
Some Bambinos are hairless on their bodies but have tufts of hair on the tips of their ears and tails. Like the Munchkin, some Bambinos will have fur and others will have a sort of peach fuzz covering their bodies.
2. Both Munchkin and Spyhnx Resulted From Spontaneous Genetic Mutations
The Munchkin’s short legs are caused by an autosomal dominant gene, which causes the long bones in a cat’s legs to be shorter. A cat only requires one copy of this gene to inherit the short legs and to pass the trait along to its kittens.
The Sphynx breed that we are familiar with is also the result of a natural genetic mutation. They originate in Canada, with a hairless kitten born to a domestic short-hair in 1966 in Toronto, Ontario. This was the beginning of the lineage of Sphynx that we see today.
3. Bambino Cats Are Not Hypoallergenic
Contrary to what many may believe, the Bambino is not hypoallergenic. Though mostly hairless, they do have a light “peach fuzz” type coat that can still bother allergy sufferers. Mild allergy sufferers may find them easier to live with than cats with full coats, though.
Temperament & Intelligence of the Bambino Cat
Bambinos are very loving cats. They adore spending time with their family, and they are quite fond of cuddle time. Unlike a lot of cats, Bambinos will thrive on socialization and do not prefer to spend time alone. They will happily accept other furry companions in the home to spend time with while you’re away.
Not only do Bambinos get along well with other animals, but they also do very well with children. They are playful and energetic and time spent playing with the kids is time well spent for a Bambino.
With lots of energy comes an ornery streak, these cats can be quite entertaining in their antics. It can be a real treat watching them explore with their mischievous, curious, and adventurous nature.
Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪
Bambinos make wonderful family pets. Most cats tend to prefer socialization on their terms and can be a bit aloof. Bambinos are known for being very social and loveable. They genuinely enjoy human company, even children. Of course, each cat will have their own unique personality.
Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?
You can expect the Bambino to get along well with other pets in the household. They like having company and would rather have another furry housemate to spend time with while you’re gone than be alone. Of course, they are cats, so you’ll need to be wary of small pets like rodents or birds that could entice their prey drive. It’s always best to properly socialize any pets that will share a household and ensure the proper introduction is made.
Things to Know When Owning a Bambino:
Food & Diet Requirements
A Bambino, like any other cat, will need to be fed a high-quality diet. Ensuring your cat’s dietary and nutritional needs are met is vital for their overall health and well-being. Cats are obligate carnivores and will need a diet high in protein and formulated for cats. If you have any questions regarding your cat’s dietary needs, it is recommended that you contact your veterinarian for guidance.
Bambinos are naturally high-energy and very playful. Since they must be kept indoors, it’s a good idea to stock up on different toys for exercise and enrichment. They will love a variety of toys to play with and chase. You can expect their curiosity and playful nature to have them roaming around the house in search of their next adventure.
Training any cat is not for the faint of heart. Cats are not dogs and are nowhere near as easy to train. That does not mean that it can’t be done though. A Bambino could be taught some tricks with consistent training based on positive reinforcement with healthy treats or playtime as a reward.
Bambino cats will require more grooming than your average cat. With other cats, their fur collects natural oils, but since Bambinos are mostly hairless, it is easy for their skin to become dirty and oily. Bambinos are predisposed to skin conditions due to this reason and it’s important to bathe them regularly.
The needs may vary for each cat but as a general rule, it’s recommended to bathe a Bambino at least once per week. Some Bambino owners keep wipes handy in between baths. During bathtime, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on their ears and wipe them clean as needed.
You will want to keep a nail trimmer handy for their claws and consider purchasing a cat tree for claw sharpening. A cat tree will help them file their nails down and can save your furniture and flooring from damage.
Health and Conditions 🏥
Bambinos have been met with controversy because of the potential health problems that can occur within both the Munchkin and the Sphynx. Since they are such a new hybrid breed, not much is known about long-term health issues as of yet.
The Munchkin breed is well-known for having higher instances of lordosis (excessive curvature of the spine) and pectus excavatum (hollowed chest). With a lack of hair, many skin folds, and very oily skin, most hairless cats have an increased chance of developing skin problems such as bacterial and yeast infections.
Male vs Female
Because Bambinos are hybrids and can get traits from either parent, there are no distinguishing features that set males and females apart, other than the obvious. Generally, male cats are much less expensive to neuter due to the surgery being much less complex, compared to the spaying of a female.
There can be some behavioral differences between male and female cats as they age, but overall, a cat’s home environment and genetics play the biggest role.
The Bambino is a cute, friendly, loving little mix of two popular breeds, the Munchkin and the Sphynx. They only began breeding this hybrid in 2005, so there is still quite a bit to be learned about them.
This playful, social cat will take well to its human and animal companions. They thrive on love and attention. They are sensitive to weather conditions, require much more grooming and care due to hairlessness, and can have inherited health conditions.
Bambino may not be easy to find and will come at a high price tag. You may end up on a waitlist and possibly travel a long distance to find a kitten. Bambinos make great family pets and will fit into just about any household that is prepared to cater to their needs.
Featured Image Credit: SV_zt, Shutterstock