The Dwelf cat is a cat that does not have a typical cat look; in fact, it looks like a cat that hails from another planet. One has to love the breed to love the look. It is at one time really cute and a little scary; some said it is so ugly that it is cute. This odd-looking breed’s name is derived from its dwarf stature and elf-like features, resulting in the name, Dwelf. Like its hybrid name, the Dwelf is a mix of breeds, namely, the Munchkin, the Sphynx and the American Curl. Each of these three breeds has a distinctive trait that comes together and manifests itself in a Dwelf. However, it is the Sphynx’s lineage that gives the Dwelf its most prominent feature, that is, its coat or lack thereof. The origin of the Dwelf is thus in the United States. It is still undergoing development and as such is still considered a fairly new breed.
Physical appearance and attributes
Its dwarf-like stature suggests that the Dwelf is a small-sized cat that usually weighs between 4 – 7 pounds. It has a small, stocky body with medium boning and good musculature. The stout appearance is contributed by its thick neck, broad chest, rounded abdomen as well as its short legs. Such composition makes the Dwelf appear longer than it is tall. There is a slight rise on the back line due to the longer hind legs, while the forelegs may appear more bow due to muscling. The legs extend into large, oval shaped paws with prominent knuckles and thick paw pads. Balancing the body is a whippy-like tail that is long, slender, flexible and tapering into a pointed tip.
The Dwelf’s head is of a modified wedge that appears slightly longer than it is wide. It has prominent cheekbones and distinct whisker pads. Atop the head is a pair of moderately large ears that is set upright and alert. The ears have also inherited the Curling trait from the American Curl. Thus the tips of the ears present a minimum of 90 degrees graceful arc towards the back of the ears. Dwelf has large almond shaped eyes with a very open expression. Viewed in profile, a gently rounded skull and a flat forehead are evident. The muzzle appears short and strong, forming a vertical alignment with the tip of the chin. A nose break between the eyes can also be noted.
Even though the Dwelf is considered a hairless cat, it may actually be covered with a slight and almost imperceptible down that is very short and fine. This feature gives its body a soft suede texture. The wrinkles on the body are also made visible and are especially prominent in the forehead, shoulders and legs. Its whiskers and eyebrows may be present, broken or totally absent.
Personality and attributes
While the Dwelf cat is a sociable and friendly cat, it does not usually handle the new environment well. Thus, it will require some time to warm up when it is in a new home. When it is all settled, the Dwelf will be able to get along well with children and other family pets. It has no issue sharing its living space with dogs and loves the actions and fun that little children usually introduce during interactive play. It is an affectionate breed that does not shy away from being handled. Its short legs do not impede its mobility and it has no problem in climbing. With its intelligence and high level of curiosity, the Dwelf would be able to find its way around the home with little difficulties. It does not demand for attention, but would appreciate the love and care shower on it.
Care and health issues
As the Dwelf is considered a fairly new breed, its lifespan is undetermined. There are a few genetic health issues related to its pseudo-achondroplasia (dwarfism). They are lordosis, which is an exaggerated inward curvature of the spine, as well as pectus excavatum, which is a deformity that causes a sunken or funnel chest. A responsible breeder would avoid or ‘breed-out’ such conditions in their breeding programs. Thus, it is important that a written health guarantee is obtained from a qualified breeder when purchasing the cat to ensure that the cat is healthy.
Grooming the Dwelf requires some efforts. As there is no coat to absorb its skin oil, a regular bath would be necessary to remove the accumulated dirt. Clean the ears and trim the nails whenever necessary. Brushing the teeth frequently with vet-approved toothpaste would help to prevent periodontal disease.
As with other hairless cat, the Dwelf would require a high-calorie intake to help keep it warm. Sunscreen would need to be applied if it is being brought outdoors for a long period of time. Extra warmth would also need to be given during colder periods.
The ideal home
The Dwelf is suited for indoor living to avoid getting sunburn and to keep it warm. Owners can consider investing in cat clothing as well as ‘igloo’-type bedding for added warmth when necessary. It does not tolerate solitude for long and love human companionship. Thus, it would require a loving family that is ready to set aside the time to care and play with it. The family would also need to be prepared and committed in grooming the cat. Provide it also with cat toys and cat gym sets to promote a hearty and active growth. Under the right care, the unique Dwelf is sure to bring much joy, affections and unforgettable moments to the family.