The Elf cat was established by a group of people trying to create a unique cat that was both hairless and had curled ears. The Elf is a visually striking cat due to both of these features. The Elf was started as a cross between a Sphynx and an American Curl. Both the Sphynx and the American Curl are allowed to be bred to domestic cats of an unrecognized breed (registered or otherwise) as are the Elf cats.
Each of the parent breeds contribute something unique to the Elf cat. The American Curl contributes the gene for the curled ears, which is a dominant genetic mutation. In order to have a cat born with curled ears one parent must have curled ears. The Sphynx gives the appearance of hairlessness with its recessive hairless gene. It is entirely possible for two coated parents to produce a hairless kitten provided they each carry one copy of the hairless gene.
The head of the Elf cat should ideally be slightly longer than it is wide with prominent cheekbones and a noticeable whisker break that shows prominent whisker pads. The skull should be slightly rounded with a flat plane in front of the ears. The eyes of the Elf are a very distinct walnut shape, round on the bottom and oval on the top. The eyes should be set a minimum of one eye width apart and they should be placed at a slight angle between the base of the ear and the tip of the nose. Elf cats can have any color eyes ranging from gold to green and eyes should be blue in pointed cats.
The desired curl in an Elf is one that is at least 90 degrees and no more than 180 degrees. The ears should be wide at the base and open. The ears curve backwards in a smooth arc when viewed from any direction. The ears should not have such an extreme arch that the tip of the curl touches the back of the ear. The curl is a very important characteristic in this breed as it is one of the two things that differentiate these cats from any other recognized breed.
Elf cats can come in any color or pattern that is genetically possible, a wide range of colors can occur in the same litter. Some Elf cats will even be coated although the desire is to breed towards producing only hairless kittens. The texture of the coat in an elf can range from the feeling of a soft chamois to the feel of baby smooth skin. It is entirely acceptable for the Elf to have hair on its feet, ears, nose, tail, and scrotum. Smooth down like fur is also acceptable on the body of the Elf as long as it does not detract from the appearance of hairlessness. Coated Elf cats will be referred to as non-standard Elf’s.
The Elf is a medium to large size cat that has sturdy musculature and boning. The Elf should also appear as though it just finished a meal, which comes from the Sphynx ancestry. The Elf cat is a cat that has an impeccable personality and adores attention. This is a cat that thrives on being the center of one’s life and in the middle of everything. They are not suited to the outdoors and are very rare at this time. Since Elf cats inherit two separate genetic mutations it can sometimes be two or even more generations before a hairless Elf will be born.
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