About the Sphynx cat

Perhaps the strangest feline in the world, the Sphynx cat has a unique hairless appearance that sets it apart from other cats. But that is not all. It is a fairly rare and unusual breed of cat, and has been described to feel like a warm suede hot water bottle. These cats need special care, but all the extra time and effort you put into caring for this cat will be well worth it. Their affectionate, playful and inquisitive nature makes them a wonderful cat to have and call your own.

History of the breed
Although named after the ancient Great Sphinx of Giza, Sphynx cats are a relatively new breed. There have been a number of cases of these hairless cats born throughout history. But the Sphnyx cat came to be recognized for the first time in 1966 in Canada when a domestic cat in Toronto gave birth to a hairless kitten. This was considered to be the result of a natural genetic mutation. From there, cats with the mutation were bred to give rise to the Sphynx breed. In 1970 the line became extinct due to the belief that the mutation caused health problems and breathing difficulties in cats. But this did not spell the end of this breed. Before long, in 1975, a cat in Minnesota named Jezebel gave birth to a hairless kitten. The kitten was sold to a local breeder who revived the Sphynx breed by expanding and strengthening the gene pool. After many years of careful breeding, Sphynx cats are now a varied and genetically healthy breed, although still rare. In 2002, the Cat Breeders Association accepted the cat breed to compete in the Championship Class.

Physical characteristics
The most obvious characteristic of the Sphynx cat is its lack of fur. Although they are known as “hairless” cats, they actually have warm peach-colored fur on the body, especially on the nose, toes, and tail. They may or may not have mustaches and eyebrows. They have long, slim bodies and a rounded abdomen. They have characteristically large triangular ears, large paw pads, and a long, slender tail. A Sphynx cat’s fur is wrinkled and they come in a variety of colors and patterns, including Siamese dot patterns. An adult Sphynx cat normally weighs around 8-15 pounds, and male cats can be up to 25% larger than their female counterparts.

Personality and temperament
Sphynx cats are a curious breed who like to be the center of attention and love to be handled and cuddled. They are intelligent, agile, playful and good-natured cats. They have a sense of adventure and mischief that makes them fun. They love human company and will follow humans around the house. Sphynx cats are not for people who want a calm and docile cat. They adapt well to homes with children, dogs or other cats. Oh, and these extroverts also like to show off their acrobatic tricks. So it’s probably a good thing that these cheeky felines are kept indoors for the most part.

Common medical problems
Sphynx cats have few genetic or health problems and have a normal lifespan. They are generally considered a very robust breed. But they still face some issues unique to their physical nature, most of which have to do with their lack of hair. During their first weeks of life, Sphynx kittens are susceptible to respiratory infections. Sphynx cat breeders generally do not allow kittens to move into new homes until they are at least 12 weeks old so they are ready to handle a new environment. These hairless cats are also prone to sunburn and skin cancer, so it’s important that their sun exposure is limited. They are also susceptible to cold, so care must be taken to keep this indoor cat nice and warm.

Sphynx cats also have sensitive digestive systems, particularly since they are small. They can develop severe diarrhea after using medications or being fed diets that contain less than 80% protein. They can also get common feline diseases and are immunized just like other cat breeds.

Hereditary myopathy (spasticity) and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) are two genetic conditions found in this breed, the latter being the most common. HCM refers to a thickening of the left ventricle of the heart and may not cause external symptoms. Sphynx breeders are trying to eliminate this condition from the breed by annually scanning and removing positive cats from their breeding program.

Special care and maintenance
Because they lack the protection of a fur coat, a hairless Sphynx cat requires special care. It is recommended that you give them a weekly bath to remove oil and dust build-up on their skin. Their hair follicles give off oil, but unlike other cats, they don’t have hair to absorb oil, so their fur can easily get greasy. Because they have sensitive skin that burns easily, a very hot bath should be avoided. A Sphynx cat’s eyes and ears should also be cleaned weekly to remove any eye discharge or earwax. Since they lack hair around the ears, it is easy for dirt to get in.

Sphynx cats are vulnerable to the sun and cold, and are meant to be indoor cats. Therefore, outdoor exposure should be limited. They may be taken outside from time to time if they are closely supervised and the weather is right for them. Generally, the temperature inside your home should be kept between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Consider that the Sphynx cat is “naked”; If you are naked in the cold, your cat is likely to be too. You may need to dress them in winter.

Also, as their bodies are constantly working to keep warm, their metabolism is higher than that of other cats, so they need more food at mealtime. Always put dry food out for your cat and add one to two servings of wet food each day. They need to be fed high-quality food with a good balance of fat and protein.

So if you think smart and friendly Sphynx cat is for you then you can buy them from Sphynx cat breeders. Expect to pay more for a Sphynx hairless cat than for another breed of cat. Adoption of a Sphynx cat is also available and costs less than buying a newborn kitten.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *