Sphynx Cat

Sphynx
Overview
Characteristics
Sphynx
Temperament
? The breed’s dominant personality traits. While each individual has a unique personality, breed-specific genetics affect qualities like sociability, playfulness, and intelligence.
Loving, sociable, intelligent, loyal
Origin
? Where this breed was first established.
Canada
Other Names
? In addition to their official names, most breeds earn a few nicknames.
Canadian Sphynx, Canadian Hairless cat, Moon cat
Group
? Breeds are grouped by their size and coat type.
Medium-sized hairless
Height
? The typical adult height among individuals of this breed. Height is measured from the top of the head to the bottom of the front paws.
8"- 10"
Body Length
? The typical adult body length among individuals of this breed. A cat’s length is measured from the base of the tail to the tip of the nose.
13"-15"
Weight
? The typical adult weight range of this cat breed.
8-16 pounds
Life Expectancy
? The average lifespan of the breed. While life expectancy is fairly consistent across all cat breeds, some breeds tend to live shorter or longer than others.
13-14 years
Price
? The average price.
$1800 - $3000
Affection Level
? Breeds with a high affection level want to give and receive a lot of attention, while less-affectionate breeds are not as interested in petting and snuggles.
0 100%
100%
Activity Level
? Breeds with high activity levels will engage more in active play and demand more space and attention.
0 100%
80%
Pet-Friendly
? How well the breed tends to get along with cats, dogs, and other pets.
0 100%
80%
Kid-Friendly
? Breeds with a higher rating in this area tend to be gentle and patient, while lower-rated breeds may feel uncomfortable with children.
0 100%
80%
Sociability
? Breeds with a higher sociability rating will want to spend time with you all day, while less-sociable breeds seldom seek out human interaction.
0 100%
100%
Intelligence
? Breeds with higher intelligence ratings are more curious, investigative, and easy to train. Less-intelligent breeds are less trainable but often laid-back and easygoing.
0 100%
100%
Playfulness
? Breeds that score higher in this area have strong hunting instincts that make them great playtime companions.
0 100%
100%
Independence
? Breeds that score higher in this area are able to spend hours alone, while less-independent breeds require plenty of attention.
0 100%
20%
Vocality
? A higher rating in this area indicates a breed prone to plenty of meowing and other vocalizations, while less-vocal breeds are happy to stay quiet.
0 100%
80%
Grooming
? Breeds with higher grooming scores require more maintenance like brushing and bathing, while lower-scored breeds are virtually maintenance-free.
0 100%
100%

About the Sphynx Cat

If you’re looking for a friendly cat with a big personality, the Sphynx might be ideal. Bonus points if you’re hoping for a pet that doesn’t shed, as these hairless cats are either completely hairless or are covered in the barest layer of fine, velvety down.

With bold features and an intense gaze, the Sphynx may not appear to be the friendliest cat on the planet, but don’t let this kitty’s looks deceive you! The Sphynx is a gregarious, personable cat with lots of love to share with everyone, including strangers and other pets. Quick to greet their family members at the door and just as fast to hop under the covers when bedtime arrives, Sphynx cats take every possible opportunity to socialize.

Without adequate companionship, the Sphynx quickly becomes despondent, bored, and destructive. These kitties absolutely hate to be left alone, and while they’re spending time with you, they have a tendency to offer unsolicited help and advice. Loud meows can give way to unrelenting wails if you try to confine a Sphynx to its own space, making these cats unsuitable for families that don’t want a high level of involvement from their pet.

Last but not least, Sphynx cats need to be kept warm and protected from the elements. These cats can’t live outdoors where they’ll suffer from sunburn and windburn, and even inside, they look for the warmest possible place to rest. Offer a heated cat bed, and you’ll know exactly where to find your Sphynx when it’s time to play.

About the Sphynx Cat

Care

Sphynx Cat Care
Nutrition
Nutrition
Grooming
Grooming
Exercise
Exercise
Health
Health

High-quality food is essential for Sphynx cats, as lower-quality cat food can lead to serious skin problems and cause excess oil production. Look for a brand that’s high in protein and low in carbohydrates, and that incorporates real meat or fish as the primary ingredient.

You might think that the Sphynx cat requires very little in terms of grooming; in fact, the opposite is true. These cats might not need brushing, but they do require fairly frequent bathing to remove excess oil that can lead to greasy buildup and irritation. Look for a mild cat shampoo and use warm water that feels comfortable to your own skin. These cats cannot tolerate temperature extremes at all.

Check your cat’s ears frequently, as well. If you notice debris deep inside the ear, have your vet or a professional groomer provide cleaning. Between deep cleanings, wipe away greasy residue with a cotton ball that has been moistened with a mild solution of 50% water and 50% vinegar.

At-home dental care can help keep your cat healthier for a lifetime, so consider brushing their teeth regularly. Feline toothpaste comes in flavors cats enjoy, making this task a bit easier once they know what to expect.

