This week in our series on Getting to Know Your Cat Breed we are featuring the Sphynx cat. These cats are very distinctive and easily recognized because they are completely hairless! That’s right, they are completely bald, but even so, they are very popular.
Life expectancy: 12 – 16 years
Size: Medium size, weighing 6-12 lbs.
Color: The Sphynx is the color of their skin, usually pale pink or beige, although they may have darker markings. They aren’t really ‘hairless’, many of them have a very fine down which makes them soft and buttery to the touch. They have very large, pointed ears and big eyes which also lends distinction to their sphynx-like appearance.
Origins: The Sphynx was originally bred in Toronto, the result of a genetic mutation. A hairless kitten was born from a normal breeding, and the breeders recognized that people may want a hairless cat and specifically breed to get that resulting mutation. The Devon Rex is one cat used frequently in these breeding programs.
Personality: Sphynx cats are full of personality, loyal, fun loving and adventurous. They love people and are outgoing and friendly to all. They do like a warm house, so keep the temperature at a cozy 70 degrees.
Health Issues: As with any animal, the Sphynx is susceptible to some genetic diseases, specifically hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a heart disease that causes a thickening of the heart. A simple echocardiogram can confirm whether a cat has HCM. They are also prone to a neurological disease called hereditary myopathy which affects muscle function.
Not surprisingly, the Sphynx may also develop various skin diseases since they have no protection from the elements and are quite sensitive. They also require regular, weekly bathing.
Fitness/energy level: These are active cats, although a bit clumsy, so be sure and give them lots of outlets to burn off their energy. They are playful and have even been known to play fetch.
Native foods for the Sphynx:
Venison, Rabbit, Salmon
Good foods to feed your Sphynx:
Fun facts about the Sphynx:
Many people think the Sphynx in hypo-allergenic, but they are not. Allergies are caused by the dander from pets, which comes from their skin, not their fur. It is true that they may shed less dander as they are washed more frequently, and they don’t have the fur to hold onto dander, but there is no such thing as hypo-allergenic when it comes to the Sphynx.
They are about 4 degrees warmer than other cats.
They are named after the Great Sphinx of Giza because people thought they looked similar.Sources: