The Sphynx is a natural mutation. In 1966 a domestic cat gave birth to a hairless kitten. Not in Egypt, but in Toronto, Canada. This was the beginning of the Sphynx cat. There have actually been a number of natural-occurring hairless cats around the world. These beautiful cats were created by Mother Nature, not man. Breeders were attracted to the unusual cats and bred them to coated cats of other breeds. These cats would usually produce all coated babies, but when those were bred back to a hairless cat, some of the offspring would be hairless. These breedings have continued until today to produce the wonderful hairless cat we call the Sphynx.
The Sphynx is a medium to large cat with few health or genetic problems. They are not always totally hairless. Sometimes they have a "peach" feeling coat. Sometimes there is a bit of hair on the face, legs, and tail. Totally hairless babies can develop hair as they mature due to hormones. Other factors may also cause them to grow more hair, such as surrounding temperature, age, puberty, etc.
One of the first questions we are asked is whether they get cold. If the room is warm enough for you (around 70 degrees), the Sphynx is quite comfortable. No, you do not have to put sweaters on them, although we find our kids love to wear their "sweatshirts" (made from the sleeves of our used ones). This also helps them to stay clean, as the shirt will absorb much of the natural oil which is produced by the cat. The more hairless the Sphynx, the more oil it produces. We keep "warm spots" throughout the house for them- heating pads and blankets placed under cat beds on low heat in the winter which they love. Usually we will find 3 or 4 in the same bed while the ones right next to it are empty! Their favorite way to keep warm is to snuggle with each other and their humans. They will bury themselves under the covers at night and stay there all night next to you like a hot water bottle!
The standard calls for the Sphynx to have quite large ears set not too high nor too low on the head. The eyes should be large and lemon-shaped. They come in every imaginable color. Sometimes this makes it VERY hard to determine their exact color, especially as young kittens. The only way to definitely determine the color on some cats is to use a DNA test.
Because of the oils that occur naturally in all cats, and since Sphynx do not hair to absorb it, they need more frequent baths than most cats. Luckily, a bath for them is about a 5 minute project! They also need to have their ears cleaned a couple of times a week, as the oil will accumulate to create a blackish, gooy substance. Many a vet has misdiagnosed a Sphynx as having ear mites due to this condition. A quick cleaning with a q-Tip will eliminate this problem. They do need to have their claws trimmed on a regular basis. Other than that, the Sphynx is very easy to care for.
Some people who suffer from cat allergies can tolerate the Sphynx, but it depends on the severity and type of the individual's allergies.
It is the personality of this wonderful breed that also makes them so special. We can sit for hours just watching them play and perform, then look at you to be sure you are watching. They are super loving and devoted, usually preferring human company to that of other cats or animals, although we have the "twins," Allie and Misty, who do EVERYTHING together and are seldom apart. I have been a breeder for 30 years and I have to say the Sphynx has won my heart completely. Please contact us for more information on our babies. We love to show them off!!
"Midnight" at 6 weeks (solid blue male)