Sphynx Cat (Complete Guide)

The unique characteristic of the Sphynx Cat is hairlessness. The body of this cat feels warm and soft on touch. The Sphynx cat has a body texture that resembles smooth nectarine or soft peach. The Sphynx is lively, sweet-tempered, and obedient to handling.

The sphynx cat has wrinkled skin, a striking appearance, and large ears, along with a sleek and muscular body that is heavy and dense. Sphynx is a medium-sized cat breed with nicely developed muscles.

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Breed Characteristics:

Breed Type:

Medium

Weight range:

Less than 13 lbs.

Eye colour:

Varies/Multiple

Longevity Range:

9-13 yrs.

Social/Attention Needs:

Very High

Shedding:

Very low- Low

Hair Length:

Short

Allergenic:

Low but have sensitive skin

Prevalence:

Rare

Grooming Requirements:

Very High

Coat Type:

Nearly hairless, can range from entirely bald to peach fuzz.

Colours:

  • Blacktortoiseshell
  • White
  • Red
  • Blue
  • Blue-cream
  • Silver
  • Cream
  • Cameo
  • Brown
  • golden
  • Pattern:
  • Smoke
  • Tortoiseshell
  • Solid colour
  • Tricolour/calico
  • Bicolor
  • Ticking
  • Shaded
  • Tabby

Sphynx’s head is a triangular shape, and her eyes are wide along with prominent cheekbones that recall to old cats of ancient Egypt, a resemblance that influenced the breed’s name. In addition to being hairless, the Sphynx’s most prominent feature is its large, triangular-shaped ears that resemble a bat.

Although the Sphynx initially appears completely bald, a closer look often reveals a nice, short coat of fuzz that gives the skin a good suede feel.

inks with grey and orange marks sphynx outside against a blurry green bush

History:

Originally named Canadian Hairless cat, Sphynx originated in Toronto, Canada, in 1966, when domestic short-haired kittens were born. They include one hairless kitten due to a naturally occurring genetic mutation. Although kittens without hairs have already been born before, they never gain any popularity.

The Sphynx breed then originated due to selective breeding of this hairless kitten with other cats, and then it’s mating to its hairless progeny and on and on. This process has developed the breed’s desired characteristics and has helped expand the gene pool to produce a genetically hairless cat breed. But in 2002, this cat breed was officially accepted all around the world.

Personality:

The Sphynx Cat is a passionate, acrobatic artist who wants to draw attention. This cat possesses an unexpected sense of humour that often contradicts its expression.

Friendly and loving, this is a loyal cat breed that will follow you around the house and try to involve themselves in whatever they are doing, leaning on your shoulder or somehow curl up in your lap.

As curious and intelligent as she is passionate and energetic, these qualities can make her a little handful. The Sphynx performs best as a unique indoor cat and is usually paired with other pets.

Living with:

The Sphynx cat is a strong and robust breed with some health problems. Although there is no risk of genetic disease in this species, the Sphynx is known to be affected by cats by certain health conditions.

One of them is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a disease that affects the heart muscle. It causes thickening and can be detected with an echocardiogram.

Hereditary Myopathy is also somewhat prevalent in them. It is the condition that affects muscle function. Sphynx cats are sometimes at risk for skin conditions such as urticaria, which can cause rusty sores on the body.

This breed is also at risk of periodontal disease and should be cleaned and examined.

When adopting a Sphynx cat, avoid breeders who refuse to guarantee kittens’ health or claim their lineage is HCM free. Although this condition is not inherited, it is a relatively common form of heart disease in cats.
The Sphynx is an active breed that enjoys climbing, jumping, playing, and on average, scratching. Climbing and scratching surfaces should be provided to these cats, along with places for perching or climbing.

Despite its baldness (No hair), the Sphynx is not considered hypoallergenic because its skin still produces average amounts of allergic dander. Sphynx cats have oily skin and should be bathed regularly to avoid too much lubrication.

Sphynx owners should take special care to protect these cats from skin damage and sunburn, as well as from cold conditions, although the Sphynx is adept at finding warm places to curl up and relax. However, in severe winter, a sphynx cat should wear sweaters and coats to them. The ears should also be regularly checked and cleaned weekly to minimize wax build-up.

