The Sphynx is one of those breeds that has many fans and opponents. Despite its interesting character, it is sometimes difficult to see the beauty in it. However, if you got to know the Sphynx even once, you will understand the reasons why many are crazy about it.
- Category III: Shorthair and Somali cats
- EMS code: SPH
- Other names: Sphynx, Canadian Hairless, Canadian Sphynx
- Country of Origin: Canada
History of the breed
In The Book of Cats, published in 1903, there was a mention of a hairless breed known then as the Mexican hairless cat. It was created in New Mexico by indigenous people – Indians of the Pueblo tribes. The breed reappeared in the 1950s in Paris, when three hairless pups were born in one litter of Siamese cats. Although later matings of the same pair yielded similar results, crossbreeding with other Siamese did not lead to the appearance of hairless descendants.
Other naked individuals were born in Australia, Morocco, North Carolina, and Toronto. In the latter place, in 1966, a litter was created out of a pair of short-haired domestic cats, in which one hairless young appeared. This event is officially recognized as the birth of the modern Sphynx race.
Breeders from Europe and North America began improving the breed after a few years. To this end, they crossed hairless individuals with short-haired cats, and then chose the best in terms of appearance and character, which were the next link in breeding. Selective breeding led to the creation of a hardy and lively breed with a wide gene pool.
It is a medium-sized cat, characterized by a muscular body and heavy weight. On the head, there are very large, wide and protruding ears resembling bat ears. Eyes that are round in shape are also great. As they are wide set and very large, they give your cat a friendly look. Under the eyes, we can see clearly outlined cheekbones, reminiscent of Bastet (Bast) – the Egyptian goddess of love presented in the form of a cat.
Although the Sphynx looks bald at first glance, it is covered with fine hair that is barely perceptible under the fingers. Due to its delicacy, cat skin is compared to velour. Another feature is the numerous wrinkles on the body. They are found mainly on the shoulders, between the ears and on the face. Wrinkles are not only found in Sphynxes, but are more visible in them due to the very short fur. Leather patterns and colors can vary widely.
The Sphynx is a cat full of energy that can perform monkey acrobatics. It perfectly balances on the edges, climbs doors and bookshelves, and even sits on shoulders like a parrot. It does many of these activities in order to attract the attention of the owner, because it loves contacts with people. It also belongs to curious and mischievous cats. However, thanks to its high intelligence, it is easy to raise.
It displays its clownish behavior not only at home, but also outside of it, which is why the supervision of the owner is very important. It is very loyal to the owners. This is evidenced by the tail wagging when it follows its beloved man. As an extrovert, the Sphynx hates being ignored, but lives well with other animals (not only cats, but also dogs).
Care and maintenance
It would seem that the almost hairless cat does not require any grooming. However, after some time of reflection, it can be easily concluded that the Sphynx is an animal in need of regular care. One of its forms are baths every 1-2 weeks; because a cat’s fur is very short, the oily substance secreted by the skin glands is not absorbed by the hair. For this reason, an oily layer forms on the surface of the skin, which must be removed regularly.
You should also protect the delicate skin of the Sphynx from being in the sun for too long. If this happens, it will suffer from burns and other skin lesions also known to humans. It is even recommended that cats of this breed should not be left outside the house without human care, especially on very sunny and frosty days. The Sphynx is not able to warm up on its own, so it is worth investing in cat clothes that help maintain body temperature at an appropriate level.
Allergic or not?
Although the Sphynx has very short and fine fur, it is not hypoallergenic. It is not the length of the coat that is responsible for allergic reactions, but a protein called Fel d1, found in cat’s saliva and sebaceous glands. Therefore, it is difficult to state categorically whether the Sphynx is suitable for allergy sufferers or it can become a nuisance for them. There are reports of both good and bad effects on people who are allergic.
In cats of this breed, more earwax accumulates than in cats with more hair. It is influenced by sparse hair in the ears, which in other breeds protects effectively against pollution by creating a natural barrier. For this reason, Sphynxes require frequent cleaning of the inside of the ears, usually once a week, after bathing.
Detailed data / dimensions (size)
- Height: about 30 cm (8 in)
- Weight: 3-7 kg (6.6 – 15 lb)
- females: on average: 3-4 kg (6.6 – 8.8 lb)
- males: on average: 4-5 kg (8.8 – 11 lb)
- Lifespan: 8-14 years
Sphynx cat – interesting facts
- The character of the Sphynx appeared in the comedies “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery” (1997) and ” Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me” (1999). In these films, it was named Mr. Bigglesworth, and was owned by Doctor Evil.
- Apart from the Sphynx, other hairless breeds were created, differing in shape and disposition, such as the Donskoy cat (Don Sphynx) and the Russian Peterbald cat. All the breeds mentioned were created spontaneously as a result of a random mutation.
- Lack of hair can cause health problems in kittens in the first weeks of life. These include respiratory infections. As a result, professional breeders do not give new owners kittens less than 12 weeks old. After this time, the animal becomes more independent and mature enough to cope with the new environment. Virtually naked skin is also exposed to cancer caused by too long exposure to the sun’s rays.