THE ELF CAT BREED
The Elf cat is a very new and extremely rare hybrid breed originated in the United States by crossing the Sphynx with the American Curl. The Elf cat has inherited the hairless appearance of the Sphynx and the curled ears of the American Curl. Karen Nelson and Kristen Leedom are known to be the creators of the breed.
The History of the Elf Cat, Back in about 2004 two Ladies put their heads together and shared a vision. They looked at their wonderful, hairless, Sphynx and saw them with curled ears. And the foundation of the Elf was born. Kristen Leedom, of Quendi Cattery and Karen Nelson of Falmari began working toward making that dream a reality. They shared their vision with others and from their beginning until now more breeders have fallen under the spell of the Elves and have joined in the venture toward their future. As the days have passed on the journey toward the kingdom of Elf, they came to a fork in the road and some chose one path while others chose another. As it is in this world, people sometimes reach the same end by different means, the Elf benefitted, gaining the genetic diversity of the American Curl and the Highlander through both being chosen to gain those amazing curled ears.
As an original founder of the Elf breed, I have given my heart to these cats and remained true to the original concept and Standard. At Quendi we have only outcrossed with the American Curl to bring about our wonderful Elf. I’m not a large fan of the Highlander as an outcross, but I’ve chosen to respect the right of others to add them to their programs if that was their choice. Ultimately the breed benefits most through the dedication of a group of breeders working together for them and a broad gene pool to work from. I made the decision that the greater harm would come from a division in the breeders due to different choices in outcross, I understand that we share this dream, thus we have reached this compromise for the cats.
Many of the Elves are now in generations that are beginning to exhibit the traits that were envisioned in their beginning. The breeders that have devoted their years, their homes and their hearts to these marvelous cats are beginning to introduce them in TICA’s showhalls.
Once the introductions have been made all around, and the numbers have been met, they hope to gain acceptance as a New Trait of the Sphynx.
As a New Trait, the Standard for the Elf is that of the Sphynx with only a modification for the Elf’s curled ears. The standard Elf appears to be a hairless cat, although it is not truly hairless. The skin should have the texture of chamois; it may be covered with very fine down which is almost imperceptible to both the eye and the touch. On the ears, muzzle, tail, feet and scrotum, short, soft, fine hair is allowed. Lack of coat makes the cat quite warm to the touch. The cat should not be small or dainty. The overall appearance of the Elf ear should be one that is aesthetically pleasing to view. The ears are large and open, with firm cartilage from the base to at least one-third the height of ear, curving back in an arc to the curled tips. The Elf is sweet-tempered, lively and intelligent and above all else amenable to handling.
Elf Cats were bred to retain the best qualities of their parent breeds. They are intelligent, friendly, social, outgoing and very affectionate. Lively and active but gentle at the same time. Elf cats will thrive on human attention and love. They are loyal and will often be found by your side or on your lap. They do, however, have a mischievous side. They love to climb and play with anything within their reach. Lots of toys are a must if you have an Elf cat. They also love high spots, so make sure you provide your cat with a few high shelves or other high located areas. Elf cats can adapt to almost any home situation easily. They also adjust to other animals remarkably well. However, it's not recommended to leave your cat alone all day long. If you have no choice, consider getting a companion for your Elf cat.
Elf cats come in all colours and patterns. Even though the breed is considered hairless, short fine hair may be present on the feet, ears, nose, and tail. Moreover, it's possible (but not necessarily) that Elf cats have a down-like fur. This fur doesn't disturb the hairless look of the cat.
Regular grooming is necessary to remove sebaceous secretions from the skin, otherwise the cat can become sticky to the touch or develop skin problems. Bathe your Elf cat when necessary, or give it sponge baths. Most tolerate their baths very well, and some really love it. Elf cats are known to shed very little.
- N/A Activity
- N/A Playfulness
- N/A Need for Attention
- N/A Affection
- N/A Need to Vocalize
- N/A Docility
- N/A Intelligence
- N/A Independence
- N/A Healthiness and Hardiness
- N/A Grooming needs
- N/A Good with children
- N/A Good with other pets
The Elf cat has an athletic and muscular body similar to that of the Sphynx. As well as their hairless ancestor, Elf cats have very prominent cheek bones and whisker pads. The whiskers and eyebrows, if any, are sparse and very short. The skin is intensively wrinkled around the shoulders, ears, and muzzle. This is especially obvious in kittens. The ears are curled backwards, which is a treat inherited from the American Curl. Ear furnishings are missing. The unique ears along with the overall hairless appearance make the most recognizable features of the Elf cat. The long tail is tapering to the tip. Limit the cat’s exposure to the outdoors, especially in extreme weather. Cold weather, as well as overexposure to the hot sun, are hazardous to the cat’s health. Overall, Elf cats are healthy and remarkably free of the genetic defects.
The weight is 10 to 15 pounds.
The Elf cat is accepted for registration with TICA. At TICA Cat Shows, they are shown as Sphynx with new traits.