Let’s learn more about this rare and remarkable cat with some interesting facts about the Sphynx.
Origins of the Sphynx
The Sphynx is a relatively new breed compared to most other cat breeds. While there are various accounts and descriptions of hairless cats in historical times, the Sphynx breed dates back only to the 1960s in Toronto Canada. A domestic house cat gave birth to a litter of kittens in 1966. One of those kittens had a natural genetic mutation that started the Sphynx breed. Early Sphynx breeders crossed hairless kittens with both the Devon Rex and the American Shorthair to create their new breed.
The Sphynx Look
Other than being hairless, the Sphynx has a distinct shape and type. They have huge, wide-open ears and large, expressive eyes, making them look essentially like a naked Devon Rex from the neck up. However due American Shorthair lineage, their body type is sturdy and strong. They are not in any way delicate or fine-boned like the Rex breeds.
Did you know? Most Sphynx are actually not completely hairless. They usually have a very fine, practically invisible layer of “peach fuzz”, along with small patches of hair on the nose and ears, and occasionally the toes or tail. Sphynx cats come in a rainbow of colors—all expressed through different colors of pigment in the skin. Speaking of their skin, the Sphynx’s wrinkles are also a very desirable trait—how often does that happen?!
One common misconception is that the Sphynx is a low maintenance cat because of the lack of hair. Many people also mistakenly think they are hypoallergenic. Sphynx cats have no hair to absorb their natural body oils, so they require more upkeep than their furry feline friends, which may come as a surprise. Sphynx need weekly bathing and ear cleaning to prevent skin problems. While they may be less aggravating to a person’s allergies due to the lack of hair, they do still produce some dander that can cause allergic reactions. Bummer!
But Don’t They Get Cold?
This is the most common question about the Sphynx. Like most cats, the Sphynx will seek out warm places to hang out so you may find them sprawled in the sun or snuggled under the covers.. A good rule of thumb is if it’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for the Sphynx. Sphynx owners who live in colder climates often dress them in sweaters or purchase heated cat beds to keep their kitties comfy.
Sphynx = Personality Plus
The Sphynx is a very energetic breed. They like to be involved with everything in their humans’ lives. They’re very curious, highly intelligent, and a bit mischievous. A Sphynx is not a good match for someone who doesn’t like a talkative kitty. They like to give a running narrative of everything they are doing, feeling, or wanting their humans to do for them. They have a very high metabolism, which means those cries for food and treats will come loudly and often. This is the cat that can and will be your alarm clock. All of those cat person life struggles we wrote about are especially true with these guys.
The Sphynx is a rare cat, but a joy to know if you should be so lucky to make one part of your family. With a body temperature that naturally runs higher than other cats, they’re literally one of the hottest things in the cat world—and they know it!