Sphynx Cat Is a Delightfully Odd Breed That Will Capture Your Heart
The sphynx cat is a unique breed of cat in appearance and character. They are friendly, inquisitive felines with smooth bodies and plenty of wrinkles.
Get the all the fun facts about this unusual and adorable breed.
A Sphynx in Name Only
People always think the sphynx breed has an Egyptian lineage. However, that's not the case.
They do resemble the famous limestone statue in Egypt whose features have been worn smooth from centuries of erosion, hence their name.
But that sphinx is spelled with an "i" instead of a "y."
A Cat From the Great White North
Sphynx cats were originally dubbed Canadian hairless. They are the only breed to hail from Canada.
They first appeared in 1966 when a domestic shorthair birthed a hairless kitten due to a genetic mutation. The kitten, named Prune, was adopted by a breeder with the intent of developing the sphynx breed.
Sphynxes are medium-sized. They can be anywhere from 6 to 12 pounds and live from 8 to 14 years.
They have wedge-shaped heads with large, almond-shaped eyes, which makes them look a bit like an alien. This broad-chested cat has muscular legs and thicker than average paw pads.
Its tail has a whip-like appearance.
Do They Have Fur or Not?
From a distance, the Sphynx looks bald. However, they do have a tuft of light fur over their bodies.
Touching a sphynx is said to feel like touching warm suede.
They Don't Need a Full Coat to Be Unique
Just because a sphynx lacks fur doesn't mean each one isn't unique.
They can be white, black, red, brown, lavender, or tortoiseshell as well as other different colors and patterns.
Allergies and the Sphynx
The sphynx is often one of the cat breeds people with allergies gravitate to, but they are not hypoallergenic. (No breed really is.)
Despite not having much fur, the sphynx does produce dander, which can be kept to a minimum by frequent bathing.
A Bubbly, Fun Personality
Sphynx cats are extremely friendly and loyal, with almost dog-like qualities.
They love attention and will go to great lengths to get it. They are often the comedians of the family.
They Need as Much Grooming as a Cat with Full Body Hair
Just because your sphynx doesn’t have fur doesn’t mean they won’t need regular grooming.
Hair absorbs a cat's natural oils. Because the sphynx lacks it, he can develop an oily film on his skin that can leave its mark on your clothing and furniture.
Curiosity Can Indeed Kill Sphynx Cats
Instinctively curious, this breed is known to get into dangerous situations, sometimes jumping onto too high a shelf and at other times swinging from doors.
Keeping your sphynx active and engaged with his own toys and a cat tree or two may just save him from injury.
The Sphynx Should Always Be Fashionable
As the sphynx has no real coat, they do get cold easily and have a harder time conserving heat than most breeds.
During the colder months, make sure your sphynx has a warm sweater or jacket. They love to show them off, anyway.
Sphynxes are True Cuddlebugs
Sphynxes are more cuddly than your average cat perhaps because they gravitate toward the heat of people and other animals.
They love cuddling in pairs, with other breeds, other species, and also humans.
A Sphyx Was a Hollywood Star
Dr. Evil from "Austin Powers" had an equally evil ally in his sphynx, Mr. Bigglesworth.
Several cats played the part, but the main feline actor, "Ted Nude-gent," was specially trained to sit on Mike Myers' lap for 45 minutes at a time while the action played out around him.
The Bigglesworth kitten for "The Spy Who Shagged Me," was played by the aptly named "Mel Gibskin."
The Sphynx Runs Hot
Even though they lack fur and get cold, the Sphynx breed runs hotter than the average cat.
Most breeds have a temperature of 99.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit, but the sphynx's is about four degrees higher.
They Eat More Than Your Average Feline
Because they run hotter and work harder to maintain their body heat, sphynxes have higher metabolisms.
Therefore, they need (and eat) more food than other breeds.
The Sphynx's Diet Is Slightly Different
Like other breeds, Sphynx cats are carnivores. They should have a protein-rich diet with some fats but low carbs.
If Sphynx cat does not have a high-quality diet, they will overproducing oil in their skin, which will lead to health problems.
They Can Still Pack on the Pounds
Sphynxes loves to eat — and will go for just about any treat. But don't over do it, as they are prone to obesity.
It's best to give them treats in moderation. The bulk of their calories should come from their meals.
A Hearty and Healthy Breed
Sphynxes have few health problems and no major genetic disease predispositions.
However, the breed can be prone to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (a thickening of the heart muscle) and hereditary myopathy, which affects muscle function.
Make sure to keep your sphynx healthy through vaccination and annual vet checks.
They Need Baths in Their Routine
A bath a week will keep your sphynx heathly and their skins oils under control.
Don't forget to clean their ears at the same time. Wipe with a warm, damp cloth, and contact your vet if any odor or redness occurs.
Indoors or Outdoors?
Sphynx cats love to investigate the great outdoors.
However, they can't live outside since they are prone to the elements. But taking them out on the odd adventure doesn't hurt now and again.
They're Not the Only Hairless Cat Breed
Sphynx cats are one of eight hairless breeds.
The others are the Bambino, the Donskoy, the Dwelf, the Peterbald, the Minskin, the Ukrainian Levkoy, Lykoi.
The sphynx is the most well-known of all the hairless breeds, but what you may think is a sphynx may not be.
They Can Have Skin Problems
Skin conditions are the biggest everyday issue for the sphynx. Due to their lack of hair, they are prone to rashes, fungal infections and even sunburn.
Sunscreen and other types of coverage (such as clothing) are essential for the breed.
Training a Sphynx
The sphynx is an intelligent, curious animal in need of amusement and mental stimulation. The more you provide, the less he will go looking for it on his own.
This breed is easily trainable and responds well to positive reinforcement — and, of course, rewards in treats and snuggles.
The Sphynx and Small Children
They are some breeds of cat that are more independent than the sphynx.
However, this breed loves the company of children and other animals. They enjoy being handled and are even known to make great therapy pets.
They're Not a Cheap Breed
If you want a sphynx, prepare to pay a pretty penny. They range in price from $1,760 to $4,400.
Coat color, size and rarity of the cat affect their price.
A purebred sphynx or one that comes from a reputable breeder is also more expensive.
But They Do Occasionally Come Up as Rescues
If you can't spend the money, you may be able to find a sphynx cat through a rescue in your area.
Check Facebook (most rescues have a page), Petfinder or Adopt a Pet. They are out there and surely need homes.