[icon name=”info-circle” prefix=”fas fa-2x”] You may also be interested in our article on The Peterbald Cat (Complete Guide)

Physical attributes

Body

The body is challenging, muscular, medium in length, with a broad chest and full rounded abdomen. The rump is well round and athletic. The backline behind the shoulder blades is extended to accommodate the long back legs when standing. Boning is moderate. The length of the neck is medium, well-muscled, round, with a slight arch.

Eyes:

Large-sized eyes with a comprehensive centre, coming to a certain point on each side. The placement should be at a slightly upward angle, aligned with the outer base of the ear. Both eyes are separate apart. The distance between the eyes is at least one eye width.

Legs and Paws:

The legs are medium to body proportions. They are strong and well-muscled. Sphynx’s hind legs are a little longer than the front. Paws are oval. These cats have well-knuckled toes, five in forelegs and four in the hind legs. Also, paw pads are thick, forming a cushion that protects them from injuries and allows them to jump from higher places.

Ears:

The sizes of ears are enormous. They are open and straight at the base. When viewed from the front, the ear’s outer base should start at eye level, neither lower nor above the head.

If the ear’s starting point is above or lower than the eye starting point, then the breed is not pure; it is cross-bred with someone else.

Head:

Modified wedge, which is slightly longer in width, well-built cheekbones, a distinctive whisker break, and a square muzzle, are prominent Sphynx head features. The skull is somewhat rounded with a flat plane in front of the ears. The nose is relatively straight, and there is a slight, moderate stop at the bridge of the nose. Rounded cheekbones have very bulgy eyes inside them.

Tail:

The tail is flexible, slim, and tall while maintaining proportion to the cat’s body length. Also, the tail is whip-like, tapering to an appropriate point.

Coat:

The cat’s body coat is usually hairless. There may be short, fine hairs on the legs, outer edges of the ears, or tail. The bridge of the nose should be typically coated. The rest of the body can range from hairless to soft peach-like fuzzy covering.

This coat/skin texture creates a sense of resistance when stroking a cat. There are usually no whiskers, but if there are whiskers, they are shorter and sparse.

Sphynx Cat Features (Why to love Sphynx?):

Not everyone finds the “hairless cat” so cute. But we know you’ll love it because it’s:

  • Extremely intelligent and able to learn tricks
  • Playful, especially with the “chase” game
  • Entertaining, with a fun personality
  • Human-oriented and should not be left alone for long
  • Does not like frequent lifting and carrying
  • Must have an opinion about everything
  • Very friendly and love the company of other cats and people
  • Want to be a regular part of your activities
  • A jumper who likes to be in high places
  • It can become chilled in cold weather like us.
  • Devoted and faithful
  • Very talkative
  • Can be mischievous if not given enough attention

What you need to know before you can bring a Sphynx cat home
Sphynx cats need constant care. If you want to overcome a Sphynx personality, the next thing to consider is complete cat care. The hairlessness of these cats does not mean that they require less attention and care than furry cats.

How Much Does A Sphynx Cat Cost?

These cats are also very costly because they are scarce. A Sphynx cat’s average cost is from 1600-2000 USD, while some purebred pedigreed cats may cost 10000 USD.

a brown and white sphynx laying down

Do You maintain healthy skin through diet?

On the contrary, it takes a lot to prepare these cats well and keep their skin healthy. Skincare for the Sphynx begins with food.

“You want high-quality food because the food affects the amount of oil produced by the skin of the Sphynx. The better the food, the less the fat/oil.” If fat is more in the diet, then the cat may develop skin problems and ear issues of wax and infection.

Because there is no fur in these kitties, they leave grease stains in most of their areas. Their skin is oily, and this oil can get into your sofa cushions or bed sheets and leave stains.

Keeping Sphynx Cats Shiny And Clean:

Although the diet helps control a Sphynx cat’s overall coat condition, they will occasionally need a bath to remove grease and dirt. Choose mild cat shampoos that are soap-free and made from natural ingredients such as earthy oatmeal, coconut oil, and aloe vera dog and cat shampoo.

