Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Sphynx Cat: The Naked Truth On The Breed's History, Personality And Care

Fun Filled Facts About The Sphynx Cat And How To Care For One!

Curious about naked Cats? Sphynx Cats are one out of a few Cat breeds that are seemingly naked; they have the appearance of not having hair on their bodies. The secondary charm of the Sphynx is how they remind us the Bastet, an Egyptian Goddess of protection and Cats. Looking like a prominent figure as such got some folks wondering— Are Sphynx Cats friendly?
via TheWrinkleBabes on Instagram
Fun Fact #1      The spelling of this Cat breed is often confused with legendary Egyptian monuments of the mythical creature Sphinx. You'd be all too familiar with this creature— the head of a human topping off the body of a lion down on all fours.

The Sphynx Cat

Sightings of Cats with little to no hair is not peculiar news, reports have occurred throughout history! The lack of hair on this particular Cat breed was brought about by selective breeding programs in the 1960s, carried out by breeders in Europe. The Sphynx Cat we know of today had two separate founding roots— possibly derived from crossing the Canadian Sphynx (alternative name to Sphynx) and other hairless Cat breeds from Russia, such as the Peterbald or Donskoy

Toronto, Canada — Prune, a hairless kitten was born to a Domestic Short hair Cat named Elizabeth. Prune was then mated with his mom Elizabeth, and their offspring had one hairless kitten. This incident is known and considered as the first attempt that marked the beginning of Sphynx Cats.
Sphynx Cat sitting on towel
via Pinterest
These naked Cats were eventually bought by Ridyadh Bawa, a Science graduate from the University of Toronto. Together with his mother Yania whom was a long time Siamese Cat breeder, and two other Cat fanciers Kees and Rita Tenhoves, developments to establish the Sphynx Cat breed began— this included discovering that the hairless gene is recessive. The breeding program was successful in producing fertile kittens and finally received provisional breed status by CFA (Cat Fanciers' Association), but this status was voided in 1971 due to fertility concerns.

Fun Fact #2      Early breeders had very little knowledge of the genetics behind hairless Cats. This led to many unfortunate results which were fatal in some cases.
Sphynx Cat mother and kitten
via Pinterest
Ontario, Canada — Breeding attempts commenced again in 1978 when Shirley Smith encountered 3 hairless kittens in the streets. In 1983 she sent 2 kittens (Punkie and Paloma) to Netherlands for Dr. Hugo Hernandez to carry out the breeding process with a White Devon Rex Cat. This produced a litter of 5 kittens with 2 males whom were used to carry on with the breeding program.

Minnesota — The origin of Sphynx Cats found in Wadena, Minnesota were hairless stray Cats at the Pearson Family barn. These hairless Cats named Epidermis and Dermis were then sold to Kim Mueske, a breeder in Oregon, marking a significant contribution to the Sphynx breeding program. 

Sphynx Cat Appearance

Despite being easily mistaken for having no hair at first glance, Sphynx Cats actually do have a fine coat of hair, only realizable by touch.

Size — Sphyx Cats are a medium sized breed with muscular bodies. The average weight of an adult ranges from 2.7 to 3.6kgs.

Features — Thin coat of hair that is suede-like to the touch, an adorable round tummy and a prominent wedge head and large ears the shape of a lemon. Their tails should be tapered like a whip.
Blue Sphynx Cat
via Pinterest
Colours — A myriad of colours and patterns are available for the Sphynx, since hair is not entirely visble, pattern variations are known as markings (pigment on their skins) instead. Some colours include Black, White, and Chocolate. Coat patterns range from Tortoiseshell, Calico, and Pointed.

Fun Fact #2      Unlike other Cat breeds, Sphynx Cats do not have hair inside of their ears and have thicker paw pads. The hair on their tails can also sometimes resemble that of a Lion.

Sphynx Cat Grooming Needs

Sphynx Cats do not shed, eliminating the usual need of combing and/or brushing. But easy care does not necessarily come with hairless Pets. In fact, a little more care has to be taken when it comes to grooming your Sphynx Cat. Natural body oils that are produced are normally absorbed by hairs of a Cat, and given that a Sphynx only has so much hair, chances of build up on their skin is high— bath them once a week or two.
How to bath a Sphynx Cat
via RawJellyFish on Tumblr
Sun-burn is unfortunately very real for Sphynx Cats, be sure to avoid long outdoor activities and keep exposure to the Sun to a minimum. Similarly in the cold, take precaution in keeping your Sphynx warm, the lack of hair limits bodyheat conservation— seeing a Sphynx with a sweater put on by their owners is not a baffling sight at all! Perform a scrupulous cleaning of ears, skin folds and nails for accumlated dirt at least once or twice a week.

If you are unsure how to perform these tasks, approach an experienced and trusted Groomer or Veterinarian for professional advice and/or services!

Fun Fact #3      The allergic reaction toward Cats isn't actually caused by hair or fur— it's via a protein found in Cat saliva or glands that produce protective oils. Though reports have shown that many have less of an allergic reaction toward Sphynx Cats, they aren't exactly hypoallergenic.

Sphynx Cat Personality and Temperament

As stoic as their expressions seem, you'd be glad to learn that Sphynx Cats are rated one of the friendliest and most affectionate breeds out there! Highly sociable and intelligent, Sphynx Cats are known to greet their owners and are always within close proximity
Cute Sphynx Cats in sweaters
via Elleooelle on Tumblr
They do this so much that some folks have a funny theory behind a Sphynx's clingy behaviour besides affection— what better way to gather up body heat from human warmth! With proper care and love, the average lifespan of a Sphynx Cat is 20 years.

Fun Fact #4      One might think that a hairless kitty might deter the likings of a Cat lover, but you'd be surprised to know that the Sphynx Cat actually ranks 8th in terms of popularity for Cat breeds! 

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