Elf Cat Vs Sphinx -What’s The Difference?


Hairless cats might have been frowned upon in the past by many homeowners but things have since changed.

Many of these beauties are found in loving homes these days.

What they lack in having hairless bodies, they make up for it in temperament and maintenance.

No doubt, bald felines bring so much love and joy to the family without needing much from their owners.

The Devon Rex and Sphynx are arguably the most famous breeds in the hairless category.

However, there’s more for you to consider. One of them is the rare and elegant Elf cat.

Here, we have compared the Sphynx and the Elf cat in detail. If you are torn between both, this post will help you make an informed decision.

Breed overview

Elf cat

The Elf cat is a cross between the Sphynx and the American Curl.

 It is somewhat a new breed that came to light in the early 2000s.

Creators of the hybrid hoped to develop a cat with the physical traits and personality of the Sphynx but whose ears were curled. They succeeded in their quest.

Sadly, the breed is not recognized by cat registries yet. The reason is that it is categorized as a hybrid.

Perhaps after more developments, it will be accepted. Currently, Elf cats attend cat show events under the Sphynx category.


If you are a fan of animated movies, you have probably come across the Sphynx cat on screen. 

Films such as Austin Powers and Friends have had Sphynx characters with big roles.

The Sphynx’s story started in 1966 when the breed was discovered. After breeders working on the cat for decades, the Cat Fancier’s Association accepted it as part of the championship breeds.

Now, the cat has been crossed with other breeds to get designer cats.


Elf cat

As a descendant of the Sphynx and the American curl, expect the Elf cat to possess physical attributes from both parents.

 The body is hairless albeit with invisible traces of fur.

Perhaps the feature that stands out is the breed’s curled ears. These tower above the head and catch the attention immediately.

Like the Sphynx, the Elf cat is a medium-sized cat with most being under 12 pounds in weight. Some grow big (about 1 pound).

The coat is wrinkled and comes in all colors and patterns such as cream, golden, red, white, blue-cream, tortoiseshell, calico, tabby, and smoke-shaded.


The Sphynx is a short hairless cat with a striking appearance.

Besides having traces of fur (not visible to the eye), this breed is also famous for its wrinkled skin, large ears, and sleek, muscular body.

 The body is a bit too dense for his short stature.

Unlike the Elf cat’s curled ears, the Sphynx bears huge triangular bat ears.


Elf cat

The Elf cat, like the Sphynx cat, is sociable and comfortable around human beings. He is also as gentle as the American curl.

Expect him to be playful, intelligent, and fun-loving.

 As part of the family, he will fit right in. This rings true if you have many pets or none at all.

 As long as he gets his dose of mental stimulation, food, and love, he will thrive as a pet.


Like the Elf cat, the Sphynx is a lovable and wonderful kitty.

This one is an energetic acrobat with a sense of humor and a quest for attention.

As a friendly feline, he will follow you around the house just to be near you.

Any opportunity to curl on your laps or rub his body against yours is welcome with open hands.

Sphynxes get along with people and pets of any shape and size making them great indoor cats.

Grooming and exercise needs

Elf cat

Thanks to the absence of fur on the body, the Elf cat is relatively low-maintenance as far as grooming is concerned.

 They may shed some of the furs but you will hardly notice.

However, these kitties need frequent baths and wipe-downs.

With no hair to trap oils and dirt from the skin, these babies can become sticky and worse – develop skin issues.

 For obvious reasons, they also need to stay indoors as much as possible.

Exercise needs are also moderate. Let him run around the house and play lots of games to keep the brain working.


The grooming and exercise needs of the Shynx are similar to those of the Elf cat.

They bear the same characteristics and need the same care. Weekly baths and wipe-downs are a must.

When temperatures dip, the Sphynx should be kept warm with an extra layer of clothing.

When it’s too hot, apply sunscreen on him before hitting the outdoors. 

This cat is also extremely active. Once he wakes up, he will want to jump around and want to touch everything.

Offer the necessary tools to help him fend off some energy.


Both the Elf cat and the Sphynx are relatively healthy cat breeds.

Sadly, they are susceptible to health conditions specific to hairless felines. These include sensitivity to extreme weather, sunburn, sensitivity to temperature changes, and delicate skin that can be easily injured.

They may also develop Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy where the heart muscle thickens and impairs the working of the organ.

Which Breed Is Right For You?

When comparing the Elf cat and the Sphynx, it is clear that they are closely related in more ways than one.

There are only a few slight differences. For one, the Elf cat has curled ears while the Sphynx has the usual bat ears.

You may prefer one physique over the other. Also, the fact that the Sphynx cat is registered as a breed of its own can make a difference in the world for someone.

If you care for pedigree pets, you may want to stick with the Sphynx.

Everything else – temperament, grooming, exercise, food, and health – are similar. 

They both get along with other pets and people, are playful, friendly, affectionate, and easy-going.

By and large, choosing a cat to own is not an easy decision to make. With all the beautiful breeds around, it can be hard to take a pick.

You’d have to go by your preferences, the situation of your family, and the size of your pocket. Choose wisely!