The Sphynx Cat: A Hairless Wonder

The most rare and unusual cat on the block, the Sphynx has an unforgettable appearance. The most mentionable aspect is that it doesn’t have a coat of fur like other cats do. Nearly hairless, Sphynx cats may be covered with a fine, peach-like fuzz on their skin, and that is all. They may or may not have whiskers and eyebrows. Their skin is also very loose on their bodies, which gives them wrinkles, from head to toe.

To the touch, a Sphynx cat feels similar to suede. They have a naturally firm pot belly, as well as large ears, large, open eyes and prominent cheekbones. Sphynx cats have a whip-like tail that is long and slim. They range from around 6 to 12 pounds in size, with strong, sturdy bodies. Sphynx cats can be found in all colors and patterns such as white, black, red, tabby and bicolor to name a few. The skin is pigmented in the color that the hair would be.

History

Named after the Sphinx of ancient Egypt, the Sphynx cat had its accidental beginnings in 1966 in Toronto, Canada. A domestic cat named Elizabeth gave birth to the first Sphynx cat, which they named Prune. A natural genetic mutation was the cause of this. This is why they were originally called Canadian Hairless Cats. In 1975 and 1976, two more Sphynx cats were born in Wadena, Minnesota, named Dermis and Epidermis. Today, American and European breeds of Sphynx cats either descend from their beginnings in Toronto or in Wadena.

Personality

Other than their appearance, their most notable quality is their attention-craving personality. Extremely loveable, Sphynx cats also like to give kisses to their owners. They are mischievous in nature and generally have an abundance of energy. They love human attention, whether familiar or strangers. They also enjoy the company of other cats and dogs. Great with kids, Sphynx cats love to snuggle and to be held. They like to curl up on their favorite human, warm computer or underneath a cozy blanket. They love to climb, chase bugs and play with toys. Be sure to provide them with scratching posts as they love to scratch.

Care

Sphynx cats require a bit more maintenance than other domestic cats do. First of all, they should be kept indoors, unless supervised for a short period of time. This is because they can get sunburned, just as a human can. It wouldn’t hurt to go ahead and buy a couple of sweaters for your Sphynx to keep her comfortable indoors.

Oil tends to build up on their skin, as there is no fur to absorb it. For this reason, they should be given a bath once or twice a week. You should wash them with baby shampoo and afterward, apply a gentle, unscented lotion to their skin. Use baby wipes on their skin in between baths. As there is no hair to absorb their ear wax, their ears also need to be cleaned regularly. Do this with cotton balls and a 50/50 mixture of water and apple cider vinegar. Their nails and surrounding skin folds also need to be cleaned regularly. Their teeth should be brushed weekly and the corners of their eyes should be wiped out daily with a warm, damp cloth.

Health

Although generally healthy, Sphynx cats are known to be susceptible to a few different medical conditions. The first is skin cancer, as there is no fur to protect their skin from the sun. They also have a higher rate of heart disease than other cats. They occasionally may develop crusty sores on their skin, called Urticaria Pigmentosa. In the first weeks of life, they are prone to developing respiratory infections.

Breeding

One of the most popular breeds today in cat circles, the Sphynx is also a member of cat competitions held by many different associations. The Cat Fanciers Association and the International Cat Association are two of these. How much does a Sphynx cost? This will depend on the type, health, personality and bloodlines. A Sphynx cat should have all of their shots and be at least 12 weeks old before they are sold to their new owners.

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