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.
- Coat length: Short
- Grooming Requirements: Once a week
- Activity: Medium
- Noise: Low
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.
Despite their lack of hair, Sphynx cats can still cause allergic reactions. Allergies to cats are usually caused by an allergen in feline saliva.
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.
Is this the right cat breed for you?
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What to Consider next
It can be incredibly fulfilling to adopt a cat from an animal shelter and offer them a second chance in life. There are many cats waiting for a loving forever home. Each cat has its own story and many have lost their first home through no fault of their own, and would love to become a part of yours. Reputable centres will be very careful about matching the right people with the right cats Staff will be also be happy to give you advice and answer any questions you might have.
Finding a good breeder
If your heart’s set on a pedigree cat, then your best bet is to find a reputable breeder. The main advantage of buying a pedigree kitten or cat is that you know fairly well what they will look like and how their personality is likely to develop.Contact your veterinarian for more information about infectious diseases, genetic predisposition or care needs of a cats, so you are fully prepared to welcome him into your home.
Welcoming your cat home
With your new cat or kitten due to arrive home any day, you’re bound to be very excited. In these last few days before their arrival, there are plenty of things to keep you busy until the day your new cat comes home. Click here for more information