Native Country Canada, United States Of America, Europe Other Names Sphynx Life Expectancy No Information Available Litter Size No Information Available
Breed Appearance The Sphynx is a breed of cat known for its lack
of a coat. Lack of coat makes the cat quite warm to the touch.
Whiskers and eyebrows may be present, either whole or broken, or may
be totally absent. The skin is the color their fur would be, and all
the usual cat marking patterns (solid, point, van, tabby, tortie,
etc.) may be found on Sphynx skin. Sphynxes generally have
wedge-shaped heads and sturdy, heavy bodies. Standards call for a
full round abdomen, also known as pot bellies. Sphynxes are known
for their extroverted behavior. They display a high level of energy,
intelligence, curiosity, and affection for their owners.
Breed Description Head: Medium-sized, angular, slightly
triangular. Longer than it is wide. Flat forehead. Prominent cheek
bones. Short nose, pronounced or slight stop. Muzzle very rounded,
broad, short. Pronounced whisker pinch. Firm chin. Whiskers sparse,
short, or absent. Eyes: Large, lemon-shaped, upper corner pointing toward ears,
well-spaced. Color corresponding to that of the coat. Neck: Long,
arched, muscular, powerful in males. Body: Medium-sized.
Chest very broad, barrel-shaped. Rounded abdomen. Powerful loins.
Fairly fine-boned to moderately boned. Well-muscled. Paw: Length proportional to that of the body. Forelegs slightly
arched, slightly shorter than hind legs. Medium-boned. Firm,
well-developed muscles. Medium-sized, oval paws with long toes. Very
thick paw pads. Tail: Moderately long, slender, whip tail known as a “rat
tail.” It may have a tuft of hair on the tip (“lion tail”). Coat: Skin appears hairless and resembles that of a chamois in
texture. Skin wrinkled on the head, body, and legs. Elsewhere, it is
taut. The coat is limited to a fine down covering most of the body.
A few hairs are present on the face, paws, tail, and testicles.
Thus, “hairless cat” is a misnomer. All colors are recognized, as
are all patterns. White looks pinkish, and black looks dark gray. Fault: Too frail, delicate in appearance. Too small in size.
Head too narrow. Straight profile. Compact or long body. Disqualify:
eyes too small. Absence of whisker pinch. Toes too small (u). Kinky
hair of Devon Rex or Cornish Rex during shedding. Obvious tweezing
Though Sphynx cats lack a coat to shed or
groom, they are not maintenance free. Body oils, which would
normally be absorbed by the hair, tend to build up on the skin. As a
result, regular cleaning (usually in the form of bathing) is
necessary; one bath a week is usually sufficient. Care should be
taken to limit the Sphynx cat's exposure to outdoor sunlight at
length, as they can develop sunburn and skin damage similar to that
of humans. In general, Sphynx cats should never be allowed outdoors
unattended, as they have limited means to conserve body heat when it
is cold. In some cases, owners will dress their cats in pet-sized
coats in the winter to help them conserve body heat.
Their curious nature can take them into dangerous places
or situations. Although Sphynx cats are sometimes thought to be
hypoallergenic due to their lack of coat, this is not the case for
cat-specific allergies. Allergies to cats are triggered by a protein
called Fel d1, not cat hair itself. Fel d1 is a tiny and sticky
protein primarily found in cat saliva and sebaceous glands. Those
with cat allergies may react worse to direct contact with Sphynx
cats than other breeds. However, conflicting reports of some people
successfully tolerating Sphynx cats also exist. These positive
reports may be cases of desensitizing, wherein the "hairless" cat
gave the owner optimism to try to own a cat, eventually leading to
the positive situation of their own adaptation.
cats also appear to have more ear wax than most hairy domestic cats
because they have little to no hair in their ears to catch and
protect them from a build up of impurities in their ears, like dirt,
skin oils (sebum), and ear wax which accumulates more frequently in
the hairless sphynx breed. The Sphynx cat's ears will need to be
cleaned on a weekly basis, usually before bath time. The Sphynx
breed also tends to accumulate oils and debris under their nails as
well as the skin fold above the nail due to the lack of fur, so,
like the ears, the nails and surrounding skin folds need to be
cleaned properly as well. This is generally done at bath time along
with a weekly nail clipping. The sphynx breed does require more
grooming than a typical domestic cat with fur.
History A hairless cat highly sensitive to sunlight
Hairless cats appeared in the world at different times. Mexican
hairless cats date back to the pre-Colombian era. In 1938, French
professor E. L�tard described the mutant allele h in hairless
kittens produced by a pair of Siamese. In 1966 in Ontario, Canada,
Ms. Micalwaith's female cat Elisabeth gave birth to a hairless male
named Prune. Prune and Elisabeth produced hairless kittens. The
spontaneous mutation responsible for this trait is caused by the
recessive allele hr. Also in Ontario and at the same time, Ms. Smith
discovered Bambi, a black and white hairless male. Pinkie and
Squeakie, two hairless females, were adopted by Hugo Hernandez in
the Netherlands. In the 1980s, similar cases were reported in Great
Britain. As interest in these cats declined in the United States,
their popularity grew in Europe, especially in France by 1983, as
well as in the Netherlands. It is true that it is impossible to
remain indifferent to these cats, adored by some and detested by
others. Seeing the success of these cats in shows and the curiosity
they generated, American breeders began importing Sphynxes from
Europe. The breed is recognized by T.I.C.A., but the C.F.A. and the
F.I.Fe. have rejected it. The Sphynx is quite rare.
Behavior The Sphynx is lively, mischievous, playful, and
independent. This smart, high-energy breed loves to show off for his
favorite people and is social to house guests. Friendly toward other
cats and toward dogs, Sphynxes are never aggressive. Very
affectionate and even possessive, they adore being doted on.
Apartment life is perfect for them, since they are sensitive to
cold, heat, and humidity. In winter, they should be fed a
high-calorie diet in order to keep their body temperature slightly
above normal. Although they tan, they must be kept out of direct
sunlight, which can lead to sunburn. Unlike other feline breeds,
Sphynxes sweat through the skin and should thus be bathed regularly.
The ears must also be cleaned often, as they produce a great deal of
wax. Sphynx kittens are born with very wrinkled skin and hair along
the spine that disappears with age.
Health This breed is regarded to be very robust with
few health or genetic problems.