The majestic Sphynx is easily one of the most identifiable and extravagant-looking cat breeds. It emerged in the 1960’s as the result of a naturally occurring genetic mutation. Thus, the first “hairless” breed of cat was born.
But the Sphynx is actually not hairless at all! They sleek yet muscular body is covered in a layer of fine fur, much like a peach. Their unusual appearance doesn’t stop there: they are also wrinkled, predominantly on the face but also on the body. Their triangular heads are topped with batwing-like ears. These impressive ears grow to be about 2-3 inches high!
Sphynx cats are quite densely built for a medium-sized breed, ranging between 3-5kg. They are wonderfully photogenic and fascinate people around the globe with their alien-like appearance.
This breed is known for it’s large, lemon-shaped eyes that come in yellow, green, red, and blue. Heterochromia, meaning the eyes differ in color from each other, is not abnormal among Sphynx cats.
Feels like soft, warm suede, and irresistible to touch. Occasionally they have small patches of ever so slightly longer fur, often on the head. The coat can come in almost any color and pattern from tabby to pointed or even tuxedo.
You can expect all sorts of antics from these curious and intelligent cats. Whether that be curiously following you around the house, or amusing you with their shenanigans. Do you know what’s even better than their oddball appearance?
They are among the most loving and affectionate breeds, they make a wonderful lap cat. This could simply be them seeking extra warmth, regardless they will do anything for your attention.
The Sphynx and your family
Sphynx cats are easy to pair with a family. Their delightful temperament means they are great with kids, dogs, and other cats. Their welcome will always be warm to anyone who enters your home.
Did you think that the hairless appearance makes for low grooming requirements? If so, you are unfortunately mistaken. Since Sphynx cats have almost no fur to absorb the excess natural oils produced by the skin, they need frequent baths (much the same as humans). They also need their ears, teeth, and skin checked regularly. These areas are more prone to problems such as a build-up of oils or wax.
Aside from regular bathing, these cats also need special protection depending on the climate. Hot summer months can cause their sensitive skin to burn if left exposed. You need to strictly monitor their exposure to the sun. In chilly climates, they will easily feel too cold. You can easily purchase specially designed jumpers for your cat to keep them snug. It is also important you offer these cats plenty of safe and cozy places to curl up around the house.
Why you should adopt a Sphynx
Do you know how people sometimes say cats are aloof? Well, I dare them to meet one of these guys, they could not be more wrong. These cats are exceptionally hands-on and want to be part of your life. They will even greet you and your guests at the door. This is truly one of the breeds that seems to almost bridge the gap between owning a cat and owning a dog… or some might say even a human baby! Have you been swayed yet? As ever you must be sure that the breed is the correct fit to join your family, let us recap the pros and cons below:
- Super affectionate
- Good for families
- Good with other animals
- Great lap cat
- Has regular grooming requirements
- Prone to certain skin issues
- Sensitive to temperature
- Doesn’t like to be left alone
While the Sphynx is not your average-looking feline, they certainly make a wonderful companion breed. Some people might be put off by their hairlessness and wrinkles. It is possible to find their character a little too full-on, they are also known to be pretty vocal and demanding. Yet, we say this only makes them all the more endearing. If you have the time to dedicate and the love to give, this could be the perfect cat for you.
Due to their love for company, they might not do well in a household where they are regularly left alone. In living situations such as these, you should consider getting a second cat as a companion. These cats have an increased risk of conditions such as skin cancer if regularly exposed to the sun without protection. Please carefully consider their special grooming requirements before bringing them into your home.
Frequently Asked Questions
An average specimen has about 90% of the “true” genetics of a purebred Sphynx. Such a kitten will set you back between $900 and $2500. A 100% purebred is extremely rare, and as a consequence, you can expect to pay upwards of $6000 per cat.
No, this is a misconception. But while true hypoallergenic cats technically do no exist, the Sphynx is probably the closest you can get. Their bodies do not shed, which reduces the production of allergens to the bare minimum.
This breed has an average lifespan of 14 to 15 years.
It is another common misconception that cats need whiskers to maintain their balance. While whiskers are a sensory organ, mammals always get their sense of balance via the inner ear. The real function of the whiskers is to assess distance.