A Sphynx cat immediately catches the eye of every visitor – after all, it completely lacks the fluffy fur that cats are so distinguished by. But their skin is only covered with a light down. Nevertheless, the hairless cat is still extremely popular!
Origin and breeding
Originally, the Sphynx was created by a kitten mutating from an ordinary domestic cat – but its special appearance immediately delighted breeders worldwide. The early Aztecs are said to have kept hairless cats, and researchers also believe they can identify possible ancestors of the Sphynx cat in some early 20th-century portraits. But it’s only been official since the birth of the hairless kitten in 1966: not every cat has fur! A few years later, in 1971, the Sphynx was recognized as a cat breed. To this day, it is bred all over the world, but in Germany, there are very strict regulations: Since torture breeding is prohibited here, a bred Sphynx must meet special criteria. If, for example, the whiskers are missing, torture breeding is already assumed in Germany, since these represent an essential sensory organ of the animal, which it is only deprived of through breeding.
Hard to miss: the appearance of the Sphynx cat
Apart from being hairless, the Sphynx has a number of other visual characteristics that make it a very graceful cat. She is petite and graceful. Legs are medium length, hind legs slightly longer than front legs. Due to the strong chin the square-pointed head and the large, lemon-shaped eyes, her gaze may seem a bit severe at first. The ears are large and pointed. It does not necessarily have to be monochromatic: some species have dark, large spots all over their body or are otherwise patterned. The variety of eye colors also leaves leeway for breeders, so every Sphynx cat looks a little different. By the way: Wrinkles are desirable in the Sphynx – especially between the ears and on the neck.
The Sphynx Cat: Character and Attitude
The Sphynx is one of the most loving cat breeds out there! She likes to fixate on one person and can then become extremely clingy. At the same time, she is also very intelligent and likes to be challenged by demanding toys. She loves warmth: If possible, you should offer her a sunny window sill or something similar where she can let the sunshine on her stomach. Loneliness doesn’t do the social kitty any good! In general, keeping them alone is not recommended unless the cat is extremely intolerant or chronically ill. So if you bring a cat with you or are toying with the idea, it is best to get two of the cuddly tigers at the same time.
The maintenance of the Sphynx is very low, you just have to make sure that it doesn’t cool down. Therefore, you should always be able to stay in well-heated indoor rooms. If it is in the sun for a long time, you can protect the skin with a special sunscreen. A heat lamp also helps, especially in winter. Cold drafts or heavily air-conditioned rooms are not for the Sphynx cat: they can quickly become ill here!
Important: Due to the lack of fur, the cat loses body heat more quickly, which it compensates for with higher energy consumption. That’s why she needs a little more food than her fluffy colleagues.
Important note on the breeding form
Hairless cats do not have functional vibrissae on their head or body. Since vibrissae are an essential sensory organ for cats, their absence or their transformation leading to a lack of function is to be considered a tormented breeding trait.
The whiskers are important for orientation, especially in the dark, but also when catching and scanning prey, examining objects, and establishing social contacts. The BMELV report recommends a breeding ban for cats without whiskers.