About the Bambino Cat
Bambinos are the deliberate hybrid of long-boned shortened dwarf cats, including the Munchkin and the extremely short-coated or hairless cats, the Sphynx, the desired results being a hairless, short cat with an athletic appearance and a gentle but lively, outgoing and affectionate personality. Bambinos are intelligent, friendly cats that are agile as their size does not hamper their movements. They respond well to being handled as they are very interactive, social cats.
Bambino litters produce both short-legged and long-legged kittens. The only difference between the short and tall siblings are their leg lengths. Bambino long-legs are vital to the Bambino breeding program as they match the standard in every other way and are essentially the same as Sphynx. They do not carry a short legged gene.
Bambinos are currently accepted for registration in the Rare and Exotic Feline Registry (REFR). They are recognized as an experimental new breed by The International Cat Association (TICA) and will be shown in TICA as Sphynx, New Trait.
A "short" Bambino History
Short, hairless cats, being the product of Munchkin to Sphynx outcrossings, have been around for a number of years. Stephanie and Pat Osborne of HolyMoly Cattery acquired one of these Munchkin/Sphynx hybrids and instantly fell in love with his personality and appearance. After much research into the health and viability of these short, hairless cats, the Bambino breed was established and founded by Stephanie and Pat in 2005. Pat is from an Italian heritage so we chose the name Bambino. Bambino Cats, or "Baby Cats" in Italian, is a true description since Bambinos keep their kitten like appearance and behaviour all of their life.
The first litter of registered Bambinos were born to HolyMoly Cattery. An application for registration status was sent in to The International Cat Association (TICA) for acceptance as a new breed and in 2006 by Stephanie and Pat. TICA recognized Bambinos as a new experimental breed and began registering them as such. Bambinos are also accepted for registration by the Rare and Exotic Feline Registry (REFR).
About the Foundation Breeds
The Munchkin's distinctive short legs developed from a spontaneous autosomal dominant mutation which has occurred several times in the domestic cat. Munchkins exhibit shortening and may have slight bowing of the long bones. The spine is unaffected and similar in form and flexibility to that seen in other domestic cats. The short legs do not hamper mobility or survival ability. The breed has been established from spontaneously occurring domestic cat lines with augmentation by outcrosses to other domestic cats. Munchkins are outgoing, intelligent, and respond well to being handled.
Excerpt from the Munchkin Breed Standard.
The Sphynx 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. Whiskers and eyebrows may be present, either whole or broken, or may be totally absent. The cat should not be small or dainty. The Sphynx is sweet-tempered, lively, intelligent and above all amenable to handling.
Future Development of the Bambino Cat
Bambinos are still fairly new and rare. Our group of dedicated Bambino breeders are working towards healthy cats that match the Bambino standard and to have them accepted worldwide in all registries.
Baminos are just like the Sphynx and follow the Sphynx/Bambino standard. The long legged kittens in each litter are essentially Sphynx as they carry no dwarf gene but they do carry the Bambino name at this point. Our goal is to have them accepted into a Sphynx breed group eventually. Then the short kittens would be Bambinos and their long legged siblings would be able to be called what they really are: Sphynx.
Medium-sized, modified wedge with rounded contours, slightly longer than wide. Skull is slightly rounded with a rather flat forehead and prominent cheekbones and a distinct whisker break.
Large, rounded lemon shape. Slanting to outer corner of ear. Slightly more than an eye width between eyes.
Very large, broad at base and open. Set upright, neither low set nor on top of the head. The interior is totally hairless. Slight amount of hair allowed on lower outside edges and on the back of the ear.
Two planed, flat forehead. Slight stop.
Muzzle and Chin: Strong rounded muzzle with distinct whisker break and firm chin.
Slight to moderate stop at bridge of nose.
Medium in length, rounded and well-muscled. The neck arches from the shoulders to the base of the skull and is powerful, especially in males.
Medium in size, medium to medium long in length. The chest is broad, may tend toward barrel chested. The abdomen is wellrounded, having the appearance of having eaten a large meal, but not fat.
Legs: Short with medium boning and firm musculature. Hind legs slightly longer than front allowed. Slight bowing in front legs allowed. Females may have slightly finer boning.
Medium in size, oval shape with long, slender toes. The paw pads are thicker than in other breeds, giving the cat the appearance of walking on "air cushions". The toes are very long, slender and prominent.
Tail: Whippy, tapering from body to tip (rat-tailed). Length is in proportion to body. A lion tail (puff of hair on tip) acceptable.
Musculature: Hard and muscular, not delicate.
Appears hairless. May be covered with short, fine down. May have puff of hair on tip of tail. Whiskers are sparse and short.
Texture: Chamois-like. A feeling of resistance may be felt when stroking the skin of some cats. The skin is very wrinkled in kittens. Adults should retain as many wrinkles as possible, especially on the head, although wrinkling should not be so pronounced that it affects the cat's normal functions.
Bambinos are the deliberate hybrid of long-boned shortened dwarf cats, including the Munchkin and the extremely short-coated or hairless cats including the Sphynx, the desired results being a hairless, dwarf cat with an athletic appearance and a gentle but lively, outgoing and affectionate personality. The standard Bambino would be a sturdy, muscular cat with a hairless appearance and a type distinct from other breeds. It is an intelligent, friendly cat that is agile as it's size does not hamper it's movements. The Bambino responds well to being handled as they are very interactive, social cats.
The Bambino 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. Whiskers and eyebrows may be present, either whole or broken, or may be totally absent. The cat should not be small or dainty. Males may be up to 25 percent larger so long as proper proportions are maintained. The Bambino is sweet-tempered, lively, intelligent and above all amenable to handling.
Overall small cat. Body that is too thin, frail-appearing or delicate or fine-boned; too cobby or foreign. Lack of wrinkles on the head. Straight profile, narrow head. Non-amenable disposition . Significant amounts of hair above the ankle.
WITHHOLD AWARDS (WW):
Any indication of wavy hair or suggestion of the Devon Rex, or Cornish Rex in molt.
DISQUALIFY (DQ): Any evidence of depilitating, plucking, shaving or clipping or any other means of hair removal. Inability to handle.