The Sphynx cat is not exactly a typical cat without a fluffy coat, but it also has its own charm. All information about the origin, nature and keeping of the only hairless cat breed can be found here in the profile.
History and Origin of the Sphynx Cat
Supposedly there were already hairless cats in Aztec times, which could be considered the ancestors of the Sphynx cat. Today’s breed, also known as the Canadian Sphynx, was created in 1966 by an accidental mutation of a kitten from a common Toronto domestic cat. The Canadian Sphynx was recognized as a cat breed in 1971. The gene pool of hairless cats was initially limited and there were many problems with inbreeding. Most hairless cats go back to two lines of natural mutation.
The Pearson family of Minnesota started the first line in 1975 with their cats Dermis and Epidermis. Shirley Smith from Toronto founded the second line in 1978 with the three hairless stray cats Bambi, Punkie, and Paloma. Today, the Canadian is bred all over the world and is becoming increasingly popular. In addition to the Candian Sphynx, there are other hairless cat breeds that are not related to it and are the result of independent mutations. These include the Russian Don Sphynx, the Hawaiian Kohona, the floppy-eared Ukrainian Levkoy, the short-legged Bambino, and the Peterbald. In Germany, the breeding of all these cats is controversial and is even considered tormented breeding without vibrissae.
Essence and Character
The Sphynx is considered an affectionate and people-oriented cat breed that enjoys all kinds of affection. The house tiger loves its people and can become downright pushy. However, they never become aggressive and do not extend their claws. Hairless cats are sociable and need someone to play with and cuddle with. Thanks to their balanced and friendly nature, the cats have no problem with small children and get along well with well-behaved dogs.
The Appearance of the Sphynx Cat
The distinctive, almost alien-like appearance of the Canadian Sphynx clearly sets it apart from any other cat breed. The elegant cats are muscular and have wide-set legs with medium-sized paws. The tail is long and tapers to a point. The wedge-shaped head with very large ears and oval eyes gives the cats an exotic look. The body of young cats is still covered with a light fuzz, which becomes less in the course of life. However, some adult cats are not completely hairless and will continue to have a light down on their heads and tails. The skin is relatively wrinkled and can vary in color. Multicolored skin tones are particularly popular. Well-bred Canadian Sphynx cats have whiskers. However, they break more often than other cat breeds.
Attitude and Care
Outdoor cat or indoor cat?
Due to the lack of fur, Sphynx cats are only suitable to a limited extent as outdoor cats. It is very sensitive to cold or strong sunlight. However, under supervision, a hairless cat can also enjoy the freedom and take a walk through the garden. With enough space and employment opportunities, however, the house tiger will be happier as a purely indoor cat.
How much activity does the Sphynx cat need?
The Canadian Sphynx is an extremely intelligent animal that quickly sees through sophisticated toys. She loves it when you spend a lot of time with her and really demands the daily playtime. The cat is happy to accept intelligent toys and also likes to chase play mice or balls. Of course, like any other cat, she likes to rest. If possible, provide a large scratching post for playing and sleeping. A sunny, warm windowsill would also be ideal, where the cat can comfortably snooze and warm up.
Care and feeding
Since the Sphynx cat has no fur, it does not require much care. Since hairless cats require more energy to maintain body heat due to their lack of fur, they need a higher quality and more nutritious food than other breeds. With a species-appropriate and healthy diet, you can ensure that they do not freeze faster than other breeds. The sebum produced by the skin cannot be absorbed by the fur, which is why you should wipe the hairless cat with a soft cloth from time to time. For some representatives of the breed, there is no way around a bath. Since bare skin has no protection against the sun’s rays, prolonged exposure to the sun can cause sunburn. A cat-friendly sunscreen from the vet without fragrance and dyes can help but is not always necessary.
Acquiring a Sphynx cat
With a life expectancy of around 18 years, anyone who acquires a Canadian Sphynx cat will become attached to the animal for a long time. Before you buy, you should be very sure and know all the peculiarities of the breed. When buying a kitten, you should definitely make sure that it was born with whiskers. The parents should also make a healthy and active impression. Breeding and selling cats without whiskers is illegal in Germany. Inform yourself well before you buy and ideally look for a registered breeder. You can get a purebred and healthy kitten from a reputable breeder for €600.