Bathing the Sphynx is like washing a newborn baby with claws. Try to use a wet washcloth. One with shampoo and the other with water only. That way, they don’t have to be submerged entirely in shampoo or water.

When you are bathing a Sphynx, it is essential to dry them quickly with a soft, lukewarm towel to prevent their skin from getting chapped. You also don’t want to bathe the Sphynx often because it will dry out their skin.

As we know, Sphynx cats are prone to ear infections, so owners should keep their ears clean and remove excess wax. They also must pay close attention to their kitty’s claws, as grime can accumulate between the claws/toes and cause infection. It would help if you cleaned your cat’s paws at least once or twice a week.

How To Keep A Sphynx Cat Warm:

Sphynx (Hairless) cats need protection from cold weather and sun.
Another problem with Sphynx cats is that they get chilled faster than their furry cousins. It is believed that if you are cold, your Sphynx cat is also cold. There are many options for keeping these kitties warm.

Clothes:

A soft cat’s apparel can keep your cat warm without skin irritation. However, clothes soak up these skin oils, so the owners should wash them relatively often to avoid grunge.

Heated Cat Beds:

There are also cat beds that can keep cats warm, such as heated cat beds or cat-covered beds. If your home is freezing, you can make pre-heated beds with things like microwaveable heating pads. And never underestimate the value of a blanket!

Check Out Amazon’s best selling heated cat bed.

Staying Inside:

It is also worth noting that Sphynx cats should not be allowed outside. Beyond the issues that come in cold weather, the lack of Sphynx fur also means that they are at high risk of sun exposure than other cats. So both cold or hot harsh environments are not reasonable or appropriate for their health.

Most multi-pet parents believe that Sphynx cats are the best pets if you can take the time and effort you need to take care of them.

Sphynx Cats Are Not Hypoallergenic:

If you are looking to adopt a Sphynx cat because you think it is the only type of cat that will not bother your allergies, you may want to consider it again.

Many people adopt these cats because they think they are hypoallergenic, which is not the case. Lack of fur does not make them hypoallergenic. In general, human allergies are secondary to cat allergens.

People may even be more allergic to hairless cats than to furry cats.

a young white and grey sphynx cat with yellow eyes

General Health Issues of Sphynx

Weight management

Obesity is a notable disease that contributes to many medical conditions and deaths in these cats.

The discovery is more well-known today than in the last few decades, but many owners are still ignoring the dangers of being overweight on their pets. Overweight is an influential factor in the development of diabetes, arthritis, and other life-threatening diseases. Everyone knows that even just shedding a few pounds can improve mobility and increase overall motivation to stay active. And the same goes for your pet.

Research shows that being overweight can shorten a pet’s life by a maximum of two years and lead to joint issues or arthritis, two years early. Diabetes, an inherited disease, is more likely to develop in overweight pets and can never be a problem for an optimal-weight cat.

The more obese a cat becomes, the more likely it is that it will develop diabetes.

Fatty Liver / Hepatic Lipidosis:

Fatty liver or Hepatic lipidosis is another deadly disease in overweight pets. When a fat cat stops eating for any reason, hepatic lipidosis can develop within 48 hours. So how can we help your cats stay fit and healthy? Understanding your cat’s eating habits is vital. The average cat prefers to eat 10-15 times a day, some nibbles at a time. This free-feeding method works well for most cats, but boredom can increase cat visits to the food bowl.

What Can You Do To Help Your Cats Weight Management:

By keeping your cat active and busy, you will help your pet stay healthy and have some fun at the same time! Food puzzles can help cats become more interested in eating.

You have to take a firm stand and manage your cat’s food intake for really hard-to-eat matters. Instead of filling your cat’s bowl, follow the feeding guide on the food package, and be sure to feed a high-quality adult cat food recommended by your doctor.

Change your cat’s eating habits when you get bored with extra playtime and love. Cats usually adjust their desires for personal interaction by the amount of admiration and respect given to them, so in other words, ignoring your feline friend means your cat will miss you. Loving and playing with your cat will make your cat desire to be with you. More active cats represent healthier, happier pets and owners!

