Many of you in our naked-kitty community may be aware that there is something of an on-going controversy and divide between those breeders who only breed the official, registered pure-bred, sphynx cats – and those who breed the sphynx out-crosses, “new traits” “new breeds” whichever way you want to call it. Bottom line is the argument will never end, the hairless gene is very highly desirable, and while I completely understand and can even really value and appreciate the pure-bred sphynx breeders feelings and desires to keep the hairless gene in only the Sphynx cat as it is officially registered… it simply will not happen, as it has already been out-crossed with other breeds for the past 20 years and will continue to be out-crossed and expanded (as far as I can foresee anyway based on history of not only the sphynx, but looking at other breeders with highly desirable coats like the poodle).
I thought it might interest some of you to learn of my perspective and experience being on the non-purebred side of the fence!
I was only about a year or maybe two into my new cattery when another breeder approached me that they needed to retire and had a beautiful little white blue eyed sphynx girl available for adoption. An all-white blue eyed baby was my dream so I jumped at the opportunity to adopt her! Well when I went over to meet her, (Alyasja became her name) I was greeted also by her sister (I later named Dior), and Dior was a “new breed” called a Bambino! I instantly fell so madly, deeply in love with this gorgeous all white-blue eyed short, chunky little munchkin girl, that I simply HAD to adopt her as well!
I had never heard of the bambino, and this breeder informed me that they were a new breed that was being developed, and they were working to gain them show-status and official approval. So perhaps I was young, dumb, and naïve, but I truly thought that working with the bambino I was going to be a part of making this amazing cat an approved breed and a reality for many of families to enjoy. I research in depth the studies done by lead geneticist with TICA who had studied the Munchkin cat for 7 years and found now detriment to the cat due to its fore-shortened long bones of the arms and legs, no alteration to the spine, and deemed a healthy cat and granted full approval as a championship breed through TICA.
As our cattery group grew, we continued to breed the bambino and worked VERY hard to produce kittens within the standard; we even worked on the original standard to write in some stricter adherence to proper body structure and not allow for bowed legs, and heightened hips etc. We learned what was required by TICA to advance a new breed and did everything according to their rules for four years we spent immense amounts of time, and thousands of dollars re-registering all of our cats as “sphynx New Trait” as required, registering all adults and kittens as you have to reach a certain number of cats registered to be advanced. We even attended as many cat shows as we could with our bambino babies to show them per the requirement.
However after all of this effort, and all of the years, the door was shut in our face by those on the sphynx breed committee with TICA who decided that a sphynx would never be allowed to have a “new trait” that involved any alteration to the bone or cartilage structure, therefore eliminating the chance that the Bambino (or elf, dwelf etc.) would ever be “approved” breeds.
However, here we are with a breed/new trait whatever that has been around since 2005, with literally HUNDREDS of breeders around the world working with the Bambino which is now stuck in this limbo of accepted by MOST breeders, and accepted by most of the public who adore them, and know them to be healthy, happy, amazing cats… however not an official breed. So what should be done, or what direction things will go I really have no idea, all I know is I do not ever want to spend a day of my life not being able to love on bambino kitties… I just thought all of you might like to have an insider-perspective.