Sphynx cat breed<<<< Back to cat breeds
- Country: Canada (Toronto)
- Origin: Mutation
- Scientific name: Felis catus
- Weight: 8-11 lbs (4 – 5 kg)
- Colors: All colors
- Coat: Hairless
- Temperament: sociable, curious, loyal, agile
- Health: attention to skin allergies, temperature, sun, mouth disorders
- Litter size: 4 puppies
- Lifespan: 8 - 14 years
- Price: $800-$1200 USD (600-950pounds)
In the last hundred years, hairless kittens spontaneously emerged among the offsprings of different short-haired domestic cats. This natural and spontaneous mutation, appears to be relatively common, since hairless cats were discovered in Canada, France, Mexico, Russia, Australia and the United States. However many of these cat lines were never perfected.
The first official breed selection program began in the 60s, in Canada, when a pair of short-haired domestic cats gave birth to a hairless kitten. In 1970, the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) has awarded the "hairless Canadian cat" the status of provisional breed. However, the following year, CFA cancels the provisional status due to health and growth difficulties that arose. At that time it was believed that the gene associated with the lack of hair was lethal.
The Spynx cat that we know today appeared in 1975, when some farm owners from Minnesota, the Pearsons, found that their short-haired cat , Jezabelle, gave birth to a hairless kitten, whom they named Epidermis. In 1976, another hairless kitten is born, named Dermis. The two hairless cats are given away to the breeder Kim Mueske from Oregon, and used in creating the breed.
The "Sphynx" name was chosen after the great Sphinx of Giza.
In 1983, a canadian breeder, Shirley Smith sent two kittens to Dr. Hugo Hernandez in the Netherlands. Dr. Hernandez mated the two specimens, called Punkie and Paloma, until he obtained the Devon Rex. The descendants of these cats, along with the Pearsons descendants, were the base in creating the today's Sphynx. In february 1998, the Sphynx was accepted by the CFA in its database and sustained efforts are being made to earn the provisional status in CFA.
Aspect Sphynx cat
Once you manage to get over the shock of seeing a "naked" cat, you will find that this breed has other distinctive features. Sphynx cats are medium-sized, with a more long than wide body, muscular and well proportioned. The chest is deep and well dressed in muscles. The abdomen is prominent, but not resembling the batracians. The head is triangular, with rounded corners, longer than wider, with a rounded skull and a slightly flat forehead. The jaws are prominent and the chin is strong and well accentuated. The ears are large and wide like parabolic antennas, hairless on the inner side. The nose is short, covered with skin of the same color as the body. The eyes, big, oval, lemon-shaped, slightly oblique, well spaced, expressive, have the same color as the hair but can also be green. The neck is long, thin and muscular. The tail is long and thin, cone-shaped. The legs are long, slender and with highlighted muscles. The paws are egg-shaped, with long fingers and thick cushions. Actually the Sphynx does not have a more wrinkled skin than any other cat. All cats have sagging wrinkled skin, the cats skin is thinner than any others domestic animals,and also the most elastic. In fact, it is much easier to notice these creases on a hairless cat.
Despite your expectations, the Sphynx just looks like it is hairless. The skin is covered with extremely fine fuzz, resembling the deer skin texture.
The Sphynx can have a variety of colors and designs, but the exact color is sometimes too difficult to determine on a hairless cat. This is the reason why , during feline exhibitions, no points are rewarded and the animal is not penalized for the colouring.
The bodyweight can be from 3,5 to 7kg, with males being more robust.
Behavior Sphynx cat
The Sphynx cat is an affectionate and playful pet. The cats are sociable, agile and extremely curious. They go crazy for the human company or having other pets around. The Sphynx is part monkey, part dog, part child and another part cat, presenting specific traits of each. To say that the Sphynx is sharp and full of life is just an understatement; they will perform aerial acrobatics, just like monkeys, from the top of the door or closet. Devoted and loyal, they will follow the master everywhere, shaking their tail like a dog and purring constantly. They will greet their owner when they arrive home, being very talkative. The Sphynx needs your unconditional attention and is as naughty and cute as children are.
It is said that the Sphynx cats are champions at purring. They like to be spoiled and they never refuse a fun playtime.
They are medium active cats, with an average capacity of reaction, extremely curious and agile. Patient and docile the Sphynx is the perfect companion.
These cats are extremely sociable and can easily tolerate other pets. Friendly and affectionate, the Sphynx will love children from the first moment. They carefully search for attention especially from the owner, loving to sleep in their arms or bed.
Features Sphynx cat
The Sphynx cats are exclusively indoor cats. They have a diminished protection against environmental factors and they hate lingering on cold surfaces.
Their body temperature is one or two degrees higher than other cat breeds; they have a tremendous capacity in compensating for heat loss. The Sphynx has a characteristic position, while standing, lifting one of the front limbs.
The kittens are born covered in a fine fuzz, which is removed at adulthood. The colors and coat patterns can sometimes be difficult to observe in adults. The Sphynx may have all the variety of colors. The Sphynx requires weekly care. The nails should be cut short when necessary. They are very sensitive and must be bathed once a week with products created specifically for cats. It is important to dry them with a towel immediately after bathing and not allowing them to sit in the cold or go outside.
The ears should be cleaned once a week using ear swabs. The ear must be cleaned from outside to inside. If you have not done this before, you can ask your veterinarian to teach you.
Note that the Sphynx is an exclusively indoors cat. Their skin is extremely sensitive because of the lack of hair and is prone to sunburn.
Common Diseases Sphynx cat
Despite the lack of hair that might confer less protection from environmental factors and various pathogens, the Sphynx is a strong and healthy breed with only a few medical problems. As with other breeds, these cats are prone to diseases of the oral cavity (gingivitis, dental tartar), skin allergies, and extra attention should be given to the males that suffer from urinary problems.
The Sphynx should not be exposed to sudden changes in temperature or extreme temperatures, too low or too high, being prone to sunburns and frostbites.
As for genetic diseases, the speciality literature does not list any specific sensitivity.
Like other breeds, with getting older, after the age of 6 to 8 years, a routine check of your pet is a must, also some medical tests ( ultrasound, x-ray, blood and urine tests) that can early detect any individual sensitivities and help in establishing an appropriate diet or treatment.
The Sphynx have an average life expectancy of 8 to 14 years.