So what is it about this beautiful bald feline that so many owners have come to love? Could it be their dog-like behaviour, their alien looks or their playful character? Or perhaps their loving nature and friendliness towards strangers? Whatever it is these cats turn heads and hearts wherever they go!
The sphynx breed originated in Canada around 1966. The hairlessness is the result of a natural mutation which is not uncommon in cats. To create a large gene pool, hairless cats around the world were bred with normal coat cats and then back to hairless cats. The Devon Rex and the American Shorthair cats are among the breeds that played a role in the development of the Sphynx.
The sphynx has been described as having a dog-like personality, they are highly social and very fond of teaser toys to show off their athleticism and intellect. They will enjoy having a friend in the form of another cat to snuggle up to when you are not home and it is not uncommon for them to sleep next to you, even under the bed covers. Much like a dog, they tend to follow you wherever you go and are very friendly towards visitors, always providing entertainment with their funny antics.
The Sphynx is generally healthy but do incur some breed specific problems. Although they do not have any fur, they do require regular grooming. The fur is used to absorb body oil, and thus it is essential to bathe them frequently. They also tend to have less hair in their ears to catch debris and thus their ears needs to be cleaned regularly. Try to keep them mostly indoors as direct sun exposure for extended durations can lead to sun burn and skin cancer. They struggle to conserve body heat and thus need to be kept indoors at night. The Sphynx can also be prone to some skin conditions, such as urticaria pigmentosa and cutaneous mastocytosis and a high rate of heart disease including hypertrophic cardiomyopathy as well as mitral valve dysplasia.
With a body that runs at a higher temperature, this breed requires almost 2 to 2.5 times more food than any other breed to keep their body heat up. Sphynxes are not hypoallergenic because they still produce dander or dead skin cells. Their bodies are actually covered with a thin layer of down. They are soft and warm to the touch, almost feeling like chamois leather. Something to note is that while they aren’t completely hairless, they are in fact completely free of whiskers.