Hairless Charmer

The Sphynx Cat

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Breed Group:

Domestic.

Size:

Medium. Average body.

Weight:

Lightweight Mouser. From 6-12 lbs.

Exercise Needs:

Moderately active. Needs decent exercise.

Ability To Adapt:

High. Quickly adjust to surroundings.

Health:

Very good. Minor health issues.

Average Lifespan:

From 8-14 years.

Need For Grooming:

Twice a month. Low shedding.

Compatibility:

Great with children & other pets.

Potential For Playfulness:

Ideal playmate.

Breed Group:

Domestic.

Size:

Medium. Average body.

Weight:

Lightweight Mouser. From 6-12 lbs.

Exercise Needs:

Moderately active. Needs decent exercise.

Ability To Adapt:

High. Quickly adjust to surroundings.

Health:

Very good. Minor health issues.

Average Lifespan:

From 8-14 years.

Need For Grooming:

Twice a month. Low shedding.

Compatibility:

Great with children & other pets.

Potential For Playfulness:

Ideal playmate.

Breed Group:

Domestic.

Size:

Medium. Average body.

Weight:

Lightweight Mouser. From 6-12 lbs.

Exercise Needs:

Moderately active. Needs decent exercise.

Ability To Adapt:

High. Quickly adjust to surroundings.

Health:

Very good. Minor health issues.

Average Lifespan:

From 8-14 years.

Need For Grooming:

Twice a month. Low shedding.

Compatibility:

Great with children & other pets.

Potential For Playfulness:

Ideal playmate.

The Sphynx Cat is a medium-sized breed that is famous 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. These cats can 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. These cats love meeting new people and love being the center of attention of everyone. They 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 make excellent therapy cats since they enjoy meeting new people.

Breed History

The hairless Sphinx Cat is the result of a naturally occurring genetic mutation. Although hairless cats were mentioned throughout history, there were no real efforts to establish it as a new 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 and 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 Kees 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 1970’s, 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 Cats.

Size Standards

The Sphynx is a medium-sized breed with a hard and muscled body. These cats have broad chest and a pot belly. The body is supported by hard muscled legs that end in oval paws that 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 the cat grows the wrinkles smooth out. Although, 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 male Sphynx Cats are slightly larger and weigh from 9-12 pounds. Female cats are slightly smaller and weight 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.

Sphynx Cat Personality Traits

The Sphynx is an affectionate and attention seeking cat that likes to take the center stage. These cats love meeting new people and love the attention they attract due to their unusual look. They are always close to their owners and like to be helpful.

And when your cat isn’t following you around it will nest comfortably in your lap and demand cuddles.

Due to the lack of fur, these cats 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 keeps them busy.

When they aren’t sitting in your lap, they can be found jumping around the house or laying in a window perch. This is a smart breed and these cats know how to use their paws to manipulate small items. Therefore, your cat will be fascinated with jewelry, pens, bottle caps or other items that can serve as playthings.

The smart Sphynx will 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 to have company and don’t appreciate being left all 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.

Adaptability

The Sphynx is a highly adaptable breed of cats 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 are receiving 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.

Health and Potential Health Problems

The Sphynx Cats generally have a 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 potential risks prior to bringing a cat home.

  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: It 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.

Lifespan

The Sphynx Cats have 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.

Grooming Needs

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 Coat Colors

Despite being bald, Sphynx Cats come 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, bi-color, pointed and mink patterns.

Compatibility with Children & Other Pets

The affectionate and playful Sphynx Cat is a great choice for families with children. These cats can learn how to retrieve toys and will happily play with your child for hours.

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 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.