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Dwelf Cat: Breed Info, Pictures, Care, Traits & Facts

Brooke Billingsley

By Brooke Billingsley

dwelf cat lying on grey blanket

Height: 6 – 7 inches
Weight: 4 – 9 pounds
Lifespan: 12 – 15 years
Colors: Pink, black, suede
Suitable for: Families, singles, couples, seniors, people who are home a lot
Temperament: Playful, social, active, intelligent, dog-like

Hairless cats are rapidly growing in popularity, partially due to their unique looks and partially due to people realizing what wonderful cats these can be. One such breed is the Dwelf, a newer cat breed still in the early stages of development. This means that the breed still has room to grow and change as time goes on.

However, many people wouldn’t want much to change with the Dwelf. These cats are loving and outgoing cats, packed in the body of stubby-legged kitties. They are often considered dog-like in their personality. They love being in a home where they get lots of time and attention given to them. If you’re interested in this short cat that isn’t short on personality, keep reading to learn more about the Dwelf.

Dwelf Kittens

Energy
Trainability
Health
Lifespan
Sociability

Since the Dwelf is not only a newer cat breed but also a somewhat designer cat breed, you should expect a high price tag.

You’re unlikely to find a Dwelf in a shelter, but a rescue that specializes in hairless cats may have a Dwelf available from time to time.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Dwelf Cat

1. They’re a combination of three cat breeds.

The Dwelf was developed through crossbreeding three different cat breeds. You’re probably not surprised to hear that the Dwelf was developed from the Sphynx cat breed due to the hairless gene shared by both breeds. The Dwelf gets its short legs from the Munchkin, another short and highly controversial cat breed. The curled ears of the Dwelf come from the American Curl. The name “Dwelf” is a combination of the words dwarf and elf, speaking to the short stature and curled ears of the breed.


2. They’re not an accepted breed (yet).

You won’t find the Dwelf on any major cat breed registry yet due to the overall young age of the breed. A cat breed must be well developed to be accepted into any major registry, and it’s just too early for the Dwelf right now. However, The International Cat Association (TICA) has added the Dwelf to a breed category called Experimental New Breeds. This means that they are watching the development of the breed, and, with further time and development, the breed could be accepted as its own registered cat breed.


3. It’s not clear where they originated.

All we really know is that the Dwelf began being developed in the United States sometime within the last 20 years or so. While some younger breeds can be clearly traced to specific starting points, this is not the case with the Dwelf. It’s generally believed, though, that the development of the Dwelf began shortly after the development of the Bambino, which is a closely related breed that began as a cross between a Munchkin and Sphynx.

dwelf cat lying on bed
Image By: Jenni Ferreira, Shutterstock

Temperament & Intelligence of the Dwelf Cat

Are These Cats Good for Families? 👪

Yes, the Dwelf is a good cat breed for families, especially in homes where someone is home most of the time. They aren’t big fans of being left alone for long periods, though. Their social nature makes them suitable for family homes that visitors frequent.

One major consideration when bringing a Dwelf to a family home with children is the age of the children and their willingness to be gentle with a cat. Since the Dwelf is a breed that stays quite small, they can be easily injured by rowdy children. Although they are dog-like cats that enjoy games and playtime, they should be handled with care to avoid injury.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

Overall, the Dwelf is a great cat breed to have in a home with other pets. With proper introductions, they’re known to get along well with both dogs and other cats. Their dog-like personality often makes them great companions for dogs, but care should be taken to ensure the dog treats the cat gently to avoid injuries. Avoid letting a Dwelf around small pets, like rodents and reptiles, since they are cats and may hunt small animals.

Things to Know When Owning a Dwelf Cat

Food & Diet Requirements 🐡

It’s extremely important to keep your Dwelf on a high-quality cat food that is appropriate for their life stage. These kitties have small bodies, so maintaining a healthy weight is an essential part of supporting longevity. Overfeeding can lead to obesity, a serious issue for a normal-sized cat. For a Dwelf, just a few extra ounces of body weight can lead to joint problems, back problems, diabetes, and other medical concerns.

You should also ensure your Dwelf is getting plenty of water in their diet every day. Not all cats are good about drinking enough water, so many vets recommend wet food to help your cat stay hydrated. Your vet or a veterinary nutritionist are fantastic resources for helping you choose a good food for your cat, as well as helping guide you in maintaining a healthy weight.

Exercise 🐈

These active cats need plenty of exercise every day. Obstacle courses, catios, and cat trees are good ways to encourage movement and exercise. You should also set aside time every day to play with your Dwelf. They are intelligent cats that will love playing games with you. Teaser toys and fetch are favorite games for many Dwelf cats. Some Dwelfs can also be trained to walk on a leash, and routine walks can help keep your cat healthy and active.

Training 🧶

The Dwelf is an intelligent cat breed that can be trained to perform tricks and tasks. They may not be the most athletic cats, but many of them will enjoy learning how to solve puzzles, walk on a leash, and complete obstacle courses. Other important things to train your Dwelf to do are to scratch in appropriate places, use the litter box correctly, and “drop it” or “leave it” when playing with inappropriate items.

Grooming ✂️

Since they are hairless, Dwelf cats have minimal grooming needs. Like many hairless cats, though, they do need to be bathed regularly. In haired cats, oils on the skin are distributed across the skin and trapped in the coat, maintaining overall skin and coat health. In hairless breeds, these oils often build up on the skin, leading to a waxy coating. Many people bathe their Dwelf cats every week or two to keep the skin healthy. Just remember that your Dwelf will need to be trained to tolerate baths. Like most cats, they aren’t naturally going to be fans of water.

Health and Conditions 🏥

Minor Conditions
  • Skin infections
  • Ear infections
Serious Conditions
  • Obesity
  • Pectus excavatum
  • Lordosis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Arthritis and other joint disorders
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Male vs Female

Oftentimes, male Dwelf cats are slightly larger than females, although this may not be immediately evident due to the overall small size of these cats. There are no notable differences between males and females otherwise. Sometimes, female cats are more independent and content to spend time alone than male cats are. Male cats may be more likely to be loving and outgoing but may also require more one-on-one time to help them feel loved and comfortable.

Conclusion

Overall, the Dwelf cat is a fun and interesting cat breed that should be watched throughout its development as it has great potential. It is important to maintain responsible breeding practices to prevent serious medical conditions from developing within the breed, though. They are potentially prone to many of the serious medical conditions that their parent breeds are prone to, and health testing and responsible breeding practices may be the only way to keep this from happening. It’s essential for these cats to have a healthy body weight throughout their life to prevent obesity and obesity-related conditions from developing. With proper care and treatment, Dwelf cats can be long-lived and loving companions.


Featured Image Credit: Jenni Ferreira, Shutterstock

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