THE SPHYNX BREED
History by the CFA:
In 1966 a domestic cat gave birth to a hairless kitten in Toronto Canada. It was discovered to be a natural genetic mutation and the Sphynx cat, as we know it today, came into existence. This cat and a few other naturally hairless cats have been found worldwide; produced by Mother Nature, they are the foundation for this unusual breed. Cat breeders in North America and Europe have bred the Sphynx to normal coated cats and back to hairless cats for more than thirty years. The purpose of selective breeding such as this was to create a genetically sound cat with a large gene pool and hybrid vigor. When properly bred, the Sphynx is a very robust breed with few serious health or genetic problems.
Sphynx are not always totally hairless and there are different degrees of “hairlessness.” There can be a fine down on the body which makes the cat feel like a warm peach. Some short hair is usually present on the nose, ears and sometimes on toes and tail. Seasonal and hormonal changes in the cat may also affect hair development. The texture of Sphynx skin has been compared to a suede hot water bottle or warm chamois, and some cats almost have a buttery feel to the skin. The skin is loose on the body which leads to that extra wrinkling effect you see on the cat. All colors and patterns are possible and may be presented at any stage of maturity. The color and/or pattern of the cat are seen in the pigment of the skin and the few hairs that are present. One of the most often questions asked about Sphynx is, “Don’t they get cold?” If it is too cold for you, then it will probably be too cold for a hairless cat. However, these cats are smart enough to find a warm spot in the house, curled up with a dog or cat or warm human, on top of your computer, or they will be snuggled under your bed covers.
Sphynx are medium sized substantial cats and not fragile in any way. As with most cats, adult males are larger than females. Sphynx have sturdy boning, good muscle development and a bit of a firm belly as if they just finished a nice dinner. They have an open-eyed and intelligent expression with extra wrinkling on their head which some see as a worried or inquisitive look. Sphynx are extremely lovable, known to perform silly antics and can be downright clumsy in their attempts to be the center of attention. They have abundant energy and are mischievous, always wanting to be with you, on you or showing off for you. Sphynx seem to prefer human attention but enjoy the company of dogs and all other breeds of cats.
Because of the lack of hair that would normally absorb body oils, Sphynx need periodic bathing, ear and nail cleaning. A bath is not difficult with Sphynx, as most cats have been acclimated from kittie hood with bathing and proper grooming from their breeders. Some people who suffer from cat allergies can tolerate living with Sphynx. This is because there is no airborne hair to deal with and the reactive chemical in their saliva is lower than many breeds. Regular bathing also keeps the dander at bay. However, depending on the type and severity of the individual’s allergic reactions, there are some who still cannot tolerate any feline dander.
Cats 101 Clip
Living with a sphynx has been very different than any other "regular" cat.
They are super snuggly and extremely affectionate. The like to be in the
covers at night and will likely stay tucked up against the body heat all night. They want to be by their companion's side or in their lap at every moment. They like to be the center of attention. They are great helpers and try to aid you in all that you do. They may be running wild on the bed as it is being made or sitting in the litter box as it is being scooped. They are the best welcoming committee when the door opens. The sphynx knows no stranger. They will head butt for attention or leap onto an unexpecting shoulder. They flirt outrageously, rolling around getting you to look at them or come toward them. They are fearless and a bit mischievous while being silly and extremely clever. Their warmth, humor and exotic appearance will have you under their spell; owned by a sphynx.