The Purrfect Not-So-Furry Companion: The Sphynx Cat
Hairless but fearless, Sphynx cats turn heads everywhere they go! This is the cat who demands its well-deserved attention, loves entertaining its family and treasures meeting new humans. The Sphynx have the undeniable power to enchant anyone with their humor, loving nature and exotic appearance. To no surprise, they were rated as the top 8 most popular breed of 2017 in the US. Not under the Sphynx’ spell yet? Wait until you read the rest!
The main features
The curious Sphynx is a medium-size cat that typically weighs from 6 to 12 pounds. They don’t have fur and their smooth, muscular body is covered in very fine hairs. This gives them a bald and wrinkled appearance and chamois-like texture. Their head is wedge-shaped with prominent cheekbones, large ears and distinctive, lemon-shaped eyes. What particularly adds to the charm of their unusual appearance are noticeably thicker paw pads in comparison to other cat breeds. Irresistible!
The Sphynx come in all possible colors and patterns. They can be solid (white, black, red, brown, lavender) or patterned (bicolor, calico, tabby, tortoiseshell, pointed and mink). The color and pattern is seen in the pigment of their skin, which makes it more difficult to distinguish than in coated cats.
Sphynx cats originally come from Canada and they came about completely accidentally. One of the first ancestors to the popular breed was Prune, a hairless kitten born in 1966 in Toronto to a black and white domestic cat Elizabeth. The hairlessness in Prune was the result of a natural, recessive mutation. Elizabeth’s owner recognized the uniqueness of the kitten and was set to reproduce him. Along with other hairless cats found across the globe, Prune was bred to cats with normal coats and then back to hairless cats to create a large gene pool. This way, breeders ensured that the new breed would suffer from as little possible inherited conditions as possible.
The recessive allele producing the hairlessness in Sphynx was identified to be of the same gene that produces the hairlessness in Devon rex. The allele found in Sphynx (hr) is incompletely dominant over the allele found in Devon rex (re), but they are both recessive to wild type (allele producing normal coat). New hairless breeds such as Peterbald and Don Sphynx, aroused from their own spontaneous mutations.
Sphynx are very outgoing, energetic and intelligent. They will cherish your companion, but also the companion of other cats and dogs. In fact, they are so friendly that they were rated as the most affectionate cat breed in a study conducted by Asselineau and Abitbol in 2012!
The Sphynx don’t shy away and they won’t hesitate to demand your attention. Their sweet-nature is accompanied with a great sense of humor too! They will always find a new way to entertain you. They are highly playful, and will find diverse activities around the house to keep entertained. And when they’re not on the go, they love cuddling and resting on your lap. Sphynx cats serve as excellent therapy pets because of their warm nature, great sense of humor and genuine love for meeting new people.
Health and care
The Sphynx don’t have a lot of inherited conditions, but they may be genetically prone to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). They also struggle with skin complications due to the lack of coat. They are prone to urticaria pigmentosa (a skin disease causing crusty sores on the body) and are at the higher risk from skin cancer. This is why it is important to monitor their exposure to sunlight. The lack of fur also makes it difficult for them to maintain body temperature which is why it’s not a bad idea to invest in a few sweaters for your little buddy.
Although furless, your Sphynx will require just as much grooming as a Ragdoll, if not more. Their skin needs to be kept moisturized and they will require weekly baths. Every cat’s skin produces oils which help keep their coat sleek. The Sphynx, however, don’t have fur to absorb these oils. This is why it is recommended to give them weekly baths with gentle, baby soap. Baby wipes can be used to help keep their skin clean in between baths. If you start bathing your Sphynx as a kitten, they will often learn to tolerate or even enjoy their.
Fun facts about the famously affectionate breed
1.There are a few theories explaining why Sphynx cats are exceptionally friendly. It is possible that the breed is so affectionate because the kittens are generally kept with the Queen for longer periods of time than other cat breeds or because the friendlier cats are more likely to be selected for breeding. Other experts believe that they are affectionate because they rely on us to keep warm.
2. They eat more than an average cat.. Sphynx have a very fast metabolism and need more food than average cats.
3. They are not actually hypoallergenic. Interestingly, despite what many believe, Sphynx cats are not hypoallergenic. They produce an allergen in their saliva called Feld d1, like coated cats. This is the main allergen causing allergic reactions in people.
4. Ted Nude-Gent may be the world’s most famous Sphynx.. Ted Nude-Gent, feline star of the Austin Powers movies, is considered to be one of the world’s most famous Sphynx cats. In 1997, Ted portrayed Dr. Evil’s Persian cat, Mr.Bigglesworth, after they have both gone permanently bald due to being cryogenically frozen. Thus Mr. Bigglesworth transformation from Persian to Sphynx. Ted also portrayed Mrs. Whiskerson, Rachel Green’s Sphynx cat in the popular sitcom F.r.i.e.n.d.s. He appeared in Lindsay Lohan thriller I know who killed me too.
The Sphynx are the utmost loving bundles of joy you will ever welcome in your life. Although mostly famous for the lack of their fur, the most remarkable characteristic of the breed is their unbelievably friendly nature. Are you a proud hooman owned by the mesmerizing pet? Don’t hesitate to share your photos with us, we would love to meet your magical friends!