Dental Issues/Diseases of A Sphynx Cat

Dental disease is the most widespread chronic problem in cats whose teeth are not cleaned regularly. Unfortunately, most cats do not take good care of their teeth, including your Sphynx. Without your extra help and maintenance, your cat may have potential dental problems.

Dental disease begins with food scraps or residue, which harden and become tartar that builds upon the teeth’ visible parts and eventually lead to infections in the gums and tooth roots.

Protecting your cat from dental disease by regularly removing food debris can help prevent or delay the need for modern dental treatment. This treatment can be tense for your cat and expensive for you, so preventative care is way more beneficial.

In severe cases of chronic dental infections, your pet may also lose teeth or retain damage to internal organs. And, your cat will be a more enjoyable companion, not knocking everyone out with the stinky cat’s breath.

Vaccine-Preventable Infections

Like all cats, Sphynx cats are susceptible to bacterial and viral infections such as rhinotracheitis, calicivirus, panleukopenia, and rabies, which can be prevented by vaccination.

Your cat has a higher risk of developing these diseases, so related vaccines are called “core” vaccines, highly recommended for all cats.

Also, vaccines protect against other dangerous diseases such as the feline leukaemia virus (FeLV). When advising your cat to be vaccinated, your local vet considers the spread of these diseases in your area, your cat’s age, and any other risk factors related to cats’ lifestyles.

Internal and External Parasites:

All kinds of bugs and insects can attack your hairless cat’s body. These parasites may be internal or external. Everything from ticks and fleas to ear mites can affect her ears and skin. Hookworms, heartworms, roundworms, and the flukes can enter the system in many ways: walking on contaminated soil, drinking unclean water, or being bitten by an infected mosquito.

Some of these parasites are zoonotic, i.e., they can be transmitted to you or a family member and are a severe concern for everyone. These parasites can cause distress, pain, and even death to your hairless feline friend, so we need to check for them regularly.

Many types of parasites can be detected by faecal examination, so it’s a good idea to have a fresh stool sample (placed in an airtight container) with your pet for his/her wellness tests, usually twice a year.

Spaying or Neutering:

The best thing you can do for your Sphynx is spay or neuter (in males) them. In females, the procedure involves surgical removal of the ovaries and usually the uterus. In males, the testicles are surgically removed. Neutering or spaying your pet reduces the risk of certain types of cancer and eliminates the possibility of your pet becoming pregnant or spreading unwanted progeny.

After spaying or neutering, both sexes are usually less likely to roam and become less territorial. Also, neutering mainly decreases marking behaviours and urine spraying in male cats.

Performing this surgery also gives a chance to identify and cure some of the diseases your cat is likely to develop in the future while your cat is under anaesthesia/sedative. For example, suppose your cat needs hip X-rays to check for dysplasia, or your cat needs an ultrasound to check kidneys or a thorough dental exam to look for stomatitis. In that case, A qualified vet can conveniently perform these surgical procedures simultaneously as the spaying or neutering process is going on to minimize the stress on your cat.

Before surgery, routine blood testing also helps us identify and take necessary precautions against common problems that increase surgical or anaesthetic risk.

Conclusion:

Sphynx cat is a hairless cat breed recognized in 2002. Its unique and different looks make it appealing and lovely to many pet parents. These cats are very much friendly and pleasant. They love spending time with their owners.

They are extremely sensitive to severe hot and cold environments due to a lack of fur. So, these cats only perform well inside the house. Dental issues, skin issues, parasites, and weight management are their common medical conditions.

These cats should be vaccinated to prevent them from many lethal viral and bacterial diseases. They require more care than an average dog or cat. So, Sphynx cats are the only reasonable option for determined and hardworking pet parents.

Rochelle

Rochelle is a self-claimed crazy cat lady and proud cat mum to Owlie! She has owned, rescued, and fostered cats throughout her whole life. Rochelle created Cats On My Mind as a hub for likeminded cat parents to get all the information they will ever need to give their fur babies their best life!

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