Kids’ reaction to dad having a hairless kitten has the internet in hysterics

Footage of two children shocked and confused by their father’s new hairless kitten has taken the internet by storm.

In a clip shared with TikTok by user Lea Hoover (@mew_thenakedkitty), her stepchildren Amelia and Baron meet Mew, the couple’s new Sphynx cat, for the first time.

Ben introduces Mew to Amelia
Photo of Ben introducing Mew to Amelia. She and Baron were initially unimpressed with their father’s new Sphynx.
Lea Hoover/@mew_thenakedkitty

Hoover, of Oregon, said Newsweek who had wanted a Sphynx cat since high school.

“My boyfriend’s sister came across a list of Mew’s and sent it to us, because my boyfriend had always wanted one too,” she said.

“It was very unexpected, but we’re so glad we did it because he’s such a nice, personable character.”

In the video, 9-year-old Amelia screams, “Ew, ew, oh my god, what is that?” as Mew trots out from behind a door to greet them. “Take that thing away from me.”

A confused-looking baron, age 7, asks, “Will he have hair?”

Since it was shared on Dec. 1, the video has been viewed more than 9 million times and received over 1.2 million likes.

What is a Sphynx cat and why are they hairless?

According to ASPCA Pet InsuranceSphynx cats were originally known as “Canadian Hairless”. PetMD says the first Sphynx cat, the only feline breed native to Canada, was born in 1966. He was “a hairless mutant male” named Prune.

The breed’s name comes from the Great Sphinx of Giza, the 240-foot-long ancient sculpture on the bank of the River Nile in Egypt, Africa.

Weighing an average of 6-12 pounds, Sphynx cats live between 8 and 14 years. While some are completely hairless, others are covered in a “fine peach fuzz,” as cat food manufacturers Purina put it. Another feature is their loose skin, which tends to wrinkle in some areas.

Mew the naked kitty
Photo of Mew at home. The Sphinx kitten was the first hairless cat Amelia and Baron had ever met.
Lea Hoover/@mew_thenakedkitty

As a breed, Sphynxes are known to be inquisitive and need lots of interactive play and entertainment. They are also talkative and social creatures, so owners should expect to lavish their furless pet very carefully.

Many people assume that Sphynx are a hypoallergenic breed, but most cat allergies are caused by the Fel d1 protein, which is found on a feline’s skin and in its saliva, so the breed will still aggravate those who are allergic to it.

“They Expected a Fluffy Cat”

In the video, Amelia and Baron open the bathroom door to reveal a 7 week old Mew. At first shocked by its lack of fur, the children run away from the tiny kitten.

Ben, Hoover’s boyfriend, takes the animal in his arms, while Amelia shouts “whose cat is that?”

“It’s ours,” Hoover replies, before Amelia asks if it’s her birthday present.

Ben then suggests Amelia keep Mew, but she backs away as he tries to pass the kitten to her.

Amelia and Baron with Mew
A photo of Amelia and Baron with Mew. Although at first the children were frightened by the appearance of the kitten, now they love it.
Lea Hoover/@mew_thenakedkitty

Hoover said the couple had never discussed getting a cat with Amelia and Baron, so the kids’ surprise was more than just Mew’s lack of fur.

“They didn’t ask for one, and we knew they’d be even more surprised by a hairless cat,” Hoover said.

“My boyfriend and I set it all up by putting it in the bathroom and telling the kids there was a surprise inside.

“He’s quite vocal, so they could hear him meowing in the bathroom and ran to open the door, as seen in the video. Obviously they were expecting a fluffy cat and saw this hairless kitty running out.”

Lea Hoover and boyfriend Ben with Mew
Lea Hoover and her boyfriend, Ben, pictured with Mew. The couple had always wanted a Sphynx cat, so when Hoover’s sister sent them an ad for Mew, they decided to adopt the “naked cat.”
Lea Hoover/@mew_thenakedkitty

Their encounter with Mew was the first time either Amelia or Baron had seen a hairless cat, leading to “many surprises and thrills in a very short amount of time”.

Although Amelia’s immediate reaction was “Ew,” she was holding Mew seconds after Hoover stopped recording.

“Now they absolutely love it,” she said. “He has a great personality and is always on your lap or wants to play, so they have a lot of fun.”

TikTokers found the footage hysterical, with user KK describing Amelia’s reaction as “point to point”.

“I love hairless cats but this might be the funniest video ever,” TikToker mya wrote.

“‘Will he have hair’ is the funniest question he could have asked at the time,” Sydney posted, as Rnoximo instructed the kids to, “Apologize to him right now.”

Mew isn’t the only Sphynx to have gained thousands of new fans online. A hairless cat named Finnick took over TikTok in early December after he was caught on camera sneaking into the tub with its owner, while a clip of a Sphynx called Tofu and their pink shower cap amassed more than 1 million views in April.

In May, a 12-year-old rescue Sphynx named Smurf was also happy Reddit users, thanks to his permanently angry face.

Do you have funny and adorable videos or photos of your pet that you want to share? Send them to life@newsweek.com with a few details about your best friend and they could appear in our Pet of the Week lineup.