Sphynx cats are prone to buildup between their toes, so you should wash their paws a few times per week to help prevent infections from occurring. It’s a good idea to clip your cat’s toenails regularly, too. This routine is simplest when you start from a young age; with time, your cat will accept it without making too much of a fuss.

Sphynx cats are capable athletes with strong, sinewy muscles. These kitties get lots of exercise following their people around and playing with other pets, but they appreciate opportunities to jump and climb just as much as their furry cousins do! A comfy cat condo, a scratching post, and plenty of toys will help keep your Sphynx in great shape.

Unfortunately, Sphynx cats do have some known health issues including a tendency to suffer from heart disease including hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. In addition, some Sphynx are prone to an inherited neuromuscular disorder called congenital myasthenic syndrome (CMS).

These cats are also prone to periodontal disease, making routine cleaning essential. Skin irritation can happen with some frequency, making these cats a bit more high-maintenance than those with fur.

History

There are quite a few stories about the origins of the Sphynx cat. Feline geneticists believe that the Sphynx we know today might share some similarities with Aztec or Mexican hairless cats, which were last documented in the early 1900s.

The Sphynx cat breed as we know it today got its start in 1966, when a hairless kitten named Prune was born in Roncesvalles, Toronto. When Prune reached maturity, he was mated back to his mother, and another hairless kitten was born. These cats, along with a few other hairless cats of unknown origin, created the foundation for the Canadian Sphynx line.

Unfortunately, the breed had a very difficult start due to limited genetics. In the 1970s, Prune’s last two descendants – a male and female – were sent to Holland. Efforts to save the Sphynx were fruitless even though two more hairless females were sent to Holland in 1978 and 1980, where they were bred without success to Prune’s last male heir.

Breeders didn’t give up in their quest. Instead, they paired the hairless females with Devon Rex studs. Two more hairless females – aptly named Dermis and Epidermis – were found in a Minnesota barn, and were added to the Sphynx breeding program. Later, more hairless cats from Minnesota joined in, along with some from Arkansas and Texas.

After genetic diversity was achieved, many Sphynx cat breeders stopped using Devon Rex for outcrossing due to a higher rate of health problems. Devon Rex outcrosses are still seen in Europe, but other associations allow only for outcrossing with select breeds including American Shorthair, Domestic Shorthair, and Russian Blue.

Sphynx Cat History

Did You Know?

Sphynx cats are not hypoallergenic. Some people with cat allergies find that their symptoms worsen around hairless cats, while others find that they have no issues. If you are allergic to cats and you want a Sphynx, be sure to spend time with Sphynxes to see whether you have a reaction.

The Sphynx cat displays a wide range of markings on its skin, from solid colors to points to tabbies and harlequins.

Sphynx cat clothing is getting easier to find, as many families opt to help their pets stay warm by dressing them.

The Breed Standard

About the Sphynx Cat

Eyes

A Sphynx cat’s eyes should be large and lemon-shaped, with wide centers and well-defined points on either side. The outer edges of the eyes should be tilted slightly upward, aligning with the outer base of the ear. All eye colors are accepted.

Legs & Paws

The legs should be sturdy and well-muscled, and should be proportionate to the body. The hind legs should be slightly longer than the forelegs. The paws should be oval-shaped, with prominent, well-knuckled toes and thick pads.

Tail

The Sphynx cat’s tail should be long and slender, but proportionate to the body’s length. It should have a fine taper with a pointed end.

Body

The body is of medium length, with ample musculature, a rounded abdomen, a round chest, and a rounded rump.

Head

A Sphynx cat’s head should form a modified wedge that is slightly longer than it is wide. The cheekbones should be prominent, and the whisker break and whisker pads should give the muzzle a square profile. The nose should be straight and the chin should be strong.

Ears

The ears should be large to very large in size, with broad bases and upright carriage. The outer base of the ear should be set at the same level as the eye.

Coat

Sphynx cats may be completely hairless, or they may have very short, fine, peach fuzz that does not interfere with the cats’ hairless appearance. Whiskers, when present, should be short and sparse. The bridge of the nose should have a normal coating, and fine hair might be present on the feet, the tail, the scrotum, and the outer edges of the ears. Wrinkled skin is the norm, and is desirable, particularly between the ears, around the shoulders, and in the muzzle area.

Color

All Sphynx cat colors and patterns are acceptable, with the exception of white lockets, belly spots, and buttons on show cats. Nose leather and paw pad color should complement skin color.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a Sphynx cat cost?

Sphynx cats cost between $1800 - $3000.

How big do Sphynx cats get?

Sphynx cats tend to be medium in size. A fully grown Sphynx cat might weigh between 8-16 pounds or more and range in height anywhere from about 8"- 10" inches tall.

How long do Sphynx cats live?

The Average lifespan for Sphynx is 13-14 years.

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