Full Information, History, and Care for Sphynx Cats

Sphynx cat

Because of their elegant appearance and demure temperament, feline sphynxes were given the moniker of the fabled sphinx from ancient Egypt. Despite their majestic exterior, they are lively and absurd friends who occasionally behave more like dogs than cats. They may appear to have been pharoahs' pets, but their true origins are in Canada.

Sphynxes are unusual among pets in that they lack fur or hair, which is unusual for most animals. Whenever feasible, these non-furry felines enjoy sprawling out in sunspots for warmth. They make wonderful snuggle partners and love to spend the nighttimes snug beneath the blankets with their owners.

Breed Overview

Weight: 6 to 12 pounds

Length: 13 to 15 inches, head to tail

Coat: Hairless

Coat Color: White, black, red, chocolate, lavender, tabby, tortoiseshell, calico, pointed, and mink

Eye Color: Varies

Life Expectancy: 8 to 14 years

Characteristics of the Sphynx Cat

Affection Level High
Friendliness High
Kid-Friendly Medium
Pet-Friendly High
Exercise Needs Low
Playfulness High
Energy Level High
Intelligence High
Tendency to Vocalize High
Amount of Shedding Low

History of the Sphynx Cat

While the Aztecs have been known to raise hairless cats for hundreds of years, the modern-day sphynx cat is really a Canadian breed that was created in Toronto in 1966 as a result of a chance genetic mutation that caused hairlessness. Some breeders developed a fondness for hairless cats and chose to breed those who reliably produced hairless pups.

The breed, once known as the Canadian hairless, arrived in America where specialists crossed cats with the newly discovered hairless gene to produce the hairless sphynx cats. Sphynx cats are still a common option for pets in North America and are becoming more common in western Europe.

Although the breed's requirements vary widely among organizations, the sphynx breed was acknowledged by The International Cat Association in 2005, the Cat Fanciers Association in 2002, and various independent cat clubs in Europe.

As a result of the belief that the breed's lack of hair is a genetic anomaly that might be detrimental to an individual cat's health and longevity, several purebred feline registries do not recognize the sphynx cat.

Sphynx Cat Care

Sphynx cats are devoted to their owners and are frequently seen following them about or cuddling with them while wagging their tails. Sphynx cats are natural athletes and lively companions, despite the fact that they nearly always prefer to be cuddled. Sphynx cats are among the most active cats, although they don't require much exercise.

Although some cats are content to amuse themselves for hours at a time, some would like having a friend. Get two sphynx cats if you spend the most of the day away from home. Sphynxes get along with other animals, too, so you may feel secure knowing they will be content if you have a dog or another pet at home.

Sphynx cats love to play, leap, and, if trained, they could even learn to retrieve. Sphynx cats are intelligent and social animals who take to positive reinforcement training effectively.

Despite seeming to be hairless, sphynx maintenance includes grooming. The sphynx cat's skin requires frequent grooming to maintain a healthy balance of oil and avoid skin issues and oil stains on furniture since they lack fur to absorb their body oils. To get rid of oil buildup, give your sphynx cat a wash at least once every week. You will need to clean between all of their numerous creases and wrinkles.

Sphynx cats are not entirely hypoallergenic, despite common perception. These cats may appear to be hairless, but they fact have an extremely fine, suede-like coat. However, for cat lovers looking for a breed that has fewer allergies in their fur than others, doctors may still advise getting a sphynx cat.

Common Health Problems

As for all pets, always ask your breeder for a health guarantee for your sphynx kitten. When bred responsibly, sphynx cats have a generally healthy outlook.

Sphynx cats are susceptible to sun exposure because they lack hair to shield their skin from damaging UV radiation. It is best to restrict their exposure to direct sunlight. These cats can develop a sunburn if they spend too much time in the sun, just like people can. Sphynxes should be kept as or properly watched when outdoors because of this.

In addition to skin issues, some of the conditions they can be prone to include:

  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a common heart disease that causes thickening of the heart muscle
  • Hereditary myopathy, a generalized muscle weakness

To prevent skin and gum health problems, sphynx cats should be groomed regularly. Weekly baths and tooth brushing will do wonders to prevent sphynx cat health problems.

Diet and Nutrition

Sphynx cats like eating, as seen by their potbellies. They'll eat everything you put in front of them. However, you should still pay strict attention to their diet.

Because of their rapid metabolism and delicate digestive systems, sphynx cats do best with little meals spaced out throughout the day. This method of serving food keeps cats from becoming disinterested in their meals as well.

Dry cat food keeps the gums healthy and cleans the teeth, but you should give your sphynx enough of water to drink after meals to avoid dehydration. In order to encourage healthy gums, tougher cat chews may also be bought at your neighborhood specialized pet store.

Many sphynx cat owners choose a raw food diet and tout its many health advantages. Cats should eat high-quality kibble or wet canned food that is low in carbs, moderate in fat, and high in protein, according to experts.

Pros
  • Sphynx are a loving, playful, loyal breed.

  • Most sphynxes get along well with other cats and dogs.

  • People who dislike cat hair or shedding cats will love this hairless breed.

Cons
  • Hairless, it is prone to sunburn and cannot tolerate cold temperatures.

  • They are not hypoallergenic, allergens are still secreted through the saliva and skin.

  • This breed is prone to cardiomyopathy, as well as skin and dental concerns.

Where to Adopt or Buy a Sphynx Cat

You may be able to find a purebred sphynx cat through a breeder in your area, but if you would rather adopt from a rescue organization, check out:

  • Petfinder
  • Adopt a Pet

More Cat Breeds and Further Research

If you’re interested in similar cat breeds, check out:

Otherwise, take a look at all of our other .

CITATION

"Sunburn in Companion Animals. Pet Poison Helpline.", "Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. Feline Health Center, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.", "Common Cat Dental Problems. VCA Hospitals.", "Sphynx. Cherry Hill Animal Clinic.", "Feeding Your Cat. Feline Health Center, Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine." ;

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