Bambino Cat Facts

pink bambino cat with bright blue eyes resting on a gray sofa

What is a Bambino cat? Perhaps the first traits you will notice about these cats are that they are easy to spot in a crowd, they enjoy snuggling with their families, and they often have some spunk in their step. Read on to learn more.

History

The history of the Bambino cat is rather short, mainly due to the fact that these cats didn’t make an appearance until 2005. Cat breeders Stephanie and Pat Osborne decided to breed the well-known Sphynx cat with the infamous Munchkin cat. As a result of mixing the recessive hairless gene from the Sphynx and the dominant short-legged gene from the Munchkin, this new breed of cat ended up being a nearly bald, dwarf cat.

The name “Bambino,” which means “baby” in Italian, was appropriately given to these short felines because even when fully grown, they still appear to look like kittens.

Attributes

As you have probably already guessed, a Bambino cat’s most distinctive features are their short stature and hairless body. Although, it is worth mentioning that many hairless cats (including the Bambino) are indeed not completely bald. Instead, these kitties actually have very short, peach fuzz-like hair that covers their body. To the touch, this fuzz oftentimes feels like suede.

Due to the fact that these cats are seemingly hairless, people often ask, “Are Bambino cats hypoallergenic?” Contrary to what many may believe, even when “hairless,” Bambinos are not a hypoallergenic cat. However, Bambinos produce less dander than hairier cat breeds, which means that some individuals with mild cat allergies can tolerate being around these felines.

These wrinkly cats are rather small and, on average, weigh between five to nine pounds. That being said, it’s not unusual for some to weigh more or less than the average. The typical lifespan for this breed is anywhere from 9-15 years.

If you talk to anyone who has been around a Bambino cat, they will surely have a lot to say about how loving these cats are. Bambinos adore spending time with their family, and they are always down for some lap or cuddle time. Since these cats feed off of socialization, they do not enjoy spending an immense amount of time by themselves.

A great way to give your Bambino some extra company, especially when you are not home, is to have another cat or dog in the home. Not only do these cats get along well with other animals, but they can also be a fantastic choice for a family with children.

Even though there is no denying that Bambinos make for wonderful additions to the family and they are true sweethearts, it is worth noting that these little felines also have an ornery streak. Whether you prefer the term mischievous, curious, or adventurous, chances are your Bambino will encompass all meanings of the word.

bambino sphynx cat with brown ears and blue eyes

Grooming and Care

Don’t let the lack of fur trick you into thinking that Bambino cats don’t need grooming. In fact, they typically require more grooming than the average cat. With most cats, their hair collects their natural oils, but since Bambinos do not have that amenity, their skin can become oily or dirty. In some extreme cases, these cats can even develop skin problems if they are not cleaned frequently enough.

Although it can vary from cat to cat, most Bambinos will need regular bathing—at least one bath a week. Some cat parents have found that if their cat needs to be cleaned more frequently, they can alternatively use wipes instead of having to give multiple baths every week.

Before purchasing your cat cleaning products, be sure to talk with your veterinarian about recommended products. It is important not to use human shampoo or soap since that can often dry out your cat’s skin. Similarly, it is important to buy specific wipes as well. Buying the wrong type of wipes can cause skin irritation, and wipes with scents can cause an upset stomach if your cat ingests any of the product residue.

Besides skincare, your Bambino cat should also have their teeth cleaned on a weekly basis. Just like humans, it’s essential to keep their pearly whites sparkling clean and healthy. Your cat’s ears should additionally be checked (for redness or bad odor) and cleaned regularly. Be sure to talk with your veterinarian about recommended ear cleaning products and how to properly clean the ears without causing any discomfort to your feline friend.

Since Bambinos do not have a thick coat to cover their skin, it is key to be mindful of the weather. During the colder months, your cat may need a sweater to help keep them warm. And on sunny days, keep an eye that your kitty is not exposed to too much sunlight—Bambinos can get sunburnt. Furthermore, because they do not have a thick coat to protect their skin, Bambinos are more prone to getting scrapes, bumps, or cuts.

When it comes to cats, it can be quite difficult to tell when they are sick or in pain. Read up on how to detect and manage when something is wrong with your cat.

Common Health Issues

Overall, Bambinos are considered to be a fairly healthy breed. However, just because these cats typically have a clean bill of health, it’s still recommended that they have annual visits to their veterinarian. In the instance that a health issue does arise, your veterinarian can hopefully catch the issue earlier on since they are actively monitoring your cat’s health, and they are familiar and up-to-date with your feline’s condition.

When a health issue does arise in a Bambino, it oftentimes is a condition that has been passed down from the Sphynx or Munchkins cat. The top conditions that are prevalent among this mixed breed are,

  • Skin conditions: With a lack of hair and overly oily skin, most hairless cat breeds have an increased chance of developing bacterial skin conditions or infections.
  • Pectus excavatum: This is a malformation of the sternum that causes a ‘caved in’ appearance in the chest cavity.
  • Lordosis: This condition causes the cat’s spine to be overly curved.

Because Bambinos are still a fairly new breed, not a large amount is known about possible long-term inherited diseases that can pass from generation to generation.

That being said, there is much evidence that the common health problems of both the Sphynx and Munchkin have been inherited. Because of the deliberate breeding of these two cats, in spite of the risks that can occur in their genetic health, many people hold controversy with the Bambino breed.

pink bambino cat with blue eyes looking down while sitting on a gray couch

Fun Facts

Being such a young breed, there is still much to learn about these petite cats.

With each passing year, it seems that people are better understanding the personality, traits, and quirks of the Bambino breed.

Name Suggestions

After meeting your cat and getting to know their personality, it will be time to choose your cat’s name. First making their appearance in 2005, the following list of possible Bambino names has been inspired by some of the top musical artists from the same year.

  • Gwen
  • Mario
  • Clark
  • Missy
  • Ciara
  • Frankie
  • Howie

The information presented in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute or substitute for the advice of your veterinarian.

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