A woman in America, April Arguin, has created two new hairless breeds of cat by turning two existing breeds, the Bambino and the Sphynx into cats with no tail (bobtailed). They are hybrids. The Bambino is a dwarf hairless cat. She introduced the gene which removes the tail or shortens it to create the BamBob. The Sphynx is the world’s best known hairless cat. She created a tailless breed from this cat which she calls the ShynxieBob; a cat without fur and tail. Let’s remind ourselves that this breed is based on removing two important aspects of the domestic cat’s anatomy (fur and tail) to create what Arguin believes is an attractive or interesting cat. The same, more or less goes for the Bambob.
The video tells her story. She wants her new breeds to be recognised by a small, rather insubstantial cat breed registry called the Rare and Exotic Feline Registry (REFR). The mainstream registries in America are the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) and The International Cat Association (TICA). The former would not recognise these breeds on health grounds although ironically they promote the breeding of an inherently unhealthy cat, the contemporary Persian (and Exotic SH – the shorthaired version). As for TICA they currently recognise bobtailed cats, hairless cats and a dwarf cat (the Munchkin) and therefore may in due course recognise the SphynxieBob and the BamBob.
April Arguin says she has not created these breeds for financial gain but for her own pleasure and to bring new cat breeds into the world. The question is: does the world need or desire two new hybrid cat breeds? If we are honest, the answer is probably, no.
Dwarf cats are controversial because of potential health problems so these will be carried forward to the Bambob. Bobtailed cats are not uncommon and for instance you’ll see lots of street cats in Japan and Asia with short and kinked tails. The SphynxieBob is probably a better breed because it is probably inherently healthier. The Sphynx is quite popular although some people argue that it is unfair on a cat to remove its fur. These are essentially full-time indoor cats. They are an interesting cat breed, however. They have monkey-like behavior characteristics.