Cat lover April Arguin has presented two new cat breeds to the world for the first time – the SphynxieBob and the BamBom.
The SphynxieBob is a Sphynx and Bobtail cat mix, and the BamBom is a cross between a Bambino cat and Bobtail cat.
April, who runs Lil Nudists Cattery, has spent three years researching the hairless cats and is now trying to get them recognised by the Rare and Exotic Feline Registry.
April, 32, says: ‘We had to do our research before we did the first pairing because we wanted to make sure we were producing beautiful healthy cats.
‘The SphynxieBob looks identical to a regular Sphynx, has gorgeous round ears, the hairless features and a muscular build, the only difference is the short little bobtail.
‘The BamBom is identical to the Bambino cat which is a hairless cat that carries the gene for short legs, and they also have a short little bobtail,’ continues April.
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‘I always wanted to do this because I had a love for Sphynx cats and a slight obsession with bobtail cats. I wanted to be able to share that love of the two with people who have severe allergies and can’t tolerate fur.
‘They are the ultimate show cat and the ultimate lover cat – we call them ‘velcro kittens’ because they need to be with you and on you everywhere you go.’
April says the breeds are great for families, too. ‘They are wonderful with children, love to play, they’re very outgoing and social and they don’t run away when you come near them.’
April, from Jacksonville, Florida is passionate about the breed she’s been working so closely with for the past nine years.
‘Sphynx cats stole my heart the very first time I saw one,’ admits April. ‘I was at a cat show and one walked right up to me, cuddled in my arms and gave me a kiss on the cheek – their personalities are so loving.
‘I know a lot of people who come to adopt from us who don’t have children and these are like their babies – they give the same kind of love back to you.’
It takes three generations of cats to get the unique look April is creating.
‘We have to mix the hairless cat with an American Bobtail cat,’ she explains, ‘and it takes three generations to get the hairless gene back into the kittens. The hairless gene is a recessive gene so the first generation of kittens are produced with fur like a normal cat then we choose the best kitten from that litter and breed them with a hairless cat.
‘The ideal specimen is a BamBom born with perfect hairlessness, perfect little legs and bobtail and a SphynxieBob with perfect hairlessness, long legs, muscular bodies and bobtails.’
But all this perfection doesn’t come cheap.
‘The BamBoms will cost about $3,500 and the SphynxieBobs will cost $2,800 to adopt,’ says April.
And now April is trying to get all her hard work recognised by making them an official breed. ‘The registration process has been a bit difficult and we’re still working on it. They require a certain number of kittens to be born first, so we’re waiting on a few more litters before they will be fully certified,’ she says. ‘I’ve written the breed standards myself and submitted it for acceptance.
‘I pretty much live 24/7 for these cats – it’s definitely a passion and something I do for the betterment of the breed and to share these amazing creatures with the world.’