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Kohana Cat
Alternative Names

Hawaiian Hairless


United States

Cat (Felis catus)
List of Cat Breeds

In 2002, a completely hairless variety among domesticated cats called the Kohana Kat (or Hawaiian Hairless) began to be bred. These cats were claimed to be the only completely hairless cats, beating the Sphynx, lacking hair follicles and having a skin texture like rubber. The original Hawaiian Hairless cats originated from a feral litter in Hawaii, and were allegedly due to a gene which masked out the dominant gene for full-coatedness. Unlike the other hairless breeds where the mutation affects the function of the hair follicles, this mutation allegedly caused the absence of hair follicles.

There were other, unconfirmed, reports that the cats were the result of mating a female Donskoy to a male Sphynx and the interaction of the two different hairlessness genes. In 2010 it was confirmed by DNA analysis that the Kohana Kat had the same hairlessness mutation as the Sphynx, with the other effects being the result of other genes in its genetic make-up; it was not a new mutation.

By the time the mutation was investigated, the Kohana Kat had practically died out due to reproductive problems and other health issues that may have been due to inbreeding. Around the same time the gene was identified, a British woman attempted to smuggle two Kohana Kats into the UK for establishing the breed in that country. The cats were intercepted and quarantined.