The Sphynx cat is a breed of domestic cat.
It is the first hairless cat breed that has been bred specifically for that trait.
Sphynx cats are named after the Egyptian legendary sphinx (although, the cat is spelled with a “y” instead of an “i”) for their sophisticated look and graceful nature.
They may look like they were pets of the pharoahs, but, in fact, they are originally from Canada.
In 1966 a domestic cat gave birth to a hairless kitten in Toronto, Canada. It was discovered to be a natural genetic mutation and the Sphynx cat, as we know it today, came into existence. This cat and a few other naturally hairless cats have been found worldwide; they are the foundation for this unusual breed.
Cat breeders in North America and Europe have bred the Sphynx to normal coated cats and back to hairless cats for more than thirty years. The purpose of selective breeding such as this was to create a genetically sound cat with a large gene pool and hybrid vigor.
The main feature of a Sphynx cat is its lack of a fur coat! The cats are not, however, entirely hairless but covered with fine, downy hair that is said to be like a peach skin.
Whiskers may be present, either whole or broken, or may be totally absent.
They have a narrow long head, large lemon-shaped eyes, very large ears and webbed feet.
Their skin is the color that their fur would be, and all the usual cat markings (solid, point, van, tabby, tortie, etc.) may be found on the Sphynx cat’s skin.
The Sphynx cat is a medium sized cat breed. It has an overall height of 20 to 25 cm (8 to 10 in) and body length of 33 to 38 cm (13 to 15 in). It weighs about 5 kg (11 lb).
The Sphynx cat has a typical lifespan of 9 to 15 years.
These are active cats that are happy to meet and greet visitors, anxious for affection and very interested in whatever you might be doing.
The extroverted behavior of the Sphynx makes them one of the more ‘dog-like’ cat breeds.
Although they may look a little delicate, and do need some protection from the elements, particularly the sun, but are actually very bold and vigorous cats.
Sphynx kittens are born with a soft downy coat and are very wrinkly, when they mature they should retain their wrinkles, especially on the face and neck.
Sphynx cats must be bathed regularly to keep the skin free of the oils that the coat on a normal cat absorbs, and the very large ears must be cleaned regularly to rid them of dust and dirt and prevent wax buildup.
Because they have no coat, they lose more body heat than coated cats. This makes them warm to the touch and causes them to seek out sources of heat.
The Sphynx cat is recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA), the world’s largest cat organization.
Sphynx cats are considered as one of the most expensive cat breeds in the world. Normal pedigree Sphynx cats cost from $1500 to $3000. Such cats are over 95% purebred and come from lesser-known breeders. Purchasing a quality breeder can rage in cost from $3500 to $6000 (per cat). In case of highly rare Sphynx cats, the price can go up to $10000.