The main feature of a Sphynx cat is its lack of a fur coat! The cats are not, however, entirely hairless but covered with fine, downy hair that is said to be like a peach skin. This cat has no whiskers or eyelashes. The head resembles that of a Devon Rex. The eyes are deep set and the shape of a lemon. The body is fined boned but muscular and has a barrel chest. The legs are long and slender and have a bow legged appearance caused by the barrel chest. The tail is long and tapering and hard to the touch. They are warm and soft to touch and have earned the name 'suede hot water bottle'. The skin is wrinkled on parts of the head, body and legs but should be taut everywhere else. Pigmentation is clearly visible on the skin of the Sphynx cat. All skin patterns and colours are acceptable.
- Highly active and inquisitive cat
- Sociable and dependent cat
- Very talkative cat
- Lean and elegant cat breed
- Requires grooming once a week
- Hypoallergenic breed
- Indoor cat
- May require familiarisation before living with children
Hairless cats have been known for generations; the Aztecs are said to have kept hairless cats. The Sphynx cat is the first hairless cat breed that has been bred specifically for that trait. The breeding programme began in 1966 in Ontario, Canada when a pet cat gave birth to a hairless male kitten. However, most Sphynx cats born today are descended from three hairless kittens found in Toronto in 1978.
Country of Origin
Canadian Hairless Cat
The Sphynx cat is outgoing, mischievous, people-orientated and loves attention. These cats often greet their owners when they come home and are very talkative. They are highly intelligent, playful and cuddly. Sphynxes are champion purrers. They like to sleep with their owners - under the covers. Their body temperature is a degree or two above the average for normal cats and they have voracious appetites to compensate for the heat loss. With little protection against the elements, these cats cannot be left out in the cold, they don't like to sit on cold surfaces and they do appreciate central heating! Those that do go outside in the sun may need sun protection on pale skin.
The breed is prone to skin problems including the development of rashes and fungal infections. Care must be taken to protect the Sphynx cat from sunburn. As with all cats, Sphynx cats benefit from protection against disease through vaccination and need annual veterinary health checks.
Every cat is unique and each has their own particular likes, dislikes, and needs when it comes to food. However, cats are carnivores and every cat must obtain 41 different and specific nutrients from their food. The proportion of these nutrients will vary depending on age, lifestyle and overall health, so it's not surprising that a growing, energetic kitten needs a different balance of nutrients in her diet than a less active senior cat. Other considerations to bear in mind are feeding the right quantity of food to maintain 'ideal body condition' in accordance with feeding guidelines and catering to individual preference regarding wet or dry food recipes.
Owners must pay meticulous attention to keeping the Sphynx cat's skin clean and supple. The skin needs to be bathed or sponged every week to remove its oily secretions. The oily secretions must also be cleaned from the outer ear on a regular basis to prevent ear infections.
Best Cat Breeds for Children
While this breed is not widely recognised as one of the best breeds for children, all cats are different and with the proper familiarisation may still be able to live with children.