Characteristics (Quick Facts)
Ability to Adapt:
Need for Grooming:
The Sphynx Cat is a medium-sized breed best known for the lack of body hair. These hairless cats have hard muscular bodies, barreled chests, and pot bellies. The body is supported by firm muscular legs that end in oval paws with long slender toes.
The Sphynx has a long, slender whip-like tail that can sport a tuft of fur on its tip. They can either be completely hairless or have sparse soft down hair.
Despite the lack of hair, the Sphynx comes in many different colors and patterns.
The unusual-looking Sphynx has an outgoing and affectionate nature. They love meeting new people and enjoy being in the center of attention. These are funny and active cats that stay close to their owners and like to be cuddled and petted.
This breed is easy to handle and are excellent therapy cats since they enjoy meeting new people.
Where Did Sphynx Cat Breed Originate?
The hairless Sphinx is the result of a naturally occurring genetic mutation. Although hairless cats were mentioned throughout history, there were no real efforts to establish a new hairless breed.
That changed in 1966 when a black and white domestic cat gave birth to a hairless kitten in Toronto, Canada. This kitten was named Prune. His owner backcrossed him to his mother, and they produced one more hairless kitten.
These cats were later bought by Riyadh Bawa who enlisted the help of his mother Yania, and Rita Tehoves, to establish a new breed. They were first to realize that the hairless gene is recessive one and managed to establish a breeding program.
In 1978, a cat breeder Shirley Smith found three hairless kittens on the streets in Ontario. In 1983, two of those kittens were sent to the Netherlands where they were bred to a Devon Rex Cat.
In the 1970s, hairless cats also made an appearance in Minnesota. Two kittens named Epidermis and Dermis were sold to Oregon breeder Kim Mueske and become an important part of the Sphynx breeding program.
This breed is recognized by the American Cat Fanciers Association, the Cat Fanciers Association, The International Cat Association, and other registries.
Depending on the association, the Sphinx can be outcrossed to American Shorthair, Russian Blue and Devon Rex Cat.
What Does the Sphynx Cat Look Like?
The Sphynx is a medium-sized breed with a hard and muscled body. They have a broad chest and a pot belly. The body is supported by hard-muscled legs that end in oval paws which have long slender toes. These cats have long and flexible tails that may have a tuft of hair at the tip.
The Sphynx kittens are born wrinkled, but as they mature the wrinkles smooth out. However, some cats may stay wrinkled to some degree for the rest of their lives. The Sphynx has a modified wedge-shaped head that is slightly longer than it is wide, prominent cheekbones, large ears, and large lemon-shaped eyes.
The lack of fur is the trait this breed is most famous for. And although they don’t have fur, the Sphynx can be found in different colors and patterns.
As far as size standards are concerned, the Sphynx should be a medium-sized cat. The body is medium length, hard and muscular with broad rounded chest and full rounded abdomen.
Sphynx Cat Colors
Despite being bald, the Sphynx comes in many colors and patterns. The color is seen in the pigment of the skin and any sparse hair the cat may have.
Most commonly seen colors include white, black, red, lavender and chocolate. When it comes to the patterns these cats can sport tabby, tortoiseshell, calico, bicolor, pointed and mink patterns.
Sphynx Cat Personality Traits
The Sphynx is an affectionate and attention-seeking cat that likes being the center of attention. They enjoy meeting new people and love the attention they attract due to their unusual look. They like to be close to their owners and offer assistance.
And when your cat isn’t following you around it will nest comfortably in your lap and demand to be cuddled.
Due to the lack of fur, they always seek warmth and will sleep with you in your bed under the covers.
This is a playful and energetic cat that enjoys batting and chasing after feather teasers. Their curious nature and tendency toward mischief always keep them busy.
When they aren’t sitting in your lap, they can be found jumping around the house or laying in a window perch. The Sphynx is a smart cat that knows how to use its paws to manipulate small items. Therefore, your cat will be fascinated with jewelry, pens, bottle caps or other items that can serve as playthings.
These intelligent cats enjoy playing with puzzle toys that will reward its dexterity with treats or kibble.
Since these cats like to jump and climb, getting a cat tree and placing it near a sunny window would be a good idea. This way, your cat will always have a cozy spot where she will be warm.
These cats love company and don’t appreciate being left alone at home. Thus, get your cat a companion with whom she can play and nap while you aren’t around. However, once you come home, your cat will greet you by the front door in a dog-like fashion and demand to be petted.
The affectionate and lovable Sphynx is known for its extrovert behavior and willingness to do just about anything for attention. This intelligent, energetic, and inquisitive cat bonds deeply with its owners and seeks a lot of affection.
Described as having a dog-like temperament, your Sphynx will follow you around the house and be your biggest fan. This bold cat will use silly antics and mischievous behavior to show off and get your attention.
Sphynx Cat Behavior
Being such people and attention-seeking breed, the Sphynx needs a lot of affection, and it isn’t the best choice if you spend a lot of time away from home. In this case, you should get another cat, so your Sphynx won’t have to be alone.
If left alone or ignored the Sphynx can become depressed or start urinating outside the litter box just to get your attention. They can also develop separation anxiety since they become deeply attached to their owners and can’t cope with being left alone.
Thus, you must consider how much time and attention you can dedicate to your new cat before you bring her home.
Are Sphynx Cats Adaptable to New Surroundings?
The Sphynx is a highly adaptable breed that quickly adjusts to any changes that come her way. These cats love meeting people and are easy to handle.
They also react well to change in surroundings as long as they receive the same amount of attention as before.
This is a moderately active breed that likes to play. But it also likes to cuddle with its owner. Thus, you will have to play with your cat for 20 minutes every day in order to keep her in great shape.
Get some catnip toys and teach your cat how to play fetch to keep her body lean and strong.
Does It Get Along with Children and Other Pets?
The affectionate and playful Sphynx is a great choice for families with children. These cats can learn how to retrieve toys and will happily play with your child.
They also get along with other cats and dogs. However, this cat likes to be the center of its owner’s world. So, make sure that all of your animals receive equal amounts of attention and plenty of cuddles.
This breed likes to play, and it will grab any chance to interact with its owner. Play with your cat for 20 minutes every day and get her moving with teaser toys. And when you aren’t around, you can keep your kitty entertained with a fling string toy.
General Health and Potential Risks
The Sphynx generally has very good health. However, some genetic health problems are seen in this breed.
This doesn’t mean that your cat will develop any of them. However, it is always wiser to learn about any potential risks before bringing a cat home.
- Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: Is the most common form of heart disease seen in cats. It causes thickening of the heart’s wall and prevents normal heart function. Some cats don’t exhibit any symptoms and live normal lives. However, severe cases can result in a congestive heart failure.
- Mitral Valve Dysplasia: This is a hereditary birth defect that prevents the heart to develop properly. Symptoms of this disease include difficulty breathing, fainting and unwillingness to exercise. Although this condition can’t be cured, certain meds can improve the cats’ quality of life.
- Urticaria Pigmentosa: It’s a skin disease characterized by red spots that may or may not be crusted. Usually, these red spots appear on the cat’s sides, abdomen or neck. This condition is treated with prednisolone and omega fatty acids supplements.
Sphynx Cat Lifespan
The Sphynx has an average life expectancy of 8-14 years. However, this breed can inherit heart problems.
So, it is best to get your cat from a reputable breeder. In addition to that, these cats don’t have fur to keep them insulated. So, you will have to get a cat sweater that will keep this hairless feline warm during cold weather.
These cats don’t have fur and so, don’t need to be brushed like other cat breeds. However, they need to be bathed anywhere from once a week to once a month. This is mainly because the natural skin oils tend to build up and create a greasy feel.
Thus, bathe your cat with a mild shampoo formulated for sensitive skin. To keep your cat’s skin clean and odorless in between baths, use unscented grooming wipes.
Sphynx Cat Shedding
This breed isn’t always completely hairless, and there are different degrees of “hairlessness”. Some short hair is usually present on the nose, ears, toes, and tail. However, the fur is minimal, and the Sphynx doesn’t shed at all which makes it an excellent choice for allergy sufferers.
Breed Related FAQ
In this section, we answer frequently asked questions about the Sphynx Cat. Read on to learn more about this playful and attention seeking breed!
How Much is Sphynx Cat Price?
The exact price of a Sphynx kitten depends on a breeder and several other factors. Generally, you can expect to pay from $1000 to $3000 for a purebred Sphynx kitten. However, if you are set on a particular color, bloodline, or gender you can easily spend more than $6000 on a purebred kitten.
How Big Do Sphynx Cats Get?
As with all other cat breeds, male cats are larger and weigh from 9-12 pounds. Females are slightly smaller and weigh from 6-9 pounds.
Despite having a pot belly, the Sphynx is a well-muscled and elegant looking cat that shouldn’t be fat. Every extra gram of weight will be easily noticeable on the Sphynx’s hairless body.
To prevent obesity feed your cat with a high protein cat food. Furthermore, make sure that your cat is eating according to her age and activity level.
Are Sphynx Cats Good Pets?
The Sphynx is one of the friendliest and most loving cat breeds, and it makes an excellent pet to any type of home. They crave attention and companionship, so they are good with children, cats, and dogs.
Can Sphynx Cats Be Left Alone?
If you plan to get a Sphynx, you should know that they don’t like being left alone for longer periods. So, it may be a good idea to have a pair of them so they can keep each other company if you aren’t home much.
Do Sphynx Cats Get Fleas?
Despite being hairless, your Sphynx can catch fleas as any other cat. The only difference is that you will spot fleas more easily on a Sphynx that any other cat that has a normal coat. Hence, you should invest in an effective flea treatment and apply it regularly, to keep your cat flea free.